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Gambling With Magic Cards - My Modern Masters 2015 Experience So Far

Good morning, dear readers!

Here is another MTG post.

So this spring Modern Masters 2015 was released.  It was a very hyped up set, from the beginning.  Eldrazi?  Awesome.  Elesh Norn?  Sweet!  Bitterblossom, Vendillion Clique, Daybreak Coronet, Karn Liberated, Tarmogoyf, Iona, Cryptic Command... a super awesome bunch of cards.

Then, when all was said and done and the whole set was spoiled for us to see, there was a lot of "meh" from the fans.

There were a lot of rares that would not get you your money back, and the chances of getting those was high.  (I know that not every Magic fan views the game from such a financial standpoint, but this article is more about that side of things.)

I know that is the case with pretty much every Magic set, but the thing is, (while it depends on your location), each pack of MM2015 costs about three times the price of a normal pack of magic cards.

So while, say, a pack of Dragons of Tarkir will sell for $5 Can. or so, Modern Masters 2015 sells each pack for $15 Can..  And sure, you are guaranteed a foil in every pack (and so an extra card), but most of those will be commons or uncommons that aren't worth a whole lot.

A while back The Mana Source did a video unlike most they have done, where they reviewed the value of the set and whether or not it was worth it to buy a box.  While the math isn't perfect as cards fluctuate wildly and they aren't taking into account the teensy chance you have of getting a foil mythic that is worth hundreds of dollars, basically it boiled down to about 19% chance of actually making your money back in pulls for each pack.

Those are terrible chances!  Not only that, but I heard that the quality control wasn't so good for this set, so one man opened two boxes and had one that was repeats and repeats of junky cards, and the other had a bunch of good ones.

But!  Like the Magic fan I am, I like to gamble now and then and buy packs to see if I would get something spiffy for trade, sale, or altering.  (Believe me, this is NOT always the best idea.  But it can be fun now and again!)  And this time it actually paid off!! :O

I bought a total of 5 packs over the past two weeks, three of which I gave to my Dad, and two that I opened for myself.  So that is a hefty chunk of change right there.  My Dad also gave me two packs, so in total I opened 4.  The first pack sadly had a junk rare that I can't remember, as I opened it last week.  The three packs I got my Dad had junk rares.  The three I opened yesterday for myself:

Pack 1:
First had Indomitable Archangel (worth about $0.85)
Gorgeous card, but yiiikes!

Pack 2:
Tarmogoyf (worth about $174.99)
SAY WHAT!

Pack 3:
Ghost Council of Orzhova (foil) (worth about $4)
Fulminator Mage (worth about $20.45)

Needless to say I was pretty ecstatic over the Tarmogoyf.  I don't usually have the best luck in pulling amazing cards, but this time I was very lucky.


You rarely will make back what the card is worth, so while it would cost you $175 in store to buy a near mint copy, if I sold it to a store I would get around $125-130ish tops.  So, I am selling it to someone else in the community for a solid $145.

I know this isn't a foil Tarmogoyf (worth about $350!), but I am still making back what I spent on those packs ($75) + $70.

A part of me says: use the money to buy more!  And the more rational side of me says, "no, you aren't going to get any more great cards, don't waste your money!!'  The chances of me pulling something that great again are pretty much non-existent.

Should you buy into Modern Master 2015 as a collector?  It depends what kind of collector you are. If you are looking for only some of the cards, it is a risky gamble. It's a gamble that I was fortunate enough to benefit from, but if I continued trying my chances I doubt it would be worth it.  You'd most likely be better off just going and buying the particular cards you needed than trying to open them, and packs of MM are very expensive.  If you are trying to collect the whole set, then it makes sense wanting to open some packs as every card in the whole set is one that you want to have.  However it will still be an extremely expensive set to collect.

Is it worth it to try and get money cards?  I don't think so.  There is such a minute chance of getting something that you are much more likely to be throwing money away than making it.

Now if you are drafting, that is a whole other matter.  But that is also a $35+ draft, so it's not for everybody.  If you are my friend Mike, it's worth it, because he aaaaaaaalways pulls the best cards.  Aaaaaalways.  It really is uncanny!

I know that probably most of my readers don't play Magic, but for those who do, what are your thoughts on Modern Masters 2015?

Take care and have a beautiful day!

-Ash


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Lush Love Lettuce Fresh Face Mask Review

Good morning, dear readers!

Today I'm going to be reviewing Lush's Love Lettuce fresh face mask.



This retails for $6.95 for 60 grams (or you can bring in 5 empty Lush black pots and get it for free!).

"Balancing mask for all skin types

Love Lettuce is our exfoliating ground almond mask that scoops up dirt, oil and debris and washes it all away. Exfoliation is an important part of good skincare, as it removes the buildup of dead skin that can clog your pores and cause impurities. Love Lettuce is a great example of how just a few ingredients can make a fresh, effective product for the skin. We blend calming French lavender oil with seaweed and honey to nourish and soften skin, and to balance oily T-zones." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Agar Agar Gel (Gelidium cartilagineum) , Kaolin ,Honey , Fullers Earth , Glycerine , Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) , Ground Almond Shells (Prunus dulcis) ,Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis) , Lavender Oil (Lavandula augustifolia) , Chlorophyllin , *Geraniol ,*Limonene , *Linalool , Fragrance



This has a delightful green colour to it, which makes me happy as I think of it as a classic face mask colour.  XD  You can definitely notice the scrubby bits in it, and you can exfoliate your skin while applying it (and removing it).


(You can see my bottom snaggle teeth! XD)

You leave this on for 5-10 minutes, then remove it.  I used a yellow face cloth; it could very well come out with more scrubbing, but I think there was a wee bit of green staining on the cloth when I was finished.  Again, this could come out in the wash, but to be on the safe side I recommend using a cloth that you don't mind getting a bit stained in the worst case scenario.

The lavender fragrance is lovely, and the added notes from the other ingredients really help to bring about even more of a relaxing spa feeling.

Afterwards, my skin was soft and dewy.  It wasn't dried out at all (which a lot of masks can do), and it had a moisturized look to it.  There was a bit of redness, but I attribute that to the scrubbing, and that my skin is really sensitive.

I quite enjoyed this mask and my skin feels clean and refreshed!  I will enjoy using this again, and if you want a really relaxing mask that can exfoliate and doesn't strip your skin, I recommend it! :D

Have you tried Love Lettuce?  Are any other Lush fresh face masks your favourite?

Have a lovely day! :D

-Ash
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MTF Forest Alter - The Unicorn in Captivity

Good morning, dear readers!

A few weeks ago I did a forest alter for Magic the Gathering, and I wanted to do the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry that I have loved for a very long time.  So here she be:


The whole painting took about 5-6 hours if I remember correctly.  

I took progress photos while I was working on it:

There are things that I didn't add, like the chain and the initials around the tree, and there are differences because there was only so much detail I could fit into the card and copying exactly would have taken me months.  But I am happy with how it turned out! :D

I am actually working on another one and I sold this one shortly after finishing it.

I hope you have a wonderful day! :D

-Ash
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The Face Shop Sseal Escargot 24K Gold Cream Review

Good afternoon, dear readers!! :D

Today I have a slightly more unusual review for you: The Face Shop's Sseal Escargot 24K Gold Cream.  (Whew, that was a mouthful!)




Last year around Christmas The Face Shop was having a really great sale, so my sister and I picked this up while we were there.  It was actually my sisters Christmas gift to me, as I really wanted to try it, and it was bloody expensive.  Not as expensive as so many other products that are available these days (La Prairie Cellular Cream Platinum for $1000+?  Nuuuupe!), but still pricey enough with a hefty around $100-ish price tag for 50 ml. (I am seeing it listed online for cheaper now, but I don't know if those are legit.  Anyway, it was that expensive in store.)  Thankfully they were having a half-off sale, so it wasn't as bad.

I'd heard things about snail cream for facial care, and I love trying all sorts of things to get my skin in better condition.  So, naturally, I really wanted to test it out (yay snail goo!).



This cream consists of 60% filtered snail mucous, and then there are the 24K gold flakes. Fancyyyyyy!  (I admit, I like feeling fancy!)

Along with the jar, you get a small plastic scoop, which is great in that you don't have to scoop the product out with dirty fingers and contaminate it.  However, I lost mine.  >.>



The cream (although I'd call it more of a smooth gel, than anything) has a lovely fragrance!  I know that a lot of people aren't fond of fragrance in skin care, and I don't blame them.  It really is an unnecessary additive that can cause skin irritation.  I do like a good fragrance though *shifty-eyes*.

The gel-like texture has visible gold flakes in it, that disappear into your skin when you rub the cream on.  They are preeeetty!

 (I tried to zoom into a photo to show the flakes more, but it's kinda blurry)



INGREDIENTS: SNAIL SECTRETION FILTRATE*GLYCERIN*WATER*CYCLOPENTASILOXANE*DIMETHICONE*DIPROPYLENE GLYCOL*BETAINE*PROPYLENE GYLCOL*SORBITOL*CYCLOHEXASILOXANE*BUTYLENE GLYCOL*PANTHENOL*SODIUM HYALURONATE*GOLD*SPIRAEA ULMARIA EXTRACT*THEOBROMA CACAO (COCOA) EXTRACT*AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER*CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) EXTRACT*HYDROGENATED LECITHIN*CAPRYLYL GLYCOL*POLYMETHYLSILSESQUIOXANE*LAURYL DIMETHICONE/POLYGLYCERINE-3 CROSSPOLYMER*ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER*STEAROXYMETHICONE/DIMETHICONE COPOLYMER*XANTHAN GUM*POTASSIUM HYDROXIDE*DISODIUM EDTA*FRAGRANCE

From what I could gather with research:

Snail secretion filtrate = filtered escargot mucus
Glycerine = hygroscopic (attracts water molecules from surroundings) simple sugar alcohol compound, used to improve smoothness, provide lubrication and is a humectant
Water = aqua!
Cyclopentasiloxane = slip agent, emollient
Dimethicone = silicon oil (polymerized siloxane), silicone based polymer, emollient, slip agent
Dipropylene glycol = fragrance carrier, viscosity decreasing agent, solvent
Betaine = an amino acid which functions as a humectant and anti-irritant
Propylene glycol = slip agent, humectant
Sorbitol = sugar alcohol (while obtained from fruits, most comes from corn syrup), humectant, thickener
Cyclohexasiloxane = silicon based polymer, emollient, solvent, skin-conditioning agent
Butylene glycol = organic alcohol, humectant, skin-conditioning, solvent
Panthenol = alcohol form of vitamin B5, moisturizer, lubricator
Sodium hyaluronate = sodium salt of hyaluronic acid, humectant, skin-conditioning
Gold = gold
Spiraea ulmaria extract = meadowsweet extract, skin-conditioning agent
Theobroma cacao extract = cocoa extract, skin-conditioner
Ammonium acryloyldimethyltaurate = emulsion stabilizer
Citrus paradisi extract = grapefruit extract, skin-conditioning
Hydrogenated lecithin = surfactant - emulsifying agent, skin-conditioning, suspending agent
Caprylyl gylcol = skin conditioning, emollient, humectant
Polymethylsilsesquioxane = opacifying agent
Lauryl dimethicone/polyglycerine-3 crosspolymer = surfactant, emulsifying agent, solubilizing agent, viscosity increasing agent, skin-conditioning
Acrylates/c10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer = emulsion stabilizer, viscosity increasing agent, film forming
Stearoxymethicone/dimethicone copolymer = viscosity increasing agent, emollient, skin-conditioning
Xanthan gum = sugar based polymer produced by bacteria, emulsion stabilizer, binder, skin-conditioning agent, surfactant, viscosity increasing agent, gel forming
Potassium hydroxide = caustic inorganic base, pH adjuster
Disodium EDTA = viscosity controlling
Fragrance = mystery smells!

It sounds like this would be pretty moisturizing!  However, on me, it isn't.  :/  It doesn't dry me out, but it doesn't really do much in the way of adding moisture into my skin either.  There is a film on the skin right after application, but within the hour it is pretty much absorbed.  And while my skin is a little softer to the touch, it doesn't feel super supple.

After application it adds a slight sheen to the skin making it look more moisturized:



I don't feel that it is drawing much water into my skin.  I find that when I am using the cream, my skin gets a tiny bit flushed on the apples of my cheeks, almost as if I applied a bit of blush.  (It doesn't show up in flash photos well but in my bathroom mirror it is much more obvious.)  Maybe that's the 'radiant' I get with this? XD

I also don't find that it plumps my skin up much, and my fine lines look pretty much the same before and after application.  It really doesn't say that it is an anti-ager, but creams that really moisturize your skin do tend to make them look younger.

Continual use of this product (more than one day) causes my skin to start breaking out in those tiny pimples, so I can't say how well this helps the skin in the long term. :(

Overall I'm very glad I got to try this, and if I use it only one day at a time and not several in a row I am fine, but I don't find that it provides the benefits necessary to justify the price tag.  While it is certainly possible that I could get much better results with continued use, my skin won't allow me to do that.  Also, the regular moisturizer I use provides results even after one application!

Have you tried any snail creams before?  What are your thoughts?

Take care and have a wonderful day!

-Ash


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Sun Awareness Week

Good morning, dear readers! :D

I was recently contacted by Oscar Insurance (whom you can find more about here), and was informed of National Sun Awareness Week (June 1st-June 7th, or June 1st-8th depending on the organization).  

I think sun protection is extremely important, so after some conversation with them, a blog post was created to bring more information available to my readers.

Even though we all know that sunlight can be very damaging, many of us still disregard these warnings and do little to protect ourselves from ultraviolet radiation.

I like using the longer term, as the shortened "UV rays" doesn't sound as bad as the reality of what it is: radiation.


(Image from here.)

Skin cancer is a very scary and very real danger, and I personally know at least two people who have had it.  One of my family members is one of those people, and while he was lucky and had the non-life threatening kind, he still had to have surgery and now has scars on his face from where they had to remove it, and from where they removed and added skin grafts.  Not only that, but it's actually come back since then :(.

It's easy to go about life thinking that the terrible things that can happen in the world won't "really" happen to us, or those close to us.  But I've personally known at least 5(!) people who have had different types of cancer, several of which are family, and extremely sadly, one of those people (my grandmother) died from it.  I don't know a huge amount of people, so having that many diagnosed with cancer out of the relatively small group of people I know is really saying something.  This is a very real and very serious risk that is only getting more and more prevalent in the world today.

Not only do we have the life-threatening risks, but ultraviolet radiation promotes skin irritation, premature aging (wrinkles! sunspots!), and cataracts.

So what can we do?  Work on things to make ourselves healthier, and at a lower risk.  I know this sounds funny coming from someone who has had a history of smoking for 16 years (don't even get me started on that), but that's even more reason for me to protect myself from the Sun's rays, as I've already exposed myself to the ridiculous dangers of that horrible habit.

Some of the ways I avoid sunlight is by wearing big hats and sunglasses, sunblock/sunscreen, and taking my daily walks either in the evening, or really early in the morning instead of when the sun is at its zenith, and when the ultraviolet index is at its highest.

I'm not a saint, I've been known to be lax on wearing sunscreen, and I know that I need to improve that.  Last summer I didn't wear it, and even though I didn't go outside in the sunlight very often, the times I did resulted in a big influx of freckles! :O  If it did that to my skin, enough that its effects were that visual, what else was it doing in invisible ways?

One of my favourite sunscreens is Banana Boat Sport Performance misting sunscreens.  These go on well, are very lightweight and a lot less greasy than some other products I've used, and they actually work.

For those of you who hate thick and sticky sunscreens and sunblocks, Japanese brands tend to be a lot more watery and lightweight, and I would suggest giving those a try.

More things you can do:

If you have noticed any changes in moles or skin, don't hesitate to bring it up with your GP, who can recommend a dermatologist.  Early detection is a literal lifesaver!  

Keep an eye on the weather network, as it uses the ultraviolet index to inform the public about when UV rays are at their highest in the day, and if possible, plan around spending long times outside at the peak.


(Image from here)

When you buy sunglasses (protect those peepers!  Cataracts and cancer are NOT fun!), make sure that they protect against both UVA and UVB.  Did you know there are UVC rays as well?  Luckily, these are filtered by Earth's atmosphere (in particular the ozone layer), so right now none of the UVC rays reach us.  



(Image from here.)

Make sure that you are applying the right amount of sunscreen to your body (most people don't apply enough).  According to skincancer.org, the proper amount is about "two milligrams of sunscreen per square centimetre of skin" which is "the equivalent of a shot glass (two tablespoons) of sunscreen to the exposed areas of the face and body - a  nickel-sized dollop to the face alone.  If you are using a spray, apply until an even sheen appears on the skin.  Remember that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every two hours, or more frequently after swimming, heavy perspiration, or towelling off."

Be sure to protect yourself at all times of the year.  You may be covered up in the winter, but especially for any skin that is exposed, the UV rays can still reach you.  In fact, they bounce off of snow and ice and then you get more from all sorts of directions.

What do you like to do to prevent sun damage?  What are your favourite sunscreens/sunblocks?

Have a wonderful (and safe!) day! :D

-Ash

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A Day in Ottawa

Good morning, dear readers!

Yesterday I went into Ottawa with my sister and father.  My sister and I had planned on going to a few stores downtown for about a week or so, and my father kindly offered to drive us (thank you so much dad, I know how much of a pain in the butt it is!!).

With anxiety, doing everyday things can be a lot tougher.  The night/morning before I couldn't sleep because a mix of anxiety and excitement (I don't get out as much XD I also have trouble sleeping the night before Christmas, and my birthday.  I can get REALLY excited about things!).

First off, we went to Sushi Kanata, and got their all you can eat lunch.  Every single time I've eaten there, their food has been excellent.  Yesterday was no exception.

I had the tempura shrimp and sweet potato, some crunchy spicy salmon rolls that were melt-in-your-mouth fresh, and some sesame dessert ball-things.  OH!  I just realised that I still have a fortune cookie in my purse! :D SCORE! (Edit: not anymore, I just ate it.)

After that we went to Bubblicity tea shop on Somerset, which is now named Dumpling Bowl (they started serving dumplings too after more competition for bubble tea popped up).  I got the taro sherbet and my sister got the mango slush.







I don't know who the artist is, but they have a bunch of paintings from someone that I really like.  I remember these from when I lived in Ottawa, and they brought back nice memories :D.  I especially like this one :


They changed their decor after the company makeover, and the interior is as lovely and calming as ever.

From there we went to World of Tea, an amazing tea shop on Bank St. with a wide selection and a very beautiful store.  The lady who was working there was the absolute sweetest!!  I believe she is one of the two owners.  She was incredibly helpful, obviously passionate about teas, and very knowledgeable.  She is such a lovely person!

I came in particularly for their matcha, as I've been wanting to get matcha for a loooong long time (and it's finally available in Ottawa!!).  They carry 5 different kinds: organic, culinary grade, chiyomukashi, hatsumukashi, and kyomukashi.

Sadly they were waiting on a shipment from Kyoto, and what they had left over was sold that very morning before I got there.  The lady felt really bad about it, but I should have called ahead before arriving there, and it wasn't her fault.  She offered me a 5% discount on matcha for when I come back (which is saying a lot, as it doesn't really go on sale).

I picked up a few more teas while I was there: a houjicha karigane and genmaicha for myself, and a flowering tea for my sister.





I picked up some matcha essentials while I was there:

A chasen:



And a really lovely chawan, which was surprisingly budget friendly:



I would have loved to go back there right after they get their shipment in, but it is downtown and I don't drive, I live outside of the city, and the busses where I am are pretty terrible.  Aside from that, it is very hard for me to go places that far often due to my anxiety disorders (especially if I have to go by myself).  I really hope that in the next few months I can manage to get back down there, as I would love to give them more business.  If you love teas and are in the area, I highly recommend it!! :D

As I really wanted to try some matcha, I ended up picking up some from David's Tea in the Rideau Center.  I would have preferred trying the ones that World of Tea offered, but as it will probably be months before I can go downtown again, I settled on the ceremonial matcha at David's.  They offer three different kinds (not including the ones infused with other flavours, like the vanilla matcha): grand cru matcha, matcha matsu, and ceremonial matcha.  There was a definite visual difference between the grades, and I went with the brightest and most vivid one they had.



I was originally a bit leery of trying it, as David's Tea is chain store, and I wondered at the quality of this as a lot of places are hopping onto the matcha train (with widely varying qualities in the matcha they offer).  However, so far I am really impressed!  David's Tea sources their matcha from Nishio, and while I haven't tasted it yet (and I am in no way at all a matcha connoisseur!), the colour and fragrance are absolutely enthralling.  It's hard for me to describe the scent of green tea, as I find it is the only thing I've smelled that has that exact fragrance.  But this is an intense, creamy, beautiful green tea, and I am looking forward to tasting it.



I do wish that they had smaller cannisters, so there would be less air getting at it.  Oh well, what can you do?

Here you can see the difference in quality between David's Ceremonial Matcha and a powdered green tea bought years ago:


(Please excuse the bit of lower-quality tea that got onto the matcha on the right.)

The David's Tea matcha is beautiful!!

After that, we popped into Lush (which was very conveniently beside the David's Tea!), and I picked up a few things for my sister, my friend, and I.


I picked up several things that I never reviewed before, so I'm looking forward to that.

All in all we were out for about 5 hours, and I am so happy that the three of us could spend the day together and go to all those places (and eat all that delicious food!).  I'm also very happy that I was able to sell three paintings earlier this month that allowed me to have money to go out today.

I hope you have a wonderful day, and thank you for stopping by my blog! :D

-Ashley


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Lush Sugar Scrub Review


Good evening, dear readers! :D

Today I have a review of Lush's Sugar Scrub body scrub.

This retails for $6.25 Can. for 100 grams.




"Stimulating ginger and fennel sugar scrub
Our solid Sugar Scrub is tough on cellulite and unwanted bumps, but kind on your skin. It’s no nonsense attitude doesn’t waste any time getting down to business; sweetly exfoliating with Fair Trade sugar and stimulating circulation with fennel and ginger. It’s not all rough stuff though; calming lavender has a balancing effect and encourages healthier skin. Get yourself wet in the bath or shower (but don’t let the bar get under the running water). Scrub, scrub, scrub and rinse away! You’ll be left with smoother, cleaner and radiant skin. Water you waiting for? Get scrubbing!" - Lush.ca



Ingredients: Granulated Fair Trade Sugar Sodium Bicarbonate Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate) Sodium Laureth Sulfate Fresh Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Fennel Oil (Foeniculum vulgare) Lavender Oil (Lavandula augustifolia) Fresh Ginger Root (Zingiber officinalis) Lauryl Betaine *Limonene ,*Linalool Fragrance Chlorophyllin . *Occurs naturally in essential oils



I read that it's best to break up the scrub and use only as much as you need, as opposed to trying to rub the entire scrub on you in solid form.  Once water hits the scrub it starts to dissolve, so depending on how much water got on it, using it in one big piece may make it last for only one go.  By breaking it up you have more control over how much you use, and can make this scrub last for several rounds.

I tried hitting it repeatedly with a sturdy butter knife, and tried to chip away at it, but barely anything happened as it was as hard as rock.  It was also around 4 a.m., so I couldn't do anything too loud in the house (like hit it with a hammer!), so I went out front with the scrub in two sandwich bags, and thwacked it repeatedly on the cement front step. XD That worked pretty well!

I put the scrub into an empty Blousey container I had, then used a thick spoon to break up the remaining chunks a bit more.




To use it, I grabbed a couple of the larger pieces, put them in the palm of my hand, and dribbled water over them.  I crushed them with my fingers until they melted down into a green paste, then I rubbed that on my skin.  I tried using a chunk of it straight on my skin, and that is NOT a good idea D:.  It was too hard and scraped rather roughly, and it was very unpleasant.

It does foam up a little bit, as SLS is an ingredient.  Nothing too foamy, and it is funny smearing greenish stuff on your arms and legs.  XD

The scent is quite lovely, and I'm guessing it is the fennel that I am smelling, although I am not as familiar with that herb, and so cannot be 100% sure.  It does scent the skin a little bit, but the fragrance stays very close to the skin.

Afterwards my skin was definitely smoother, but I attribute a lot of that to the softening ingredients than to the actual scrubbing.  As it starts to melt, the scrubbiness starts going away, so I couldn't scrub with it for too long.  I'm sure it would have done more had I used more chunks, but that's just something to keep in mind.  Work fast, and you should be okay! :D

Would I purchase it again?  Probably not, as I prefer having something that really moisturizes my skin as well, like the Buffy body bar.  I could just put moisturizer on afterwards, but I've been spoiled by the other products Lush carries.  >:D

The scrub does what it says it will do, but not as effectively as other scrubs I have tried.  I suggest the Buffy bar.  However, if you want a Lush scrub that doesn't leave a rather noticeable layer of oils and butters on your skin, then this is worth a try!

What are some of your favourite scrubs?

Have a wonderful day! :D

-Ash

8 comments

Lush Shine So Bright Split End Treatment Review

Good morning, lovelies!

Today I have a review of Lush's Shine So Bright Split End Treatment.


(My tin is a bit beat up, as I have thrown it into various purses and bags to carry it around with me, so below is a better looking photo from Lush.ca)



This retails for $9.95 Can. for 10 grams.

"Mend those ends

We've concocted a beautiful balm to prevent split ends and help hair shine so bright. Extra virgin coconut and olive oils, shea butter and fresh free range eggs nourish and improve the tensile strength of hair to prevent and mend split ends. It works wonderfully as a finishing product as well, taming fly-aways and keeping hair in place for a flawless look. Add to that an orange flower, grapefruit, neroli and rosewood perfume and you won't want to leave home without this!" - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) , Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) , Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia cerifera) , Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olea europaea) , Fragrance , Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara) , Grapefruit Oil (Citrus paradisi) , Rosewood Oil (Aniba rosaeodora) , Fresh Free Range Eggs ,Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides) ,Hydroxycitronellal , Geraniol , *Citral , *Farnesol ,*Limonene , *Benzyl Benzoate , *Linalool



Although it says it "mends" split ends, you can't really do that, you just cut them off to make them go away.  But if you are like me and don't cut your hair as often as you should because you can't bear to see it being snipped away, chances are you have split ends that need dealing with.  I've seen some weiiiird split ends in my day, all from my own head.  Sure, there is the traditional "split into two at the bottom" split end, but then there is this:

Not just one split, but multiple.  Or whatever was going on on the left in the image above... I'm not even sure.  I had to show my sister that hair, because it was so ridiculous.

So, although I take a pair of scissors now and then and hunt the split ends, many remain, and are in dire need of help.  (Although my hair is brown now, there were big chunks of hair that were bleached multiple times, and the frailty of those hairs is becoming more and more obvious as time passes.)

This is where Shine So Bright comes in handy.

It leaves a coating on your hair to help smooth down those pesky shafts, and I believe that by doing so, it would help prevent the splits from getting worse.  You can tell when you have bad split ends and you brush your hair and it tangles even easier than it normally would from those tiny fibers wrapping around other hairs.  Which only makes them worse.  So a nice coating of SSB is pretty helpful.



You could definitely use different things for the same purpose and it would probably work just as well, but with this, you get a perfect sized tin to carry it around, and the perfume alone is worth the purchase.



The scent is amaaaazing!!  It smells like Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner and Sea Spray hair mist, which have a glorious neroli and orange flower perfume.

Here is a before and after:


I kinda had to place my hair a bit for the second photo, since I just threw it forward for the first after brushing my hair and I wanted it to be similar.  

I warmed some product on my fingers, then placed it on my tips and some further up the hair, as my hair is very uneven and I have some parts that are a lot shorter than other parts.

Aside from mending split ends (because you really can't, unless Shine So Bright is magic), SSB helps to smooth down flyaways and it does add shine.  It also perfumes the hair in a subtle but pleasant way for a little while afterwards.  It's hard to flatten out a split end when the split isn't at the end, but I think this will protect the hair a bit better to help prevent fraying. 

I am happy with my purchase and would get it again.  It smells so darn good, and it's so handy to keep around for toning down hair crazy.

Have you tried Shine So Bright?  

Take care and have a wonderful day! :D

-Ash


9 comments

Lush Items That Didn't Work For Me

Good morning, dear readers!

Over the past couple years there were several Lush products that I tried and that I found didn't work so well with me, whether it was because of my sensitive skin, or because of some other reason.

Instead of making separate posts for each of these (I do that sometimes), I figured I'd clump these ones into one post.  :D  That way I can get my reviews out, and add them to my Lush list and tab up near the top of my blog.  Also, they will be rather quick reviews, as I will mainly point out what went wrong for me.

For every one Lush product that I didn't like as much, there are a bunch that I lurve, and this company continues to impress me over and over again.

Everyone is different, and how I react to something isn't necessarily how you'll react to it.  Plenty of people love and have no issues at all with these products.  Please don't think that I am saying that these are bad products, because I am not.  They just didn't work for me personally.

Okie dokie, with that out of the way, here we goooo:

Lush Celestial facial moisturizer.

$24.95 Can. for 45 grams.



"Divine blend for sensitive skin
Redness. Stinging. Irritation. Sound familiar? Having sensitive skin can be incredibly frustrating (even painful!), which is why we invented our most gentle moisturizer, Celestial. With its creamy cocoa butter base, Celestial effectively moisturizes without irritating ingredients like citrus oils or alcohol. We blend vanilla water, to help the skin retain its moisture, with hydrating almond milk and fresh dove orchid extract to keep delicate skin in soft, glowing condition. Celestial also doubles as a fantastically softening night cream for all skin types." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Vanilla Water (Vanilla planifolia) , Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) , Almond Milk (Prunus dulcis) , Glycerine , Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao) ,Fragrance , Fresh Dove Orchid Extract (Dendrobium) ,Cetearyl Alcohol , Stearic Acid , *Anise Alcohol ,Triethanolamine , Methylparaben , Propylparaben

Made for dry and/or sensitive faces, this sadly broke me out.  But that doesn't surprise me, as almost everything breaks me out.  My skin is just like that.  :(  I really felt fancy too with using the dove orchid extract on my face.  I love the name of this moisturizer, and the short, attractive ingredient list.  But my skin didn't.

Lush Imperialis facial moisturizer:

$24.95 Can. for 45 grams.



"Perfectly balancing lavender cream
If you’re not sure which moisturizer is for you, we recommend starting here. Imperialis is a finely crafted moisturizer that works with most skin types to ease and soothe irritations. Made with lavender infusion to balance the skin's sebum production, the lavender encourages dry skin to produce more natural oils and discourages oily skin from overdoing it. Orange blossom water brightens up dull looking areas and leaves you smelling gorgeous all day long." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Lavender Flower Infusion (Lavandula angustifolia) ,Mullein Leaf Infusion (Verbascum thapsus) , Orange Blossom Water (Citrus dulcis) , Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olea europaea) , Stearic Acid , Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) , Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao) , Glycerine , Cetearyl Alcohol ,Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara) ,Tiger Lily Extract (Lilium Tigrinum) , St. Johns Wort Extract (Hypericum perforatum) , Elderflower Extract (Sambucus nigra) , Sweet Violet Extract (Viola odorata), Sunflower Petal Extract (Helianthus annuus) , Alkanet Extract (Alkanna tinctoria) , Triethanolamine ,Methylparaben , Fragrance , Propylparaben
Aimed to be suitable for most skin types.  Except for mine.  This one broke me out too.  :(  Why skin, whyyyyy?

Ultrabland facial cleanser:

$16.95 Can. for 45 grams, or $29.95 for 100 grams.




"Non-irritating beeswax cleanser
A hugely popular cult product, Ultrabland is a thick, rich emulsion of essential oils, honey and beeswax to take off any make up or residue that has built up on your face throughout the day. Unlike most make up removers, Ultrabland leaves your skin feeling soft and nourished, thanks to soothing rosewater and iris flower extract. Suitable for all skin types, Ultrabland is a classic LUSH cleanser coveted by staff and customers alike for it’s effectiveness. Not so bland after all, is it?" - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) , Rose Water (Rosa centifolia) , Beeswax (Cera alba) , Honey (Mel) , Fresh Iris Extract (Iris florentina) , Glycerine , Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena) , Tincture of Benzoin (Styrax benzoin) , Methylparaben , Propylparaben

Great for melting away makeup, not so great at keeping my skin blemish free.  This broke me out as well.  Maybe I have a ph problem?  Maybe the beeswax clogged my skin?  I don't know.  

Figs and Leaves soap:

$7.60 Can. for 100 grams.




"Fruity, exfoliating figgy scrubby soap
Sophisticated, and subtly sexy, our Figs and Leaves soap is understated in appearance and effect. Modestly draped in grape leaves, and demurely creamy beige in color; it's the scent of this soap that draws you in: alluring orange blossom and juicy figs, with an undertone of eastern exoticism. Figs are incredibly nutritious and good for your body, and their scrubby brown seeds exfoliate and really get to work getting you clean. Wonderfully suited for irritated and sensitive skin, organic aloe vera is calming and gentle. Seductive, nutritious, scrubby, and soothing – what are you waiting for?" - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) , Rapeseed Oil (Brassica napus) , Fig Decoction (Ficus carica) , Glycerine , Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) , Aloe Vera Extract (Aloe barbadensis) , Fragrance , Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata) , Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara) , Organic Aloe Vera Gel (Aloe barbadensis) ,Sodium Chloride , Titanium Dioxide , Sodium Hydroxide , EDTA , Tetrasodium Etidronate , *Benzyl Benzoate , Lilial , *Linalool , Vine Leaf (Vitis Vinifera)
When I purchased this in store, I loved the scent.  I love the whole idea behind it.  Figs and leaves...so decadent, and fancy sounding.  :D  I don't know if I smelled it too many times on the way home, but by the time I got there, I actually managed to get sick of the smell, and I really didn't like it anymore!  Maybe it smelled different to me in the store with all the other Lush products scenting the air.  I ended up giving it to my sister, and it became one of her favourite products.  Then it turned out that after a while this was really drying on both her, and my skin! :(
$6.40 Can. for 100 grams:

"Lusciously fruity, supremely creamy soap
Revel in Sultana’s majesty, and have a wash with the royalty of soaps. It looks like a fancy Italian dessert; a giant nougat cake topped with succulent currants and apricots. Smooth a slice of our soft decadent soap all over your body for a creamy lather and the most dazzling bergamot and olibanum scent. Your skin will be delighted and you’ll be left softer and smelling like a fancy candy shop with a touch of fruity sweetness. If you weren’t invited to the wedding, at least you can brush shoulders with royalty in the shower." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) , Propylene Glycol , Rapeseed Oil ,Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera) ,Sodium Hydroxide , Fragrance , Dried Apricots (Prunus armeniaca) , Dried Currants (Ribes Nigrum) ,Titanium Dioxide , Glycerine , Dried Cranberries (Vaccinium macrocarpon) , Olibanum Oil (Boswella Carterii) , Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia) ,Sodium Chloride , EDTA , Tetrasodium Etidronate
Another case of "liked the scent in the store, not so much by itself".  Nice and creamy, but I ended up disliking the fragrance, and gave it to my sister.
$7.95 for 100 grams.

"Seriously citrusy and scrubby suds
Sandstone is seriously scrubby; it’s the strongest, scrubbiest soap we make. Loved by men and women alike, it was inspired by babes on the beaches of Brazil who mix sand with tanning oil to make their backsides smooth as silk. The layer of sand will exfoliate your body as you wash to leave you with soft, touchable skin. For once, getting sand all over your bits is a good thing! Coriander and gardenia oils tone and brighten, and your skin will be seductively scented with citrus notes of a tropical cocktail. Have yourself a shower vacation." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) , Sand , Glycerine , Rapeseed Oil ,Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera) ,Sodium Hydroxide , Sodium Stearate , Fragrance ,Litsea Cubeba Oil , Coriander Oil (Coriandrum sativum), Sodium Chloride , Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides) , EDTA , Tetrasodium Etidronate , *Citral, *Geraniol , *Limonene , *Linalool , Hydroxycitronellal
This definitely does what it says it will do!  And it will do it with a delicious lemony fragrance.  My skin is waaaay too sensitive for it though, so I used the rest of it on my feet, which was lovely! :D
$7.95 Can. for 100 grams.

"Invigorating seaweed and lime soap
Splish, splash it’s time to take a bath with our best-selling soap inspired by the sea. Sea Vegetable is made with skin softening seaweed, one of our favorite ingredients, with a crust of stimulating sea salt to give your body a good scrub down. In addition to cleansing your skin, salt also helps to soften and hydrate. Float away with the reviving scents of lime, lavender and seaweed. Instantly relaxing, your senses will be transported to groves of citrus trees and vibrant flowers. The best part? Your skin will be revived, brightened, and clean." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Propylene Glycol , Water (Aqua) , Rapeseed Oil; Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Cocos nucifera) , Coarse Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride) , Sodium Stearate ,Sodium Lauryl Sulfate , Sodium Hydroxide , Arame Seaweed (Eisenia arborea) , Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia) , Lavender Oil (Lavandula augustifolia) ,Seaweed Absolute (Fucus vesiculosus) , Glycerine ,Sodium Chloride , EDTA , Tetrasodium Etidronate ,*Citral , *Geraniol , *Limonene , *Linalool , Fragrance ,Blue 1 , Yellow 5
This soap looks so lovely!!  Such a gorgeous colour, and it has a pleasant fragrance.  The salty top was too scratchy for me though, and I prefer more moisturizing soaps.  No go for me, but my sister liked it :D.

"Creamy dove orchid cleanser
Like Dolly says, 9 to 5 is quite the way to make a living. It can take its toll on the skin and leave you looking worn out. Our inventors created this one a long time ago and named it 'Orchid Oil Cleanser.' Our customers had been crying out for a liquid cleanser, so we decided to bring (the newly renamed) 9 to 5 to the LUSH shelves. This gentle cleanser is made with almond oil, dove orchids and everlasting flower absolute to remove your leftover make up, dirt and grime at the end of a long work day." - Lush.ca
Ingredients: Water (Aqua) , Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis) , Stearic Acid , Fresh Dove Orchid Extract (Dendrobium) ,Everlasting Flower Absolute (Helichrysum Italicum) ,Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata) , Triethanolamine ,Cetearyl Alcohol , Fragrance , Methylparaben ,Propylparaben
Uuugh that ingredient list!! *hearts*.  Again with the dove orchid.  And everlasting flower.  Add ylang ylang?  Fancy!  Sadly, my skin broke out.  Come to think of it, I tried several of those products that caused me to break out in a short time frame (if I remember correctly), so maybe my skin was just overloaded with new things?
So there we go, several things that didn't work as hoped on my skin.  Have you tried any of these?  If so, I hope that they worked well for you! :D
Have a fantastic day!
-Ash

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About Me

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Heyo!  I am the writer behind Art Evolve, a blog about things and stuff, that I update sometimes.  >:D

I have a serious love for books, gaming, and general sci-fi and fantasy things.

I also love music and art, and hope to become a better musician and artist as time goes on.

I just started playing Magic: The Gathering again after a looooong break (11 years!?!), and it is awesome.  I hope to become a better Magic player too, because I'm not that great at it heheheh.

I was introduced to edh last (I think?) month, and it has quickly become a favourite format.

UPDATE: Wow, that was in March of last year!  Time really flies!  Definitely not magnificent at it, but still on the Magic train and much better at it than last year.  XD

OH!  I also do MTG altered art, which I recently started and it is seriously fun and rewarding.  Magic + art practice?  Aw yeah!! :D

What else, what else...  I like video games, and play on both PC and console (PS!!).  I love rpg's and some good shooters, and killing zombies is a plus.

I love chocolate, tea and coffee.  I smoke cigarettes, which is stupid, so don't ever smoke cigarettes because it is stupid.

I also really like food.  Too much so.  Especially crunchy things!  I seriously need to get some bubble tea because it has been way too long.

I love to study but my ADHD makes it a bit difficult (a lot difficult, because remembering things can be kinda rediculous).  I also have obsessive compulsive disorder which sucks.  And anxiety disorders, which suck.

Favourite subjects include: astronomy, nihongo, art, geology, stuff like that.

HAVE AT YOU, KNAVE!  *slaps*
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