The Lush butter ball, my favourite kind of butter

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Lush Butterball bath bomb

So while I was in Antwerp I used the opportunity and dropped into the Lush store. The prices are a bit higher than in Germany or the UK but I could not resist to reward myself for a week full of work with a bath bomb. Now several bloggers have raved on about Lushs most inexpensive bath bomb, the “Butter ball”. While i found so far that all Lush bath bombs made my skin silky soft, this one was supposed to be especially replenishing for my skin. So perfect for a little pamper evening after week of negligence of my skin.

So on friday evening my wonderful hubby drew me a bath and when I arrived I hopped right in and dropped the butter ball into the bath. As far as effects go; the butter ball is the least eventful bath bomb I had so far, but okay i was not expecting that either. It is slightly smaller than the average bath bombs, but it was more than sufficient in my king sized bath tub. Upon dissolving it left several small brown oil droplets swimming in my bath water. The smell was amazing and not too overwhelming. Even my cat seemed to have a hard time to resist.

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The bath was indeed feeling amazing and I felt it was even great for my hair and my scalp. Just on leaving the bathtub I was a bit worried that I would slip because my skin was very oily. So I think this bath bomb would not be the right choice right before leaving the house. However, the plan was a pamper evening and so it was perfect. I watched some netflix on my iPad while relaxing in the bath tub , got into my PJs, went to bed and fell asap asleep. Its been now 3 days and I have the feeling that my skin is still soft and silky from using the butter ball.

So as a summary, I think I will definitely repurchase this bath bomb. It is perfect for a pamper evening and very rehydrating.

Antwerp

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from top to bottom and left to right: Antwerp station, Antwerp station at night; de Meir shopping street; the station seen from the Meir, De Meir shopping street

 

Hello my lovely readers. Unfortunately i have not been able to write a lot recently since I have been involved in organising an international PhD conference. However, on the train rides to Antwerp and back i have been thinking about what else to write and walking past the wonderful shops in Antwerp, I thought, loving city trips as much as I do, I love to read about other people experience visiting a city. So here we go, my small review of Antwerp:

Antwerp is a beautiful Flemish city in Belgium with a rich history (which i don’t know nearly enough about) and beautiful old buildings! Above you can see some of the pictures i took during the limited free time i had at the conference. Since the airport is in Brussels and parking in Antwerp is a nightmare, most people arrive in Antwerp via the station. Its one of the most beautiful stations in the world with a stunning architecture. One thing which fascinated me, was that trains arrive on several levels opposed to all on one ground level and that you can see all the levels when you stand in the middle of the station. Maybe it is common in other places but that was new and interesting to me. Right in the station, you will also find one of the very few Starbucks in Belgium. It’s just been recently that some of the bigger international chains found their way to Belgium. So when I am there I love to drop in for a hot tea or a cappuccino on the go. If you are interested in the famous Antwerp train station you can find more info here:

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g188636-d241213-r175491230-Central_Station-Antwerp_Antwerp_Province.html

If you leave the station you are basically standing in front of Antwerpen Zoo. It is a beautiful old-fashioned Zoo which I loved to visit. However, being the animal lover I am, I would prefer a bit more spacey places for the animals.

Directly out of the station you find also the famous diamond district. However, since I do not own that kind of money, I have not been around there a lot yet 🙂

A bit more in my price range, you will find de Meir close to the station. A long beautiful shopping street (see picture) with historic buildings and all your favourite chains like Zara, the body shop, Yves Rocher, ici paris and more. Here you also find one of the two Lush stores in Belgium, so you can imagine where I went when I had half an hour to spare during the conferences lunch break. Prices are not very low in Belgium, so prices are okay but not a bargain, however, for us Belgian residents it is one of the few possibilities to shop in those stores without leaving the country. Beside that there is a palace, in the middle of the shopping street. Can you imagine? In previous times guests like Napoleon Bonaparte, Willem I of the Netherlands and the Belgian royals used to reside here. Now however, everybody can visit it, have lunch and enjoy some Belgian pralines.

http://www.paleisopdemeir.be/

Antwerp is a true fashion city with the royal academy and the fashion districts, housing all the big names and up and coming designers. I love to do some window shopping there (which is all i can afford in this district really).

So if you find yourself in Belgium with time to spare, Antwerp is truly worth a visit.

If you should pop by, do not forget to buy a box of hands. Yes, hands! The name of the city “Antwerpen” is derived from the two dutch words “hand” and “werpen” meaning “hand”(pretty obvious) and throwing. There is several stories how Antwerp got its name. My favourite involves a giant called Antigoon. He demanded a toll to be paid to him when a ship wanted to pass the river streaming through Antwerp. If the sailors weren’t able to pay or refused to, he cut their hands of and threw them into the river. This was until young roman named Silivius Brabo defeated the giant, cut of his hand and through it in the river. Because of that story, the Antwerp hands were invented. Little cookies in hand shapes. And to be honest i love to eat a few when i come because i just love such stories.

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Any of you have been to Antwerp. You have favourite places in Antwerp? Let me know in the comments!

De…Lush-ious Hair

It all started with me searching for a new shampoo to improve my rather difficult thin, partly oily, partly dry hair and I stumbled over the beauty blog of the wonderful Louise (sprinkle of glitter) talking about the lush liquid shampoo “rehab”.

http://sprinkleofglitter.blogspot.be/2010/05/lous-reviews-lush-haircare.html

Rehab

Now, I have tried already different high street/drugstore shampoo brands but none of them have really made a difference for me.

But well, I always love to try new things in the beauty world and after takeing a sniff at the shampoo in the lush store ( it smells amazing, a bit fruity and a bit minty) I dropped it into the basket. This shampoo has really done it for me. My hair felt so much softer, stronger and just cleaner and the shampoo really lathers nicely. It also did not make my scalp itch (something i did not think was possible).

I actually combine it with the “I love juicy”.

juicy

The people in the store looked at me funny since those two are for two opposite hair types (rehab is for dry hair and “I love juicy” is for oily hair). However, it works for me. I use three times per week the rehab and once per week “I love juicy” to really clean my hair. I further use the “veganese” conditioner. Now they are a bit more pricey then the drugstore shampoos (about 7,95€ for “I love juicy” and 8,50€ for “rehab”; 6,50€ “veganese” (for the smallest size)), however, you also need to use considerable less, so it becomes slightly less pricier if you look at it.

One thing I really appreciated in the lush store, is that they offered me to take home samples for free which contained enough product for about 3 hair washes, so that I could try them out before I purchase them. This is something I can just recommend. No one product fits everyone (beside maybe carmex lip balm but that’s for another story :P). And well I actually returned and purchased a bigger size bottle, so this strategy worked.

Now I am eager to try out their hair masks and maybe also still another conditioner. But I am sure I will repurchase this shampoos.