A Big LUSH Haul

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Somehow, I've unwittingly managed to pick up a humongous LUSH haul over the last couple of months. It all started at Christmas, when I got a gift box of bath bombs big enough to last me all year. Then, I got another one for my birthday - plus extra individual products from friends and family. My stash of ballistics is now bordering on the ridiculous, but I'm not complaining. I go around raving about LUSH for a reason. They really are my favourite beauty brand, perhaps my favourite brand period. I never get anywhere near boredom with their stuff; there are always more products I want to try, and that is an incredible skill for a company to possess. The hype is real.

I won't take you through every single product I have in my haul, although you get the idea from these pictures just how much there is. I'll try to stick to highlights and things I'm extra excited to try. My first mention has to go to Prince Charming Shower Cream. This stuff is insane. The smell is one of the most edible LUSH scents, infused with vanilla, marshmallow, pomegranate and grapefruit. All together, they make a kind of raspberry-sorbet smell that lingers on your skin for hours. I use it as shampoo as well, and it leaves my bleached rose hair soft and manageable. A standout bath ballistic was Over And Over, as it wasn't the kind of thing I would normally buy for myself, and yet it gave me one of my best baths in recent memory. A legendary bath, even - soft and moisturising water, with the sweet and fruity scent of summertime ice lollies, mango, and orange. My number one bomb will probably always be The Experimenter, with it's mouth-watering, earthy scent of churches, bonfires, and libraries, so I'm branching out a little in that direction with my The Experimenter Gift Box. This box is a godsend for anyone who likes the woodsy, vetiver-type scents, or the most colourful waters. All my biggest loves are in here; Sex Bomb, a bed of rose and jasmine; Guardian Of The Forest, packed with oakwood and cypress oil; and Twilight, a sleepy mix of lavender and earthy vanilla.

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The Little Dragon reusable bubble bar was an unexpected discovery. Filled with cinnamon, ginger, and clove, it's a warm and fiery gem that would be perfect if you had a cold or needed a pick-me-up. I've only used a small amount so I'm going to save the rest for when I'm really under the weather. I'm also a newly-converted fan of Butterbear, a gentle ballistic that has the soothing air of baby-powder or marshmallows. It's not available year-round but you can still get it in a Festive Friends box if you love the Christmas products. I should add before I go that NONE of these were gifted products or samples, and this post isn't sponsored in any way - I just really love all of it. And as always, more than happy to talk LUSH in the comments!

Marrakech

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Back in February my boyfriend and I packed up and went on a very spur-of-the-moment, unplanned trip to Morocco. All we knew was where we would spend our first two nights in Marrakech (we splashed out and stayed at the gorgeous Dar Akal, and then Riad Mirage) and that we wanted to drive around the country and see as much as we possibly could in one week. We traveled light so that we could bring back mementos; I had my heart set on picking up hammam towels and hand-woven scarves, while my mister was looking out for Berber rugs made in the High Atlas. 

Our time in Marrakech was mostly spent getting terrifyingly lost in the souks (markets) and in The Medina north of the Djemaa el-Fna. Within five minutes of driving our rental car out of the airport I'd seen a man holding a baby in one hand and his mobile phone in the other as he rode his motorbike down the street. I saw camels and monkeys and cobras. The city is a tightly packed, loud, fast and bright metropolis, equal parts dirty and dazzling. Stalls laden with crystals, glimmering teapots, dates, fresh fruit and fresh flatbreads line almost every side street, like naturally occurring outcrops from the desert of the city's red clay framework. Finding food was never difficult, even as a vegan; we gorged on 5 dirham smoothies, vegetable cous cous, and tagine. The mornings in February are temperate and soft, and every morning we ate our breakfast in the sunshine, listening to the fountains and the cock crowing. By the afternoon the rain would sweep in. On our first full day there, we got caught in a storm while shopping in the medina, and I had to run for patches of shelter as the call to prayer rose up and people laid their mats out to worship in the streams of the street. After that we learned to start our adventures early, and find cover for lunch. At night we would return to our riad and get clean together in our deep, marble bath, and plan our journey to the mountains.

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Why Every Woman Should Get A Vibrator For Valentine's Day

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smile-makers-love-box

*This post contains paid for content, see my pr page for details*

I've been collecting sex toys for about 4 years. I always have an open tab on the sale section of a kink store or vibrator emporium, like most people would with their fave clothing shop. Everyone has their thing. This is my thing. I've tried nearly the entire Smile Makers range (I'm obsessed with their lubricant, I don't even care who knows) and today, for Valentine's Day, I want to tell you exactly why I think we should all be trying more toys.

They Free You From Always Needing A Partner - Everyone goes through times when they want to be alone, or when casual sex is unappealing, or when, for whatever reason, sex with another human isn't on the cards. Having a healthy sexual relationship with ourselves first and foremost is a strong, secure place to come from when going out to seek a lover/s, leaving less room for poor choices made in desperation. It also raises the standard of pleasure we expect from sexual experiences, leaving no desire for selfish/unsatisfying pokes with clueless people.

 And Most Partners Will Find Them Exciting, Not Intimidating - I was talking to my boyfriend in bed the other day, rambling on and on about the new Tennis Coach that just arrived in the mail, and as my thoughts trailed off I said to him, "sorry, I just get really excited about sex toys", to which he replied, "I get excited about how excited you are about sex toys". The notion that your mate will run away screaming in horror when they see the silicone stash you have beside your bed is outdated and untrue. The vast majority of men and women are THRILLED by the idea that their lover has a high enough sex drive, not to mention the curiosity, initiative, and self-knowledge that implies.

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smile-makers-love-box

You Can Double Up For Mind-Blowing Results - Most toys are highly versatile and can be used in a whole combination of different ways, together or alone. The Tennis Coach is an internal massager, designed for G-spot stimulation. I've always had a bit of trouble with internal toys, as I'm quite tall and my G-spot is hard to reach if the shaft on a toy isn't long enough. A way around this is to ramp things up with an external vibe like The Surfer on your clit at the same time, or any other sensitive spots. In a Smile Makers Love Box (either Romantic or Sporty) you'll get two toys and a lube, leaving you loads of room to experiment.

They Help You Figure Out What Feels Good - This is obvious, but deserves repeating often. There is no safer or more risk-free way to discover your sexual tastes than through masturbation. Any worries we may have about contraception, how we are perceived, sexually transmitted infections, performance, what they other person enjoys etc, can all go out the window and leave us free to explore in complete peace and solitude and delicious selfishness.

They Can Help Us Push The Boundaries - I had my first internal/blended orgasm because of a toy. I discovered anal play through plugs and toys. My Hitachi wand helped me break my multiple-orgasm record. The list of experiences I wouldn't have had without toys would be as long as my fanciest black linen Shibari rope. No matter what your sexual goal or aspiration, there is a toy that can help you get there.

Tell me in the comments if you've ever tried anything from Smile Makers, or what your all-time favourite toy is!

Valentine's Gift Guide For Very ~Aesthetic~ Women

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Two-toy Romantic Love Box, by Smile Makers // Coco de Mer salons and day-schools, go to Coco de Mer for availability // Rose Jam perfume, by LUSH Kitchen, subject to availability // "Off To Daddy's House" overnight bag, Alien Outfitters // "Bad Bitch Fuel" hip flask, SkinnyDip // "Babe", by Petra Collins, at all good book stores // Rosebud glass dildo, Alien Outfitters.

Valentine's Day is almost upon us, and if you're anything like me, you'll be spending it gleefully up to your tits in every rose-scented, chocolate-covered, heart-shaped thing you can find. I made my views on Valentine's Day very plain in this post, so I won't bore you with all that again, except to say that this year I'm particularly excited for the big event. I'm lucky enough to be spending it at home with my boyfriend, and it's our first Valentine's together. We'll be exchanging presents, cooking together, taking a LUSH bath, and possibly trying out some of my newest sex toys. I am the easiest person in the world to buy for as I have so many interests, but I know it can be difficult with romantic partners, especially if they are relatively new ones. The above are some unique items and ideas that might spark your imagination for a gift, if you (or the person you're buying for) is anything like yours truly, i.e kinky and all about dem aesthetics.

First we have the Smile Makers Love Boxes, which are a really good choice if your partner is new to sex toys or if they get turned-off by garish-looking dildos and huge rabbits. All the toys from Smile Makers come in ultra-smooth silicone and cute pastel colours, and I'm in love with their range of lubricants! A Love Box contains two toys and a lube, so they make a great gift. If you want to read more about them I did a review of their lightest toy, and I have another one in my drafts, so keep an eye out for that.

Next up we have Coco de Mer salons in London, day-schools and workshops you can attend alone, with a friend or as a couple, that will teach you new sexual skills and introduce you to new sensual experiences. Workshops range from expert instructions on burlesque, to oral sex, from Tantra to rope bondage. It's on my bucket list to attend one in 2017!

LUSH products make amazing presents all year round, but anything Rose Jam feels very right for Valentine's Day. The "Off To Daddy's House" overnight bag is perfect for the girl who just doesn't give a fuck, or wants to show off her babygirl status when she's waiting for a train. The "Bad Bitch Fuel" hip flask from SkinnyDip is similarly badass. "Babe" by Petra Collins makes a gorgeous and thoughtful gift for artistic women, photography-lovers, bloggers, or indeed anyone.

Glass toys are fantastic for many reasons, not least of all their versatility. Some glass dildos are truly Art with a capital A, taking all kinds of whimsical and aesthetically-pleasing shapes and colours. This one is my most recent favourite, as it reminds me a little of Beauty and The Beast. It's by Alien Outfitters, and for something so beautiful, is very reasonably priced. If it's sold out, Lovehoney do similar designs!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links from which I may earn a small commission should a purchase be made :)

How I Got Raspberry Pink Hair At Home (And Kept It Bright!)

As anyone who follows me on Instagram will know, my hair colour is constantly changing. I am a veritable human sunset. At this moment in time, it's a kind of washed-out violet with dark brown roots, but for the most part of 2016, it was a neon, multi-tonal raspberry. I did it all at home - I don't really trust other people with my hair, so I bleach, colour, and cut myself! Even though I've moved on from this look, I still love it and wanted to share the how-tos with you all.

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I used a blend of several dyes to get this look, some of them by Bleach London, Schwarzkopf Live Colour (this was before I went fully cruelty-free in my cosmetics - if you want to use a cruelty-free dye then stick with the Bleach pinks and purples) and a fair bit of Paul Mitchell conditioner. Paul Mitchell are truly my favourite haircare brand, especially when I'm colouring/maintaining dyed hair. I'll go into that more later, but for now I'll briefly walk you through the hair-painting process.

Prep: Get together some mixing tubs, a couple of hair dye brushes (I got mine in Poundland and they came with a free tub!), your dyes, a conditioner that is clear white, a Tangle Teezer, a ratty old towel that you don't need anymore, and whatever else you want with you.

Mixing The Dye: For this look, I wanted a blend of colours that resembled a sunset or a raspberry swirl in an Eton Mess. I wanted the shades to fuse together naturally rather than create a defined ombre. So, in one mixing tub I stirred 3/4 of a tube of bright purple, into 1/4 of a tube of bright pink. In the other bowl I did the exact opposite, and mixed together the larger bulk of the pink with the remaining quarter of purple. I put a little bit of conditioner in each one, to make the whole formula go further over my extremely long hair! You can add as much as you want to dilute the colour, or to cover more ground. Whatever colours you are using, mixing a little of each into the other makes everything more cohesive.

Application: I started with dry, unwashed, bleached hair. I might do a big post on how to bleach if anyone wants one (let me know in the comments) but for this post I'll stick with the actual hair-painting. First, I separated my hair down the middle, into two sections, and then into four by taking the upper layers of hair away from the lower ones. Going section by section, I took my brush and literally painted the mostly-purple formula from my roots down to the mid-lengths of my hair. Once all my roots were painted, I mashed them together with my fingers to make sure I'd reached everywhere. Then, I took my mostly-pink formula and started to paint the mid-lengths to the ends of my hair, making sure to really saturate the ends. Once all my hair was painted, I took my Tangle Teezer and brushed through all my hair, which helps to mix colours together where they meet and create a smoother look. Leave everything on for about an hour (or however long it says on the box of your chosen dye!) and you're ready to wash off.

Washing: I always wash out with cool water, not warm, and obviously you don't want to use any shampoo or conditioner - your hair is already done. Wash out until the water is getting kinda-almost-clear, but not completely clear. You don't want to wash out more than necessary, because from now on your aim when showering is to keep as much colour in your hair as possible!

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pink-hair-at-home

Maintenance: Once you have a full-on unicorn hairdo, you have to shampoo like it costs you a thumb. Cleansing your hair is what will strip all your pretty colour until you have to shell out more cash on dye, so use cleansing products sparingly, wash in cool water, and become really good friends with dry shampoo. I wash my hair maybe twice a week when it's coloured. By far the best shampoo I've ever come across for bright hair is this one by Paul Mitchell. It was given to me to try at an event by Salon Success, and I've used it ever since, it really is that good. I haven't dyed my hair in two months, and the gradual fading process provided by this shampoo has taken me really beautifully from a bright fuchsia to a pale, rosy violet. Once my hair is almost bare again, down to it's bleached and ratty roots, I love to clarify and tone down any brassy residue with a silver shampoo like this one before I go off on another colouring adventure. Detanglers are also super useful at managing bleached/coloured hair without breakage.

I know this post is PACKED with information but I hope you found some helpful nuggets and tips on how to create your own hair-painting! Everything I know is just trial and error, so don't be worried to experiment. As always, if you have a question about hair or any colour I've used, just hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.

This post contains PR samples sent for consideration, please see my PR page for more details

26th Birthday Wishlist

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Edward Scissorhands Funko Pop, Leeloo Dallis Funko Pop, both available on Amazon // Pink glass tentacle dildo, Alien Outfitters // Cosmic Metals lip cream in Speed of Light, by Nyx // Audacious Lipstick in Audrey, NARS // "The Performers 111" art print, by Apollonia Saintclair // Amethyst towers, where they at? // Lens, Canon (to replace my broken one) // Rose-gold nipple piercing studs, Amazon.

It's my birthday soon, and I have huge plans for this new year. The majority of them revolve around experiences, not things, but I still have my eye on a few choice items that I think will add value to my life and that reflect the true, weirdo me. All of these picks are things I've had in the back of my mind for a while, so no impulse buys here (impulse buys are being left in 2016), only beautiful objects that will enhance my quality of life or simply make me smile when I look at them. The gallery print by Apollonia Saintclair is something I've lusted after for years now, and finally decided it's time to invest in. I also want to upgrade my starter nipple piercings in regular gold to a prettier set in rose gold that will match my septum. The last few months I've been really drawn to amethyst (so much so that I'm thinking of getting an amethyst watercolour tattoo!) and I want a large piece for my apartment. I love having crystals around me and yet I've managed to lose most of my collection over the years. Lastly, I've been fantasizing about a shade of red lipstick since I was very young, and I think I may have finally found it in Audrey, by NARS. The tentacle dildo needs no explanation.

Oral On Your Own

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*This post contains paid for content, see my PR page for details*

I am a collector of sex toys. Going shopping for vibrators and rope is one of my favourite things to do with my friends. When I get home, they sit scattered around my bedroom, organised by colour like my Funko Pops. Getting to review them as part of my job will never stop being crazy and amazing. Today I am lucky enough to be collaborating with Smile Makers, a brand I'd already heard so much about before they reached out to work with me. Before I go into details about the toy, I want to talk a bit about why I chose to review their softest design, The Frenchman.

Oral sex ranks as one of the top most-enjoyed sexual activities, across all genders and orientations, and yet within the sex-toy industry, products that mimic the sensation of oral sex are a relatively small and hard-to-find pocket of the market. Most toys are made to go harder, faster, deeper, for longer; I suppose because a lot of the appeal of oral sex comes from its vulnerability, its intimacy, and our subconscious desire to feel totally accepted and devoured by another person, as this video from The School Of Life perfectly explains. That is hard to copy with silicone. But to me, sexual freedom isn't just about sleeping with whoever we wish, but also about getting to a point where we need no other person to have a flourishing sexual life. We all go through times when, for whatever reason, we must be alone. I love people, but I'm an independent little bean. I think we all owe it to ourselves to acquire as much power over our body as we can, so that we choose partners not for a sensation we cannot achieve alone, but for a merging with the other.

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The Frenchman, by Smile Makers, is the first "toy for women who love oral" that I've ever tried, although I definitely fit the demographic. It's a sleek, aesthetically-pleasing design, in pastel blue. The "tongue" is not some garish knobbly eyesore, but a thin, curved, flexible feather. It's made to be used with a light, velvety lubricant to make the experience even more life-like (I used Smile Maker's Stay Silky, which is fragrance-free, paraben-free, and water-based). The Frenchman is totally waterproof so you can even use it in the bath or the shower for extra, ahem, wetness. You have four speeds to choose from, more than enough to adapt to your sensitivity level.

The information for The Frenchman describes it as a foreplay aid, but personally, I prefer to use this alone rather than with a partner. To me there's something too cold and distant about having another person sit back and prod me with a toy that was designed to mimic their eager mouth, in much the same way I would never drop to my knees in front of a man and pull out The Auto-Blow 3000. But that's just my own preference. Instead I'll use The Frenchman solo, on days when I want an exquisite, slow-building orgasm. That being said, I would definitely get this out if I were getting ready for a partner to come home and didn't want to lose too much sensitivity. If you've tried anything by Smile Makers, please let me know what you thought in the comments, and also where you stand on tongue-like toys! Are you a fan? 

Crete Photo-Diary: Agia Pelagia

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Crete is the largest and most populated of the Greek islands. It sits quite alone in the Eastern Mediterranean, separating the Aegean Sea from the Libyan Sea. It's nearly as close to Northern Africa as it is to mainland Greece. It is a dry, warm, mountainous island with a hugely varied wildlife and terrain. These photos are from the sleepy seaside town of Agia Pelagia, our base while we stayed on Crete. It's a quiet place with fine-sand beaches, tavernas, a few shops, but no huge bars or clubs. Everyone is there for the transparent ocean, and for the sun. The cafes along the beach feel more like Bali or Mexico than what you would expect in Greece, with huge cacti scattered around and bamboo parasols laid out for sunbathers. While I was there in late September, the weather reached 37 degrees. The ocean water was 25 degrees. All the pink got washed out of my hair. Small street-cats are everywhere in the towns and cities, living off lizards, rats, fish, and the bins from the nearby restaurants. I found one with beautiful blue eyes, playing in a patch of shade, who posed for my camera after I gave it a lump of ice cream.

I couldn't fit all my photos into one post so I thought I'd split them up into a few, covering different districts of the island. These pics aren't even edited much, if at all. The light was spectacular, and everything was photogenic. We're already planning a trip next year to explore a few more islands,  perhaps Kos or Santorini, and a return to Crete.