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2/20/2013

The Comforter Massage at Lush Spa Liverpool | Just Add Ginger


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Rustic d├ęcor in the LUSH Spa Liverpool

The minute I booked my The Comforter massage at the Lush Spa in Liverpool that I would not regret it. I have always been a HUGE Lush fan. I think they're products smell simply phenomenal, and leave my skin feeling nourished and loved. I am a dedicated fan of their bath bombs and bubble bars...I have to practice great restraint every time I head into a Lush store. I would happily buy everything in sight, but I don't think my purse would forgive me! 

The new Lush Spa & Shop in Liverpool opened in December 2012. I knew for the first few months that it would be crazy busy there, so I tried to hold out as long as my willpower would let me before booking a treatment. But, a week or so ago, I just decided to go for it. It's half term this week, and I really felt like having a pamper on a weekday...even though I have time off, it still feels deliciously naughty! 

I was in no doubt about what treatment to choose. As a massive choc-o-holic, the idea of being part of a massage treatment that involved a hot chocolate scrub was just too irresistible. 

When I walked into the new shop this morning, I was really delighted. The downstairs space is lovely. Beautiful displays of Lush products fill the room, and there is lots of space to browse. The staff were absolutely lovely (as always), and I even got a (much needed, and appreciated) coffee while I wanted to be called upstairs for my massage. I immediately felt very looked after. 

Win! 
As soon as I was taken upstairs, it felt like I was stepping into a country cottage. The waiting area is reminiscent of a rustic, farmhouse kitchen, with a long wooden table in the middle. It doesn't feel like a "waiting area" at all. It's very calming, and immediately puts you at ease! My massage therapist - Leone - sat me down, and offered me a drink as I filled out the consultation form. She sat with me and chatted to me, which I thought was lovely. It really felt like she cared about my enjoyment of the treatment, and answered all the questions I had. Leone put me immediately at ease, and I could tell that she really believed in the Lush products used in the treatment. 

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It feels more like a friend's kitchen rather than a spa. That "homely" feel adds a really personal, unique touch. The attention to detail is fantastic!
(I did ask her for some info on the products. It's all well and good me saying what they were, but with more info, I knew I could be more informed about the properties.)

Hot Chocolate Scrub
Melted down in from a bar and presented in a cup. It resembles hot chocolate - and smells like it too! The scrub contains Raw Cacao, which gives the scrub its delicious chocolaty smell. It also helps to nourish the skin. Ground Aduki beans help gently exfoliate the skin, and Tamarind softens the skin, working alongside the cacao. 

Rose Serum
Smells DIVINE! It contains Argan Oil, Lime, Rose Clay and Tamarind. All the ingredients together work to nourish and brighten the skin. The clay absorbs excess oil, and hydrates the skin, and the lime helps to brighten the skin. Argon oil and tamarind nourish the skin, and leave it feeling super soft. 
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Treatment room set up for The Comforter
My treatment room was incredible. There was a purply/pinky hue that filled the room, and everywhere you looked, there were candles. Lights filled the ceiling space, and looked like stars hovering in a night sky. Gentle music played in the background. I got ready for the treatment, and lay down on the massage table (well...bed really!) It was like being tucked in. The mattress was made of memory foam, and I was covered up by a soft, fluffy duvet. When I was prepped and ready for the treatment, I was able to call Leone back using a little hand bell. This did feel a bit strange to me - like I was summoning a servant, but I can see how it adds to the calming atmosphere of the treatment. 

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 The treatment started with the hot chocolate scrub. An eye pillow was placed on my face to help with the relaxation process, then each limb was taken out from the duvet, one by one, and the scrub was applied (including on my chest). The scrub smelt beautiful, and filled my nostrils with delicious hits of chocolate. The scrub wasn't too abrasive, and I could really feel it working. It made my limbs buzz with happiness. That is the best way I can describe it. I was also really impressed that Leone worked around my left arm and leg - new situations, particularly where I need to be still, can really make me tense (Yes - I was NOT good at Sleeping Lions when I was younger), but she really took into consideration what I said and worked with that so I felt comfortable. The music helped too...nostalgic music of times gone by. I caught myself smiling a few times when there was a tune I recognised. 

After the scrub was applied, it was lightly massaged into my skin over a sheet, then removed using hot mitts. Only ever one part of your body at a time is out in the open, keeping the rest of you nice and cosy. The rose serum was applied to my skin after the scrub was removed, and then the massage began again, this time, directly on to my skin. And it was amazing. I could feel the tension leave my body as the massage went on - particularly from my left arm. 

After this process was completed on my front, I turned over, and it started again. And this is when the bubbles began. Yes. Yes. You heard me right.....

BUBBLES...ROSE SCENTED BUBBLES!!! 

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BUBBLES!
By the time I was laying on my front, I almost felt like I was going to fall asleep! I had to keep forcing myself to open my eyes to stop myself from nodding off. The whole treatment, but particularly the massage, was incredibly relaxing. The rose scent from the serum and the bubbles really helped to calm me further, and I started to feel like I was floating on a cloud! The massage was well choreographed to the music, and was very smooth - like a dance. It was seamless, which I think added to the relaxation. There were no hidden surprises, or loud noises, or disruptions to the treatment. It flowed from stage to stage beautifully. 

After the treatment was over, I was given time to relax and get changed, and then came out back into the "kitchen". Sitting on the table waiting for me was a drink....A cocktail of sparking water and rose syrup, which, when poured over candyfloss, created a tiny glass of pink heaven. By this point, I felt so relaxed I could barely move. I felt like I was having an out of body experience, and floating on a cloud. Again, as at the start, Leone sat with me and chatted to me as I drank. It felt so personal, and almost like I was talking to a friend, not somebody I had just met. 

I cannot sing the praises of this treatment enough. It is absolutely spectacular, and so relaxing. Lush have really put a lot of thought into all their treatments. I know that The Comforter was designed to help remind us not to take life too seriously, and it definitely took me to a special happy place of nostalgia and pure relaxation. 

I would just add one little side note. Getting this treatment during Lent when you've given up chocolate is very treacherous  You leave smelling so gorgeous that you're going to want to eat yourself. I walked back to the car with my hands glued to my nose, and I think I got some really funny looks. 

I will definitely be heading back to Lush in the future. In The Comforter, I've made a friend for life! 


Ps: The Comforter is £65.00 for 60 minutes. For more info about this treatment, and others Lush Spas have to offer, visit: 



2/19/2013

Beauty by Ginger: Spring Clean Make-up

Most women might say that on days off from work, they like to rock the "No Make Up" look because during the week, or on days they work, they need to wear make up. For me, it's the other way around. I don't wear much make up at all during the week (concealer and mascara at most), so it's nice to doll myself up a bit and feel like I look pretty (or at least, more alive!) 




I still wanted my make up to look quite natural. I always like to save my more dramatic looks for nights out. This is literally all the make up I used! 

 I started by priming my face. My Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver really smooths out my skin, makes it instantly look a lot more awake and is a great base for make up. I used minimal foundation and concealer. Although I wanted to put some make up on, I didn't want to cake my face in it!

I kept eyeshadow to a minimum, but highlighted the inner corners of my eye and my brow bone to make my eyes look more awake, and used a shimmery nude to contour my eyelid, then tight-lined my eyelid with a soft kohl pencil. I applied two coats of mascara, just to make my lashes stand out (I am in LOVE with my Benefit "They're Real" mascara. It makes my lashes super long and super full!) I filled in my brows a touch, as they are starting to look a little sparse in places.... I REALLY need to go and sort them out!

I highlighted my face using my trusty old Touche Eclat (it's starting to run out now, so I'm being as economical as I can!) I made the apples of my cheeky sightly rosy, and held off on bronzer.  

I finished off with a MAC Plushglass (Power Supply). This gloss is a similar shade to my lips, so looks really natural, but gives my lips a touch of colour, and lots of shine! 


I will definitely be using this as a simple go-to look in the future. It literally took me 10 minutes to do, and gave me enough coverage on my face, and drew the right amount of attention to my eyes for an everyday look (they are a really interesting shade of green at the moment - I try to emphasise them as much as I can!).

I threw my hair into a messy side ponytail, added some simple floral earrings from Primark, and I was good to go. I felt like Spring had found my face and kissed it back to life after the coldness of Winter!  

Black knee high boots: M&S
Black tights: Primark
Green tunic dress: H&M
Across Body Bag: Primark
White Chunky Cardigan: H&M
Parka: Next

And off I went for a lovely walk in the park! 

Ginger x


Sun In The sky, You Know How I Feel | Just Add Ginger

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This week it is half term. That means a whole week off work for me.

WOOHOO! 

The weather has been a bit grey and miserable lately, but today, when I woke up, the sun was shining, and the sky was a gorgeous blue. I knew I had to take advantage of this, and venture out into the great outdoors.  

I'm fortunate enough to live a few minutes walk away from a lovely park. I don't have a garden, so it's great to be a hop, skip and a jump away from some greenery. I spent an hour just walking around, taking photographs, and just people-watching. The weather was perfect reflective weather, so I sat for about 15 minutes, just taking in the sunshine. It's amazing how being in the sun can just immediately lift your mood. 

Sometimes, it's so easy to get wrapped up in the stresses of everyday life that it's hard to stop and just appreciate what we have in life. We all should take a little bit of time out of each day to sit back and reflect on the amazing things we do have, and not focusing on what we don't. This walk today was my time to do this! 

I also got the chance to think about plans for this week. Over the weekend, there were a few big changes that I made to my house, and it's brought a completely different vibe to my little cave. Tomorrow, I'm going for a massage at the Lush spa, and then, at the weekend, catching up with some friends from down South. When you've got time off away from work/uni/school, you've got to use it as best you can. Holiday time is limited, and I know I'm going to make the most of it! 

2/13/2013

A Lesson in Lent

I'm not usually one for giving up things for Lent...because...

well, quite frankly, 

I usually fail!

However, this year I decided it would be a fantastic opportunity to not fail. I decided to give up probably my biggest foodie weaknesses EVER in the history of my 26 years of existence... 



CHOCOLATE!!! 

To be honest, it's only the end of DAY 1, and I'm starting to think why the hell I decided that this was a brilliant idea. I've had a headache all afternoon, and I'm getting to the point where I'm finding chocolate wrappers in my car and starting to SNIFF THEM to get that sweet little hit of delicious sweet heavenly chocolatey goodness....

OH NO! 

The next 39 days are not going to be easy, but I'm determined. I am a woman on a mission. I've made it slightly less torturous and am allowing myself hot chocolates (it is snowy at the moment). I'm hopefully going to Egypt later in the year, and I want to ,maintain my healthy lifestyle until then so I can look bikini ready! Mission! 

I'm still in need to find an alternative for my sweet cravings. They won't go away. I've had a sweet tooth for as long as I have had teeth. I've tried yellow plums, but they are just not cutting the mustard. Why can't they sell cocoa patches for times like these? Or hold support groups? I can't be the only person in the whole of the human race who is giving up those little tastes of heaven at this time of year. 

39 days and counting...

Man this is a test of my willpower!

Ginger x 


2/10/2013

Surviving Valentine's Day!

Ahhh...you can feel it, can't you? The smooshie-wooshie lovey-dovey icky-sticky feeling in the air that February brings? 

If, like me, you haven't had a Valentine in a while, and you're feeling a bit down in the dumps because every time you walk in a shop there is a huge display of cards showing you how much Valentine's Day is a cultural institution, then FEAR NOT!!! 

You are forgetting a vital piece of information. 

Valentine's Day is about L.O.V.E. And that my friends, means any kind of love! 


Valentine's Day should be about celebrating the love we do have in our lives, not mourning the love we don't.  

And it all starts with self-love, because, well, if you don't got love for yourself, then you can't expect anybody else to....ya feel me?! (er...yeah. I'm never saying THAT again.) 

Be Your Own Valentine: This time of year is the perfect opportunity to spoil yourself silly. It doesn't have to be in a huge or extravagant way. It's all about making you feel good. Whether it's treating yourself to a bunch of your favourite flowers, indulging in a really naughty 3 course meal for one, or running yourself a bubble bath and pouring a big glass of your favourite tipple to drink in it. Take this time to think about number 1, and to remember just how awesome you are. We are all unique, and we all need to embrace that and love the things that make us quirky and special, and us

Give Love To Your Friends/Family: V Day is a great time to remember that there are people in our lives who do love us for who we are...whether it's friends, or family. Take the time to show the people you care about just how much they mean to you. Send a text to a friend you haven't spoken to in a while, call your best friend for a chat, suggest a family meal together, or even just call on a neighbour to see how they're doing. People really appreciate the little things in every day life, and reaching out a hand to somebody can mean a lot. 

Think About The Big Picture: If there has been a dark cloud in your life recently, now's the chance to blow it away and see the sunshine. In my post about Turning A Corner, I wrote about how I felt I was stuck in a bit of a rut, but got myself out of it. And now's the time to do the same. Mend a friendship that might be broken, Do something that you know you should have done ages ago, but have been putting it off. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel not having so much hanging over you! 

Remember: Okay, I'm not going to lie. This is something I find extremely hard to write about because I'm not very good at it myself, and it makes me sad! If you have experienced love of any kind in the past, and lost it, now is a time to remember it, look back on it, and embrace how much you have grown as a person since then. All our experiences in life shape us to the people we become, and we grow with every mistake, achievement, loss and gain we have. Think on times past with an open mind and open heart. Look through old precious photos to remember all the love that has been in your life, and be thankful love was there. If you need to cry, let it out, because holding back those tears will only make you feel worse (let me be the first to tel you, when I know I need to cry, I run myself a bath, light some candles, and just cry, where I know nobody can hear me, and afterwards, I feel SO much better!) 

Look To The Future: Look to the future with happiness and hope. Think about all the things you want to achieve, and start making them happen, even if you take baby steps. Don't be afraid to go after what you want, and always believe that after every thunderstorm comes a blue sky! 

Be Brave: If there is somebody you've been thinking of lately, now's the perfect opportunity to tell them! Don't keep it inside - let that person know they've been on your mind. And, if you're feeling a bit shy or scared, send a Valentine's card to that person. They don't have to know who it's from, but it might strike an inkling in them, and will make you feel just that tad braver! You never know....telling them may make them realise they've been feeling something too!? (Oooooo!!!)

...And if you are spending Valentine's Day with a special person, don't forget to show them how special they are to you. Treat them like the prince/princess that they are! But don't just leave it for Valentine's Day. We all need to show the ones we love just how much they mean to us and how lucky we are to have them in our lives. 

Because, at the end of the day - call me a Romantic - Love is beautiful!! 

Ginger x



2/07/2013

25 (More) Facts About Me


I really enjoyed writing my "25 Facts" post a week ago. So much so, that I decided to make it a two-parter and do another post of "25 Facts". There's something really cathartic about sharing random facts on you, my little blog. 



1) I tried to be a vegetarian once, but it only lasted 24 hours. I missed eating meat too much! 

2) I never had any after school detentions.

3) My feet are the most ticklish part of my body. 

4) I once got chased round a farm by a turkey. 

5) Shellfish really freak me out... Why would you want to eat something that's looking at you from your plate?! 

6) In 6th form, I was a school prefect. 

7) Shredding paper really de-stresses me. 

8) I have a birthmark on my leg which I think looks a bit like a map of England. 

9) Doing the housework always takes longer than I hope because I just end up dancing around to music.

10) I have a think about black pepper. Sometimes, when I've finished a meal, I'll pour extra on to my plate and eat it with a spoon. 

11) Although I'm really talkative a lot of the time, if I'm tired (or hungover), I go really quiet. 

12) My favourite piece of classical music is "Fairytale" by Ludovico Einaudi. 

13) I am short sighted and astigmatic. 

14) One of my best friends I've known for 21 years. 

15) My first car was called Elmo. 

16) I have a stupidly over-active imagination. 

17) I dream almost every night, and I can still remember some of the dreams I had years ago.

18) I cry really easily watching films/TV shows. 

19) I am extremely stubborn, and find it really difficult to ask for help.

20) I love cuddles. 

21) When I was in year 6, I was the princess at my village's summer fair. 

22) I don't really like my legs. 

23) The noise bones make when people crack their knuckles REALLY freaks me out! 

24) I'm not a huge fan of my legs and am really self-conscious about them. I always wear tights when I wear a skirt or dress. 

25) The very first thing I do in the morning is switch the kettle on. I can't function without a coffee!


Ginger x

2/02/2013

25 Facts About Me | Just Add Ginger

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1)  It took me 3 years to learn how to drive. 

2) When people meet me, they think I'm quite shy. But once you get to know me, you know how far from the truth this is! 

3) If I could have been anything, I would have been a ballerina. 

4) I was only a few marks off getting an A in A Level Art. And it still annoys me to this day! 

5) I've never played the lottery. Even though I'm 26! 

6) It's been my dream since childhood to do a skydive. 

7) I've only ever been in love and had my heart broken once. 

8) Drivers who don't indicate when they want to change lanes really get my goat!

9) I once dyed my hair dark brown.

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Yep. That's me!

10) I don't know a lot about sports, but I really like watching rugby and ice hockey. 

11) I learned to walk really early. In fact, I think I almost ran before I walked. 

12) Growing up, I was a complete tomboy. But now, I'm a girly girl.  

13) When I'm hungry, I get really, really grumpy. 

14) I find reading music really difficult, but would love to learn to play the piano. 

15) My left foot has no arch whatsoever. 

16) I have a completely irrational fear of walking down stairs.

17) Having fresh flowers around the house always cheers me up. 

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18) I have a really bad fear of the dentist.

19) Nothing makes me feel better after a long day than having a hot bath and getting into my pyjamas. 

20) I'm really good at baking muffins and cookies. Cakes, not so much. 

21) I HATE almond essence. 

22) The things I find most attractive in the opposite sex is voice and sense of humour. 

23) I always leave extra room in my bags when I'm going to the Netherlands so that I can bring back lots of Chocomel. I'm an addict!  

24) I got my ears pierced when I was 17. 

25) I have a bad habit of saying exactly what's on my mind. No matter how random it is.

One Dress, Three Looks | Just Add Ginger


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Reinvention is something that I'm a great believer in. 

In times of "economic difficulty", aka, when I'm really feeling the pinch, I always look to my wardrobe for influences in which clothes I can take and revamp into something that I've not worm before. 

I picked up this dress when I was away over Christmas with my parents. It was on sale, and I thought "Yeah...sure. Why not." I'm not usually a bodycon kind of girl. I don't 100% have the confidence to pull them off. But I'm never one to turn down a bargain, so into the basket it went!  

And I'm glad it did. LBD dresses are, in my opinion, an essential part of any girl's wardrobe. I've styled this dress up three completely different ways that I could wear on a night out and feel fabulous in. If you take the time to lay the foundations, it's not hard to start building. 

Hopefully these looks can give you some inspiration to delve into your wardrobes and get creative too!

Look One

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Faux Fur Gillet: Dorothy Perkins
Pendant: New Look
Tights: M&S
Shoe-Boots: New Look

I went a bit 70s here, with the faux fur gillet, but this is a look I would absolutely go for. Wearing black on black on black might seem a bit severe, but like to add a pop of colour with my accessories and make up. Teaming tights with a black pair of shoe-boots help make my legs look much longer too. I've also added a pendant to this look to break up the black a little bit. 

Look Two

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Choker: H&M
Longline Blazer: H&M
Spiked Heels: New Look Sale

This look is a little bit more casual than the first. By adding a long line, slightly oversized blazer, I'm adding a little element of menswear into the mix. I turned up the sleeves to expose the lining and add a bit more texture. The choker pulls the look together. I didn't want to add a pendant with this look because I think there would be too much going on. My spiked heels from New Look add an extra punch of toughness. 

Look Three

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Faux Leather Jacket: F21
Leopard Print Scarf: H&M
Spiked Heels: New Look Sale
By far the most daring of the three looks. I think I would only wear this if I was feeling super, super confident. (And even then I'd still put on nude tights!) This look just screams biker/rocker chic to me, and I really liked pairing the faux leather jacket with the dress because I think it created a good balance of tough and demure. On my feet, I have my spiked heels again, which I thought tied in well with the studs on the jacket. The printed scarf I added for an element of fun, and to bring in an additional texture. You could swap the bare legs for black tights if you wanted to, and this would still work just as well. 

Make Up 

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Lipstick: MAC Dubonnet
I am loving this make up look at the moment. It's my go-to look for a night out all the way, and wearing it makes me feel confident and sexy! I don't put much shadow on the eyes, just add some eyeliner and lashings of mascara. Then, I let my lips do the talking!