Barefoot in Luxembourg goes shopping: Lush Winter Collection

Last month, I have been invited to the presentation of Lush Winter Collection that was held at the Lush store in the Gran-Rue. It was a great occasion to meet some fellow bloggers, spending couple of funny hours and above all learning about the new Lush Winter Collection 2015 – with great products dedicated to Halloween, – gone already, and Christmas, – coming!

Some pictures of the event – together with lovely Imena of Katherade preparing her Butterbear – followed by some more information about the Winter Collection.

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Lush has always been one of my favorite brand for bathing products. If you are following me on snapchat, you know probably that a long, bubbly bath is one of the best treat to conclude my day. I tend to associate my bath products to my daily feelings – using sparkling products before nights out or calming one when I had a bad day. This is the reason because the Lush collections are perfect for me.
Moreover, I am always very attentive regarding the quality and the origin of the products I am using – my granny is used to say: ” you are born with a great skin, but to keep it you must work for it” – and for this reason, Lush products, with natural and organic ingredients, not tested on animals, are, once again, one of the best thing you can find on the market.
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I waited a bit before writing this post because I wanted to be sure to have tried all the fabulous products we have been gifted and that you can find at Lush shop for your Christmas shopping – great ideas for gift but, above all, for self presents! 🙂
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First product I have tried, as soon as back home the same day, was the Butterbear – well, I prepared it, so I wanted to be sure I did a good job. Butterbear is a great bath bomb, prepared with cocoa butter, vanilla and ylang ylang. I loved it – not only because I prepared it! – because gives you a very relaxed feeling and soft skin.

My favorite bath bomb was indeed Yog Nog , made with Karite, Ylang Ylang and with a very sweet perfume, and, above all, the Star Dust, with Rose and Vanilla. When you put it into the bath, you have tons of starts flowing around, it is perfect before a night-out during Christmas holidays and my skin was feeling absolutely delicious afterwards.
IMG_3511-bisIMG_3463For the Bubble Bar series, we could try The Magic of Christmas, Peeping Santa and Five Gold Rings. While the Peeping Santa was the funniest one – resembling a small Santa -, it was a bit problematic keeping it entire in my bathroom – was melting a bit. Opposite side, I loved The Magic of Christmas and the Five Gold Rings. The Magic of Christmas is made of almonds and cinnamon, with a real cinnamon stick to hold it. It was the most scented of all the products received and hubby loved it as well – without considering the amazing feeling of bathing in gold!
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Next was the Santa’s Belly – I am still using it! – a very unusual shower jelly, perfumed of apple and wine. At the beginning it was quite weird to use and was giving a strange feeling, but after the first couple of times it became my best shower product. It is very cleansing and give a spicy and warm sensation.

IMG_3512-bisAt last, my favorite favorite favorite product – The Santa Baby lip tint. Normally I am always using “big brands” make-up, as for some reason, I feel safer. But after trying this lip tint I have forgotten all my glamorous lipsticks in the box. I am really just using the Santa Baby when going out and I really hope this will become somehow a continuative product. Not only it has an incredible smell and a wonderful color, but it is the first lip tint I tried it stay all day long, without drying your lips and maintaining its amazing color even if you eat, you drink and wash your face. All my friends asked me about the color of my lips recently and all of them were surprised discovering it was “just” a Lush tint.
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Girls – trust me, go and try.
Boys – this is a perfect idea to complete a gift for your lady, you will never have lipstick on your face/shirt again.

In conclusion – I was really happy to be part of the Lush presentation of Winter Collection. I tend to be loyal to my usual products – even at Lush – and not to go out of my comfort zone, so this occasion was perfect for discovering amazing items and fall in love with them.. until Christmas 🙂
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Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People: Vittorio

For the series “Barefoot in Luxembourg meets People”, this week we meet Vittorio, an Italian expat working at the EU, with music in the heart.

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What is your name?
My name is Vittorio Merlo.

How do your friends call you?
Vitto.

Describe yourself with three words.
In alphabetical order: Family, Library, Music.

How long have you been living in Luxembourg?
I am here since July 1994: more than 21 years… I am Italian and before to come here I was living for 35 years in Milan.

What are you doing here?
I am working as librarian for the Court of Justice of the European Union

How do you see yourself in 5 years time?
Older… 🙂 I normally don’t like to plan for more than 2 years, the life is taking new directions suddenly and very often things happen without being able to expect them. If nothing special happens I will probably be still working but closer to the retirement, my five children will be growth up, and I will continue composing and singing my songs.

What do you fancy doing in your spare time?
As I have just said since I am 15 years old I compose and sing my songs in Italian. It is like a diary, a way to keep trace of my emotions and feelings. I sing about my family, politics and social problems, I have also written a love song for the Red Car: Ferrari! I have published 3 CDs and I like to present my songs in solo concerts at the piano. You can find my music and videos on my YouTube channel and in all the music platforms like iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc.

What is your beloved place in Luxembourg?
Home sweet home, my house in Bissen.

What is your favorite restaurant in Luxembourg?
The Italian restaurant Notaro in Luxembourg and La Rameaudière in Ellange-Gare.

What is your preferred night-life spot in Luxembourg?
In the past it was L’Inoui in Redange/Attert but unfortunately it is actually closed, I hope for a while only. I like places where you can speak with friends drinking a good glass of wine, like Culturando at Limpertsberg or Beim Abruzzebier in Grosbous.

Do you have a favorite drink?
Dry white wine, definitely, during my concerts too.

Where do you do your shopping usually?
For clothing I like Boggi but I use online shops too, like Herrenausstatter. I like cooking too and I find the choice in Auchan very good, additionally for the Italian food Enoteca Italiana in Foetz is helpful too. I like fish and I think is a pity that La Provençale doesn’t serve private families too.

What do you like about Luxembourg life?
Everything but the climate… however exceptionally this year I cannot complain, it was a wonderful summer! The nicest since I am living here.

What would you improve?
I think the public transports are not enough, mainly in the countryside. There are many villages where you cannot live without a car and on Sunday you are almost totally isolated. The management of the traffic is also bad, sometimes I have the feeling Luxembourgers like to create the traffic jams…

What is the best place you visited in a range of 200 km from the city and that you would suggest for a daily trip?
Probably the nicest place around Luxembourg is Trier, however everybody knows it. I would like to suggest a visit in a sunny day to Saarburg, not far from the Luxembourgish border of Wormeldange.

What is the best adjective to describe Luxembourg.
Quiet.

If you want to discover more about Vittorio’s musician and composer activity, here you find the link to his FB page.

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Amsterdam – favorite spots

This is the busiest period of the year, unluckily. I have been under water for work and studying for my exams. I spend part of my working time in Amsterdam and this month I did not want to leave at all. Business trips are always kind of nice: you don’t have to cook, to wash dishes, you don’t have to clean your house. Normally you do reasonable working hours and having people around is something different than my day to day job. Even if I was really tired at the end, I decided to write a small bit on my Amsterdam’s favorite places.

My relationship with Amsterdam, like all the long and fashionable relationships, did not start well. In the first trips on my own I was finding the city pleasant, yes, but extremely touristic. I was annoyed by so many people “out of it” around and after a while it seems to me I was finding shops selling all the same kind of things – kebab, chocolate, silly t-shirts.

When I started to travel to Amsterdam for work, being out most of the time with Dutch people or, at least, people that are living in Amsterdam for long time and that have a different approach to the city than teenagers during their Interrail, I started discovering different areas of the city and I definitely fall in love with them.

My beloved eating spot is Momo http://www.momo-amsterdam.com/. It is just off Leidseplein. You can head there for a drink or a dinner. It is not extremely cheap but it is the kind of place you go for a date or with someone you want to impress. You can have fabulous cocktails and tapas style fusion dishes. They have impressive sushi and the environment is business but fresh and noisy. Reservation recommended.

A more low profile place where you can have a beer (they have more than 100 ) or something very Dutch to eat is the Gollem http://cafegollem.nl/overtoom/.

The one I usually go is located in Overtoom, tram n.12, 5 minutes walking from Museumplein. The location is old style and the customers are mostly Dutch, on the hipster side. You can have some nice snacks with your beer (fried Gouda mmmm!) or a proper dish (try the Flemish Stew!).

On the shopping side you have more than one options: as said, in city center you can find all the high street brands. I love loosing my mornings off going down with the tram on Leidseplein and follow bus n.2 till Kalverstraat. You should have a bit of patience, good gloves during winter and you can stop by at the small Starbucks in front of the flowers market for a break. You have also your “Montenapoleone” area, that is represented by PC Hooftstraat (tram n.2, 3, 12, just next block to Museumplein). But, honestly, you can find Gucci and LV everywhere around the world..

I prefer to go locally and my favorite shop is for sure Rituals (http://eu.rituals.com/en-nl/home). I am not a fan of beauty products with strong smells, but those from this brand are never too much. The fragrance of your bath or shower is following you smoothly during the day and they have great consistence. I love the Hamman series and I have just discovered the Diwali line they did for Christmas time. They have just started also a complete men line with aftershaves, balms, creams.

And then, just because I cannot find it in Luxembourg, I love stopping at COS. I think the person you invented this brand was friend of mine in one of my previous lives, because there is nothing in the shop I would not buy. I love their minimalist lines and the colors, all black with some bright exception. I really hope they will hope a shop soon in Luxembourg, because so far they don’t even deliver their online shopping here, therefore you should really travel to buy something.

So, do you like Amsterdam? What are you favorite places over there?

 

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