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27 February 2013

Snow Fairy Shower Gel



Back when I was first getting into Lush, I could not contain myself whenever I knew that this shower gel was being re-released. What used to be my all time favourite cosmetic, Snow Fairy Shower Gel was one of the first items to get investing 'regularly' in Lush. This limited edition shower gel was and still is only sold for a short time during the winter months and is Lush's Christmas bestseller, as well as being one of their most popular products ever.

This gorgeous bright pink gel is decorated with glittery, blue iridescent sparkles that often fall to the bottom of the bottle so be sure to give it a good shake before using it. While this is distinctively Lush, it is so unlike most of their other products, and it wouldn't seem out of place in your local boots, next door to the famously-pink Soap and Glory Range
However, what sets this product apart from the usual hum-drum of beauty products, is its smell. Lush describe this product as a 'shower hair and body gel that's bursting with fruit fragrance, not your classic hippy dippy Lush herbal offering. Instead it is an intensely sweet, fruity pink shower gel loved by people everywhere.' 

It is described on the bottle as "candy floss and pear drops" and that is exactly what it smells like! It is ridiculously sweet smelling - a mixture of candy floss, bubblegum, pear drops and sugary goodness that would reek havoc on your teeth, were you supposed to eat it (and I'm sure you've all been tempted!).

What is great about this product is that it is so versatile - Snow Fairy can be used as both a shower gel and shampoo, and it works wonders in both of these areas. The shower gel is quite creamy and lathers up really well, releasing even more of that great scent as it mixes with the steam from the shower. The gel then leaves a gorgeous smell that lingers on your skin and in the air for hours after use. 
Despite this product containing glitter, don't be put off using this as a shampoo - it's not the sort that sticks to your skin or hair. On the rare occasion I have used this on my locks, I haven't detected any sort of lustre debris left in afterwards, which was a relief.
  
Overall, this is an amazingly beautiful product. It lathers up perfectly, moisturises my body and leaves my skin feeling so luxurious and loved that I cannot help but leave the shower in a great mood. I cannot fault this product in the slightest, and I urge you to try a bottle for yourself. If you've not experienced it yet, you may just be missing out on a good thing. 
Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, *Lactic Acid, Synthetic Musk, Titanium Dioxide, Blue Glitter (Polyethylene Terephthalate), Methyl Lonone, Benzyl Benzoate, Colour 45410, Colour 45380, Methylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £3.75 for 100g, £7.50 for 250g, £11.95 for 500g.
2015 Price: £3.95 for 100g, £7.95 for 250g, £12.75 for 500g, £21.50 for 1kg.

Scent Family:
Best Washes Wash Card
Bubblegum Lip Scrub
Candy Fluff Ballistic
Candy Fluff Perfume
Candy Fluff Dusting Powder
Fairy Dust Dusting Powder
Father Christmas Bath Bomb
Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb
Godmother Soap
Lush Mechanic Cold-Pressed Soap
Magic Wand Bubble Bar
Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil
Mmmelting Marshmallow Bath Melt
Pink Easter Egg Ballistic
Snow Fairy Body Conditioner
Snow Fairy Lip Tint
Snow Fairy Liquid Perfume
Snow Fairy Shower Gel
Snow Fairy Solid Perfume
Snow Fairy Sparkle Massage Bar

25 February 2013

Cynthia Sylvia Stout


They always say that it's the aspects of our life where we hold the least expectation, that usually have the most profound effect on us. Okay, so perhaps that's a little 'deep' and 'profound' for a shampoo review, but the sentiment is still very much true. 

I bought Cynthia Sylvia Stout merely on the basis that I needed a new shampoo and it happened to be the first one to reveal itself on the Lush website. It was probably not the best choice as I absolutely hate the smell and taste of beer, however, it did seem to come highly recommended by a lot of my friends.

When it arrived, I had absolutely no expectations about the smell or usage of the shampoo, and was even slightly put off by the murky, brown liquid that inhabited the bottle.  However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I really liked the smell. In fact, it reminds me a little of one of my favourite Lush smells, Karma. 

Lush have added a mixture of yeast, which is a protein conditioner, balsamic vinegar and lemon juice to close the hair cuticle, give shine and help the hair to lie flat, as well as filling half of each bottle with a vegan-friendly stout. It’s hard to ignore the smell of half a bottle of beer – so instead Lush have also added essential oils that compliment the smell; with lemongrass to add a dash of lemonade scent and cognac oil to give a smoothness and sophistication. 

CSS claims to tame fluffy and frizzy hair, leaving your maine silky smooth and replenished. And I cannot argue with that. Cynthia Sylvia Stout also gives hair some moisture without weighing it down; it adds shine and glossiness to hair that tends to be dull without the help of some sort of magic hair product.

Although this is not publicised on other sites, I also found that this shampoo helped to bring out the natural redness in my hair, which I was really impressed with. 

Overall, I absolutely love this product. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and more; it smells great, and it works wonders alongside my other favourite hair product, Veganese. This is a must have product for all fans of Lush.  

Quantitative Ingredients: Stout, Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, Fine Sea Salt, Lauryl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Benzyl Alcohol, Fresh Organic Lemon Juice, Cognac Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Yeast, Balsamic Vinegar, *Citral, *Geraniol, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

Price: £4.50 for 100g, £8.95 for 250g, £14.75 for 500g.


22 February 2013

Haagenbath Ballistic




What is a bath ballistic? Well for those of you who are not familiar with Lush and their wonderful products (where have you been?), a bath ballistic is a tennis ball shaped cosmetics that will take your mediocre bathing experiences and offer you something pretty incredible in the tub. Made up of bicarbonate of soda to give them the ‘fizzing effect’, these pretty products are often packed full of essential oils which not only give off wonderful aromas to help you to relax and unwind but also turn your bath water into an awesome colourful display.

Unfortunately, Haagenbath is currently a discontinued Lush product - a bath bomb that has featured once in the Lush Kitchen but should be made a permanent due to its popularity. Having featured numerous times in Lush's retro range, this product has inspired mass consumerism for those fans who love a good mint-scented bath bomb. 
I first used this product one early morning, when I had a bad case of insomnia and found myself with nothing to do at 4am in the morning. Having not read anything about this ballistic beforehand I had no idea what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised when a mint-smelling aroma greeted my nose. 

When released into the bath, the ballistic immediately began to spew out trails of pastel-pink and white froth - coating the surface of the water and acting as a sort of blanket to cocoon myself under. As the slow dissolver continued to work its magic, the water turned into a gorgeous shade of pink - one that was littered with puddles of silky-white cream to really make you feel like you were bathing in the very dessert this product is named after. The creamy consistancy of Haagenbath means it dissolves much slower than normal ballistics, so I would highly recommend that you settle yourself in the tub and begin your long and relaxing bath while it's fizzing away. The overall scent is minty which is very refreshing, although it's not poignant enough to put off those of use who dislike strong, minty smells. 

This bomb smells like a sweet mint chocolate ice cream and is super-mosturizing on the skin. The only downside is that it has bits of chocolate that float around in the water until they melt. These would have probably been fine with a fresh bath bomb, but given that my Haagen Baths are a good 1+ year old, these little pieces of chocolate didn't melt so well in my tub and I had to scoop them out afterwards. 

Lush have carefully compiled a selection of high-quality ingredients to make this the best experience possible. This ballistic contains a mixture of cocoa butter and almond oil - both known for their abilities to moisturise, soften and smooth the skin; spearmint oil which helps to soothe and calm congested skin, and cocoa powder, which helps to draw impurities out of the skin. 

This was the first mint-scented Lush product that I ever tried so it was quite a unique experience for me, and one that I was unsure whether or not I'd actually enjoy. I always proclaim to be a fan of the sugary, sweet and citrusy scents. However, I was surprised by how much I loved this bath bomb.

The experience left my skin smooth and hydrated, with a gorgeous minty fragrance that lingered on my body for hours afterwards - really refreshing me for the morning ahead. This is not a ballistic that I'd reach for normally, but I'm so glad that I gave it a chance and I will definitely be purchasing a few more of them when they next become available. 
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric acid, Cocoa butter, Soya Milk powder, Almond Oil, Laureth 4, Perfume, Spearmint oil, Cocoa powder, Colour 77891, 18050.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £3.60 each.
2016 Price: £4.10 each.

Scent Family:







20 February 2013

Henata Bath Bomb


 
Mexican piƱatas are colourful model animals that children smash to reveal hidden sweeties inside. Lush decided to use this idea to create their very own Mexican bathing experience. As part of their Easter range, Lush chose a Hen to fulfil this idea, naming her the very witty Henata!

You are supposed to smash her against the side of your bath to create an 'explosion of wonderful surprises'. However, I couldn't bring myself to do such a thing to a poor, defenceless animal -it's the vegan in me coming out again! Instead, I filled my bath tub to the brink, dropped her in and let her work her magic (hardly any less 'cruel' really).

Straight away, this bath bomb froths and fizzes, releasing wave upon wave of beautiful yellow and orange, that quickly taints the water and fills your bathroom with a sweet, citrusy fragrance. As Henata dissolves, it also releases a bunch of pretty, scarlet marigold petals that perch on the water's surface and add a little flare of decoration to boot. Lush also claim that it releases a 'shower of green glitter', which is odd because I did not spot anything glitter before or after the bath in experience. I'm guessing this could be a factory error as I've heard other people complain about the same problem. 

The best part about this bath bomb is that it 'gives birth' to two mini ballistic eggs - that float around your bath for a long time after the Henata has fully dissolved. The eggs smell very strongly of Sicilian orange oil, and it's enjoyable to watch them dissolve as you submerge yourself beneath the water.

As the colours of Henata suggest, this bath bomb carries a really lovely fragrance made up of sunny citrus oils like Sicilian mandarin, tangerine and bergamot. I would say that this is more of a fruity smell as opposed to a citrus smell - I think the bergamot definitely grounds the other two components so you get a much more rounded, warming fruity smell. 

Surprisingly, I found that there was also a  slightly soapy element about the scent of this product. I think the inclusion of the rose and marigold petals give the bath bomb a very subtle floral smell, which seems to transpire into more of a clinical, soapy smell. Don't get me wrong - this bath bomb isn't at all unpleasant when it comes to the aroma. However, it's definitely something that I noticed rather quickly, upon receiving these bath bombs in the post. 

There is nothing quite like the smell of this bath bomb so I really cannot relate it to any other product that Lush have brought out in the past. Furthermore, I cannot fault Lush for choosing to bring this one back in the Springtime: this is definitely a great bath bomb to wake you up in the morning.

As with other bath bombs that contain 'added extras', those of you who dislike picking waste out of the plug hole may wish to avoid this one as the petals were a little bit of a nuisance to remove. However, that does not take away from the wonderful calming experience that this bomb offers and you can always dissolve the bath bomb into a sieve to collect the 'debris'. I should also point out that this has the potential to stain, so I would recommend that you ensure your bath is clean before divulging in one of these.  
This is definitely one that I'll return to when I need a boost to start my day off and I hope Lush opt to bring this out during future Easter releases. It's noticeably softer than other bath bombs and turned out to be super moisturising, without any greasiness or oily puddles during the experience.  

Quantitative Ingredients; Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Pink Soap Paper, Sicilian Mandarin Oil, Tangerine Oil, Bergamot Oil, Cornflowers, Marigold Petals, Red rose petals, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Gardenia Extract, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Alcohol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, *Limonene, *Linalool, Colour 19140, Colour 15510, Green Glitter.

Vegan?: Yes










14 February 2013

Twilight Bath Bomb



I'm not normally a very judgemental person, but I've held out on trying this bath bomb for so long, solely due to it's name being associated with one watered down teen vampire series that took over the world for a few years.  

I know it is one of Lush's most popular bath bombs, and I know it has nothing to do with the flat-faced vampire and stuttering human. However, when I hear the word 'Twilight', I immediately think of the millions of teens around the world sporting 'Team Edward' t-shirts and sporting terrible apple tattoos. 
In fairness, this bath bomb was also near the bottom of my list of ones I wanted to try, due to it's main scent being lavender; a smell I have never really being overtly keen on. However, I was pleasantly surprised and rather pleased by how much I enjoyed this product.

First things first, this bath bomb is huge. If you're someone who likes to get the most out of a product, you could easily break this in half and spread it across two baths instead of one. However, if like me, you're glutinous with your Lush products, you can enjoy this as one big, epic bathing experience.

The bath bomb dissolves rather slowly in the water - throwing out an abundance of pink and blue swirls that froth and bubble on the surface. You could easily climb into the bath and watch this show taking place, enjoying the strong and relaxing scent drift around you while you're cocooned beneath the layer of white foam that decorates the surface of the water. Once fully disintegrated, Twilight boasts a gorgeous violet water that is decorated with tiny flecks of silver glitter - a perfect companion during those cold winter evenings. 

Lush say that this process was intended to 'help your mind let go and embrace the night time. Twilight dissolves to create a growing sunset that gradually gets darker until you are finally left with the glimmer of stars.' It really is a beauty to behold.

Made from a combination of lavender and ylang ylang oils, this bath bomb has a strong, heady scent that engulfs your senses the second you remove the ballistic from it's packaging. The fragrance is dominated by the lavender, although it's not the same watered-down scent that you would expect from a shop-bought cosmetic. This lavender scent is a creamy, powdery offering unlike anything else I have tried before. 

I'm not normally one for lavender smells but this one blew me away. Sharing it's scent with both the Twilight Shower Gel and Luxury Lush Pud, this is a ballistic that begs to be tried. If you are struggling to sleep, then this is perfect for using in the evenings. The lavender oil helps you to wind down and loosen tension in your body, and the vanilla essence stops the lavender scent from being so overpowering and adds a wonderful sweetness.

I absolutely adored this bath bomb, more than I was expecting to and it is definitely on my shopping list to buy again. And again. And again. This is the perfect companion for those wanting a luxurious and sleep-enticing bathing experience and it leaves your skin wonderfully nourished and velvety-soft. 

I can always smell this on my skin for hours after I have left the bath and it's a really comforting scent that lingers on your pillow as you fall asleep. Perfect. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lavender Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Tonka Absolute, Ylang Ylang Oil, Cocamide DEA, Lauryl Betaine, Coumarin, Linalool, Perfume, Colour 42090, Colour 14700, Colour 17200, Colour 45410, Iridescent Glitter.

Vegan?: Yes.

2013 Price: £3.35 each.
2014 Price: £3.45 each.
2015 Price: £3.75 each.
2016 Price: £3.75 each.

Scent Family:
FUN With A Twist
Luxury Pud Bath Bomb
Sleepy Body Lotion
Twilight Bath Bomb
Twilight Liquid Perfume
Twilight Shower Gel
Twilight Shower Jelly
Twilight Solid Perfume



9 February 2013

My Valentine's Day Lush Haul







Lil' Pud Bath Bomb


First things first. To me these smell nothing like Christmas Pudding. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. When I think of the traditional dessert, I think of a sticky-sweet concoction of raisins and brandy mixed in with the slight hint of nutmeg or mixed spice - it conjures up memories of every Christmas I've experienced as far back as I can remember, forcing myself to eat a generous helping of the stuff even when the roast is still trying to digest. The feeling of heaviness and gluttony weigh heavy on my mind.

This miniature bath bomb doesn't immediately give off a strong scent, which I know might put off some people from buying this product. However, the second it hits the water, the poignant smell of cloves and cinnamon begin to 'do their thing'.

As the bomb begins to dissolve quickly in the tub, it fills your bathroom with a wonderful spicy, sultry aroma. Sharing its scent with the popular Snowcake Soap, you can smell the wonderfully decadent benzoin and the creamy marzipan aroma alongside the spices. While there's nothing in the ingredients list to suggest where there the smell comes from, there was a slight hint of ginger in the mix and this reminded me of freshly baked gingerbread. Yummy!

Despite the lovely smell, once this bath bomb is in use, it leaves your water a murky brown colour, which is far from attractive. The bomb also produces very little bubbles, meaning that you're left to bathe in a tub full of, what looks like, sewage-tinted liquid. 
Smelling of marzipan and full of lovely goodies like lemon peel powder, clove powder, aloe vera extract and rose absolute, this ballistic leaves your skin soft. However, I've yet to use a Lush Bomb that doesn't leave my skin feeling soft, so I'd say this effect is owed more to my entire bathing experience than the bath bomb alone.

Despite it's size, this miniature replica of the original Lush Pud gives off a strong aroma throughout your entire bathing experience and leaves its mark on your skin afterwards. Unfortunately, it also leaves a mark on the outside of your tub as well so you may have to give it a rinse down after the water has drained. 

Overall, while the smell it offers is beautiful, I wasn't overly keen on Lil' Pud Bath Bomb. At first I put this down to the fact that when I acquired these Lil' Puds, they were over a year old, so I assumed that perhaps they had lost their 'magic' due to ageing. However, reading old reviews, it seems that the lack of bubbles and 'flare' was a normal trait for these Christmas specials. 

If you're looking to enjoy a Christmas-spiced bath bomb, I would definitely recommend Cinders over this any day. These aren't terrible, but I can see why they didn't make it back into the Christmas range last year. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Aloe Vera Extract,Clove Powder, Lemon Peel Powder, Cassie Absolute, Benzoin Resinoid, Rose Absolute,Propylene Glycol, Benzyl Benzoate, Perfume,Candy Holly Leaf.

Vegan?: Yes

Scent Family:


7 February 2013

Reincarnate Solid Shampoo




I am the first one to get excited when I see my favourite company trying to be more economically friendly, whether it be less packaging, natural ingredients or products free from preservatives. However, when I first began exploring their hair care range, I was slightly wary of their solid shampoos and conditioners. 

A big part of me wondered how a seemingly dull looking piece of 'shampoo' could possibly be a good thing for my hair. My initial reaction was to assume that these products would leave my hair matted and dry. As I mentioned in my review of Veganese, I have spent many years trying to resurrect my hair from years of over-dying it. So I was a little concerned that using Reincarnate might set my efforts backwards a few months.    

Reincarnate is made with the best Persian red henna. While the amount present in this shampoo isn’t enough to colour your hair in itself, it will help maintain hair that’s already been coloured. I have had little experience with their hair dyes, so far so I cannot comment on how the shampoo supports these products. However, I use a shop-brought dark brown to colour my hair, and after using the shampoo once, my hair definitely looked richer and brighter than it did before.
The smell of Reincarnate is rather interesting; a sweet, earthy scent that reminds me a little of liquorice mixed with rosemary. At the time, it reminded me of a combination of sultanas and dried orange peel, with a slightly dry underlying smell of dirt. This smell is particularly overwhelming, and it doesn't tend to stay around much in the hair afterwards, which is great news for those of us who dislike the strong smell of henna. 

Unlike a lot of reviews I have seen, this bar lathered up really easily for me, although it wasn't particularly generous with its lather. Initially, I found that the shampoo made my hair feel quite brittle and dry. Having said this, upon changing my conditioner to one that complimented the ingredients better (Avocado Cowash), I found my hair was left looking and feeling rich, vibrant and healthy. 

To begin with I had chosen to go 'full out' with the solid hair products so I had used this alongside Lush's Big Solid conditioner. After experimenting for a few months with the aforementioned conditioner, I found that it was not suited to my hair at all, and I think this was the reason why Reincarnate hadn't left a good impression on me to begin with.
I really appreciated the fact that when using this alongside a good conditioner, it helped to tame the thick, frizzy nature of my hair, and I found that I could wear it down with very little straightening. Obviously, this meant that the condition of my hair improved even more because it wasn't exposed to as much heat.

As with all of Lush's solid hair care, this product is great for those travelling due to its portability. As each usage requires very little product, a small 100g bar will last for a long time, and probably no doubt works out better value than the bottled varieties. That said, I would not recommend this shampoo bar for those with very dry hair, unless combined with a strong conditioner, as it is not very moisturising by itself, and would leave your hair rather limp and damaged.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Red Henna, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Rosemary, Fleeceflower Root & Nettle Leaf Infusion, Cocamide DEA, Soya Lecithin, Rhassoul Mud, Labdanum Resinoid, Sedra Powder, Sweet Orange Oil, Irish Moss Powder, *Limonene, Perfume

Vegan?: Yes.

2016 Price: £6.25 for 100g.









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