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30 April 2014

Elixir Bath Melt


I've been working out quite a bit as of late and I've been craving bath melts more frequently than usual. My poor limbs have been overworked as they've grown fairly accustomed to relaxing in front of the television in the evenings, not slaving away on the treadmill. I've developed dry patches on the base of my feet and the muscles in my arms and legs have been crying out for that extra bit of affection. So I was rather intrigued when Lush chose to release a limited edition bath melt last week. 

Elixir is by no means a 'new' product. First released way back in 2001, this bath melt has seen many design changes over the years; most recently in 2007, when Lush chose to remove the glitter and blue facade and present it as a simple white block with dried red rose petals under the surface. Fast forward to 2014, and the same design is back. 

Made from a combination of ginger oil - a peppery ingredient that gives the bath melt a wholesome note, and cardamon - another spicy addition, this product smells divine. Initially, I was convinced that I wouldn't enjoy it all that much, simply because ginger is my least favourite fragrance. However, alongside the ylang ylang and almond oils and the rose petals, the ginger remains at the forefront, yet it's not as overpowering as it is in other ginger-smelling cosmetics. This bath melt produces a wonderful combination of smells, and is almost reminiscent of the candied ginger that my Grandad used to buy at Christmas.

The cocoa butter, almond oil and ginger creates a slightly spicy, chocolately fragrance - something I was not expecting at all from this bath melt and something that only added to my enjoyment of the product as a whole.  

Much like my favourite You've Been Mangoed Bath Melt, and indeed all of the bath melts that the company offer, Elixir 's main purpose is help moisturise and hydrate your skin, leaving it feeling baby-soft and invigorated. This luxury bath melt contains a whole host of oils alongside cocoa butter, all rich in antioxidants which help to heal and condition skin; almond oil is an unscented but highly nutritious oil with a high vitamin E content. When used in cosmetics, it helps to smoothen the skin and leave it feeling silky soft; lavender oil can be used to heal skin inflictions and soothe muscular discomfort. Furthermore, it can also calm the mind and aid restful sleep. Alongside cocoa butter, which soothes itchy and irritated skin, this luxury bath melt is a powerhouse of ingredients. 

When placed in hot water, the bath melt begins to melt slowly, dispersing essential oils across the surface and softening the water throughout. As you soak, these oils are moisturising and repairing your body, leaving your skin feeling velvety soft and refreshed. When you exit the bath,you can really feel how smooth and silky your skin is; I love the way that this melt makes my skin feel!

Elixir took it's time to fully dissolve, which meant that I was able to relax in the water while it was doing so. As it dispersed throughout the tub, the rose scent was more defined and the ginger smell did heighten a little, without being overpowering. The oils themselves were lovely and soft on the skin, but the bath was not as moisturising as other bath melts I have tried. Whereas I would expect the droplets of oil to be present on the surface of the water while the product is melting, I didn't see this at all and so the texture of my skin didn't alter all that much during my experience. 

Lush claim that this bath melt revives and rejuvenates your body, and I definitely felt far more contented after my bath than I had done before. My skin was also definitely smoother and more moisturised, however, whereas the oils in You've Been Mangoed permeated the water and instantly left your skin feeling velvety-soft, Elixir didn't do anymore than your average bubble bar would do. 

Despite this, I really enjoyed this bath melt and it's scent did stay with me throughout the duration of the bath. My muscles felt less tense after using this, and there was a definite improvement when it came to the dry patches on my feet. The red rose petals looked pretty, floating on the surface of the water, although I would have preferred if these had not been present at all (it was a little annoying having to pick these out of the plughole afterwards).  

Although this wouldn't be my first choice, I would definitely be interested in picking up a couple more of these as they're a perfect reward after a long day's work. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Laureth 4, Almond Oil, Perfume, Dried Red Rose Petals, Ginger Oil, Cardamom Oil, Neroli Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Citral, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes.

Scent Family:
Elixir Bath Melt
Elixir Bubble Bar

2015 Price: £4 each.
2016 Price: £4 each.
2016 Price: £4.25 each.



29 April 2014

Strawberry Twin Tub Shower Jelly



You may think it strange that I'm choosing to review this product, when I've already posted on my blog of Strawberry Santa Shower Jelly - a festive item that is near enough identical aside from it's shape. However, especially with recent Lush releases, I've found that being able to try something fresh often brings out different elements of a product's fragrance, and can sometimes alter the effectiveness of the product altogether. Such is the case with this shower jelly. 

Strawberry Twin Tub was initially released in 2005, and until it was brought out last week in the Lush Kitchen, I didn't realise just how popular a product it was. Marketed as a shower jelly with multiple dimensions of scent, the key ingredients that make up it's fragrance is fresh strawberries combined with a coconut and vanilla pod infusion. To me it sounds like a recipe for a cheesecake, which can never be a bad thing in my eyes.

As I mentioned on my review of the festive edition of this jelly, it's not very often that Lush bring out strawberry smelling cosmetics, which is odd given the popularity of the fragrance. However, whenever they do, I expect the product to offer me something far more fresh than the over-processed toiletries you'd find in your local pharmacist. 

This shower jelly immediately gave me a strong impression upon opening the lid, when I was able to pick up the fresh strawberry aroma right away. It's not as natural smelling as you would expect from Lush, and reminds me a little of the strawberry glycerin sachets that my mother used to use to make the glaze for cheesecakes. However, it does possess a faint tartness reminiscent of slightly underripe berries. 

As with Strawberry Santa, I can definitely detect hints of the vanilla in the fragrance as well, although again it's not as fresh or natural smelling as Vanilla Dee-Lite Body Lotion or Vanillary. As my tub of the shower jelly was as fresh as it could be, there was a very subtle coconutty element in the overall smell and this showcased itself more when heat had been added during the shower. 
There are several ways that you can use any of Lush's shower jellies, and I find that everyone has their own preference, which is completely understandable. Firstly, you can break a small piece of (or select a piece that's been segmented prior to your shower) and rub the block directly onto your skin. The amount of lather this creates differentiates vastly depending on the type of jelly, how old the product is and the size of the piece you're using. While some users find this way works for them, I find that this is fairly ineffective as it does not create much of a lather and the jelly becomes too wet, making it slippery and difficult to hold on to. 

Secondly, you can use a shower sponge, puff or exfoliating glove to create a lather before rubbing it all over your body. For me, I found this method far more successful as it helped to break down the jelly properly and create a nice foamy effect to wash your body with. Finally, you can break off slabs of the jelly and use them as you would a bubble bar, placing them underneath a running tap to stimulate bubbles. I tend to use mine for this reason, as I can get 20+ baths out of one 250g tub, which I consider to be great value for money.

In the tub, Strawberry Twin has a slight sparkle to it - which gives a wonderful glimmer and makes it just that little bit more special. It's rather elasticated in texture and would work best if you chopped it up into pieces beforehand. You can tear a piece off whilst you're in the shower, but I found that I always over-estimated how much to use and some was wasted in this way. 

Much like the festive edition I tried many months ago, this shower jelly did make my skin feel lovely and soft. The addition of carrageenan seaweed helps to give this jelly a silky consistency in the tub, and this softness is inherited by your skin whilst it's being massaged across your body. It lathers up wonderfully in the shower and left me feeling clean and summery; a trace of the scent lingering on my skin until the very next day, when I received some rather positive comments. 

Overall, Strawberry Twin Tub is a nice product for anyone who loves strawberry-scented cosmetics. It's a lovely smelling shower jelly, and definitely one that would suit most people's tastebuds. Unfortunately, I think this fragrance is just rather generic and boring for my liking - not the usual quirky and unique concoctions that Lush are known for. As I said for Strawberry Santa, it's a product that would work best with younger children, not adults who are perhaps looking for something a little more complex and mature. 

Lush claim that this shower jelly 'is reminiscent of sweet-shops, picnics and the great British summertime.' While I wouldn't say it's aroma is as natural and fresh as this suggests, it is a lovely treat for when you're craving something sugary and don't have any sweets in the house. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Glycerine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Spring Water, Coconut and Fair Trade Vanilla Pod Infusion, Fresh Strawberries, Carrageenan Extract, Perfume, Benzoin Resinoid, Geranium Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Citronellol, Linalool, Methyl Ionone, Colour 14700, Colour 17200, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £7.95 for 250g. 
2017 Price: £7.95 for 250g. 

Year Of Original Release: 2005.

Scent Family:
The Big Strawberry Bath Melt
Strawberry Santa Jelly
Strawberry Twin Tub Jelly
Two Timing Tart Bubble Bar

28 April 2014

Chocolala Massage Bar


One of the best aspects of the Lush Kitchen Initiative, are the pictures that accompany each of your orders. I think it's a rather lovely touch to be able to see your products being made and experience part of that excitement as you tear open the packaging and hungrily eye up what you have in front of you. It's always a shame then, when you find the product doesn't live up to the expectations set.

When I first glimpsed at the pictures of Chocolala Massage Bar, it reminded me of a giant rolo, and I envisaged a creamy, gooey chocolately product that would moisturise my skin and leave me smelling divine. However, my experience was tarnished from the get-go and it didn't improve at all during usage. 

Firstly, upon opening my Lush package, I found that my massage bar did not look as appetising as the ones I saw being made on their website. Mine came out looking rather beaten and dishevelled, and some of the chocolate had been chipped away or smeared across the surface. This could have easily been the fault of the postal service, so I wouldn't have had such an issue had it not been for the fact that this was one of the smallest massage bars I have ever purchased from Lush, despite it being the most expensive.

Chocolala was priced at almost £9, and from the pictures I imagined a massage bar that perhaps surpassed the size of most of Lush's regular sellers. However, this bar's diameter is probably no more than 4cm wide and barely stretches to 4cm tall. It's incredibly overpriced, especially given the minimal ingredients that were used to create it. 

Much like all of Lush's other massage bars, this one has a ton of wonderful ingredients that supposedly help to soften and moisturise your skin; cocoa butter, shea butter and sandalwood oil are all present to help moisturise and remove dry, scaly skin, while the latter oil makes up the majority of this bar's scent; orange oil has been added to give the bar a subtle citrus scent whilst containing key properties to clean your skin. 
On initial sniff, you can definitely pick out the sandalwood and violet, and these two dominate the overall fragrance. There is a slight hint of chocolate, but it's not as present as I was expecting. When it's being used on the skin, the chocolately smell comes out a lot more and you begin to smell the beautiful creamy dark chocolate that makes up most of this bar. 

My main issue with Chocolala is that it's not very good at doing the job it's marketed to do. Firstly, it's very difficult to massage this bar successfully across the skin. Despite me warming my hands up, and despite my body still being very warm from my recent bath, this product would simply not melt and I was left with large smears of chocolate all over my body. I was finally able to rub these stains into my skin so they weren't visible externally, but the whole experience left me and my body feeling sticky and dirty. 

Secondly, the massage bar didn't help to soften or moisturise my skin at all, and I resorted to applying a body lotion just to give my skin something to work with. Furthermore, the scent didn't linger for very long at all and a mere 30 minutes after I'd battled to apply the Chocolala, I could no longer detect any of the wonderful violet and sandalwood tones that made this massage bar smell so good.

Overall, my expectations of this massage bar have been truly dashed and I'm glad I opted in purchasing just the one to try. Having spoken to other Lush fans, there are quite a few who love the messy element to this product, and perhaps it's a lot more fun when you're massaging somebody else. However, my experience was a very unsuccessful one and I would not use this product again. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Dark Chocolate, Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Sandalwood Oil (Santalum album), Violet Leaf Absolute (Viola odorata), Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2016 Price: £8.95 each.


27 April 2014

Error 404 Ballistic



When Lush first released pictures of products that were to feature in their kitchen initiative, one of the first ones that grabbed my attention was a rather splendid looking golden egg. To begin with, I thought that it was the rather lovely Golden Egg Ballistic that featured in this year's Easter range. However, on closer inspection, I realised that this was a different product completely and I was rather excited to try it out.

A few weeks ago, somebody within the Lush community notified me of an unknown page on Lush's website that seemed to suggest that you could 'purchase' this egg ballistic for free. It's not featured in any of their product lists, hasn't been showcased as a new product and can only be found when searching for it by name. 

Known as the Error 404 Ballistic, this egg-shaped bath product is currently available to buy on their website, but only for those with prior knowledge that it's even there. After a little research from myself, it transpired that aside from the chocolate variation that everyone knows and loves, the term 'Easter egg' also means 'an intentional inside joke or hidden message'. Often, these Easter eggs are featured within computer games and software, where bonus levels or characters can be obtained through secret coding and gameplay. However, Lush have taken this idea on board and created a secret product that can only be purchased if you're in the 'know-how'. Very clever!

There were a lot of rumours circulating that this bath bomb shares it's scent with the Snowcake family, which is part of the reason why I became so excited to try it out. Unfortunately, when my first two arrived yesterday morning, it was obvious that this wasn't the case. However, that's not to say that this isn't a wonderful ballistic in it's own right.

Firstly, this golden egg is beautiful to behold. Roughly the same size as the Golden Egg Ballistic, this bath bomb is decorated with a thick layer of golden lustre - a feature that may immediately warrant some Lush fans to panic over the mess it'll cause. Despite the fact that this glitter does tend to make your hands dirty when you pick it up, and I did find a collection of the power in the bottom of my packet, once it's been fully dissolved in the water there is very little evidence that the lustre was even there to begin with, and it definitely doesn't leave your bath tub covered in the stuff. Protruding from the surface of the egg are the numbers '404' and the back features a strange design that could possibly be homage to the first known Easter Egg which featured in an early Atari game. 

Concocted from a mixture of geranium oil, rosewood oil and orange flower absolute, this ballistic is a potent combination that grabs your senses before you've even peeled back the wrapper. It's the former ingredient that takes the lead here, offering you a strong, dry floral fragrance, with the rosewood adding a slightly woody element that you'd normally expect the inclusion of sandalwood to do. There is a slight hint of the orange here, but it's not until the bath bomb has been dissolved, that this comes to the forefront more and balances out the overall scent. 

When placed in the water, Error 404 immediately begins to froth and fizz, dispelling a thick, creamy layer of golden foam before unleashing streams of green and blue colour across the surface of the water. It's a slow and fairly quiet bath bomb, so takes almost five minutes to fully dissolve. Once it's finished, you're left with a lovely turquoise-coloured bath with the subtle shimmer of the gold, bronze and blue lustre.


Something, which could be seen as a positive or negative aspect with this ballistic, is that once it's dissolved, it's scent is somewhat dampened. I found that this product lost it's dry floral scent quite a bit, and this was replaced with more of a sweet orange fragrance with elements of the geranium displaced ever so slightly. It was rather pleasant.

I cannot place the scent of Error 404, but my memory does allude me to the fact that I have smelt this fragrance before. It reminds me very loosely of the recent African Paradise Body Conditioner, in the fact that they both have strong floral combinations. However, their scents are not the same. I'm hoping that somebody else may be able to direct me to where I recognise this smell from. 

I'm unsure how long Lush plan on making this product available for, but it's definitely worth picking up, if only to make your postage costs seem slightly more justified. It doesn't have any moisturising properties, working much like every other Lush ballistic, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the experience it gave me.

I shall definitely be picking up a few more of these while I still can and I'm interested to see whether Lush will continue with this Easter Egg initiative, albeit releasing different products over time. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Rosewood Oil, Geranium Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Cream of Tartar, Gardenia Extract, Water (Aqua), Lilial, Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, Linalool, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Antique Gold Lustre, Bronze Splendour Lustre, Glacier Blue Lustre, Colour 42053.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: Free 
2015 Price: £4.04 each.




26 April 2014

Heavenly Bodies Buttercream


When I discovered that Lush were selling this product during one of their Lush Kitchen releases, I was ecstatic. It's one of the products that I've been pining after for quite some time, and after reading numerous glowing reviews about it, was determined to get my hands on some. Although I'm not normally a fan of chocolate-scented cosmetics, this beauty is an exception, and here's why; 

Sharing it's scent with Sonic Death Monkey Shower Gel, Heavenly Bodies Buttercream is a product that was first released a number of years ago. Unlike the two wonderful pots that I received in the post this morning, the old design was slightly different, being sold as a solid block that would melt against body heat, much like a massage bar. 

For those unfamiliar with what a buttercream is, it's a combination of soap and shower gel; a softer-style soap that can be used like a shower gel, but contains key ingredients to help soften and repair dry skin. It doesn’t contain as many surfactants as traditional soap, so it won’t lather up like you’re used to, but this does mean it’s especially good for those people who find normal soap can sometimes dry their skin out.

Comprised of cocoa butter, sweet orange oil and Rhassoul mud, this buttercream is a feast for the skin, especially for those looking to improve the condition of theirs before the hot weather begins to take over. For those unfamiliar with Lush, the inclusion of mud in the ingredients list may seem a little off-putting. However, with Lush using it successfully in many of their products, including the lovely Cupcake Face Mask and the popular Dark Angels Cleanser, it serves an important purpose in making this product effective.  

Rhassoul mud is known for it's natural antibacterial features, and alongside the fresh orange juice, which cleanses and detoxifies the skin, creates a perfect combination for your body. Cocoa butter is listed as one of the main ingredients in Heavenly Bodies, and as well as helping to give this buttercream it's luxurious scent, it also helps to soften and moisturise the skin. Altogether, these elements clean and detox the pores, leaving you smelling wonderful and looking revitalised. 

When combined, these main ingredients, alongside the vanilla absolute, create a gorgeous chocolate-orange-scented shower companion - one that smells good enough to eat. It's smell reminds me of rich chocolate cake, drizzled with chocolate sauce, or a melted Terry's Chocolate orange with lashings of cream. It really needs to be sampled to understand how beautiful this product is, and don't blame me if you find yourself poised with a spoon over a tub of the stuff - it really is that good!

Aside from it's scent, Heavenly Bodies lives up to expectations and helps to restore and replenish tired skin. A little goes a long way as I found that I only needed the equivalent of a dessertspoon to lather my whole body. This means that a 250g tub would probably last for at least 20 full body washes. As I mentioned above, this doesn't lather like a soap does, but it does leave a light white foam as it's massaged into the skin, and is very easy to wash off afterwards.
This product left my skin feeling gorgeously soft and left a slight chocolate-orange fragrance on my skin, which I received many compliments on throughout the day. I really hope that Lush choose to bring this back soon as I think it would sell really well as a regular product. I would definitely recommend this and will be stocking up if I can get my hands on a few more tubs. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Rhassoul Mud, Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Perfume, Tangerine Oil (Citrus reticulata), Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Editronate, *Limonene.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £10.25 for 250g.
2016 Price: £10.25 for 250g.

Scent Family:
Chocolate Whipstick Lip Balm
Heavenly Bodies Buttercream
Sonic Death Monkey Shower Gel

25 April 2014

The Snowman Ballistic


I'm going to hold my hands up and say that I am not one of those Lushies obsessed with the 'Butterball' fragrance. I know it's one of Lush's biggest sellers, hence why they feel the need to repackage the scent in a new product almost yearly. However, the truth is, as I mentioned in my review of the Butterball Shower Gel, the smell of cocoa butter by itself has been so overused in cosmetics (not just Lush!), that I'm pretty sick of it. By no means is it a bad smell, just not one I'm going to get excited about. So, as you can imagine, I wasn't initially bowled over by the idea of this bath bomb... 

The Snowman ballistic was released as part of the Christmas 2013 range, complete with a little extra decoration in the form of a red scarf and a nose made out of The Carrot Bubble Bar from their 2013 Easter range. On first sniff, the musky vanilla scent was very much present; in fact, I found that the smell of this ballistic was much stronger than the many Butterballs that I've had in the past, which was promising. 

Unlike the original Butterball ballistic, the Snowman is considerably smaller, so I was a little worried that it wouldn't leave as strong an impression in the tub as it's counterpart. Furthermore, I've recently found myself in a rut with Lush bombs, wherein the last few I've used have produced less than satisfactory results in the bath. Despite my initial concerns, I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

When this bath bomb hits the water, it immediately begins to fizz, releasing a stream of red and white foam that disperses throughout the water. Seconds later, little beads of what looks like oil, begin to seep from the bath bomb, most of which float on the surface, but some of which tend to spread out and rest against the edge of the tub. I found out, after some research, that this is the cocoa butter which has been included to soften the bath water and moisturise your skin whilst you're relaxing. 

After a while, the beads melt and leave an oily bath water behind, which really does moisturise and hydrate your skin. I found that I didn't have to use my normal body lotion afterwards, which was lovely. In fact, I experimented by not using my lotion the day after my bath, and was pleased to discover that my skin stayed silky-smooth, and retained a musky scent, for the entirety of the next day. However, I would pre-warn those of you who perhaps suffer from oily or greasy skin, as this is probably one of the most oleaginous baths I have ever had; I can imagine it perhaps irritating the more sensitive skin types with it's waxy consistency.  

Once it's fully dissolved, the Snowman leaves a pale and translucent red coloured water. The buttery smell of vanilla, ylang ylang and cocoa butter disperse somewhat and leave you with a subtle smell, but nothing that's too overwhelming for those of you who don't like potent scents.

Although it was a rather enjoyable bath, and it's a ballistic I would buy again, there were a couple of issues that I found. Firstly, although my dry skin basked in the oiliness of the water, I can imagine that there will be a lot of people who would find the greasy element to this bath far too overwhelming and 'clammy'. Secondly, once the water has drained away, the beads of cocoa butter leave smears around the edge of the tub, which you then have to clean up; not fun and a bit of a mood killer!

Overall, it's definitely one of the better ballistics I have used recently, and I will no doubt buy myself a couple more of these if they make a reappearance. However, it's not one that makes it into my favourite's list.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Cocoa Butter, Synthetic Musk, Ylang Ylang Oil, Glycerine, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Carbonate, Lauryl Betaine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Perfume, Colour 14700, Colour 17200, Colour 15510.

Vegan?: Yes. 

Scent Family:
Butterball Bath Bomb
Butterball Shower Gel
Butterbear Bath Ballistic
The Ex Factor Bath Bomb
Gentle Lentil Solid Shampoo
The Snowman Ballistic






24 April 2014

Orange Jelly Soap


When I heard that Lush were releasing an orange-scented soap, I was so excited; alongside blackcurrant, orange has been one of my favourite smells since I was a little girl. Sometimes companies can 'overdo it' when it comes to the scents of their products; layering multiple fragrances over each other to give off a 'complex' smell, when all it really does is create a horrible heavy smell that permeates almost everything. So when I saw the simplicity of this soap's scent, I was really looking forward to testing it out.

Orange Jelly is a new soap released as part of Lush's 2013 Christmas range. Despite it not initially seeming to fit in with the Christmas theme, it does compliment many other products featured in the seasonal range; Golden Wonder, Ponche Shower Gel, Celebrate Lotion and Secret Santa are just some of the items that boast a citrusy scent, and Orange Jelly is perfect for anyone who may not like the complexity of these fragrances, and want something simple to try out. 

This soap is orange, pure and simple. It has freshly squeezed orange juice and Brazilian orange oil, both  packed with minerals, vitamins, and plenty of vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant for the skin and will leave your skin toned, revived and resilient. Furthermore, this soap even contains fresh orange slices preserved in the top layer of jelly, and softening seaweed extract to beautify your skin even more.

What I loved about the soap is it's simplicity - it smells of fresh oranges - nothing more, nothing less. Sometimes it's lovely to appreciate a natural smell in it's natural form, something Orange Jelly does well. It's a very summery smell, which confuses me slightly as to why Lush decided to release this in the winter.However, one thing that disappointed me a little was the absence of a strong smell; with all that orange oil and juice added to make the soap, I was expecting a stronger smelling soap, at least when the soap is being used under hot water. I found that I was only able to pick up the zest of the orange, when I brought the soap close to my nose. 
Another aspect of the soap that puzzled me, was the decorative layer of jelly that featured on the top of every 100g piece. I'm guessing that it was put there just so that the soap could be given the name Orange Jelly, as it served no other purpose in the shower. I thought perhaps that you could use it to produce lather, like you would with other Lush jellies. However, I found that it was very unresponsive when I rubbed it between my hands. I'd much rather have had a slightly bigger slice of the soap, than a pointless piece of jelly on one end.

In the shower, Orange Jelly didn't do too badly at lathering up, although it produced more of an oily lather than a foam one. I found that once the soap's been used a handful of times, the lather does increase ten-fold and by the time I got halfway through the bar, it was producing lashings of soft foam to wash myself with. Furthermore, I found it best to use this before using a fruity shower gel, such as Snowshowers or Ponche, to give you that added feeling of softness.

Ultimately, this soap had a lot of potential which I don't think was quite reached here. It's a lovely idea, the scent was wonderful (when you could smell it), and it does leave your skin wonderfully smooth and gentle. However, Lush could do with making the scent stronger so that it stays on your skin longer. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Glycerine, Fresh Orange Juice, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Brazilian Orange Oil, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Colour 15510, Orange Slice.

Vegan?: Yes.

23 April 2014

Donkey Oaty Ballistic


Donkey Oaty was a limited edition ballistic released in 2011 as part of Lush's Easter range. Initially a strange choice for an Easter product, as the donkey imagery is normally associated with Christmas, this chivalrous and wise animal is a perfect addition to any springtime bath. 

Designed to smell like the Charity Pot Lotion, this wonderful ballistic smells of a mixture of chocolate and almond butter laced with a hint of rose. Containing ylang ylang oil, geranium oil, tagetes oil and gardenia extract, this creamy, floral bath bomb is supposed to leave you smelling beautiful whilst conditioning and moisturising your skin to health. 

This cute-looking ballistic is bright pink, yellow and orange, and packed with rice paper ribbons, which are supposed to dissolve in the tub and help smoothen the water. It's designed to make your skin feel soft and produce a spectacular array of summery colours to banish the dreariness of winter.

Whilst clearing out my cupboard, I found two of these ballistics and decided to use them as they were starting to look a little old. As with all bath ballistics, when I dropped Donkey Oaty into the water, he immediately began to dissolve and fill the bath tub with streams of yellow and orange. As my ballistic was old, it didn't fizz on the surface; instead dropping to the bottom of my tub and dispersing quickly. However, I was lucky enough to find other videos online, showing how a fresh one reacts in the tub, so I also used this in my overall judgement of the product. 

Despite it's age, the ballistic still left the water a beautiful peachy-orange colour, and gave off a lovely sweet, chocolate-y scent. There was also a floral element to it's smell, something which isn't as prominent in the Charity Pot body lotion, which I appreciated. Furthermore, the ballistic really did leave my skin feeling invigorated and silky-soft, meaning that the rice paper was doing it's job effectively. 

I was a little concerned at first when using this bath bomb, as other Lush fans had warned me that the ballistic would stain my bath; being one of Lush's more vibrant products. But I didn't find that this was the case at all. In fact, I believe that Lush have far more colourful ballistics that this one, all of which don't stain the tub, so it's not surprising that this one didn't leave any residue at all. 

I really enjoyed using Donkey Oaty, and only hope that Lush decide to bring him back so I can experience a fresh once. He smelled lovely, turned the bath a beautiful colour and left my skin feeling wonderful and hydrated; he really did banish those British weather blues. For a ballistic that's three years old, it makes me wonder how amazing it was when it was first released. I'd buy another one if they were still available!

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Geranium Oil (Pelargonium graveolens), Tagetes Oil (Tagetes minuta), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Citronellol, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 15510, Colour 14700, Rice Paper.

Vegan?: Yes.

Scent Family:



Sweet Japanese Girl Solid Cleanser


There seems to be rather a lot of confusion regarding the use of Sweet Japanese Girl Solid Cleanser; a premise even I was stumped about to begin with. Although it's title should have been somewhat of a clue as to why it's been made, mixed reviews threw up many questions regarding it's official purpose. However, spurred on by the thought of a challenge, I relished in finding out the best way to utilise this product, and reached some quite intriguing conclusions. 

Sweet Japanese Girl is a unique solid bar made from cocoa butter, extra virgin coconut oil and shea butter - a powerhouse of natural ingredients to help cleanse, moisturise and protect your skin. What makes it stand apart from Lush's massage bars and other solid products, is it's use of ground adzuki beans and almonds, which not only give it a wonderful nutty, savoury fragrance, but help to make this product work as a solid. 

This product also contains a mixture of tea tree, juniper berry and lemon essential oils, which help to cleanse the skin and add a natural glow. The latter ingredient also adds to this product's scent, giving it a gentle and very beautiful lemon aroma, which reminds me somewhat of lemon cheesecake.

This is a surprisingly effective cleanser because the different oils bond with each other as they dissolve into the skin, which helps to flush out dirt and grease trapped in pores, whilst moisturising your skin at the same time. The added ground almonds and adzuki beans help to unblock the pores even further, which can prevent blackheads and spots from occurring. 

So how exactly do you use it? Well that would depend on what works best for your skin. I found that I was able to use it effectively in two different ways, both of which left my face feeling velvety soft and deeply moisturised. 

Firstly, I found that this solid cleanser can be applied to dry skin and used as more of a moisturiser than a cleanser. Take the bar between your hands, extract a small amount of oil onto your palms, and then lather it gently onto your face. When used like this, I did find that my face felt a little greasy for the first 20-30 minutes. However, it wasn't a heavy greasy feeling, and once this had subsided, my face felt smooth and clean, whilst gently glowing. 

Secondly, Sweet Japanese Girl can be used in the shower. Just before you're about to get out, take the bar and very gently massage it into your wet face. Be careful not to get the bar too wet otherwise it'll become greasy and unbearable. Once you've applied as much as you want, wash the excess away under the water and then pat your face down once you get out. Again, my face felt slightly greasy, but this disappeared as soon as I'd dried myself off. Doing it this way means that you'll also get a gentle exfoliation from the Adzuki beans, which was wonderful.

In this instance, my complexion felt really moisturised and soft, and I didn't have to apply any facial moisturiser afterwards as it kept my face feeling smooth all day. Both methods left me with results I was very happy with, and it made it even better knowing that, as a solid product, this bar had no preservatives or 'nasties' clogging up my pores. 
I find this cleanser particularly good for blackheads and congested skin (I suffer a lot from the latter due to the stressful nature of my job). The tea tree oil helps to prevent the spots without drying skin out too much and the butters moisturise so well that it's not necessary to use a moisturiser afterwards. 

One of Sweet Japanese Girl's greatest attributes is that it's incredible value for money. This bar only weighed in at 40g, and cost a little over £5 when I first purchased it. However, it lasted me a good couple of months and this was with me using it twice a day. 

Ultimately, this cleanser has opened the door to many more solid possibilities, and I hope it's popularity will encourage Lush to release more products in this format. I would definitely buy this regularly if it became a permanent cleanser.

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Ground Almonds, Ground Aduki Beans, Lemon Oil, Juniperberry Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Citral, Limonene, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £6.95 each.
2016 Price: £6.50 each.  

Year Of Original Release: 2005. 


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