30 January 2013

So White Bath Bomb

Studies of us as a consumer, have shown that in order for somebody to want to purchase something, there must be a strong attraction that compels us to part with our money. You only have to walk into a supermarket, and marvel at the row-upon-row of seemingly similar products, to know that we, as a species, are in constant battle over what we should buy, and from where, and from whom. 

Although the majority of us would probably deny this, there is an instinctual notion that makes us want to choose the attractive over the repellent, the variegated over the dreary. You only have to look at something as large as the sale of the Iphone, to know that a lot of us would rather choose something for it's aesthetic value than it's functionality. 

So what's you point? I hear you mutter. Well you only have to look at Lush's So White, to know that this is a product that 'breaks the mold' per-say. For a company that no doubt makes a lot of sales from people being drawn into their shops due to their impressive menage of colours and smells, this is a product that steps away from that. It's boring, it's white, it's everything you don't expect from a lush product. 

So the question is, is it actually any good? Well yes, actually.

As per usual, Lush have added a little something new to this Christmas favourite. Inspired by Holi, the traditional Indian festival in which people throw colored powders at one another to celebrate the end of winter, this year's So White dissolves to reveal a bright pink center and an enticing appley fragrance. 

It's not the most impressive of bath bombs to look at but it does fill your tub with a layer of satin-smelling appley suds that help to moisturise your skin as you relax. The soft, fruity, floral scent that fill your bathroom as it dissolves, is thanks to a blend of bergamot oil, neroli oil and orange flower absolute. This universal smell means that this bath bomb works wonders throughout the depressingly cold nights as well as the summery evenings. 

It is nowhere near my favourite bath bomb, but it's unique scent, which reminds me of candy apples with a hint of floral and musk, stays on your skin for hours afterwards. It's a great product for those Lushies who dislike bath bombs that stain the tub or fill the water with anything other than bubbles. 

So White keeps making an appearance year after year, which tells you just how popular a product it is. I always forget how much I enjoy this one but I'm glad I have a few saved up to last me throughout the year. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena), Orange Blossom Absolute (Citrus Aurantium dulcis), Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), Cocamide DEA, Lauryl Betaine, Limonene, Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £3.50 each.
2015 Price: £3.65 each.

Scent Family:
Once Upon A Time Body Lotion
Once Upon A Time Naked Body Lotion
Santa's Belly Jelly
So White Bath Bomb
So White Body Spray
So White New 2016 Edition Bath Bomb
So White Liquid Perfume
So White Shower Gel

26 January 2013

Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask

Catastrophe Cosmetic was the very first Lush product I ever bought. Enticed into the shop by the array of gorgeous smells and colourful decor, I was immediately drawn to the multicoloured pots of 'goo' sitting on ice. One in particular, that possessed a gorgeous shade of lavender, was Catastrophe Cosmetic.

Packed full of blueberries, this fresh face mask combines Irish moss gel to soften the skin, almond oil to moisturise and a mixture of rose absolute and chamomile essential oils to soothe away any irritation. This amazing product gives your skin a deep cleanse and rids your pores of any impurities or grease-prone areas. 

I keep this face mask in the fridge as this prolongs its shelf life, and tend to use it once or twice a week to rejuvenate my skin. To use, I smear it all over my weary face and leave it on for about 15 minutes to do its magic. Then I either wash it off with warm water or clamber into the bath and let it fall off under the surface.

This vitamin and mineral-packed face mask tones, soothes and moisturises my skin like no other face mask. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and refreshed, and as it's stored in the fridge, provides cool relief on a hot, summer's day.

The mask itself has a pleasant aroma: quite sweet and fruity, and the texture is thick and contains pieces of real blueberries. Unfortunately, this latter point might not work to the product's advantage as the pieces of blueberries seem to get stuck in the plug hole. 

However, once the product is on, it dries within around five minutes, and leaves your skin feeling calm and immediately rehydrated once removed. And unlike most face masks I have tried before, it doesn't dry your skin out or produce an unpleasant tightening whilst it's on.

Given that Lush only have three vegan face masks, I'm not exactly spoilt for choice. However, this is definitely my favourite one yet. It gives my face a natural glow without stripping my complexion of it's natural oils and I will continue to use to improve the condition of my skin. 

What is your favourite Lush face mask?

Quantitative Ingredients: Calamine Powder, Talc, Irish Moss Infusion (Chondrus crispus), Fresh Blueberries (Vaccinium myrtillus), Glycerine, Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Chamomile Oil (Anthemis nobilis), Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis),Limonene, Perfume, Colour 18050.

Vegan?: Yes.

Price: £6.50

23 January 2013

Veganese Conditioner

Since I was 16, I have being dyeing my hair a whole array of weird and wonderful colours. Over the years this has put a lot of stress on my hair, and at times, my hair has often felt and looked damaged. Aside from not putting my hair through the stress of dyeing it, the only other option is to find hair products that counteract my problem and keep my hair shiny and soft. This is where Veganese comes in. 

I have always been a little wary of Lush conditioners and shampoos, partly because I always saw them as being rather expensive, and partly due to an experience many years ago that turned my hair into a horrible, dry mess that took weeks to fully wash out. At the time I thought that my locks would never recover, which was a scary experience. 

However, when I began investing my time and money into trying every Lush product, I knew that I'd have to bite the bullet and trial the hair-care range as well. So I jumped into the deep end and purchased a 500ml bottle of Veganese to start me off.

Veganese is a light conditioner that uses agar seaweed to soften hair, lemon juice to give your hair a natural looking shine, and lemon oil that produces a beautiful citrus fragrance that lingers in your hair all day. A combination of lavender and rosemary in this conditioner also helps to eliminate itchiness and dry skin if, like me, you occasionally suffer from a problematic scalp.

One of the first things I noticed about the conditioner upon opening the bottle, was the fresh lemon scent, and this is something that permeates your hair all day. I can often still smell it when I go to bed after a 16-hour work day, which is lovely. What I like about this scent is that it's a very natural one - it really does smell as if you've rubbed fresh lemons in your hair - none of the synthetic nonsense you'd often expect with cosmetics.  

Once my hair had fully dried, I began to notice a beautiful, glossy shine that I hadn't seen for a very long time. Not only did it soothe my scalp but helped my hair feel more manageable and look better. With multiple uses, my hair only improved and I was able to wear it down without straightening it - something I have never been able to do. 

My hair can often suffer an attack of the Frizz as well, and I have found that Veganese is amazing at keeping your hair under control. For the first time in years, I can wear my hair down after a simple wash, without having to straighten it first.

I was a little skeptical when I initially put it in my hair as it didn't feel very conditioning, and even when I washed it out, my hair didn't feel as soft or repaired as I was hoping for. However, it didn't take me long to realise that this was due to the wrong choice of shampoo, not the conditioner itself. A quick change of this and I found my hair improved dramatically. 

The only downside of this conditioner, is the fact that it's consistency is rather thin, and in order for me to really repair and condition my hair, I have to use more than I would normally do. This doesn't bother me so much but I find that a 500g bottle will only last me about 4-5 weeks, making it a rather expensive investment. 

I do need to point out that my hair falls into the fine to normal bracket, so I can't comment on how this conditioner works with heavier, thicker hair. However, this product is perfect for my hair and has become one of my most used products.

Despite it needing replacement every month, Veganese is now the only conditioner I use on my hair. Whereas you would expect any hair care product to become used to your locks and not work as well as it previously, I have yet to notice this change and my hair continues to look and smell beautiful. This is now a staple product in my house.

Quantitative Ingredients: Lavender Flower Infusion, Rosemary Infusion, Agar Agar Gel, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Cetrimonium Bromide, Lemon Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Fresh Organic Lemon Juice, *Citral, *Limonene, Perfume, Methylparaben

Vegan?: Yes.

Price: £4.50 for 100g, £8.95 for 250g, £14.25 for 500g.

21 January 2013

Candy Mountain Bubble Bar

I feel I should apologise in advance for my next few reviews, as I realise that a large majority of them are going to be about products that are no longer in production at Lush stores or online, and to some people, this may seem rather pointless. However, given how close it is to Christmas, a lot of these products can still be snapped up on eBay. So if you like the sound of them, don't hesitate to seek them out and buy 'em up while you still can. (I'm a great advocate, right?)

So today's review is for one of my favourite Christmas products, the Candy Mountain Bubble Bar. This product is a prominent part of the seasonal range, and Lush make it even more magical by changing it's look almost every year. This year (2012) they chose to revamp it's image once again, and release a gorgeous pink and green cone - a design which I think is their best design yet. I am so glad I found it when I did; anything green and I'm all over it like a rash.

With a sugary-sweet vanilla and candyfloss smell, this product would appeal to anyone with a sweet-tooth and a nose for sugar. It smells absolutely divine. Those that love both the Creamy Candy Bar and The Comforter Bubble Bar, will no doubt love this seasonal special. Although these two don't share it's scent, they are just as gorgeous and sugary-sweet as this product, and have the added bonus or being available all year round. 

This gorgeous looking bar froths up a treat as it hits the hot water, filling your bath with light, fluffy bubbles that leave your skin feeling beautifully soft. Once dissolved, it turns the water into a luxurious silky broth that fully hydrates your skin and leaves it satin-soft and cleansed. Plus, the fragrance lasts on the body for several hours which I love!

Candy Mountain is a bargain at £2.45, especially as it's recommended that you use it for two baths. However, given that I like to go 'all out' with my baths, I used it all at once and was amazed at the results. This bubble bar could easily offer you two equally amazing baths, perhaps even three if you were to try.   

As many people have said before me, the only downside to this bar is that it is a Christmas special, meaning there are only 6-8 weeks of the year in which you have time to stock up your collection. However, perhaps it is this limited ability that makes it all the more appealing when it does show it's face.

I make sure that I have a handful of these kept back before the seasonal period is over so I can enjoy these all year round. I suggest that if you've yet to try these, you keep your eyes peeled and try them as soon as the opportunity arises. You won't be disappointed. 

Quantitative Ingredients; Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Cocamide DEA, Titanium Dioxide, Vanilla Absolute, Methyl Lonone, Colour 45410, Colour 17200

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £2.75 each.
2015 Price: £2.95 each.

Scent Family:
Bunny Bubble Bar
Candy Cane Bubble Bar
Candy Floss Showder
Candy Mountain Bubble Bar
Close To You Massage Bar
Creamy Candy Bubble Bar
Creamy Candy Liquid Perfume
Rock Star Soap

18 January 2013

Skullduggery Bath Bomb

Back when I would buy anything and everything Lush, even if it meant that the products weren't always in the greatest condition, I managed to acquire a couple of these rather unique looking bath bombs. Unfortunately, my initial impression wasn't all that impressive and I wrote off these seasonal beauties as a bad experience.

However, armed with a handful of fresh Skullduggery Bath Bombs, I was much more optimistic about trying them out, and I wasn't disappointed. These bath bombs are probably one of the cutest ones I have seen released from Lush, despite the slight morbidity of its design. While the original design saw the inclusion of red sequin hearts for the eyes, the newer editions have what looks like candy love hearts in their place.  

Depending on your mindset, you may feel as if this feature gives the skull a blood-red menacing glare, or as I do - a sweet, playful take on the Mexican sugar skull. Whatever your opinion, this Calacas scented beauty is a great inclusion to Lush's vast and impressive array of bath bombs.

The initial smell is a tame, zesty but fruity fragrance that is quite soft and not as overpowering as some of Lush's other products. Containing a lime and neroli  to give this ballistic its distinctive fragrance, this ballistic also contains olibanum (also known as frankincense resinoid), which helps the citrusy smell stay on your skin for longer, and that it does. 

Apparently neroli oil is one of the few essential oils to be scientifically proven to increase serotonin production - a hormone that regulates your mood, supports healthy sleeping patterns and regulates intestinal movements. If my relaxed and joyful mood afterwards was anything to go on, I'd say that this ingredient works.

When you pop one of these in the bath, it begins to bubble and froth in the water - spewing out a thick trail of white foam. Surprisingly, this bath bomb is a slow dissolver, and a quiet one to boot, so it took close to fifteen minutes for the whole product to fully dissolve, leaving behind a colourless bath but one with puddles of the white foam on the surface.

Once fully dissolved, the smell isn't very potent, which for those of you that are deterred from overwhelming smells, is rather pleasant. For me, who loves strong, zesty fragrances, I would have opted for something a little stronger, but it was still strong enough that I could enjoy this fragrance throughout the whole experience.

This bath bomb left my skin feeling hydrated and soft, and even helped to heal some of the cat scratches that I had picked up the previous evening. It was very relaxing and didn't leave any unwanted stains once the water had been emptied. Furthermore, the smell lingered on my skin for quite a while after initial use, even though it dispersed very quickly when I was in the bath.

Despite this, I appreciated the fact that this ballistic produced a fair amount of bubbles in the water, something you wouldn't expect a bath bomb. I would definitely be interested in trying a fresh one of these, and I only hope that Lush bring them back at some point for me to do just that.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lime Oil, Olibanum Resinoid, Neroli Oil, Lauryl Betaine, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Salicylate, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Pink Heart Confetti.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £3.75 each.

Scent Family:
Calacas Shower Gel
Calacas Shower Jelly
Calacas/Day of The Dead Perfume
Lady Catrina Soap
Man In The Moon Bubble Bar
Monsters' Ball Bath Bomb
Skullduggery Ballistic

5 January 2013

Father Christmas Bath Bomb (Old)

For my first review, I couldn't think of anything better than to start with one my favourite bath bombs; the Father Christmas. This is a limited edition Christmas product so is only available for a short period of time. However, as one of their most popular seasonal ballistics, this has made an appearance for the last couple of years and will no doubt be making further appearances in future ranges.

At first glance, I thought this bath bomb looked almost creepy, with the eyeless sockets of Santa staring up at me as I entered the shop. However, the sweet, citrusy smell drew me in immediately and I purchased one knowing little else about the product. With a shot of brandy to give it that festive appeal, and a light scent of both vanilla and mandarin, this bath bomb is a treat for all those wanting to find solace in a hot bath at the end of a long day.

The second I popped this into the water, it began to work it's magic. The bath bomb immediately began to fizz, churning out a beautiful red and green froth that quickly spread and turned the water into a beautiful, lime green. This was coupled with a thin layer of red glitter that ebbed throughout the bath water and added that extra special touch. What I loved about the effect it created in the water, was that it was rather unexpected. From the outside, this pale pink and white ballistic doesn't look all that special, so to get this effect in the water was an added bonus. Very Christmassy indeed!

The bath bomb is a sweet but sensual product that leaves your skin feeling super soft and invigorated. Although it doesn't produce any bubbles, the orange oil leaves your skin soft and fragrant. This is one of those ballistics that actually does leave your skin smoother and more hydrated when you exit the bath. Furthermore, the beautiful uplifting fragrance stays with you throughout your entire experience so you can indulge for as long as you want.

The only downside to this bomb is that you may leave the bath with traces of red glitter all over your body. This didn't bother me at all but I suggest those of you that would rather not 'sparkle like a Twilight vampire', should skim the floating glitter away before getting in.

Overall, I consider Father Christmas to be one of the most underrated bath bombs that Lush offer. Most people I've spoken to will rave about many of the other seasonal products, but will admit to having not tried this due to it's lack of appeal from the outside. However, I would consider this to be one of my favourite all-time bath bombs and will try to stock up next year so they can keep my company across the year. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Mandarin Oil, Bergamot Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamide DEA, Lauryl Betaine, *Limonene, *Linalool, Gardenia Extract, Colour 19140, Colour 42090, Colour 14700, Red Glitter

Vegan?: Yes.

2013 Price: £3.50 each.

1 January 2013

Forgive me father for I have sinned...

I'm not much for religion but I feel it's an apt title for what I'm about to confess.

For the past couple of months I have been in complete denial about a certain situation that has spiralled into my life and reaped beautiful, sweet havoc on my bank account.

I have shaken my head when my family and friends try to broach the subject, I have flat out refused to acknowledge its existence when the postman makes a quip in the early mornings, and it's even gotten to the stage where I'm having arguments with myself over 'that which should not be named'.

But right here, right now, I am going to reveal my dirty little secret to the world;

I am a full blown Lushie!!

For those that are unfamiliar with this expression, you'll be relieved to know that I have not just admitted to being over zealous with my drinking habits. 


What I have just admitted to myself, and to the world it seems, is that I have acquired a rather expensive obsession with British-born company, Lush, who make fresh cosmetics that are to die for (well not quite that extreme!).

I have purchased so much Lush stuff over the past couple of months that I've had to invest in extra tall, extra wide bookshelves just to store all of my collection!

So I thought it wise to start a blog that can not only document my Lush experiences and act as a platform to share my thoughts and feelings about new and retro products, but also help me to discover like-minded people to beg, borrow, steal, swap and natter to (as my flatmates are finding it rather tiresome). 

So if you love Lush, have a blog you'd like me to read, or interested in contributing to my blog, get in touch. I promise I won't bite.*

*I cannot guarantee this.