29 March 2013

Rehab Shampoo

Alongside Veganese, this was one of the first hair care products from Lush that I bought, simply because the name suggested exactly what my hair craved; Rehab.

I have been dying my hair since I was 16, initially starting out as a fashion statement (and I use the term 'fashion' very lightly as if you were to see pictures of me at that age, I was far from fashionable). What started out as black, quickly became red, blonde, blonder, even blonder, and now finally a more natural chestnut brown. 

As well as destroying my hair with excess ammonia, I was also very careless with all other aspects of my hair care. When I was young, I was often quite aggressive when brushing my hair, leaving my brush with a disturbing amount of broken ends. Then when I began bleaching my hair blonde, I would style it with gels and sprays that would sit in my hair all day, drying out my scalp and weakening my hair. 

When I first purchased this shampoo two years ago, my hair was screaming out for some TLC. And I knew if I didn't start protecting and looking after my maine, I was going to end up with a very parched, brittle head of hair for the rest of my life.

What first attracted me to Rehab, was it's smell and ingredients list; fresh papaya juice, pineapple juice, kiwi juice and mango juice, alongside essential oils such as Jojoba, olive oil, Peppermint, Rosemary, Juniper berry and Lavender. It sounds almost good enough to drink!

But as per usual, Lush haven't thrown these ingredients together to make a product that merely smells good. Each of these ingredients possess qualities that improve the consistency and health of your hair; seaweed to soften, olive oil to strengthen, jojoba oil and rosemary to add shine without making it look greasy, juniper and mint to soothe the scalp and encourage hair growth. 

As well as the gorgeous smell, the tropical fruit also plays a part in improving the well-being of your locks. The kiwi and mango have been included for their endless number of nutritious minerals and vitamins, and papaya and pineapple contain papain, a natural enzyme, which breaks down dead skin cells and helps to clean.

This shampoo needs a little shake before being used, as it tends to separate rather easily if left. However, one great aspect about Rehab is how little you need to use each time. My hair is rather long, sitting roughly 15cm (6in) below my shoulder line, and I tend to use no more than a small marble's worth of shampoo each time. 

It lathers up really well and washes out just as easily. Unfortunately, Lush recommend that you use this product alongside Retread, to get the best results. However, Retread contains yoghurt, which alienates us vegans from being able to use it!

When using it with Veganese, I noticed the following; 

Firstly, it strengthened my hair - It definitely lost some of it's 'wispy' split ends and looked noticeably thicker. Secondly, it did help my hair to feel moisturised and gave it a healthy shine. Thirdly, it left my hair smelling delicious; I received many compliments from strangers about the 'perfume' I was wearing. Lastly, the product is long lasting. As you only need a small amount each time, a 500g bottle could last you upwards of 6-12 months. Result!

However, I did find that when used regularly, it stripped my hair of it's dyed colour, which left it looking rather dull and boring. 

Overall, it's not a bad product and it does have a lot of redeeming qualities. However, in order for it to work it's magic, I feel that you'd probably need to use it alongside Retread, and as I've already found a dream pairing in Veganese and Cynthia Sylvia Stout, I'll be sticking to what I know produces amazing results.

Quantitative Ingredients; Sodium Alkyl Sulfate, Carrageenan Extract, Water, Ammonium Laureth Sulphate, Cocamide MEA, Perfume, Freshly Juiced Papaya, Propylene Glycol, Fresh Pineapple Juice, Fine Sea Salt, Fresh Kiwi Juice, Fresh Mango Juice, Organic Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Almond Oil, Lavender Oil, Peppermint Oil, Rosemary Oil, Juniperberry Oil, *Limonene, *Linalool, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

23 March 2013

My Current Lush Collection

I have been collecting Lush stuff since about September last year, so I recognise the fact that I have a rather large amount for such a short space of time. I hope that you guys will enjoy seeing my collection, and I am more than happy to speak to anyone about individual products or questions regarding my stash.

I do have an extensive collection, and there may be those that question how much of this will go to waste due to short expiry dates and spoilage. However, I maintain a strict inventory and I do use a loooooooot of products on a daily/weekly basis. So far, not one item has been wasted.

This is about 95% of my collection, as I have since acquired another few products, including Avowash and B-electro shower gels, 3-4 different soaps from New Zealand, Snake Oil Scalp treatment and Dirty Styling Gel, Under the Covers Massage Bar, Sweet Lips Sugar Scrub, Caca Marron Henna Dye and two more Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bars. Not to mention the Valentine's 'Heart of Gold' Gift set that I got from my boyfriend.

It may be difficult to see everything that I own, so keep your eyes peeled as I'm going to do weekly video blogs taking you through different groups of my collection!


16 March 2013

Happy Hippy Shower Gel

When I first got into Lush, this shower gel was absolutely everywhere. I remember receiving a total of four different gift sets across the year, and there was a bottle of this in each one. This is the ultimate gel for waking you up in the morning or for keeping you up all night. 

What is probably their biggest selling shower gel, Happy Hippy is a sweet, citrus grapefruit-scented shower companion that offers wafts of fruity goodness throughout the day. Once you've applied this in the shower or bath, the wonderful aroma will linger on your skin - giving off bursts of natural goodness that'll cheer you up to no end. 

Happy Hippy is an uplifting and refreshing grapefruit shower gel. This is due to the fact that Lush use not only the juice from the fruit, but the peel and added grapefruit oil as well. Not only this, but they have chosen to use the pink grapefruit variety which is sweeter than it's red and white counterparts - so offers a slightly stronger fragrance. 

This shower gel is probably one of Lush's zestiest offerings, although it is not as bitter as I was expecting it to be given that it contains so much grapefruit. It has a mild sweetness that permeates your skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and rehydrated, which is a god-send after a day out in the scorching sun (not that we British get the chance to experience that very often).

It's fruitiness lifts your mood and is great for those early mornings when you're tired, grumpy and in need of a little boost. It lathers up really well so you don't need to use a lot each time, and a small bottle, which will only set you back £3.75, lasts a good 1-2 months.                                                                              Like most of their shower gels, Lush claim that you can use this in your hair as well. I'm unsure whether it has any merits as a shampoo, but I can imagine it would leave your locks smelling delicious.
This is not a product I would necessarily choose to buy, as I tend to stock up on the smaller bottles when my relatives buy me gift sets, but it definitely has a natural scent that beats any of the synthetic ones you get in supermarkets.  

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice, Grapefruit Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Grapefruit Oil, Bergamot Oil, Frankincense Oil, Lactic Acid, Limonene, Perfume, Methylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

Price: £3.75 for 100g, £7.50 for 250g, £11.95 for 500g.

Scent Family:
Happy Hippy Naked Shower Gel

14 March 2013

Caca Marron

Caca Marron Henna, or as Lush refer to it as, ' the 'no shit hair colour',  is definitely not something for the faint hearted. I don't mind smothering lotions and potions and gels all over my body, or clambering into baths of every colour and smell - after all, the worst I'd most likely get is a rash were my body to reject a product. 

However, I have always harvested fears over losing my hair should one of my hair-dying sessions go wrong. So when I was presented with a heavy block, of what looked like dried mud, and told that I was to put it on my hair, I began to get nervous. 

Being a vegan, it is very difficult to find hair colour that it certified vegan, so I am very limited to the colours I can use. And as I said in one of my first blog entries, I am all for choosing a natural alternative to that of a manufactured product. So I had no choice but to try Lush's natural hair dyes. 

A typical block is priced at £7.50, and the lady in the shop told me that for my hair length (just past my shoulders), I would only need to use half. So if this product were to work, it would actually work out cheaper than the big branded ones in Boots or Superdrug.

The first step is to dissolve the henna in hot water, and unlike chocolate, henna isn't as keen to dissolve quickly, so it took me a good 10 minutes to reduce the block down to a stodgy goo.

Next I was told to smear on some Ultrabalm to stop the henna staining my forehead or ears. As it happened, I didn't have to worry about staining, as the henna takes quite a while to 'work it's magic' so I had plenty of time to remove any stray gunk before it tainted my skin. 

Then for the messy bit! My sister donned the thick gloves that the sales assistant gave me, and began to smear my head with, what looked like, the product of a heavy drinking session and a bad curry (if you get my gist!). 

It took her about 20 minutes to make sure my entire scalp of hair was ladened with the stuff, and a further few minutes to 'lock' my hair inside a carrier bag so the henna could do it's magic. 

Unlike other hair dyes, you have somewhat control over the colour your hair ends up as. I was told that if I left my hair down and uncovered, the henna would go a rich, dark brown; If I covered my hair and kept it warm, my hair would come out with a red streak. I chose the latter.

Then for the not-so-fun bit. 

On Lush's site, they claim that the henna needs to be left on for between 1-4 hours, which is a long time to sit with a head full of dirt. What makes it worse is that the henna starts to dry, which means it gets heavier, the longer you leave it on. In the end, I managed to withstand just under 3 hours, before I sought solace under a shower nozzle. 

It took quite a while to remove the henna from my head, and I had to use a lot of shampoo and conditioner to make my hair feel somewhat normal again. 

Once my hair had dried, I could definitely see a much deeper brown throughout, and the redness looked beautiful in the light. Three weeks on, and my hair has retained it's colour and still looks as vibrant as it did straight after I dyed it.

The downside to using henna is that I suspect it's rather difficult to dye your own hair without making a mess. I also found that my hair was really rough for about a week after, and I had to use a large surplus of conditioner to bring it back to it's normal state.

Overall, it was definitely a fun experiment, and one that has clear advantages to shop-brought alternatives. I will definitely use the other half of my block in a couple of weeks time and see if it's any easier to use. However, I don't know if it's something that I'll use regularly to dye my hair. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Red Henna, Cocoa Butter, Indigo Herb, Ground Coffee, Fresh Organic Lemon Juice, Irish Moss Powder, Clove Bud Oil, Citral, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

Price: £9.25 for 325g.

11 March 2013

Secret Garden Bath Bomb

Secret Garden is one of Lush's limited edition bath bombs, first released as part of their Mother's Day range in 2013. Priced at a measly £2.50, it is one of Lush's cheapest products. However, please do not assume that this bath bomb is any less spectacular than it's dearer cousins. 

This is definitely one of those products for those who love a good floral scent, in particular one that has a gorgeous natural smell unlike any of Lush's other flower-dominated fragrances. The beautiful fragrance comes from a blend of rose absolute, sweet wild orange and rosewood oils - giving a scent that’s heady and floral but grounded with earthy tones as well. It smells very much like a freshly picked bunch of flowers. 
Unlike Tisty Tosty, this scent in not so poignant, so those worried about being too overpowered by the rose fragrance, should find this rather pleasant. Don't get me wrong, it is a strong aroma, but there's something about the sweetness of the orange oil that stops it being too overpowering. 

What is also great about this product, is it's design. Most of Lush's products have a certain amount of appeal that makes it very difficult to leave the shop without having a huge hole in your wallet afterwards. However, Secret Garden is definitely one of their most alluring products to date; it's vibrant green and pink shell is very easy to spot in a sea of bath bombs and bubbles bars, so it's definitely eye-catching.

This never before seen bath bomb may be small, but it certainly has a lot to offer. On hitting the water, this bomb immediately begins to spew out a rich green foam speckled with elements of bubblegum pink. However, despite it's quick delivery, this bath bomb takes a long time to dissolve ( I counted almost 15 minutes), which gives you plenty of time to get yourself settled in the bath to watch the finale.

Just when you think this bath bomb couldn't offer anymore, it begins to ebb out more yellow and green foam before splitting open and filling the bath tub with gorgeous pieces of actual flower. It is this personal touch that really makes this experience worth while, and I can why this would make a very special mother's day gift. 

While 'debris-phobic' consumers have just run a mile, I should point out that the  small petals are few and far between and they don't bother you at all in the shower. Following on from this, they are very easy to wash away and won't clog up your plughole. 

Once the bath bomb has fully dissolved, it turns the water a pretty shade of purple and offers a wonderful, soft and very moisturising experience. Although I don't claim to be a huge fan of floral fragrances, this is actually one of my favourite ones from Lush and I'll always pick up a few of these beauties when they come out. 

Quantitative Ingredients; Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Rose Absolute, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Rosewood Oil, Yellow Rosebuds, Blue Mallow Flowers, Raspberry petals, Red Cornfolwers, Cream of Tartar, Lauryl Betaine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Gardenia Extract, Geraniol, Citronellol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, *Linalool, *Limonene, Colour 19140, Colour 42090, Colour 45410

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £2.95 each.
2017 Price: £3.50 each.

Scent Family:?

Year Of Original Release: 2013.

8 March 2013

Twilight Shower Gel

I began collecting Lush stuff a few months before the Christmas 2012 range came into the shops, and initially it was their shower gels that I was most interested in collecting. It might seem like a strange interest, given that Lush are probably best known for their bath bombs, not to mention the fact that they have so many amazing products on offer. However, there's something alluring and incredibly sexy about those colourful little bottles full of weird and wonderful smells; it reminds me a little bit of the BFG and his bottles of dreams.

So when I first purchased a small bottle of Twilight Shower Gel, I initially bought it because it was another product to add to my collection. On sniffing it when it arrived, I remember thinking that it smelt alright, although I have never been a fan of lavender smelling cosmetics, so I wasn't overly keen. However, that all changed when I used it for the first time last week. I was amazed at how much I loved it!

Lush state that this shower gel contains lavender infusion and essential oil to calm and relax both the mind and the skin. This is coupled with tonka to add notes of vanilla and fruit to it's scent, and benzoin to give it a sweet balsamic quality. I don't know whether it's the tonka or the benzoin that did it for me, but something in this gel turned it from what could have been a typical lavender smelling bath product, to a magnificent shower experience.

Whereas most lavender products are often very harsh smelling to me, Twilight has a silky sweet overtone which dampens the lavender smell slightly and gives it a gorgeous sweet smelling scent. In fact, ever since I have started using this gel, I have been haunted by the knowledge that I have smelt something like this before, when I was a child, in a local sweet shop.

Despite what other reviews have said, this shower gel did not dry out or irritate my skin in anyway. In fact, since I began using this, I have noticed a vast improvement in the quality of the skin on my legs. They have managed to keep both smooth and supple throughout the cold weather, without the use of other potions and lotions. 

The only complaint I have about this shower gel, is when comparing it to other gels in the Lush range, it doesn't lather up as easily or as much as others do. This means that I often have to use more of the product than I would if it was, say, Snow Fairy.

On their site, Lush state that 'the period between sundown and nightfall is often called the blue hour, because of its distinctive ambient light.' They have tried to recreate this moment by turning this gel into a rich, deep blue purple shower gel, with a twinkling of stars added in the form of silver glitter. 

Although I wouldn't say it portrays this vision very well, it is still an extremely gorgeous looking gel, and one that works as a perfect companion on a bitter, cold night.

I'm so glad I bought a large 500g bottle when it was featured in the after-Christmas sale, as I'd be disheartened if I knew I had to wait a whole 12 months before I could get my hands on anymore.

Ingredients: Quantitative Ingredients, Lavender Flower Infusion, Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Perfume, Lactic Acid, Lavender Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Tonka Absolute, Ylang Ylang Oil, Linalool, Colour 17200, Colour 42090, Methylparaben, Snowflake Lustre

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £11.25 for 250g.
2015 Price: £10.25 for 250g.
2016 Price: £11.00 for 250g.
2017 Price: £11.00 for 250g.

Scent Family:
FUN With A Twist
Luxury Pud Bath Bomb
Mum In A Spin Bubble Spinner
Sleepy Body Lotion
Sleepy Hand Cream
Sleepy Shower Bomb
Twilight Bath Bomb
Twilight Liquid Perfume
Twilight Shower Gel
Twilight Shower Jelly
Twilight Solid Perfume
Twilight Sparkle Jar