28 April 2013

Karma Kream Body Lotion

Why, oh why, oh why, have I only just discovered this lotion? I feel as if I have been missing out for far too long!

It was purely by accident that I first got hold of a tub of Karma Kream. I had won a huge amount of Lush stuff on eBay, and one such listing had come with a 225g pot, which was part of a set. It wasn't until I opened it up and gave it a sniff, that my brain put two and two together, and I realised that Karma Kream possessed the same scent as the Karma Perfume and Bubble Bar. Duh!

Every since then, it has become a staple product that goes everywhere with me, and has worked its way up to become one of my top ten Lush products of all time. 

As I said in my review of the Karma Bubble Bar, the Karma scent is both sweet and citrusy, and reminds me of those old-fashioned cola bottle sweets you used to get when you were little. Yet it is somehow quite a mature smelling fragrance, and one that wouldn't go amiss on people of all ages.

This is a gentle almond oil and cocoa butter body lotion, designed to carry the Karma fragrance and hold it on your body, whilst mosturising and softening the skin. It’s a rich, almond oil based cream,  blended with the finest Fair Trade cocoa butter to soften and balance dry skin while orange oil helps to brighten your skin tone and revitalise your body.

Karma Kream is initially quite a thick lotion, when taken from the pot, which might put off some people for fear of it being quite restrictive on the skin. However, the second you begin to massage it onto your body, it's surprising just how light and creamy it is. It dissolves into the skin fairly quickly, leaving you feeling refreshed and fragrant.

If anything, Karma Kream is the epitome of all Karma scented products; it softens the skin, it gives off a beautiful fragrance that lasts for hours and hours, it enriches your pores and moisturises your entire body. It's everything you could possibly want in a lotion, and more. 

If I was only allowed to use one Lush product ever again, this would definitely be a high contender for that top spot.

Quantitative Ingredients; Orange Flower Absolute, Almond Oil, Glycerine, Cocoa Butter, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Patchouli Oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Lavandin Oil, Pine Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Elemi Oil, Tincture of Benzoin, Cetearyl Alcohol, *Cinnamal, Citral, Geraniol, Citronellol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £13.95 for 225g.

Scent Family:
Bling Crosby Bubble Bar
Double Fast Luck Emotibomb
Karma Ballistic
Karma Bath Melt
Karma Bubble Bar
Karma Dusting Powder
Karma Komba Solid Shampoo Bar
Karma Kream
Karma Liquid Perfume
Karma Massage Bar
Karma Revamped Bubble Bar
Karma Shower Bomb
Karma Shower Gel
Karma Shower Jelly
Karma Soap
Karma Solid Perfume
Karma Sutra Bath Bomb
Lush Bath Bomb

26 April 2013

Snowcake Liquid Perfume

When I first began buying Lush stuff, I vowed never to buy any of their perfumes. Even though they're not expensive for the quality that you get, and they are much better quality than a lot of high street perfumes that get watered down and filled with synthetic ingredients, I still didn't want to even breach that aspect of Lush's rostrum. 

Lush stuff, although not ridiculously priced, is still a luxury item that a lot of people cannot afford. I'm lucky in that I have a job that pays enough for me to splash out on their products on a regular basis. However, you only have to put a handful of items in your basket before you've already racked up near enough £100. So if I start collecting the perfumes, I thought, that is going to double my monthly expenditure almost instantaneously.

However, fate took over when one day I logged onto the Lush website and saw six limited edition perfumes staring me in the face. The Comforter Perfume? Creamy Candy Perfume? Snowcake Perfume? It was just too much. I had to buy them all. 

As it happened, I only bought the Snowcake perfume because I had smelt the soap a week or two before and the scent had stuck with me enough to help me part with £30 of my hard-earned money. Looking back now, I am so glad I did.                                                                                                                                                              Sharing the same scent as the limited edition christmas soap, Snowcake is a unique perfume that leaves a lasting impression on both the wearer and passer-by. It is made up of a warm and sophisticated sweet smell of marzipan, intertwined with a spicy, fruity after-scent of tangerine. The irresistible marzipan scent is a combination of rose, cassis and benzoin, with the nuttiness moulded from rose absolute and citronellol. 
It's a perfume designed to comfort and cuddle cold bodies during the winter months, but one that I feel would work equally well as a light happy fragrance suitable for both spring and summer. It's a rich, decadent and unique aroma - one that I suspect would be very much a love/hate product for most people.  

The fragrance tends to last for about 3 hours on the skin, and much longer on clothes, although I will often get a sudden wave some 10 hours after the first appliance. Very little needs to be applied, so although this only comes in 30ml bottles, it will last quite a while if you use it sparingly. I've yet to determine any layers with this perfume, as I don't notice any change in scent as the day wears on. However, I don't necessarily think this is as a bad thing as the initial scent is gorgeous anyway. So why ruin it?
Fast becoming one of my favourite Lush scents, Snowcake is a must have for Lush fans. I only hope they bring it out as a limited edition again soon, so I can buy another bottle and stop worrying about running out.

Quantitative Ingredients: DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax Benzoin), Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena), Cassie Absolute (Acacia farnesiana), Benzyl Benzolate, Geraniol, Benzyl Cinnamate, Citronellol.  

Vegan?: Yes.

2013 Price: £26 for 30ml.

Scent Family:

21 April 2013

Porridge Soap

I received a Lush gift set a couple of years ago, and after excitedly ripping away the packaging, I was greeted with a lump of what can only be described as camel-brown coloured mud. It didn't strike me as something I would be overly keen on. However, I was instantly converted from the very first sniff. 

I read somewhere once where someone had described the scent of Porridge as 'a vanilla caramel concoction, dripping with maple syrup & treacle.' And this is  exactly how I would describe it. It doesn't smell anything like porridge, but it does release a scent that reminds you of homely, winter breakfasts, baked muffins, oatmeal cookies and orange juice.

Oats are one of the most widely-used ingredients in homemade skin care products, as well as being used for hundreds of years for all sorts of skin complaints. So it was only natural for Lush to include this wonderful gift of nature in a handful of their products. In Porridge, the oatmeal has been left as small pieces, which is used to help exfoliate the skin. And from experience, this works quite well. 
The first few times I used Porridge, it created a nice, creamy lather and the oatmeal pinheads gently exfoliated my skin. However, as many people have noted, the more you use this the more the oatmeal pieces come out. This means that the exfoliation gets rougher, which may not be in the interest of those with super-sensitive skin. 

This soap can definitely be harsh, and for those looking for a more gentle experience, may find this too aggressive on their skin. But If you don't have sensitive skin, you might really appreciate scrubbing all those dead skin cells off. It is also very moisturising - it contains both coconut and rapeseed oil, which leaves your skin feeling soft and luxurious. So even though it can be a little rough on your skin at times, it also contains elements that heal and replenish your skin afterwards. 

One negative aspect about this soap, and one of the reasons why it didn't receive full marks from me, is the prominence of oatmeal at the bottom of the bathtub or clustered around the plughole after use. I found that the smaller the piece of soap got, the more bits of oat would decorate the insides of my bath, which is unforgivable for those who want a simple bathing experience without having to clean up afterwards. 

Overall, it's a gorgeous fragrant soap that lathers up wonderfully and creates an abundance of creamy suds that moisturise your skin. It's also a great alternative for vegans who love the homely scent of Honey I washed the Kids, but cannot use it for obvious reasons. I just wish Lush weren't so overzealous with their use of oatmeal.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Propylene Glycol, Pinhead Oatmeal, Fresh Organic Orange Juice, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Perfume, Labdanum Resinoid, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, *Limonene.

2015 Reformulated Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Glycerine, Pinhead Oatmeal, Sorbitol, Fresh Organic Orange Juice, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Labdanum Resinoid, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £3.10 for 100g.

17 April 2013

Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

This product is a staple in my house, with both myself and three of my flatmates all having big jars of the stuff on the go at any one time. It's definitely a product that you either love or hate, and luckily I'm a proud member of the former group.  

Rub Rub Rub is packed full of mineral-rich sea salt and organic lemon juice, that both exfoliates the skin and cleanses the pores, leaving your skin feeling super soft and shiny. It's fragrance is a mixture of mimosa and orange flower absolutes, which leaves a unique, subtle smell on the skin all day.

Now I know what you're probably thinking - why would anyone rub salt and lemon on their body, when you've heard how much salt can dry out skin and hair, and the acidity of lemon can't be any better, surely? And let's not forget how excruciating it can be to put either ingredient anywhere near a cut or lesion.  

However, what is surprising about this product, is that it does the complete opposite of what you'd expect. My skin feels silky, smooth, and soft right out of the shower, every single time. It has a wonderful, immediate cooling effect, which is amazing in the summer when you're skin may be heated or irritable from the sun. 
Imagine coming off of the beach with dry, sea-damaged hair. The there's your dry pores caused by the sun taking that much-needed moisture that keeps your skin soft and supple. Slip into the shower and gently lather Rub Rub Rub all over and you'll feel instantly refreshed. Guaranteed.

Depending on the condition of your skin, there are lots of different ways you can use Rub Rub Rub. If, like me, you have fairly sensitive skin, you can rub this on your body under the shower and it gives gentle exfoliation without stripping your skin or irritating your body. 

If your skin is a little tougher, and you struggle with dry areas, you can scrub your body whilst it is dry and then pop in the shower to wash it off, reviving those tired pores and giving your skin a new lease of life. It’s also great as a scrub for tired feet.

All that salt also makes this perfect for washing your hair and adding volume as well. Much like Lush's Big Shampoo, Rub Rub Rub absorbs any unwanted oils and gently exfoliates, giving your hair a natural wash.  
Some people dislike this product because they say it reminds them of toilet cleaner, and I can definitely see how and why they've reached this conclusion. However, please do not be put off. It may not possess the sugary-sweet nature of The Comforter, nor the elegant floral scent of Tisty Tosty. However it does contain lots of nature's natural cleansers, and this leaves the skin smooth and refreshed without any of that synthetic nastiness. Another Lush product that does not leave my bathroom. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Fine Sea Salt, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Fresh Organic Lemon Juice, Water, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Jasmine Flower Infusion, Mimosa Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Lemon Oil, Lactic Acid, Lauryl Betaine, Limonene, Perfume, Colour 42090, Colour 45410.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £8.75 for 330g.

Scent Family:
17 Cherry Tree Lane Soap
Mother Of Pearl Bubbleroon
Mother Superior Bubble bar
Rub Rub Rub Naked Shower Scrub
Rub Rub Rub Salt Scrub
Rub Rub Rub Solid Scrub
Sakura Bath Bomb
Sakura Perfume
Seanik Solid Shampoo

16 April 2013

Badass Shower Gel / Ginger Shower Gel

Rarely am I disappointed by a Lush product, and rarely do I disagree with their choice of name. However, there is always a first, and this is the case with their 'Badass Gel'. Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of the ginger scent, so perhaps I'm going a little overboard with the negativity here, when maybe it comes down to my simple dislike of the smell. However, I really feel this product does not live up to it's 'badass' name tag, and in fact, I would go as far as to say that this product is just plain ol' bad. 

First impressions were good. The name 'Badass Gel' appealed to the rockstar in me and the beautiful cherry blossom pink gel laid reminiscent to the colour of Snow Fairy Shower Gel, Creamy Candy Bubble Bars and Rose Bubbleroon.   

With both rose water and fresh ginger root being prominent ingredients, I imagined a sweet, sophisticated floral scent mixed with an undertone of nuttiness from the ginger. I thought perhaps the jasmine absolute, juniper berry oil and geranium oil would created a multi-layered floral fragrance that lingered on your skin after a shower. 

Instead what I got, was what smelt like rose petals mixed with stale, muddy water and a faint hint of ginger. To top it all off, the gel itself was as thin as water and didn't lather up at all. 

At first, I thought perhaps I had bought a product that had gone stale. It did have a label telling me that it should have been used by June 2010, and when you're buying rare Lush products, this is definitely something you have to watch out for. 

However, Lush currently offer a ginger body lotion in their retro range, which holds the exact same smell as Badass. So although I might account the consistency of the gel to that of it's sell-by-date, I'm certain that the smell is what it is supposed to be. Which in my mind, is disgusting.

Never have I wanted to throw a Lush product away before now, and the only reason I have stopped myself, is the price I paid for this 500g bottle in the first place. 

If anyone has any experience or opinion on this product, I'd love to hear from you as I feel getting a fresh perspective might help me to understand why Lush thought this was a good idea to release, or why perhaps it was only available for a short bracket of time. 

Remember that one person's rubbish is another person's gold; in other words, what this is to me, might be the most amazingly smelling product to someone else. However, this is not a product I will venture near again, and not one I would recommend to anyone.

Quantitative Ingredients: Fresh Ginger Root Infusion (Zingiber officinale), Rose Water (Rosa centifolia), Sodium Alkyl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Fine Sea Salt, Cocamide MEA, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycol Cetearate, White WIne Vinegar(lovey), Lauryl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Mimosa Absolute (Mimosa tenuiflora), Geranium Oil (Pelargonium graveolens), Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum grandiflorum), Rose Otto (Rosa damascena), Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), Ginger Oil (Zingiber officinale), Tincture of Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Colour 18050, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2016 Price: £11.25 for 250g.
2017 Price: £11.25 for 250g.

Scent Family:
Badass Gel Shower Gel
Boo Bath Melt and Bubble Bar
Ginger Bath Oil
Ginger Body Lotion
Ginger Liquid Perfume
Lemon Days And Ginger Beer Bath Bomb
Sex N The Shower Emotibomb

14 April 2013

Video: My Bath Bomb Stash

Just like I promised - here's my first video blog, showing you all of the wonderful bath bombs I currently own.

If you own any others (which are vegan), and wish to sell/trade, please get it touch with me.

10 April 2013

Shave The Planet Shaving Cream

What Lush say about Shave the Planet: 'Scritch, scratch, scrape; every morning we attack our skin with sharp bits of metal – no wonder it gets red and sore! Most standard shaving creams might help your razor move more smoothly but do nothing to protect your poor skin from the traumas of the daily shave. Luckily, the Lush inventors have come up with some beautiful shaving creams that work in a different way; protecting against the scratchiness, softening stubborn bristles and moisturising the skin.'

In all honesty, looking at the way this product has been marketed, I'm guessing it's aimed more at the daily shaving routine of a man's, as oppose to a woman's. However, I know that Lush are not a company that would produce a product solely for one purpose. So I felt like I had to give it a go.
Despite shaving my legs for near on 12 years now (wow!), I still manage to scratch, scrape and slice my legs to pieces most times I put a razor near my skin. I've tried almost every style of shaving possible to improve the complexion of my legs, but to no avail. Whether I soak my legs in the bath first, dry shave them, use the razor gently or more rigorously, I still manage to cut my legs to pieces.

Shave the Planet is a shaving cream packed with many different ingredients, all aimed at helping you to have a sensuous, painless shave (I feel like I'm recreating a Gillette advert now!). Lush have added soothing bamboo infusion, antioxidant acai juice, organic wheat germ oil and vitamin rich pumpkin seed oil, all to help create a smooth, calm shave. This product may not have the most alluring of smells, but it definitely does it's job.

I tend to soak my legs in the bath for a while, and when I'm feeling ready, scoop out a small amount of STP and smother it all over my legs. I probably use about a level dessertspoon for each leg, so a large 225g pot normally lasts me about 4-6 weeks. Almost instantly, your skin feels taut and this makes it rather difficult to cut yourself. In fact, since I began using this cream a few months ago, I have not had a single shaving incident to date. 
What I love about this lotion is that it makes your skin feel instantly hydrated and silky, so would make the perfect accompaniment for anyone wanting to spruce up before a night out. It also leaves very little scent on your skin afterwards, so you are able to use your own choice of lotions and creams without the worry of scents clashing.

However, Shave The Planet is a rather thick lotion, and I found that it tends to clog up your razor while you're shaving. Between each sluice, I have to shake it quite vigorously under the water, or bang the razor on the side of the bath to remove the hairs. 

I also find that if you leave your hair growth too long, Shave The Planet doesn't work as well; It definitely does not like longer, more softer follicles of hair. So although it does its job very well, it does need to be used under the right conditions. 
It is a very gentle shaving cream, and one that leave your skin feeling fresh and clean. It doesn't leave any bumps or rashes after use, and for this reason, it will remain one of my Lush staples for a long time to come. It would be nice however, if Lush could come up with a vegan lotion that works better with longer hairs, and one that doesn't leave me unclogging my razor after every swish.

Quantitative Ingredients: Bamboo Stem Infusion, Shea Butter, Goji Berry Decoction, Glycerine, Water, Stearic Acid, Organic Acai Juice, Triethanolamine, Fresh Sugar Cane Juice, Lavender Oil, Fennel Oil, Rose Absolute, Cold Pressed Rosehip Oil, Organic Cold Pressed Wheatgerm Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Cupuacu Butter, Candelilla Wax, Cetearyl Alcohol, *Benzyl Salicylate, Isoeugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2017 Price: £10.50 for 225g

Year Of Original Release: ?

8 April 2013

Oatfix Fresh Face Mask

Working 12+ hours a day really takes it out on me, and the one aspect that I notice more than any other is the quality of my skin. Those 6am starts, with the quick showers and long commutes to work, really takes it out on my face, and it's not long before I'm looking pale and weathered - with big bags under my eyes and dry skin spots all over.

If it wasn't for my Lush face masks, I think I might have had to opt for plastic surgery by this stage. That's not to say that Lush face masks are the be-all and end-all of my health and beauty regime; I know that the quality of my skin is effected by the food that I eat and cosmetics I use. However, Lush's fresh masks enlighten even the most damaged of skins and leave you feeling like a million dollars. Really. 

Up until last month, I had only tried their Catastrophe Cosmetic Face Mask, and knowing that my skin really benefitted from using it, I felt there was no need to try any other. However, having gone into a Lush store on the whim, and smelt Oatfix, I just knew I had to buy it right there and then for fear I might start eating it in the shop. 

It smells absolutely divine, and is probably the one product I wish they would make edible (yes, more than Snow Fairy!). Made mostly of bananas and oatmeal, this face mask smells like a bowl of your favourite cereal. The bananas - a naturally oily fruit, are added to help the skin absorb the moisture and banish dryness. The oatmeal, ground almonds and kaolin bind the ingredients together and act as a very gentle scrub to lift dead skin away and leave the face looking brighter. A soft fragrance based on vanilla absolute finishes off this nourishing mask, with illipe butter to moisturise the skin and leave it looking and feeling super supple. 

This is a mask for dry skin, and even though I don't feel my skin is particularly dry, it makes my face feel invigorated and soft - rejuvenating the pores and bringing some colour back into my cheeks.

When comparing it to Catastrophe Cosmetic, it's not the easiest of masks to apply. The consistency means that you have to take a bit more time smearing it on your face. Whereas other face masks are wetter so you can apply it really easily, this one takes getting used to, and as you can see from my picture, it doesn't always cover your entire face with ease. Imagine cooking up a bowl of porridge and then trying to smear it across your face - it does take a little clever manoeuvring to apply it without having it all fall away onto the floor.

However, please do not let this put you off purchasing it. Despite it's flaws, it is an amazing product and does exactly what it says on the tub. It does make your skin feel smooth and refreshed; it does banish dry skin and redness; it does give your face a new lease of life. 
I use this maybe 1-2 times a week and I have noticed a real difference in the texture and consistency of my skin. My pores seem healthier and I hardly ever notice dry spots on my face anymore. Furthermore, it leaves your smelling of buttery oats, which isn't exactly a bad thing! 

Quantitative Ingredients: Glycerine, Fine Oatmeal, Fresh Organic Bananas, Water, Ground Almonds, Illipe Butter, Kaolin, Talc, Vanilla Pod, Sandalwood Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Coumarin, Benzyl Cinnamate, Linalool, Perfume, Gardenia Extract.