30 May 2013

Dr. Peppermint Solid Shampoo Bar

I ordered this from the Lush site when I was compiling one of my crazy and expensive purges, and it wasn't until it arrived that I felt a little silly in doing so. I had initially placed it in my basket as it was part of their retro range, and I was unsure how much longer it would be available to buy. When it arrived, I was immediately put off by the smell - mint. Now you may be thinking - why would you buy a product that has mint in it's name when you don't like mint smelling things? Truth be told, I don't dislike mint at all, I'm just a little indifferent towards it. However, I'm not very keen on strong smelling mint products, and this shampoo bar has a very potent smell.

Despite this, I was actually pleasantly surprised when using it for the first time, to discover that it doesn't smell very strong when applied to your head. For those who bought it for the scent, this may be a detrimental aspect of the bar, but for me it's a definite positive. 

This shampoo bar claims to wake up dull and boring hair, as well as possess properties that may help to stimulate new growth. Thinning hair is natural as we get older but, while we’ll never be able to stop the inevitable, there are a few things we can do to try and hold back the hands of time a little longer. Dr Peppermint uses the special properties of stimulating menthol to wake up those lazy hair follicles and get them back to work.

That tingling sensation you feel with Dr Peppermint is actually an increase in blood flow to all the little capillaries that supply your hair follicles with the fuel they need to make new hair. 

In it's favour, my head of hair did feel fractionally fuller after using this bar a few times, but as with all of the solid hair care products I have used so far, this bar did not agree with my locks. It dried out my hair and left me with patches of flaky scalp that I have never experienced in my life before. In spite of this, I can definitely see it as a bargain product as you need very little of it with each use.
Rub the bar between your hands with water, work the lather gently and thoroughly into wet hair, then rinse away. One light lather is enough, and you only need to work up the tiniest amount of 'froth' and it'll coat your entire head with a soft, foamy creme. I can see this bar lasting 2-4 months, depending on how often you wash your hair. And for a measly £6.25, this is great value for money.  

Unfortunately, yet again the solid hair care product has done nothing to improve my stubborn locks and this will not be a product I buy again. However, this will not put me off trying other solid shampoos and conditioners. Please don't forget that everyone's hair type is different, and what doesn't work for me, may work wonders for you.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Water, Peppermint Oil, Spearmint Oil, Neroli Oil, Black Pepper Oil, Ground Black Pepper, *Eugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £5.95 each.
2015 Price: £5.75 each. 
2017 Price: £6.25 each. 

26 May 2013

Karma Liquid Perfume

What does Lush have to say about this perfume? 

'Retro yet ageless. Karma is a powerful, spicy and unique patchouli and citrus perfume. It's a strange slow-burner for some; you fall for it without realising what's happening. Others love it from the first sniff as they are transported to the age of freedom.'

Karma has been at the top of the Lush charts since it was first launched, and it's not difficult to see why.  I am one of those fans that fell in love with it the moment I experienced that first sniff many months ago.

It was purely by accident that my love affair with Karma started; I had received a bulk order of rare Lush items from eBay and the seller had been generous enough to sneak it a small capsule of the stuff. The moment my nose detected the addictive pine, orange and patchouli scent, I was bowled over. It is simply delicious.

A perfume I feel can be worn during any season, Karma is an ambient fragrance reminiscent of the sixties. Spicy orange oil is definitely the heart and soul of this fragrance, with warm, earthy hints of patchouli to compliment the main scent. An occasional burst of lavender gives it a herbal touch and pine oil seals the deal, making this a multi-layered festivity of smells.

Karma is a potent fragrance that lingers on your skin and clothes for days on end, yet it's not so strong as to warrant a hard nose. It's sweet and sensual - both playful and sophisticated. 

It's probably one of my all time favourite scents, and one I'll buy again and again. £27 for a 30ml bottle seems like a bargain price tag for such a beautiful scent.

Quantative Ingredients: DRF Alcohol, Perfume, Patchouli Oil, *Limonene, *Linalool, Sweet Orange Oil, Lavandin Oil, Pine Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Elemi Oil, Cassie Absolute, *Cinnamal, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Citronellol, *Farnesol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Eugenol, *Benzyl Salicylate.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £12 for 10ml, £24 for 30ml.

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

24 May 2013

Happy Happy Joy Joy Conditioning Hair Perfume

Unfortunately, Lush don't offer very many vegan conditioners, so when a new product comes out, I'm all over it like a rash. Although I swear by my Veganese, I'm always worried that my hair will one day become immune to it's powerful ways and the health of my hair will revert somewhat. So when I noticed a bottle of conditioning hair perfume called Happy Happy Joy Joy in store which stated that it was vegan friendly, I was super-excited to try it out. 

If there was ever a feast for the hair, Happy Happy Joy Joy is it. Containing an impressive combination of neroli, rose, grapefruit, rosewood, orange flower absolute and benzoin, this is the only thing you’ll need to wear after using it on your locks. Thinking of smothering your body in your favourite lotion? Considering a squirt of your favourite perfume? Forget it. Once you've indulged in HHJJ, you'll smell like a million dollars and you'll hair look the part as well. 

After an initial two week trial, I have to say that I wasn't very impressed with how this product made my hair feel. However, I quickly discovered that the condition of my hair was more to do with the shampoo I was using at the time, and when I changed this part of my ritual, I found my hair looked and felt silky soft. Not only did my locks look healthy with a natural shine to it to bring out my natural highlights, but it made my hair smell like fresh flowers; a mixture of neroli and orange flower. It was so gorgeous and earned me many compliments throughout the week at work. 

Lush claim that it conditions your hair with almond milk, jojoba oil, rose and orange flower, yet when I first used it, I found that it did very little to improve my hair. Having used it only a handful of times with my original shampoo, I found that my hair was very unmanageable, dry and damaged. It also felt very thin and dry, which is not a good thing for someone who has naturally thin hair anyway. However, once I switched shampoos, the condition of my hair felt completely different. For this reason, if you find this doesn't work at first, it is definitely worth switching up the rest of your hair care first before writing it off completely. 

Once dry, my hair felt amazing and I was so thankful that I had finally found an alternative to use alongside Veganese. Having said that, I would not use this regularly as I find it to be very expensive. Priced at £9.50 for 100g, this conditioner is more of a luxury item as this bottle would only last me two weeks at most and it would cost me nearly £25 a month for conditioner!

Happy Happy Joy Joy is definitely a product that has to be tried out - if only for its irresistible smell that can be found in both the Sea Spray Hair Mist and Frozen Bath Bomb. I will definitely buy this again but as more of a luxury cosmetic once every few months - using my Sugar Daddy-O Solid Conditioner in-between to keep my hair in tip-top condition. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Rose Water, Orange Blossom Water, Almond Milk, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Organic Jojoba Oil, Perfume, Cetrimonium Bromide, Cetearyl Alcohol, Neroli Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Rosewood Oil, Rose Oil, Glycerine, Tincture of Benzoin, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool, Citronellol.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £9.50 for 100g, £18.95 for 245g, £31 for 490g. 

Scent Family:
Frozen Bath Bomb
Frozen Liquid Perfume
Frozen Solid Perfume
Shine So Bright Hair Balm

23 May 2013

Angel's Delight Soap

Angel's Delight is part of the Christmas range at Lush so it's only available for a couple of months of the year. So whilst I gush and drool over the brilliance of this product, hold steady in the knowledge that you will no doubt be able to get your greedy little mitts on this again in a few months time. 

Angel's Delight is a beautiful multi coloured soap, comprised of random blocks of colours, silver glitter, gold glitter, iridescent glitter and a lovely gold lustre – you never know just what your slice is going to look like. To look at it, you might describe it as a feast for the eyes. And it really is. Not to mention that it  smells incredible as well. But we'll get to that in a second...

Lush tend to release two sorts of products at Christmas; those that incorporate the spicy smells of the season, and those that encompass the sweet side; Angel's Delight definitely falls into the sweet section. With sweet orange essential oil, tangerine oil and a fruity fragrance, this creates a sweet jelly bean scent combined with blackcurrant. It reminds me of jelly babies, tangerines and tutti fruities all mixed together!

As I cut and store my Lush soap's carefully, I am nsure whether this is a soap that melts away quickly if left to it's own devices. The 100g bar I purchased lasted for over 5 weeks, which makes it incredible value for money. 
Angel’s Delight lathered up quite nicely for me, contrary to other people's experiences, and It does not dry out the skin as is the case with most soaps, with the fragrance staying on your skin for a really long time afterwards.

The only downside I found with this soap, is that I found the strips of silver foil to be rather detrimental to the soap's use. A few times whilst lathering up in the shower, I'd find my hands scratched by the edges of silver foil that would stick out of the soap as it shrunk through use. 
However, the intoxicating scent it releases in the shower is incredible, and has definitely cemented itself as one of my favourite Lush scents. If only they would bring this out in shower gel, body lotion or perfume form! A definite possible rival for the Snow Fairy crown.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Tangerine Oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Limonene, Linalool, Radiant Gold Lustre, Edible Golden Agar Glitter (Agar, Mica Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide)

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £5 for 180g.

Scent Family:
Angel's Delight Soap
Magic Wand
Tennis Ball Bath Bomb

21 May 2013

9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion

Lush describe this cleansing lotion as a 'simple yet beautiful liquid facial cleanser for those times when you’re in a hurry and need to just cleanse and go.' And I couldn't agree more.

I was first introduced to this little beauty purely by accident. Although I know that Lush are very keen to send you free samples with your orders, I have never requested any simply because it would just introduce me to new products that I would then have to go out and buy! However, in a recent order, I received a tiny little sample pot of the 9 to 5 Lotion.

At first I wasn't bowled over. Since I began wearing make-up (some near 14 years ago - ouch!), I have always removed said make-up and any collective dirt I have picked up on the way with cleansing wipes. I've never felt the need to smother my face in any lotion to remove my eye-shadow or concealer.

However, since I was given this sample for free, I didn't think there was any harm in experimenting a little. And this is when I found myself eating my words and grappling for enough change to buy the biggest bottle available. 

It’s made with fresh Singaporean orchid oil to get skin soft and smooth and a dash of vitamin A for moisture. Lush make this by steeping fresh dove orchids in almond oil overnight – then straining the petals out and using the infused oil as the base for this cleanser. Their usage of honeysuckle and ylang ylang means this lotion has lovely light fragrance.
It does everything it's supposed to and more - it's so gentle, fresh and light on the skin but still manages to remove even the most stubborn of make-up stains. It's thin consistency means it doesn't weigh dow the skin and leaves it feeling really moisturised and revitalised.

The only thing I would say is that it is really easy to use a lot each time so a big 240g bottle might only last a month or two at most.

9 to 5 gently removes all traces of dirt, grease and make up without dragging the skin. I was left with skin that felt fresh, clean and ready to start the day. One of my staple Lush products.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Almond Oil, Stearic Acid, Fresh Dove Orchid Extract, Everlasting Flower Absolute, Ylang Ylang Oil, Triethanolamine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2016 Price: £9.95 for 240g.

19 May 2013

Avobath Bomb

Aside from the Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bomb, Avobath was the other Lush product that I have been desperate to try for a while. Avocados have been my favourite food since as far back as I can remember, and green has been my favourite colour for even longer than that. 

This bath bomb has a very strong lemongrass-bergamot scent (with rosewood oil and gardenia extract, too) which gives it a sophisticated citrusy scent. It also contains real mashed up avocado and olive oil, meaning it's a feast for those with dry skin, and even for those that just want a little bit more moisture without smearing their bodies with synthetic creams. 

The scent is uplifting and delicious, and perfect on a crisp summer evening when your skin needs that wake-up call. I loved how the fragrance remained with me throughout the entire bathing experience, and even lingered on my skin for the entirety of the evening.
On the positive side, it turns the bath water a beautiful shade of green which stays vibrant throughout the whole experience, and you also get minute flecks of gold glitter on the surface, which adds sparkle without covering you or the tub in 'annoying residue'. When you drain the bath afterwards, you won't find any of the lustre left behind.

It did make my skin feel refreshed and hydrated, and the crisp citrus fragrance was very uplifting; I found that I my senses perked up somewhat after using this ballistic. At first, I thought that it's scent was very similar to my other favourite, the Dragon's Egg. However, once this bath bomb was fizzing away in the tub, I realised that this is a lot more citrusy and fresh smelling; there's a slight sourness here that sets it apart from most other bath products. 

Overall, it was a unique experience, and one that I'll use regularly to cleanse my mind after a stressful day. I would recommend that you buy this bath bomb fresh, as when compared to one that's a few months old, the difference in scent is astonishing - the older ballistic had next to no smell left and produced a mediocre bathing experience.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Fresh Organic Avocado, Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Bergamot Oil, Rosewood Oil, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Gardenia Extract, Lustre Holly Sparkle.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £3.35 each.
2017 Price: £3.50 each.

Scent Family:
Avobath Ballistic
Avojelly Shower Jelly
Avowash/Avoshower Shower Gel
Crackersnap Ballistic
Ghost In The Dark Soap
Luck Of The Irish Bath Bomb

15 May 2013

American Cream Body Lotion

I was lucky enough to grab myself a brand new 225g tub of the now discontinued American Cream Body Lotion a few months ago. One thing that always struck me as weird with the AC range, is that the conditioner of the same name has added ingredients that makes it not very vegan friendly. This is a shame as I adore the scent and would love to try other products with the scent.

Unfortunately, the condition of my lotion was rather runny, and I didn't feel it was quite up to par with what a fresh batch would look and smell like. So I was really happy when Lush chose to re-release it in their Lush Kitchen.  
Although the main ingredients in this lotion are almond oil and cocoa butter, it is definitely the vanilla scent that shines through here. And much like Vanilla Dee-Lite, the smell is a natural vanilla scent that doesn't smell fabricated or distilled.
The lotion is a creamy peach colour and has quite a distinctive smell. It's a medium thickness in texture, which means this is neither too thick or too watery. To look at, it reminds me of vanilla pudding - it has that slight gleam about it which I haven't noticed with other Lush body lotions. 

I cannot compare this lotion to the conditioner with the same name, merely because the latter is not vegan. However, having smelt the conditioner, they do indeed share the exact same scent, albeit the conditioner has perhaps a slightly stronger fragrance. 

Reading reviews of the conditioner, the general consensus is that the scent is a mixture of vanilla and strawberries - a shortcake made into a lotion. However, this is not the scent I get when I smell the body lotion. On the original tub it said 'A fragrance that's always a firm forum favourite, you'll be sure to love smothering this dreamy vanilla ice cream scented lotion all over. For delectable, sophisticated strawberry scented skin, open the lid and dive in'. The newer addition only mentions the vanilla element, and it is this that I associate with more.

First impressions of the scent are that of a vanilla mixed with sweet, floral undertones and a hint of lavender. There is a slight reference to strawberries here, however it's a far more mature fruity smell and could be mistaken for the nuttiness of the almonds. The overall smell reminds me a little of rice pudding with a dollop of strawberry jam in the middle - you can smell the vanilla at the forefront with just the slightest hint of the sweetness from the jam underneath. 

This lotion worked really well with my skin; instantly dissolving and leaving my body feeling soft and hydrated. However, It didn't moisturise as well as many of the other Lush lotions I have already tried - my skin felt soft afterwards but not particularly hydrated. This could be due to how quickly it does settle into the skin - not leaving enough time to condition the body before it does so. It works especially well as a hand cream, although I think this is somewhat of a waste as I feel it's a lotion that should be smothered all over and really appreciated in it's fullness. 

It also has a very pungent smell, which some may find off putting, as you tend to get waves of this fragrance all day long when wearing it. It can mask other scents, so if you're planning on wearing perfume, make sure it's something that won't clash with this.

The only downside I have found so far is that it is very easy to put too much on and this can leave your skin slightly greasy. However, an easy solution is just to monitor your usage and prevent that unwanted sheen. Start by using a minimal amount and then build it up slowly. 

Overall, I think this is a beautiful lotion that should be bought back into circulation permanently. Admittedly, I don't necessarily think I would love this lotion anywhere near as much, was it not for it's beautiful fragrance. However, it's an uplifting product that leaves you feeling warm, comforted and beautiful. Even if it works better at hydrating your mental state than your physical, it's a product I love dearly. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Almond Oil (Prunusdulcis), Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Glycerine,Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia),Clary Sage Oil (Salvia sclarea), Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia), Benzoin Resinoid (Styraxtonkinensispierre), Cetearyl Alcohol,*Linalool, *Limonene,Couramin, Perfume, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

12 May 2013

Snow Globe Soap

Imagine yourself inside a snow globe – snow fluttering all around and a feeling of being refreshed, revitalised and uplifted. Well, this soap will make you feel all of the above, with a citrusy lemon myrtle, grapefruit and lemongrass blend that will bluster your senses and wake you up on cold winter mornings. The whole soap is in the shape of a snow globe, with white circles to imitate the snowflakes. 

On paper, this soap sounds and looks amazing. There is something old-fashioned and fantastical about snow globes, something that most likely stems from the fact that we don't tend to see very many of them around anymore. 

When I went on a mad Christmas spree back in November 2012, and after hearing so many good things about this soap, I just knew I had to buy a huge chunk. However, imagine my distain when my order arrived a few days later and I discovered that I didn't like it.

The initial scent is quite mellow, a mixture of grapefruit and lemongrass that promises to wake up even the most stubborn of people on a cold winter's morning. In fact, given it's main scent, I thought it would go wonderfully with my bottle of Happy Hippy. It contains Lemon Myrtle, grapefruit oil, rapeseed oil and coconut oil so it is still very moisturising.

However, all was not well when I first tried it in the shower and smelt an awful concoction of grapefruit and toilet cleaner.  Although it lathered up well, and I could feel that it was moisturising my skin, the overpowering smell of synthetic cleaner was all too prominent for my liking. 

They say that everyone's skin reacts differently to different scents, which is why the same perfume may smell completely different on multiple people. And this is definitely the case with Snow Globe

Despite switching to a different soap, the scent lingered on my skin for quite some time, which is no doubt a positive note for those that love the smell, but for me it was a very unpleasant experience. A positive note is that the cocktail of citrus oils that are used to construct this soap, also help to combat the scent of perspiration, so I found my skin was still fresh-smelling and clean some hours later.

However, my overall impression was jilted by that overpowering plastic-y scent that seemed to engulf my senses. This is not a soap I enjoyed at all, and definitely not one I would buy again.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Organic Lemon Myrtle Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Sodium Chloride, Glycerine, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal, Methyl Lonone, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes

8 May 2013

Sandy Santa Sugar Scrub

Sandy Santa is a limited edition solid sugar scrub that was available during the cold months of Christmas to help soothe those winter blues. Bursting with the smell of juicy Brazilian orange oil, sandalwood and rosewood, this is a fruity scrub for all skin types. The sugar, sand and bicarbonate exfoliate and soften your skin, whilst the scent helps you to envisage those long over-due summer months.

This was the first time I had tried one of Lush's sugar scrubs, so I didn't really know how to go about using one in the shower. I knew that the main ingredient in Sandy Santa was sugar, so I figured it wouldn't have been wise to hold it under the running water whilst in the shower.

Doing a little research beforehand helped me to determine three possible ways that you can approach the use of this scrub. It seems the most popular way is to break off pieces before you hit the shower, so that when the water does dissolve it, you haven't sacrificed your entire product in a single standing. 

The second option, and the one I decided on trying, was to use the whole thing as a sort of pumice stone. When you glide it up and down your body whilst just out of range of the pressurised water, it works wonders on removing dried and unwanted skin.

Finally, some people choose to leave Sandy Santa in a container where it is guaranteed to come into contact with some form of liquid. This liquid helps to break down the scrub and create a sort of paste, which can then be used in part as a soluble scrub. A sort of festive Rub Rub Rub if you will.   

As I mentioned before, Sandy Santa is scented with a combination of orange, rosewood, and sandalwood oils that not only give it, it's bright, sunny scent but also acts to hydrate skin as you scrub. The orange is the prominent smell here but there is definitely an underlying floral tone that gives this scrub a wonderful multi-textured smell.

In spite of all of this, I found myself disliking the product after the first try. Despite taking every precaution to keep it away from the running water, after one use it was near enough completely used up, and what was left was a small clump of sugar that had completely disintegrated by the next morning. 

Now whether people use this scrub for specific areas as opposed to a full body massage, or whether one of the other methods is more effective at prolonging it's shelf life, I am unsure. What I do know is that I could not afford to spend £3+ 2-3 times a week to use this product on a regular basis. I'm guessing this is why Lush have released this as a limited edition product, as it's only supposed to be used on special occasions. 

Overall, Sandy Santa is in essence, a good product. It scrubs away dry skin and exfoliates to leave your skin silky-smooth and smelling gorgeous. However, the practicality of Sandy Santa is what lets it down, and I only hope Lush rectify this problem by Christmas 2013.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sugar, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Orange Oil, Rosewood Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Lauryl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, *Limonene, *Linalool, Methyl Lonone, Perfume, Colour 14700.

Vegan?: Yes