30 September 2013

Sandstone Soap

Recently, I won a rather large slab of this soap on eBay. As with most of my Lush purchases, I didn't know anything about the product beforehand, only that it was difficult to get hold of, so I wasn't going to waste an opportunity. 

When the mysterious soap arrived, I wasn't particularly enamoured with the smell; a light zesty citrus-y lemon scent not unlike Northern Lights or Bohemian. Neither was I particularly bowled over my it's appearance; a murky mustardy brown colour speckled with flecks of sand and what looked like clumps of glycerine. Needless to say, I wasn't expecting anything spectacular in the shower. 

However, this soap not only proved me wrong, but surpassed all of my expectations, and has now cemented itself as one of my favourite Lush products ever!

Sandstone Soap is advertised as an exfoliating bar suitable for use on the face or body. It has a layer of sand to help target rough and bumpy areas, and also features the seductive citrus scent of a caipirinha cocktail, which makes you feel and smell clean and fresh after use.
I put this bad boy to the test one afternoon, while soaking myself in the bath. After shaving, I began to aggressively rub my legs, underarms and torso with a small piece that I'd cut from my slab. Although I did make myself bleed slightly, I immediately noticed the difference to my body. My skin felt taut and smooth, toned and resilient. It really did feel and look as if the soap was removing bumps and blemishes from the surface of my skin. By the third use, my legs looked smoother and firmer and the change in consistency was very noticeable. 

Normally in the summer, my legs can get rather dry and I find myself having to moisturise 2-3 times a day sometimes. The problem with this is that when it gets too hot, I find myself sweating slightly, which just makes my legs feel greasy from the different lotions I use. 

Having used Sandstone only a handful of times, I find that my legs stay smooth and moisturised for days after use, which means I don't have to mask my skin with any lotions. 

I've really enjoyed using this soap. I've found that it lathers up really well in the shower and lasts ages - some Lush soaps are really soft and run out pretty quickly, but not this one.The only negative aspect, is that if it is used in the bath, you tend to get grains of sand resting in the base of your tub, which can make for a rather uncomfortable experience. This is definitely best used in the shower.
With that most uplifting of essential oils - litsea cubeba oil – Sandstone wakes up the mind even before it gets started on the skin. It’s the perfect soap for summer, and the exfoliating sand will get your skin beach-ready in no time. It's an amazing product!

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Sand, Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Stearate, Perfume, Litsea Cubeba Oil, Coriander Oil, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Gardenia Extract, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Hydroxycitronellal.

Vegan?: Yes

29 September 2013

Noubar Soap

Despite possessing enough soap to last me a couple of years, I cannot help but bid on products I don't have. So when a rather large slab of Noubar appeared on eBay, I was sure as hell I was not going to let it slip through my fingers. Unfortunately, I discovered that piece was rather old and it didn't lather anywhere near as well as it should have done. So when Lush brought out a fresh batch in the Kitchen, I was all over it like a dog with a bone.

Lush claim that Noubar contains smoky vetivert oil and Turkish rose absolute to keep you sweet every time you wash. However, the scent that greeted me on first sniff was not of rose or vetivert. Instead, I detected a smooth, nutty scent, which is not surprising as this soap contains an impressive four different types of nut; peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios.

Unlike a lot of other Lush soaps, this one has a lot of ingredients in it, which is why I was rather surprised to find that it was incredibly soft to touch and flattened when I applied a little pressure on the surface. I have read online that many people find this soap rather difficult to lather up and although it is quite a stubborn soap, there's a reason for this. I'd definitely say that this is more of a creamy, moisturising soap, so although it doesn't produce as much foam as others, the gel it does create is very exfoliating and gentle on the skin. Too much of this and I think it would dry out my skin.

The great thing about the different types of nuts featured in Noubar, is that they give the soap a rough, coarse texture that helps to remove unwanted dead cells and smooth out lumps and bumps. Coupled with the oils and minerals, this soap is great at both scrubbing and softening the skin, while at the same time moisturising it so it is not irritated or damaged by the treatment. The only issue I found with the inclusion of the nuts, is that this soap tended to fall apart in the shower and you end up with not only the lather on your skin, but pieces of nut etc... as well. 

It's a very subtle smelling soap, with elements of gardenia and rose mixed in with the woody scent of pistachios and almonds. It reminded me very much of the pistachio nougat bars that you can buy in sweet shops, and I was almost tempted to take a bite at one stag. It definitely has the look and feel of nougat to it, hence the name, and would be most suited towards someone who doesn't like overpowering smells. I was rather impressed by how hydrated and smooth my skin felt after use, and it definitely didn't have that tight, dried out feeling that some soaps can sometimes give you.

This soap performed really well, and I was impressed by how fresh and yummy looking it was when it arrived. While this soap is really soft on the skin and leaves it looking and feeling nourished, I would be careful when using this in the shower. This is the sort of soap that shrinks very quickly and a 100g bar will not get you far if you're using it too vigorously. I'm glad that I managed to get myself a few blocks of this and it'll be a great shower companion in the foreseeable colder months. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Grapeseed Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Chopped Peanuts, Chopped Walnuts, Perfume, Titanium Dioxide, Pistachio Nuts, Gardenia Extract, Vetivert Oil, Rose Absolute, Cedarwood Oil, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Citronellol, Geraniol, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £4.25 for 100g.
2016 Price: £4.50 for 100g.
2017 Price: £4.25 for 100g.

27 September 2013

Waving Not Drowning Bath Bomb

Waving not Drowning was named after a poem by Stevie Smith. Lush thought the idea of struggling in deep water was a good description for the way people sometimes feel when they’re stressed and have trouble sleeping. There's no surprise then, that one of the main ingredients in this bath bomb is lavender. 

Waving Not Drowning claims to help induce tiredness in even the most stubborn of sleepers, with a blend of essential oils that have been specially selected to aid restful slumbers. I cannot see how this would work amongst those with chronic insomnia, but I cannot see how it would hinder sleep in anyway. 
The fragrance is mainly floral, with relaxing lavender and ylang ylang, but there’s also a hint of cardamom and fennel, which will help clear the mind and put a stop to those whirring thoughts that can keep us awake at night.

Disappointingly, this bath bomb is on the smaller side, so when I first popped it in the bath, the beautiful purple colour dispersed rather quickly around the tub, leaving me with a faint thistle-coloured water. The scent was also short-lasting, and within minutes of entering the tub, I could no longer smell anything at all. 

In it's favour, Waving Not Drowning does help to relax your mind and body, and it did make me feel rather sleepy afterwards. It was also nice to get the occasional whiff of lavender once I'd laid my head down on the pillow that night. However, this was very similar to the Ickle Baby Bot, in that it didn't feel like there was enough of the bath ballistic to give me a fully satisfying bath.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Lavender Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Fennel Oil, *Benzyl Salicylate, *Geraniol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 17200, Colour 42053.

Vegan?: Yes

2016 Price: £3.25 each.
2017 Price: £3.50 each.

24 September 2013

Sugar Scrub

I have always been a little dubious when it comes to Lush's sugar scrubs, mainly because I only get 3-4 uses out of them, which makes them slightly pricey in my eyes. Each time I try a new one, I tend to change up how I used it, to see if I can suss out the definitive way of getting the most out of each bar. 

With Sugar Scrub, I first tried crumbling part of it into a container and massaging the grains onto my wet skin. However, it worked much better when I used the whole bar. I used the flat side to massage onto my damp skin, and made sure I kept the dome-shaped side away from any water. This helped to maintain the product's shape and I got a few more uses out of it than with previous scrubs. 

The scrub is made up of sugar, grated ginger and fresh fennel, all of which help to liven up tired skin and sort out dry patches and uneven skin. Lush have added in fennel oil as it is said to be a great diuretic, draining water and toxins from the tissues in the skin. And although this product has a very faint scent, it's definitely the fennel that makes the biggest impression. This scrub also has lavender oil and fresh ginger to soften and massage clogged skin and help to smoothen out imperfections on the skin. 
When I first used this, I could instantly feel how soft my skin had become. Unlike Rub Rub Rub, Sugar Scrub exfoliates the skin without leaving that slightly greasy feeling afterwards. As the scent is very faint, this also means that it won't mask any lotions or perfume that you choose to put on afterwards.  

Although it's a pain to store Sugar Scrub without getting it wet, and it's also annoying having to ensure it doesn't make contact with running water during your shower, it is a product that I'll buy and use again as it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sugar, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Fresh Fennel, Fennel Oil, Lavender Oil, Fresh Ginger Root, Cocamide DEA, Lauryl Betaine, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Chlorophyllin.

Vegan?: Yes

22 September 2013

Spank Me With Saplings Shower Jelly

Although this is my first shower jelly review, it's definitely not the first Lush jelly I've tried. First invented for Lush's 10th anniversary, these multi-purpose products can be used on any part of your body and through a number of different ways. In their normal form, they can be massaged between your palms to create a foam that can then be used very much like a shower gel. They can also be held under the tap to stimulate a sea of bubbles - doubling up as a bubble bar and offering lots of essential oils to soften your skin with.

When I first discovered Spank Me With Saplings Shower Jelly, I was a little taken back. As someone who was still getting used to the weird and wonderful scents that Lush had to offer, this was one that didn't immediately sit well with me. It was loud, it was different and it definitely contradicted everything about a fragrance that I was used to.

I was somewhat intrigued by Lush's apt choice of name for this jelly and decided to research how they chose such a title. I found that the name was inspired by a Nordic tradition, wherein locals, attempting to warm-up after venturing outside, would run around slapping themselves with birch twigs to try and warm up their bodies. Odd, but intriguing.

As with all of Lush's shower jellies, this one features carrageenan seaweed gel as one of its main ingredients, which is packed full of minerals and vitamins to soften both your skin and hair. The inclusion of grape juice not only has a lasting effect on the scent, but helps to brighten the skin and clean out any dirt that is trapped in the pores.

Fresh cucumber juice works in conjunction with the fruit juices to smooth out the skin and leave it feeling refreshed and invigorated; the olive, cinnamon, black pepper and neroli not only impact the overall smell of this shower jelly, but also make this product so incredibly moisturising - one that is instantly noticeable when you begin using it. 

The scent is a bright, sharp citrus smell with herbal and earthy undertones. You can smell the subtle sharpness of the black pepper intertwined with the oak moss and grape juice. Although there doesn't seem to be any lemon added in here, it definitely smells more lemony than grapey. The refreshing cucumber seals the deal and creates quite an unusual and beguiling fragrance - one that you'll either love, or turn your nose up as I did that first time. 

At first I was unsure whether I liked the scent but after a while I came to love it's uniqueness, and it was definitely very refreshing first thing in the morning. Furthermore, while using this in the shower, I liked imagining those buff nordic fellas running around with sticks (Oooer!).

However, although I agree that shower jellies are a wonderful product by themselves, I cannot say that am I particularly enamoured with them like I am the shower gels. As per usual, I found using the jelly rather fiddly - trying to break off a small piece without showering the whole pot with water, or using the whole thing and having to grapple with the wad whilst I cleaned myself down.
Overall, this is a very different-smelling product from any other shower item that Lush have brought out before, and I do really appreciate how unique it is in this manner. However, I will always opt to have a shower gel version of anything in this format, and this is the only negative point I have to make about this beauty.  

Quantitative Ingredients: Glycerine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sea Water, Bay leaf and Olive leaf infusion, Propylene Glycol, Grape Juice, Carrageenan Extract, Fresh Cucumber juice, Perfume, Olive Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Neroli Oil, Oakmoss Absolute, Black Pepper Oil, Chlorophyllin, Gardenia Extract, *Cinnamal, *Citral, *Eugenol, *Geraniol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Citronellol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2016 Price: £7.95 for 250g.

Scent Family:
Poisson D-Avril Bubble Bar (Easter 2018)
Spank Me With Sapling Shower Jelly

19 September 2013

Still Life Bath Ballistic

Still Life is one of a series of bath bombs that were inspired by famous works of art. In this case, Lush have recreated Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers painting in ballistic form - a feat that they have succeeded in doing because had I not known about the inspiration behind this product, this would have been the first reference I made in regards to the design. 

Admittedly, when I purchased a handful of these beauties online, it was only because they were part of the June 2013 retro range. However, once they had arrived, I was instantly intrigued by their citrusy smell and beautiful flower design - impressed enough by the bath bomb that a little over two years later and I quite happily purchased a few more solely on the memory that I had of the original batch. 

With a beautiful selection of citrus essential oils such as bergamot, lemon and sweet wild orange present, the fragrance of Still Life is a light and very uplifting one. While you might be expecting a strong floral aroma from the decoration, it's surprising to learn that the smell emitted from this product is predominantly a lemony one.  

As well as the scent, Lush have added lemon oil and sweet wild orange oil to moisture and tone your skin, and indeed it does. Once the bath bomb has dissolved in the tub, you can detect a thin layer of oils on the surface of the water - not in puddles like you'd expect Butterball to do, but enough to give the water a slight glean when the light hits it.

These ingredients, along with the bergamot oil, help to awaken the senses and refresh the mind whilst your bathing. This is a great bath bomb to use before a long day at work, or after a tiring day at the beach. I found that the fragrance was strong enough to really perk me up, elevate my good mood and leave my skin feeling really clean and clear of debris. 

It explodes in the bath, leaving the water bright yellow and releasing both sunflower and marigold petals into the tub, which swirl around while you bathe. Although the finishing colour isn't exactly the greatest shade to bathe in, it is a really pretty site for those who enjoy 'company' in the water, and the petals float in little patches across the surface to make the whole experience rather lovely. 

I was really hoping that Still Life would be as close a replacement to The Enchanter as possible. And there was a small part of me that was a tad disappointed when I realised that this would not be the case. However, Still Life is still a brilliant bath bomb, and one that I'll be stocking up on whenever Lush choose to bring it back in the Kitchen.

This is a sunny, uplifting bath bomb that will be a great accompaniment during a, hopefully hot summer. For those that don't like mess, it may be worth removing the flower petals before you get in the bath. However, I found that they floated to the bottom during the experience, and were very easy to removed once the water had been drained.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Lemon Oil, Bergamot Oil, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Sunflower Petals, Marigold Head dried, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Gardenia Extract.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £3.95 each.
2017 Price: £3.95 each.

16 September 2013

The Comforter Bubble Bar

If there's one product in Lush's regular range that I would recommend above all others, the Comforter Bubble Bar would be it. In fact, it is one of my favourite Lush products ever, easily making my top five most treasured cosmetics of all time. In fact, it was this very bubble bar that first enticed me into a Lush store, and the rest as they say is history. 

As Lush have said themselves, 'this isn’t called the Comforter for nothing.' Using their expertise and all of their wonderful fragrances, they have produced a warming, comforting and incredibly sexy bubble bar that smells divine and leaves the skin feeling amazing.

At the hefty price of £4.25, some consumers may be put off by the fact that it is their most expensive bubble bar available. However, once you see the size of it (bigger than the palm of my hand - and I have big hands!), you'll realise that the price is perfectly justifiable. What makes it even better value for money, is the fact that it can be broken up and used for up to four different baths. And that's not to say that these baths will be any less invigorating or exciting because you're using less; the Comforter delivers amazing results every time!

To use this bubble bar and ensure you get the most bubbles out of it, I break off a good sized piece and either place it or crumble it under a running tap. Immediately the bar begins to foam and it's not long before the bath is full of soft, velvety bubbles. The Comforter also turns the bath water a beautiful shade of deep pink, which stays vibrant throughout the whole bathing experience. 

The most impressive aspect of the Comforter is the scent, which smells reminiscent of blackcurrants, cherries, and raspberries. It really is the most beautiful scent in the whole world. The fabulous fruity fragrance permeates the bathroom, and your body, staying with you for hours. It contains cypress oil, bergamot oil, and cassis absolute, all ingredients that help to create a velvety berry and cream parfait that softens your skin.

This is a perfect bubble bar for times when you feel you need to protect yourself from the world - when you've had a hard day at work/school, and just need a little something to pick yourself up. The Comforter's gorgeous fruity and sweet blackcurrant smell is just divine and really makes you feel delicious after use. 

If you're new to Lush, or you've just not tried this product yet, I recommend that you make this the next product that you buy. While I have tried and tested almost a thousand different Lush products to date, this still stands out as being one of the best, so that must count for something right?

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Titanium Dioxide, Cocamide DEA, Bergamot Oil, Cassis Absolute, Cypress Oil, *Limonene, *Linalool, Colour 45410, Colour 17200.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £4.75 each.
2017 price: £4.95 each.

13 September 2013

Jacko Bath Bomb

2013 was the first year that I was able to experience the excitement of Lush's Halloween range, as it was just after Halloween 2012 that I began to collect their stuff. Having scoured all over the internet, reading reviews on all of the past products and feeling envious that I'll most likely go without ever trying them, I was so excited when I spotted a collection of Jackos going for a bargain price on eBay. 

It's named after the American term 'Jack-o-Lantern' and is probably one of the most intriguing looking ballistics that Lush have ever released. What makes it stand out from the usual humdrum is it's slightly-sinister, slightly-endearing face and the fact that it's flat, as opposed to the regular sphere shaped bath bombs. This latter fact did bother me a little bit as I'm aware that smaller ballistics (such as the Ickle Bot) tend to fizzle out rather quickly and leave limited comfort in the tub.

My worries were somewhat suppressed when the Jacko hit the water and quickly turned my entire tub into a bright orange liquid. However, I was a little disappointed to see that the entire bath bomb had dissolved and dispersed in under a minute. While the beautiful, warming shade of orange remained with me throughout the entire experience, I was hoping for a little more 'wow-factor' when it came to it's initial performance. 

I should probably warn you that this is one of the strongest bath products I have experienced from Lush in a while - an impressive feat for what is probably the lightest and smallest one I have tried to date. With clove bud and cardamom oils to give it remnants of spice, and peppermint oil to soothe and soften skin, this is a bath bomb to be enjoyed when you're cold or overrun by a cold. The scent really helps to clear your mind and relax those weary eyes. 

What is great about this ballistic is that the three main notes of scent; cardamon, peppermint and clove, all combine together beautifully, and while they're all equally unique smells in their own right, they don't clash or overpower each other in this bath bomb. The peppermint is wonderfully refreshing - a perfect wake up call for those who have to brave those early morning starts during the winter months; the cardamon and cloves add a spicy, Autumnal aroma that is simply perfect for this time of year. Together, they give the user a comforting yet equally refreshing experience. 

I was surprised to find that this ballistic is relatively moisturising. It left my skin feeling really smooth, crisp and clean and ready to face the long day ahead of me. I also enjoyed the fact that, while I love the likes of Hot Toddy and Glogg, this bath bomb was more natural smelling - it didn't have that slightly sugary, sweetened spice smell that you often find in seasonal cosmetics.

Overall, it is far from the worst ballistic I've tried, but it's not one that I would immediately rush out to buy again. I do feel however that this scent would work really well as a shower gel, and while it's not identical, it does remind me a little of Pied De Pepper Foot Lotion. Perhaps the next Halloween will bring such things!

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Cardamom Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Spearmint Oil, *Cinnamal, *Coumarin, *Eugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 15510.

Vegan?: Yes

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

Scent Family:

10 September 2013

Jungle Solid Conditioner

I am completely baffled. Time and time again, I use Lush's solid products in the hope that I'll find something that works for me, and yet time and time again I am left frustrated and defeated. I wholeheartedly support Lush's attempt to reduce packaging waste and make their products environmentally friendly. However, if they are going to do this, surely they should be making products that can justify this switch?

Lush's Jungle Conditioner is yet another example of how me and solid hair care just do not gel. A solid bar based on fruits and cocoa butter, Jungle contains cocoa butter to give a rich condition and shine to the hair and help protect it.  It also contains fruit oils and fats to add condition and feed the hair, without making it too heavy or oily. In theory, it should leave hair nicely conditioned and easier to comb through.

On paper, it sounds as if Lush have once again created a cosmetic wonder. Yet in reality, it's a nightmarish experience. First I tried rubbing the conditioner throughout my wet hair. It pulled and ripped my hair and left clumps of stray hairs embedded in the bar, not to mention the waxy bits that decorated my scalp. Then I tried lathering it between my hands, but with little success. The stuff simply would not lather-and after five minutes of trying, I managed to lather up enough to cover about a tenth of my head. 
I've read reviews online that suggest grating it down, microwaving it with water and so on. But seriously, who wants to go through all of that just to condition your hair? And if 

Despite the fact that this product smells gorgeous; a tropical concoction of passion fruit, kumquat and fig, this conditioner is not practical, and will not making another appearance on my Lush shopping list. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Fresh Organic Avocado, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Perfume, Soya Lecithin, Fresh Figs, Fresh Organic Bananas, Fresh Passion Fruit, Fresh Kumquat, Cetrimonium Bromide, Ylang Ylang Oil, Vetivert Oil, Cypress Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Chlorophyllin, *Limonene, *Cinnamal.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £3.50 each.

Scent Family:
Jungle FUN Bar (2014)
Jungle Solid Conditioner
Jungle Liquid Perfume
Jungle Shower Jelly
Jungle Soap
Jungle Solid Perfume
Jungle/Tropical Jungle Body Lotion

Mr Dandy's Hair Candy Dressing