28 November 2013

Breath of God Toothy Tabs

As I said in my Dirty Toothy Tabs review a few months back, I've been a little hesitant to try all of the flavours in Lush's toothy tab range, simply because of the bad experience I had when trying out Sparkle for the first time. Early mornings are a terrible time for anyone to be testing out their taste buds so when I saw what was in store for me with Breath of God, I was rather skeptical at first.

Lush say "Breath of God contains an echo of the same thought-provoking fragrance. There are powders of sandalwood, myrrh, benzoin, fennel and vanilla, blended together for an incredibly gentle, yet fresh delicious flavour. It won't leave your mouth overpowered by mintiness, but beautifully perfumed by this spiritual blend reminiscent of the fresh Tibetan mountains." 

What first concerned me about these tabs was the idea that my mouth would be 'perfumed' - something I can only associate with eating soap as a child. Then there was the mixture of Sandalwood and Fennel, which sounded like what munching on a pile of twigs from the forest might taste like.

What I actually found, was that these toothy tabs have a gentle vanilla taste at the forefront, with a slight echo of citrus behind and a hint of peppery flavour as an afterthought. These tabs have a creamy taste with a very slight perfumed quality, but it's not overpowering at all, and in fact, it works well.

My teeth felt really clean after the first use, and felt smooth and shiny throughout the entire day. As the days went by, my teeth began to look and feel better after every use, which I associated with the ingredients Lush used to make them. 

The addition of Dicalcium phosphate anhydrous, which is a gentle abrasive, helped to remove plaque from my teeth and left them really shiny and smooth after each use; the sodium bicarbonate and cream of tartar helped to scrub and clean my teeth, making them noticeably whiter after the first few usages. Finally, the sodium lauroyl sarcosine helped to create the foam which made it easier for the tab to circulate my mouth and remove any unwanted food between my teeth.

Overall, I was really happy with the noticeable difference these tabs made to my teeth, and I actually really enjoyed the taste. These are definitely my favourite toothy tabs so far and I'm keen to continue using them as opposed to reverting back to tooth paste.

I may not have the Breath of God, but thanks to these tabs, my oral health is definitely heading in the right direction.

Quantitative Ingredients: Dicalcium Phosphate Anhydrous, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sorbitol, Lauroyl Sarcosine, Sandalwood Powder, Kaolin, Benzoin Gum Powder, Vanilla Powder, Myrrh Gum Powder, Fennel Seed Powder, Sodium Saccharin.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: 

Scent Family:
Breath of God Liquid Perfume
Breath of God Toothy Tabs
Inhale Exhale Ballistic
Under The Umbrella Tree Bath Bomb

25 November 2013

Fizzbanger Bath Bomb

Fizzbanger, much like So White, is one of those bath bombs that tends to get overlooked because it's not very visually attractive. However, just like So White, it's one of those bath bombs that has a lot to offer.  

Known as the 'Big Friendly Ballistic', this bath bomb is inspired by Roald Dahl's BFG. As the blues and yellows whirl and froth around the tub, and the popping candy adds the sound effects, you cannot help but imagine the wonderful fantasy world of Dahl's best-beloved character - making you instantly fall in love with this product.

The ballistic contains cinnamon leaf oil, Petitgrain oil, ylang ylang oil and gardenia, which meant that I was expecting a spicy, floral scent. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I found that the bath bomb smelt more like lemon green tea than anything else. There's a very refreshing element to the lemon scent here, and sides more with the natural, savoury lemongrass fragrance than the likes of sweet smelling lemon products such as Lemslip Buttercream or Bohemian Soap
When I did some research, I also discovered that this bath ballistic shares it's scent with Lush's perfume, Love, which I had on hand to compare. Although I could smell the similarities there, I feel that the perfume has a stronger scent, which means it's not as fresh smelling as the bath bomb but it's equally as beautiful. It also means that the layers of the fragrance are more pronounced in the bath bomb, making it more enjoyable and relaxing for the user. 

Lush claim that the bath bomb has been created with the apple part of the fragrance for the outer layers and cinnamon notes as the inner core. I was impressed then when I popped this bad boy into the water and could detect the different layers of scent as they made themselves known.

When dropped into the water the ballistic begins to dissolve very slowly leaving a trail of yellow foam on the surface of the bath water. This is when I was able to make out the fruity, apple scent - one that differs from So White by having a slightly sour element to it. As it continued to dissolve, mounds of deep blue foam began to spew out of the ballistic and this caused the water to change from a yellow colour into more of a turquoise shade. As the two colours continued to froth across the surface, they created an abundance of magical swirls of vibrant colour across the water, which in turn turned the water into a gorgeous shade of green underneath the foam.
As if that wasn't magical enough, this bath ballistic also features popping candy inside, and while the bath bomb was throwing colour across the tub, you could also hear the crackle and pop of the candy getting to work at the bottom of the tub. Just when I thought the experience was over, Lush surprised me once more by including little pieces of paper with the word 'bang' etched on them, which made their way to the surface to found off the whole magical experience. 

Although some may argue that these little touches are pointless, I think it makes Lush even more endearing and enjoyable for the user, and I really appreciated the gesture.

On the negative side, the scent did seem to fade quite quickly once the bath bomb had fully dissolved and by the end, it was very weak indeed. However, I was in the bath I loooooooong time, so it more than served it's purpose and it could just be because I had become accustomed to the smell that I could no longer detect it, when in fact it might have still been there.

After getting out of the bath, my skin felt really lovely and soft. The scent did linger on my skin for quite a while but it wasn’t really a strong scent and was soon overpowered by my body lotion. It would work in Lush's favour if they were to bring out a cream in the same scent as not only can I see it working really well in that format, but it would also be the perfect accompaniment for this bath bomb.

This is not one of my all-time favourite bath bombs, but it is definitely one I want to indulge myself in again and again. This would be lovely first thing in the morning to perk you up for the day ahead, or in the summer time when you need to revitalise your senses after a hot day.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Popping Candy, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Water, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Petitgrain Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Cocamide DEA, Lauryl Betaine, Coumarin, *Eugenol, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 42090, Colour 19140.

24 November 2013

Limited Edition Lush Scents

It was around this time last year when my love of Lush reached new extremes and began to be more of an obsession. I found myself checking the website most days and trawling through the hundreds of threads on the international forum, interested in reading about any up-and-coming products, or simply those from the past that I so desperately wanted to try. 

It was also around this time last year that Lush released their limited edition 'forum party' perfumes for the first time since I had become a full-blown Lushie. At the time, my knowledge and experience of the products were rather limited, so aside from the 'must have' Comforter and Creamy Candy perfumes, I opted out of buying any of the others. I would later regret this decision when I discovered how wonderful the other fragrances were; I would now consider Snowcake, Rose Jam and Twilight to be three of my all-time favourite Lush scents.  

Fast forward to 2013 and I get wind of an upcoming perfume release; five limited edition perfumes, four of which have been featured as forum specials in the past and one brand new addition that has never been released as a perfume before.

Straight away my mind utters two phrases - Day of the Dead and Ponche. The former (also known as Calacas) is easily my second favourite scent after The Comforter. Although I have an almost full bottle of the stuff already, I had been using it very scrupulously in fear that I'd run out, so being able to stock up would have been a godsend. 

Secondly, I hoped and prayed that Ponche would be the new perfume, even though it didn't seem to be a popular suggestion from other Lush fans. Ever since I had tried that boozy-citrusy shower gel last Christmas, I had fallen in love, and the thought of being able to spray myself and enjoy the scent throughout the entire day sounded heavenly. 

So when I was presented with these five little beauties, my heart was in my mouth and my bank balance was already groaning under the strain. 

I am ecstatically happy about Calacas and Ponche, and equally excited about Snow Fairy; it is a favourite scent of mine (number six, I believe) but often gets overshadowed by The Comforter, Karma and Calacas. It's one of Lush's biggest sellers during the Christmas period, and I'm sure, like me, is a product that draws customers into their shops and turns them into life-long addicts. This will be much appreciated by fans around the world although I think Lush are silly not to present these in shops as they would probably sell by the bucket load.

I appreciate that Lush have brought back both Rose Jam and Snowcake from last year; I know that both fragrances play an important role in the Christmas range this year, and I'm glad I can finally get my hands on a few bottles of each to keep me going for a while. However, I am a little disappointed that Lush didn't opt to release two perfumes that haven't been seen in a while: Cinders would have made a great option as it's a very popular scent and cinnamon is very heavily featured in this year's Christmas products (Glogg, Spice Mountain, Hot Toddy).

Although I am happy with the range and excited to get my greedy little mitts on these bottles of 'liquid gold', I wish that Lush had included more original scents in their range - I would love to have seen Angels Delight, Let The Good Times Roll or Gold FUN embodied as a perfume. 

Needless to say, I have gone a little overboard and brought eighteen bottles to keep me going. Some might say that that's a little extreme but that's what savings are for, right? 


23 November 2013

Ruby Red Slippers Bubble Bar

Ruby Red Slippers is a bubble bar that first came out as part of the Christmas 2005 range and shares the same scent as one of Lush's body moisturisers, Potion. To look at, it's rather beautiful; a deep ruby red slab, covered in decadent sparkly glitter. It's the same size and shape as the Sunnyside bubble bar and can be easily halved and used to create two luxurious baths. 

The four ingredients that make up this scent are rose, tangerine, carnation and geranium, although I think the rose and carnation make the most appearance here. These ingredients not only help to create a beautiful, feminine smelling bubble bar, but also one that can soothe and help to heal sensitive skin. The tangerine adds a wonderful fruity element to it's scent and gives it a unique spicy, floral smell that is unlike anything I have smelt before. Although not as potent as Potion, it still smells wonderful.

Named after the iconic shoes in 'The Wizard of Oz', I was expecting big things from this bubble bar. I was not disappointed. As with most bubble bars, I tend to crumble them under the tap and this helps me to produce the most amount of bubbles. When I did this with half of a Ruby Red Slippers bubble bar, I was very surprised to see a surplus amount of bubbles building up in my bath tub. To date, I don't think I've used any other bubble bar that has produced this many. 

Secondly, the bubble bar turned my water a beautiful shade of scarlet red, which although hidden underneath the layers of bubbles, stayed vibrant until the very end. This just made the experience even more magical for me and I really felt like royalty whilst I was bathing.  

The addition of red glitter, which I was worried about in the beginning, only intensified the bathing experience. The glitter tends to immerse itself amongst the bubbles while some floats beautifully on top of the bath water. However, all of it washed away easily when I pulled the plug and I didn't have to clean up afterwards.

Unfortunately, one of the aspects I dislike about Ruby Red Slippers is that it tends to 'age' quite quickly when being stored. This is not a problem for normal consumers, who just want to buy a couple of products to use throughout the week. However, collectors may wish to consider how they store these to maintain their vibrancy over time. 

My only other complaint would be that the scent isn't as strong on the skin as I'd like it to be. As with a lot of Lush products, the scent is dispersed somewhat when dissolved. However, this was quickly rectified by smothering my body in Potion lotion after the experience. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Cocamide DEA, Rose Absolute (Rosa centifolia), Carnation Absolute (Dianthus caryophyllus), Tangerine Oil (Citrus reticulata), *Eugenol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 14700, Red Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate).* Occurs naturally in essential oils.

Vegan?: Yes.

Scent Family:
Almond Kisses Facial Moisturiser 
Holiday Bubble Bar
Potion Body Lotion
Potion Liquid Perfume
Ruby Red Slippers Bubble Bar
Santa Monica Ballistic 
Sparkling Red Slippers Bubble Bar

22 November 2013

Ma Bar Bubble Bar

If there's one Lush product I want to sink my teeth into, it's Ma Bar. With it's sweet orange oil and cocoa powder combination, it shares it's scent with the Honey I Washed the Kids range; making it a chocolatey-nectar treat that wont tip the scales but is equally as delicious. What's even better is that it's vegan-friendly, something that the soap cannot claim to be.

You’ll get mountains of deliciously scented bubbles from every Ma Bar, which Lush originally invented as a limited edition product for Mother’s Day and brought back most recently as part of their retro range and through the Lush Kitchen.

What I love about the bubble bar, is that it looks like a chocolate brownie, decorated with a sugar cube on top, which just tempts you even more to take a bite. Unfortunately, the product does not double up as an edible snack so you may want to refrain from eating it - although if you're particularly ravenous, you might get away with eating the sugar part!

As with most Lush bubble bars, you can normally get more than one use out them, which benefits those that don't have a lot of disposable income. However, after a busy week at work, I chose to use the whole thing in one go, creating a bath that was over-flowing with beautiful silky soft bubbles. 

One problem I envisaged for those of you who want to use Ma Bar more than once, it that the cube is rather difficult to break. After banging it against the bath tub and trying to break it apart with my bare hands, I had to result in using a sharp knife to cut it into pieces before I was able to pop them in the bath. Not that this matters too much however, as the cube doesn't add to the bath in any way. 

Once under the running tap however, the pressure of the water helped to crumble the bar up fairly quickly to produce a surplus of luxurious, creamy bubbles that permeated the room with the gorgeous scent of toffee, cocoa and honey. It only takes a few minutes to crumble the bar into the bath, and although this means it's more effort than pouring in some bubble bath, a bubble bar bath is definitely worth that little extra effort.

As with most bubble bars, the bath water isn't as impressive or exciting as it would be if you were using a bath bomb. Ma Bar produces a pale creamy brown coloured water which definitely wouldn't win any awards for presentation. However, the bar does excerpt itself in other areas. 
My skin felt incredibly soft when I got out and the fragrance really helped me to feel more relaxed and calm before bed. I used Charity Pot to moisturise myself straight afterwards and found that both scents complimented each other beautifully. This is one of those scents that is strong enough to hold its own on your skin, but works equally well with other vanilla and cocoa-scented products without clashing.  

I would definitely recommend you try this bubble bar, particularly if you like sweet scents or are a chocolate fan. This bar is soon to be discontinued as Lush are reinventing their retro section, so I highly suggest you pick up a couple before they're gone for the foreseeable future.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Cocoa Powder, Perfume, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Bergamot Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lilial, Limonene, *Linalool, Sugar Cube.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: £3.95 each.
2015 Price: £3.95 each.
2017 Price: £3.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: ?

Scent Family:
Golden Egg Bath Bomb
Gold FUN
Honey I Washed The Kids Body Spray
Honey I Washed The Kids Liquid Perfume
Honey I Washed The Kids Solid Perfume
Honey I Washed The Kids Soap
Humpy Dumpty Bath Bomb
Ma Bar Bubble Bar
Noni I Washed The Kids Body Lotion
Santasaurus Reusable Bubble Bar
Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb (2013)
Shoot For The Stars Bath Bomb (2016)
Sugar Mama Sugar Scrub
The Mum Reusable Bubble Bar

21 November 2013

ButterBall Shower Gel

Having carried out research on most of Lush's shower gels, I recognise that Butterball is probably one of the most popular ones to date. It seems that whenever I read reviews and other blogs from Lushies, there's a consensus that Butterball should be brought back and made a permanent product. So I felt rather lucky to have stumbled across a brand new 500g bottle of the stuff earlier this year.

I'm going to be honest with you. Although a permanent member of the Lush family, I had yet to try one of their Butterball Bath bombs at this point, which supposedly shares the same scent and properties as this limited edition shower gel. Despite this, an initial sniff of both products gave me the impression that the bath bomb is slightly sweeter and more powdery smelling and doesn't have such a strong, chocolately scent.
The aroma it possesses is a musky mixture of vanilla, ylang ylang and cocoa, although it is definitely the latter that shines through. Although it is not a terrible scent, I did think it was a little on par with the generic cocoa butter that you can buy in most pharmacies, which I'm not keen on at all. However, I recognise that this is just a personal preference and I'm sure this'll smell divine to a lot of people, hence its popularity.

Butterball Shower gel is definitely a unique shower gel in that it's consistency is much more like a lotion. It's slightly thicker than most of Lush's other gels and doesn't flow as easily from the bottle. This meant that it was rather difficult to produce any sort of a lather without working up a sweat, something I didn't enjoy at all.

If like me, you soap yourself up with your hands, you will find Butterball somewhat of a problem. I find that unless you use a loofah and a rather large amount of the gel, you're just not going to get any sort of suds to use all over your body, which ultimately doesn't make it very effective for cleaning yourself with. If you treat this shower gel as more of a smoothie, it'll prove much effective than if you expect it to lather up like some of the more generous gels.   
For this reason, I would say that Butterball should be used as more of a skin conditioner, like Skin Drink. Use your regular shower gel to wash yourself with and then smooth Butterball all over you before rinsing it off. As the shower gel is highly moisturising, it means your skin will be left feeling silky smooth and for those who enjoy the smell, the scent will follow you around all day.

Whilst using this gel, I did notice that my skin was hydrated and radiant and I put this down to the range of different butters and oils that make up this product. However, I can get just as good, if not better results from using a body lotion or massage bar, so it's not something I would buy again.
Quantitative Ingredients: Ylang Ylang Flower Infusion (Cananga Odorata), Sodium Alkyl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma Cacao), Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (Cocos Nucifera), Glyceryl Sterate, Cocamide MEA, Synthetic Musk, Perfume, CLycol Cetearate, Fine Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride), Lauryl Betaine, Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Methylparaben, Propylparaben. 

Vegan?: Yes

2015 price: £10.95 for 250g.
2016 price: £9.95 for 250g.

Scent Family:
Angel Hair Solid Shampoo Bar
Butterball Bath Bomb
Butterball Body Conditioner
Butterball Body Lotion
Butterball Liquid Perfume
Butterball Perfume Oil
Butterball Shower Gel
Butterbear Bath Ballistic
Butterbear Shower Jelly
The Ex Factor Bath Bomb
Gentle Lentil Solid Shampoo
Peace Pioneers Shower Oil

The Snowman Ballistic

19 November 2013

None of Your Beeswax Lip Balm

If there's one part of my body that suffers the most, my lips would be it. You see, I have an annoying habit of biting and picking at my lips when I'm either stressed or bored. Given that my job = constant day-to-day stress and my evenings see me lazing around bored, my lips are bombarded with a constant stream of abuse. Despite trying to get myself out of the habit, I've come to accept that it's a subconscious action I find myself doing without even realising it, so I couldn't even quit if I tried. I figure it's better than smoking, so I'm not too worried about. 

My way of tackling my constant dry, cracked and sore lips is to arm myself with a good quality lip balm and just hope it counteracts some of the damage I'm doing. This is where None of Your Beeswax Lip Balm comes in.

NOYBW is a lovely honey colour, much like all of Lush's solid perfumes. The initial smell that greets you on opening the tin, is a citrusy scent with an underlying waxy smell. It's texture is more stubborn than most shop-brought varieties, and I found it took me a couple of uses to melt the balm slightly into a consistency I found easier to apply.
Those used to more commercially-available lip balms may find None of Your Beeswax a little strange to use at first. The mixture of waxes and butters that make up this product means that this balm is a little on the oily side. I wouldn't say it's a greasy lip balm, just that it has a different consistency to most other brands.  

What I love about NOYBW, is that when you apply it, your lips immediately feel smooth and moisturised. With a comprehensive ingredients list that contains the likes of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Japan Wax, Fairtrade Shea Butter, Carnauba Wax, Cupuacu Butter, Murumuru Butter and scented oils, you can definitely appreciate why this product works so effectively. 

I also found that my lips healed a lot quicker whilst using this product, sometimes overnight, and this only intensified when I used it alongside one of Lush's fantastic lip scrubs. 

I was a little mystified at first as to why the lip balm was so effective, when I found it's staying power to last no longer than ten minutes at a time. However, I realised that with such an impressive ingredients list, there was a reason it was working so well.

Firstly there is Shea Butter and Olive Oil which are known to moisturise the skin; Mandarin Oil helps to create the citrus scent as well as improving the circulation of your blood vessels, giving your lips a fuller look; fresh Lemon helps to relieve irritations as well as intensifying the zesty fragrance. These, among many others, also help your lips to penetrate the essential oils and butters, supporting quicker recovery and healing.
Quite a number of people have commented on the balm's 'grittiness' and said they found that the tin leaks quite a bit during transit. However, I haven't found either of these two aspects an issue. My balm did melt after I accidentally placed it in direct sunlight for a long time. However, the balm cooled down and reformed it's same consistency. Not once did it escape the tin. As for the former complaint, I have yet to discover this grittiness that people have spoken about. My lip balms have been nothing but smooth from beginning to end.

Overall, this is now a staple product in my beauty regime. Although a little overpriced (£5.95) for the tin size (10g), it's definitely worth it for those with neglected and damaged lips. I find a tin lasts me a good 6+ months, meaning that the price tag is easily justifiable.

Quantitative Ingredients: Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Fresh Lemon Infusion, Japan Wax, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Carnauba Wax, Cupuacu Butter, Murumuru Butter, Glycerine, Mandarin Oil, Vanilla Absolute, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Methylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2016 Price: £5.95 each.