31 December 2014

Merry Christmas Gift Set

While I know that Christmas is officially over, the Boxing Day sale has allowed me to relish in a number of gift sets that I was unable to buy when they were full price. From my own experience, I enjoy reading people's reviews and seeing pictures of their purchases, even if the items are no longer available to buy any more. For this reason, I will still review all of the seasonal products that I have acquired over the last few days.

The Merry Christmas Gift Set was always one of those products that I had my eye on the second Lush revealed the seasonal gift sets to the world. While it's not one of the bigger ones, it is one of the most beautiful and offers a rather compact but equally gorgeous set of products to enjoy. 

Priced at £19.95, this is within the bracket of most people's budgets for gift-buying so I'm assuming this was one of Lush's biggest sellers this year. Featuring five of Lush's best and most popular ballistics, this is a perfect collection of bath bombs to showcase all of the different types of scents; floral, citrus, spicy, sweet and woody. This is a set for someone who doesn't want the same experience twice, or for someone who has not experienced Lush at all and wants to dip their toes in and see what they're all about. 

This gift set includes;

If only for Lord Of Misrule, this gift set is well worth the price tag and comes in a beautiful metallic-coloured box with a big golden ribbon laced around the outside. If you see one of these on eBay, I highly recommend that you pick it up - I am so glad that I managed to get my hands on one of these in the sale. 

Tisty Tosty Ballistic

To look at, Tisty Tosty is stunning; a perfect example of how bath products should be. With it's heart-shaped demeanour and delicate rose scent, it's the epitome of romance. Furthermore, unlike cheaper alternatives, this ballistic boasts the inclusion of seven real dried rosebuds in it's belly. The fact that it looks like a Valentine's Day limited edition, despite being a regular product, makes it even more appealing. Whether you're looking for a ballistic to spice up your love life, or simply want to treat yourself, this is a bath bomb that should guarantee a sensual experience.  

Based on a mediaeval love potion, this bath bomb is filled with ingredients that the modern damsel or dame would associate with romance; a captivating combination of orris root powder, rose, jasmine and lemon. This concoction gives off a rather pungent floral smell, making it one of the stronger-scented bath ballistics that Lush offer, and fans of the rose fragrance will recognise that this is the dominating scent here. 
As per usual, I dropped the ballistic into an already made bath, and was a little disappointed about how quickly Tisty Tosty dissolved; there are no interesting colour changes or theatrics here. The bath bomb dissolved in a matter of seconds, leaving behind a tub full of slightly translucent, cloudy water and a few shrivelled up rosebuds floating around on the surface. Furthermore, I could no longer smell the beautiful rose scent, or any smell for that matter, unless I picked up one of the pathetic looking rosebuds and gave that a sniff. 

This bath bomb claims to have both rose oil, which is supposed to soothe broken hearts and help to repair skin, and lemon oil , added to give an uplifting top note to the fragrance. However, once the bath bomb had been added to water, the colourless water didn't have any softening qualities at all. Furthermore, the scent was made rather redundant and it was only when I left the bathroom and re-entered that I could smell the rose scent clearly; I found myself adding a Rose Jam Bubbleroon to overhaul the entire bath and give me some sort of experience.

Despite the disappointing experience, I did buy a second Tisty Tosty a week after I used my first one, just to see whether the age of the bath bomb had changed the performance of the product. I did find that the fresh one had a much stronger scent than the first one I used, and the fragrance was more prominent in the bath tub. I don't know whether I had perhaps been sold a 'dud' one or whether the fact that the ballistic was a few months old, had anything to do with it's reduced smell. However, I would expect the fragrance of a bath bomb to last more than a couple of months, so I was slightly annoyed by this.

Overall, this bath bomb was a little disappointing and not really what I was expecting. Knowing how strong their Imogen Rose perfume is, I was hoping for something similar to this. I did find that my second attempt was more successful than the first, but I do wonder how quickly the smell fades if two months is all it took this one, to lose the entirely of it's scent. The only reason I've given this four marks is that I really enjoyed the edition of the rosebuds, although it would have been nice if they'd contained a little more colour. Secondly, this bath bomb would be a lovely edition to a Lush Cocktail (when more than one bath product is added to the tub at the same time). However, the £3.35 price tag means it's not one i'm planning on experimenting with any time soon.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Seven Rosebuds, Rose Absolute, Geranium Oil, Lemon Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Orris Root Powder, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Citronellol, *Eugenol, *Linalool, *Limonene, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.  

2014 Price: £3.35 each.
2015 Price: £3.50 each.
2016 Price: £3.50 each.

Scent Family:
Le Grand Amour Bath Bomb
Tisty Tosty Bath Bomb
Tisty Tosty Limited Edition Pink

30 December 2014

29 and a Half Soap

As I stated in my review of the limited edition 29 Gift Set, it was rather sneaky of Lush to create a box set where two of the products are not available anywhere else. For collectors and avid fans, this poses a problem - while we might not want or need the majority of the products in the set, the idea of missing two exclusives is enough to warrant most people to splash the cash.

Out of the two items, 29 and a 1/2 Soap was the one I was most intrigued by - not only because of it's beautiful presentation, but because of it's scent. This stunning fluorescent-green soap, which has been decorated with a gorgeous layer of golden lustre on top, shares it's smell with the fragrance of the same name. 

29, or HQ as it was previous called, is a limited edition perfume designed to mimic the experience of walking into a Lush shop. Notorious for the smell that their shops elevate onto the High Street, Lush decided to create a scent that allowed wearers to experience all of the smells most prominent in their local store. While the perfume was incredible, I have to say that the smell of the soap is even better. 

Just like the perfume, the main notes of this soap are made up of all of the key elements that you'll likely to find in the hundreds of Lush's products currently available. Firstly, there's ylang ylang - a sensual floral ingredient found in most of Lush's products - most notably their Sex Bomb Ballistic; Sandalwood oil gives off a rich woody note that can be found in the wonderful Aqua Mirabilis Body Butter; Jasmine absolute adds another floral element to the mix and is a key scent in Lush's Tender Is The Night Massage Bar. Then there's the inclusion of both lime and lemon oil - two uplifting ingredients that make Avobath Ballistic so wonderful whilst tonka absolute gives the perfume a sweetness displayed in all of Lush's Vanillary range. Altogether, these ingredients collaborate amazingly well and create a unique, vibrant and wholly special perfume. 

While both the perfume and the soap have all of these elements, there are some clear differences in how the aromas work on the skin. While the ylang ylang is the most prominent note in the fragrance, I found that the lemon and lime oils were slightly more overpowering in the soap - creating a slightly tangier fragrance that reminded me of both Egg Hunt and Miranda Soap

29 and a Half Soap seems less powdery and gives off a far more pronounced scent - you can really detect each layer, yet they seamlessly combine together when you're using it in the shower. This is a stunning soap - one that I feel is being wasted sat there as a limited edition item. It's light, fruity and fragrant - youthful enough that younger Lush fans will enjoy it, but complex and interesting enough that other consumers will love it as well. 

While the soap has the same base as most of Lush's regular soaps, I found that this one is really sturdy and hardly changes size or shape between uses. Whether Lush did this purposely to allow those of us who have invested a lot of money in the gift set, to own something that would last a fair while, or whether it's the multiple oils and absolutes that feature in the ingredients list, I don't know. What I am happy about is the fact that this 100g bar will last a good few months - making it great value for money.

In the shower, it lathers up nicely, creating light, foamy soap suds that glide over your skin with ease. It's not overly generous on the amount it produces, but this no doubt helps it to last as long as it does. The lather it does offer the user is really fragrant, and leaves it mark on your body; you can smell this for a long time after you've exited the shower and I received many compliments about the smell, hours after I had initially used it.

Although it has been decorated in golden lustre, this doesn't accumulate on your skin at all, so those of you who have a phobia of glittery things can rest assure that you won't be left looking like a disco ball. This has very quickly established itself as one of my favourite soaps and I only hope that Lush see sense and release this as a regular product. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil, Sorbitol, Perfume, Ylang Ylang Absolute, Sandalwood Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Lime Oil, Lemon Oil, Tonka Absolute, Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Sodium Hydroxide, Titanium Dioxide, Gardenia Extract, Benzyl Alcohol, Methyl Ionone, Lilial, Citral, Coumarin, Hydroxycitronellal, Lyral, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 42090, Radiant Gold Lustre (Potassium Aluminium Silicate, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides).

Vegan?: Yes. 

2014 Price: Not Available for Individual purchase. 

Scent Family:
29 and a Half Soap
29 High Street Liquid Perfume
29 High Street Solid Perfume
29 High Street Shower Gel
HQ Perfume
Kiss Me Quick Business Wash Card

Secret Santa Ballistic

29 Gift Set

When I first saw this gift set available online, a mixture of two reactions festered in my mind. Firstly, there was an overwhelming sense of excitement at how beautiful the gift set was - I'll go as far as to say that it has since cemented itself as my all time favourite Lush gift set. However, my other immediate reaction was centred on the thought that it was a rather expensive investment, and given how much I had spent on their Christmas products already, I didn't know whether or not I would be able to actually afford to buy it.

At £119.95, this is one of Lush's most expensive sets, and aside from two exclusive items, every other product in here is available to buy at any time of the year. For this reason, I can see this being something that not many people are going to rush out and buy straight away - aside from those mad people such as myself who have too much money to spend!

So why 29, you may ask? For those unfamiliar with Lush's history, the company first started in Poole, England, in a small family-run shop situated at number 29 on the High Street. No matter how much the company expands, they always remember and celebrate their roots - this year being the year they do so with this wonderful collection of some of their biggest and most popular sellers to date.

Included in this box is:

Honey I Washed The Kids Soap (non-vegan)
Whoosh Shower Jelly (non-vegan)
Ultrabland Facial Cleanser (non-vegan)
D'Fluff Shaving Lotion (non-vegan)
American Cream Conditioner (non-vegan)

The latter two products are not available to buy anywhere else - a rather cheeky move on Lush's part as they know people like myself will invest in the whole package, just to try out the rare products. Having said that, this box set is a really lovely collection - there's something for everyone here. Whether you're a bath or shower lover, or simply enjoy pampering yourself with lotions and scrubs, there's guaranteed to be something here for you. 

If the collection of goodies is not enough to entice you, the box in itself is a marvel to look at. The exterior shell is made of sturdy cardboard which doesn't make it as strong as I would have liked, but it's still pretty robust. There are two  latches at the front which allow you to lock the box in place and there's a handle which is supposed to help replicate the 'old-fashioned briefcase' look. While I wouldn't trust this latter part to be strong enough to hold a heavy load by itself, it does add a nice touch to the overall design.

Inside, there are two layers - the top of which you can remove by lifting it up. While the products have been stored in compartments, these can be removed once the gift set has been used up, and gives you a rather large storage container to recycle in whatever manner you choose. This would be perfect for anyone who has a lot of jewellery or make up as you could keep so many things in this box. 

Overall, this whole set is stunning and easily my favourite gift set from Lush. With enough products to keep you happy for at least 6 months of the year, this is well worth the money - with the box being a must-have for all Lush collectors. I am so glad I invested in this as I cannot stop marvelling at it's beauty, although I would like to see the bubble stone and limited edition soap make an appearance in the Kitchen so I can appreciate it on more than one occasion. 

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £119.95.

29 December 2014

Solid Perfume Gift Set

While I tend to use liquid perfumes more than solid perfumes, I couldn't help but notice this new gift set from Lush. While it's probably their smallest one to date, this is good gift idea for anyone who either loves perfumes in general, or those who have a particular appreciation of sweet, fruity-based fragrances. 

This box set, which will set you back £20.95, works out a little more expensive than if you were to buy all three of the perfumes individually. Therefore, if like me, you're buying these for yourself, I would recommend that you seek them out without investing in this box set. However, as a present for a friend or family member, it's wonderfully presented inside and out, and would have made a nice stocking filler for any Lush fan. 

As you can see from the pictures, this set features:

Karma Solid Perfume

All three of these products have very unique aromas, and while they do share certain traits with each other, such as the fact that they're all very light perfumes and they're also rather uplifting ones, they are each very different from each other in every other aspect. 

The size of the box means that you could carry these around together and it wouldn't take up a lot of room in even the smallest of handbags. You can also opt to remove the tins and pop a single one in your bag if you're conserving space. Lush's latest designs mean that all three of these are beautiful to look at and very easy to carry around with you. 

I think that Lush should offer more of these to fans, incorporating perfumes old and new to create 'scent groups' to purchase. For example, they could group together Dirty, Breath Of God and Dear John to offer consumers a chance to purchase some of their more unisex offerings. This would not only introduce people to perfumes they might not have otherwise discovered, it would also allow regular buyers to buy their favourites in handy go-to packs. Having said that, the company would need to offer these sets at a discounted rate to make them more appealing than buying the individual tins.

Iced Wine Shower Jelly

If I remember rightly, I won a small tub of this jelly in an eBay auction a couple of years ago. At the time I was obsessed with anything that smelled like candy or had a resemblance to Snow Fairy, so I quickly established that I didn't like this product and sold it on. When a tub of this arrived with my latest Lush Kitchen order, I immediately regretted my initial reaction to the product...

Iced Wine Shower Jelly is a wonderfully unique and beautiful jelly - both in how it's presented inside and outside of the tub, and the fragrance it gives off immediately upon removing the lid. Sporting a light, tangerine colour, this item looks and smells like a tropical cocktail - a product that you'd imagine would be best suited for a summer release, but which works perfectly in the colder months. 

Lush describe it as a 'Christmas cocktail' and I couldn't agree more. With an infusion of fresh grape, iced wine and grapefruit oil, this is a sweet, fruity but surprisingly gentle addition to Lush's shower family. The grape infusion (which is made by boiling the fruit in water), gives this jelly a very natural grape aroma, while the grapefruit oil supports this and strengthens the overall fragrance without giving it a sour or overly citrusy smell. 
The bergamot adds its own blend of sweetness that helps to give Iced Wine a very uplifting fruity aroma, while the buchu oils adds a very subtle minty scent. While the finished product doesn't give off a mint smell, there is something fresh about the jelly that reminds me that the buchu oil is present. Those who dislike mint fragrances shouldn't be put off by this description - I can assure you there is nothing minty about the smell. Together, these ingredients offer a unique and very beautiful aroma - like unsweetened grape juice mixed with watermelon and finished off with a dash of pink grapefruit. 

Recognised as one of the best health foods, grapes are a good source of vitamins and minerals, containing magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, C and several of the vitamin B group. This helps to make the jelly extremely gentle yet nourishing on the body - Iced Wine will leave your skin feeling silky-soft whilst helping to repair and improve the condition of your pores. 

The jelly is gorgeous to use and produces a wonderfully soft, fragrant and rather oily lather to clean yourself with. I found it most easiest to cut the jelly into pieces about the size of one of Lush's solid perfume tins, and then rub this directly onto the areas I wanted to clean. I found it equally effective to massage the chunk between the palms of my hands and then massage the foam across my body - this will create a mound of suds for you to use and perhaps conserve the jelly for longer as it's not in constant contact with the water. 
If you find that you have problems holding onto your jelly and lose a fair amount down the plughole, what I also find works for me is breaking off a grape-sized piece and then rubbing it into a sponge or shower-puff, before using this to lather myself with. This tends to help the jelly foam up, wherein the puff them holds the lather whilst you clean yourself.  

After using this, my skin felt really soft and refreshed, and the scent lingered for a good while on my body. Furthermore, I tried freezing this product before using it in the shower,. This yielded really positive results, especially when the weather is hot and you're in need of something to help you to cool down.
If you love the scent of this, you can also break off a piece about the size of a grape and hold it under the flow of water, whereupon it will create a mound of fluffy bubbles and a rather wonderful smelling bath for you to enjoy. 

However you choose to use this shower jelly, Iced Wine is a wonderful addition to anyone's shower and will leave you feeling clean and invigorated. This is the perfect shower companion for anyone who enjoys sweet fragrances but doesn't appreciate anything too synthetic smelling, or anything too citrusy. This would be beautiful as both a bath bomb and a body lotion, and I only hope that Lush think about creating these additions in the near future. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Glycerine, Fresh Grape Infusion, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan Extract, Iced Wine, Grapefruit Oil, Bergamot Oil, Buchu Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Colour 45410, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £7.95 for 250g.
2015 Price: £7.95 for 250g. 
2016 Price: £8.25 for 250g.
2017 Price: £8.25 for 250g.  

Year Of Original Release: ?

27 December 2014

Jingle Jelly Shower Jelly

Jingle Jelly is one of Lush's shower jellies that seems to have completely disappeared from the face of the earth. I couldn't find near enough anything about this popular product, which is strange as I have heard so many fans rave about it. It's not a product that has been released for a good number of years (last seen back in 2007), so I'm hoping Lush are planning a revival of it soon. 

Containing a blend of juniper berry, fennel, grape juice and ylang ylang, this delightful jelly is a refreshing treat to be used as either a shower gel, bubble bath or shampoo. Sharing it's scent with the rather popular Jingle Spells Bath Bomb, this product is filled with essential oils, including seaweed oil, to soften and moisturise your skin. This shower jelly is definitely softer and far lighter than some of the other Lush jellies that I have used to date, and this works to its advantage. 

Jingle Jelly is a translucent green-coloured product, lightly decorated with silver glitter that only really makes an appearance when the jelly is being used in the shower. It's consistency is rather different to the likes of Spank Me With Saplings or Calacas, in that it is far softer and less 'rubbery' than these other jellies. What I really liked about Jingle Jelly, is that I was able to break off as much or as little as I wanted, and didn't have to battle with the product, whilst doing this in the shower.  

The jelly has a strong, herbal scent intertwined with a refreshing citrus kick and just the slightest minty aftertaste; it reminds me of lime cordial mixed with the gentle scent of forest pine. The whole combination is supposed to be detoxifying and re-energizing, and I felt really refreshed after using it. The product gives off a beautiful fragrance that works wonders at perking you up during those early morning showers. The shower jelly lathers up quite well, although it creates more of an oily foam than a fluffy, soapy one. 

After showering with this product, I found that my skin felt really soft to touch, but it wasn't moisturised enough that I didn't need to apply body lotion afterwards. Jingle Jelly leaves the skin feeling clean and smelling fresh but it's definitely not as invigorating as other Lush products I have used. I would love to see Jingle Jelly brought back as a shower gel as I think it would be wonderful in liquid form. However, I would be more than happy if Lush brought it back for a limited time so I could experience the joys of this shower jelly again. While I have rated this product as a four, there's no saying whether I'd rate it higher if I had a fresh pot to sample.

Quantatitive Ingredients: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Juniperberry Infusion (Juniperus communis), Glycerine, Propylene Glycol, Grape Juice (Vitis vinifera), Mandarin Juice (Citrus nobilis), Carrageenan Extract, Perfume, Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), Sweet Fennel Oil (Foeniculum vulgare), Ylang Ylang Oil (Cananga odorata), Tangerine Oil (Citrus reticulata), Fine Sea Salt (Sodium chloride), Colour 59040, Colour 42090, Silver Glitter (Lustre sparkle), Limonene, Methylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: 

26 December 2014

King Of Skin Body Butter

Ever since my mum slipped a slice of avocado on my plate some 14 years ago, I have been obsessed with the fruit that I now call my all-time favourite food. It takes a lot of will power for me to not eat one of these bad-boys every day, and I would quite happily munch on a perfectly ripe specimen than dig into a bar of (vegan) chocolate. 

In order to curb my cravings, I allow myself to purchase regular top-ups of Avobath and You've Been Mangoed Bath Melt - I figure if I can't eat these beauties every day, I can at least bathe in their goodness. 

King Of Skin is a body butter that I've had tucked away for a number of months, and didn't ever realise contained avocado until I did a little research on it a few days before I began applying it to my skin. Once I discovered it was one of the key ingredients, I was really hoping it would become my new favourite product.

Containing a glorious concoction of six different oils, this solid alternative to body lotion is guaranteed to leave your skin feeling incredible. Coconut oil is the prominent oil here, a rich, nutty oil that works wonders at nourishing the body and leaving its light fragrance on your skin; tangerine and lavender oil help to soften the pores whilst, alongside the sandalwood, leaves a pleasant sweet, earthy smell. 

If those oils were's enough to quench your skin's thirst, there is also fresh avocado and banana - two rich and highly nutritious natural ingredients that strengthen the skin and clean the pores without a build up. Cocoa butter and shea butter seal the deal with yet even more softening properties to give your whole body a well-deserved pamper. 
So why should you opt to use a solid body butter? Firstly, by keeping the ingredients in their solid form, as opposed to a liquid state, it means that Lush don't have to include specific chemicals and preservatives to get the product to remain liquid at room temperature. Secondly, because there are only natural ingredients present in the bars, these products are great for people with sensitive skin and those that don't bode well with heavy moisturisers. Finally, keeping it in it's solid form means it is easier and more cost-effective for the company and consumer, as it requires less packaging to store. 

So how does a body butter work? Well it works in the same way as a massage bar - except that you apply it onto wet skin rather than dry. To use, I just step outside the flow of my shower and massage it across my entire body. Once I've smeared enough on my skin, I then use my hands to massage it all over evenly. Then I simply rinse myself off and exit the shower. 

What I discovered was that King Of Skin is a very heavy body butter, and once I had applied it onto my body, it made my skin rather oily. Although Lush recommend that you rinse it off afterwards, I think this is a rather pointless task as I didn't feel as if any of the butters so much as moved when I tried to wash myself down. In a way, it did feel as if I'd accidentally applied a massage bar. 

On the positive side, once I was towelling myself down, my skin didn't feel as greasy and instead had a slight sheen to it, which made it look rather radiant. Its consistency means that your body gets a highly rich and intense all-over condition and I found that dry spots on my legs and feet had all but cleared up the day after I first used this solid bar. 

However, like Buffy, I felt that it was perhaps a little too heavy for my skin. It did make my skin feel really nice and smooth but it wasn't as light as a body lotion. For this reason, it's best not to use this as a daily moisturiser - it is possible to have too much of a good thing! 

Unfortunately, the one aspect that let this body butter down was it's smell. Don't get me wrong, it has a gorgeous scent. However, with all of the above ingredients present, I was expecting a creamy, vanillary fragrance not that far off Sympathy For The Skin. Instead, King Of Skin has more of a generic shea butter scent with slight elements of the almond oil and sandalwood. When using this in the shower, it's smell intensifies a little and it then gives off an almost chocolate-orange aroma, which is lovely. However, I couldn't smell any of the banana or avocado, which is the main reason why I bought this in the first place, and for this reason, I was a little disappointed.

When applying, King Of Skin melted very easily between my palms - in fact, I would warn users to only handle this bar if and when they're planning on using it immediately. The second the bar was in my hands, it began to melt, and it only took a few seconds for a thin but rather oily liquid to paint my hands. This is a product that if held too long, would disintegrate and disappear a lot quicker. In the shower, this massage bar does seem to shrink quite quickly so it's not as long lasting as Buffy or Aqua Mirabilis

Overall, the scent of King of Skin was lovely and it did do a lot for my skin. It's a great 'pick-me-up' product for those in need of a quick full body rejuvenation but shouldn't be used very often as it's a little too rich to be a daily product.

Presented as a unique crown-shaped solid bar, this body butter is definitely one of the most effective body butters available from Lush at this moment in time, but it's not one I would be able to use regularly. I will probably aim to purchase one of these every few months, and use it sparingly - just when I'm looking for that little something extra special to pamper myself with. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Oat Milk, Fresh Avocado, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Perfume, Organic Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Tangerine Oil, Lavender Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Rose Absolute, Frankincense Resinoid, Limonene, Linalool, Fresh Organic Bananas.

Vegan?: Yes.