31 January 2014

The Greeench Deodorant Powder

As you know, it's very rare that I have anything bad to say about Lush: I'd certainly never sugar-coat my opinion about anything just for the sake of being positive. The great thing is that I never normally feel like I need to as I can usually find merits in most of their products. Which is why I was rather disappointed when I began using The Greeench. 

Lush claim it to be 'a highly effective deodorant powder that can be used on the underarms, on feet, or in trainers.' And to sniff it might, at first, make you believe it. 

Firstly, nothing is more effective at neutralising nasty whiffs than tea tree powder and oil, which kills and neutralises the bacteria that cause smells. Lush have included both of these ingredients in here, obviously keen on eradicating any unwanted pongs. There is also powdered sage here which is supposed to help you sweat less, since it’s an astringent and constricts your pores. Finally, the inclusion of Icelandic moss, containing lycopodium powder, steals away perspiration by absorbing it and leaves your arms fresh and dry. 

On paper, The Greeench sounds like the perfect deodorant, yet it did absolutely nothing for me - it didn't remove sweat smells or help to keep my underarms dry. In fact, after a few hours of wearing it, I felt rather vulnerable without my usual roll on. 

Secondly, it was very difficult to apply. It leaves a white powdery layer on my armpits, which then transferred onto all my tops very quickly and left stains that wouldn't wash out. I also found that a lot of product was lost when trying to get it out of the bottle and onto my armpits; the amount of product that decorated my floor was shocking!

Overall, this is yet another Lush deodorant that is best suited for people who pretty much don't sweat at all, which for someone who works out a lot and has to get through twelve hour days at work, is not the ideal or practical solution. The only positive thing I can say about The Greeench is that the £5.95 price tag is extremely good value for money. I was using it twice a day, for almost a month, and the powder is barely a centimetre away from the top of the bottle.  

Despite this, I didn't have any problem with the smell - it is very pungent and may put people off. However, the tea tree does smell very sanitary and clean, which I didn't mind at all. I may use the rest of bottle to freshen up my much worn shoes as I can imagine it working well in this way.

I know I look for Lush for solutions in all of my cosmetic needs, but as of yet, they have yet to convince me that I should move away from my regular bottle of Nivea.

Quantitative Ingredients: Talc, Sodium Bicarbonate, Magnesium Trisilicate, Lycopodium Powder, Perfume, Water, Tea Tree Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Powdered Sage, Powdered Tea Tree, Powdered Rosemary, *Limonene, *Linalool, Chlorophyllin.

Vegan?: Yes

2019 Price: £

29 January 2014

Starcraft Facial Cleanser

Ever since I discovered 9 to 5 cleaning lotion, my complexion has been transformed; my pores are clean, my skin feels fresh and rejuvenated, my face feels toned and resilient. It is the number one product I turn to to remove unwanted make-up and clear my pores at the end of a long day. It has worked wonders to keep my face looking and feeling youthful so anything that's looking to replace it, has big boots to fill. 

When Starcraft made it's appearance back in early 2013, in one of Lush's retro releases, I was initially hesitant to try it. Why change something that isn't broken to begin with, right? However, curiosity got the better of me and I ended up purchasing a small bottle to try.

Lush says: "Lift your skin to another dimension - We crafted this cleanser using oats, almond oil, honeysuckle and lavender infusions and lavender essential oil, to make your skin feel clean and heavenly soft". On paper, this product sounded wonderful. But how would it compare to my staple cleanser?

Like 9 to 5, Starcraft is a liquid cleanser and to use it you simply smooth it over your face, massaging it into your skin before wiping away the access gently with a cotton pad. What's great about this cleaner is that it has a thick consistency, meaning the application is easy and less messy than my favourite. You'll find that the cotton pad will harvest lots of excess dirt and grime, despite you having just had a shower, which makes you feel really good and your skin clear. I tend to ensure that there's a little more product around my eyes, which I use to wipe away make-up, and I found that this cleanser is just as good as 9 to 5 at removing stubborn mascara and eyeliner as well. 

Starcraft uses both almond oil and lavender as it's key ingredients, which gives it a really lovely nutty floral scent whilst leaving your skin feeling smooth to the touch. The only issue I found with the cleanser, is that it can make your face quite greasy if you put too much on at once, so I suggest you experiment until you find the right amount for you.

Having used this product daily for the last few weeks, I am still amazed at how soft my skin feels after use. It's a lovely, light cleanser that does exactly what you expect it to. Unfortunately, this was only sold in 100g bottles, and as part of a limited release, so it's not a cleanser you could include in your regular routine. It also means that it does work out more expensive than 9 to 5, which is why it won't be replacing my favourite cleanser any time soon. However, now that Lush have brought it back, I will purchase a few more bottles to use alongside my usual products.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Oat Milk, Almond Oil, Honeysuckle Flower Infusion, Lavender Flower Infusion, Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Glycerine, Lavender Oil, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £6.25 for 100g. 
2016 Price: £6.50 for 100g. 

28 January 2014

Magic Wand Re-usable Bubble Bar

On paper, this product sounds like a dream; a Snow Fairy-fragranced 'wand' designed to fill your tub with an elixir of candy-scented bubbles. As the name suggests, this resembles that of a wand, with a pink star-shaped bubble bar attached to a wooden stick. Adorning the wand is a ribbon and a little bell, which is there for aesthetic purposes only.

Pre 2015 Design
To look at, this bubble bar is rather magical, and is a great piece to add to a gift set or as a stocking filler. It would appeal to young girls and those who like feminine looking products, as well as being a great value purchase for those who want to invest in something fun and affordable for their children. It's definitely one of Lush's more unique seasonal products, and I can imagine it being one of their biggest sellers as well. 
What's great about this bubble bar, is that it can be used multiple times, which makes it exceedingly good value for money. In fact, I managed to get six good quality baths out of a single bar, and as long as you keep it stored somewhere dry in-between uses, there's no reason why you can't stretch this to ten baths, if not more. 

How you use the wand is simple; just run a bath and then swirl the bubble bar around in the water, like you would a wand in the air. You'll find that the water begins to turn pink instantaneously and within a few seconds, large mounds of silky-soft bubbles begin to form. This part is probably the product's most appealing aspect; for one, it means you can choose how much to use each time, and secondly, the action of waving it like a wand, is a fun factor that kids will love. 

The scent is a sugary-sweet candy floss scented bubble bar, with hints of bubblegum and strawberry milkshake thrown in there for good measure. If anything, it's one of Lush's most synthetic-smelling products. 

Unfortunately, after the initial look and sniff, the Magic Wand wasn't all that exciting for me. For one, the product had a harsh underlying smell, which took away from the Snow Fairy scent that I know and love. At first, I thought that perhaps my wand was on the old side, and that it had started to deteriorate a little, causing the potent smell. However, I bought a newer one to compare and found that, that too had a strange, almost bleach-like undertone to it. 

Secondly, there's the small issue of having to store it in-between uses. Now obviously, this isn't a major concern, but it is something that you have to consider. Leaving it on or around the bath, just causes it to leak and shrink due to the moisture present; leaving it anywhere when it isn't dry will cause it to leak quite profusely and stain window ledges and cupboards if you're not careful.
Another issue I found was that the bar sometime deposits pieces of the bubble bar at the bottom of the tub, which isn't a nice experience when you find yourself resting on the gritty residue. Furthermore, for a bubble bar, it certainly didn't produce as many bubbles as other, regular products do. 

However, I will give it credit for it's moisturising properties; this product definitely does produce soft, velvety water that leaves your skin feeling really smooth and rejuvenated. Ultimately, I can see this being a popular product around the Christmas period, more so for the female species than the male. However, I much prefer my Snow Fairy in a bottle.
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Titanium Dioxide, Synthetic Musk, Methyl Ionone, Benzyl Benzoate, Colour 45410, Colour 17200, Colour 14700.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2014 Price: £4.95 each.
2015 Price: £5.25 each.

Scent Family:
Best Washes Wash Card
Bubblegum Lip Scrub
Candy Fluff Ballistic
Candy Fluff Perfume
Candy Fluff Dusting Powder
Fairy Dust Dusting Powder
Father Christmas Bath Bomb
Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb
Godmother Soap
Lush Mechanic Cold-Pressed Soap
Magic Wand Bubble Bar
Melting Marshmallow Moment Bath Oil
Mmmelting Marshmallow Bath Melt
Pink Easter Egg Ballistic
Snow Fairy Body Conditioner
Snow Fairy Body Spray
Snow Fairy Cold-Pressed Soap
Snow Fairy Jelly Bath Bomb
Snow Fairy Lip Tint
Snow Fairy Liquid Perfume
Snow Fairy Naked Body Conditioner
Snow Fairy Naked Shower Gel
Snow Fairy Shower Gel
Snow Fairy Solid Perfume
Snow Fairy Sparkle Jar
Snow Fairy Sparkle Massage Bar

2015 Design

Pre-2015 Design

27 January 2014

Secret Santa Bath Ballistic

As I order almost all of my Lush stuff through their website, I'm never really 100% sure what I'm going to get before it arrives at my door. A product may claim to be a certain size or possess a certain smell, but until I eagerly unwrap that packaging for the first time, nothing is guaranteed. 

When Secret Santa was first announced, I was super excited about the prospect of a bath bomb smelling like Lush's 29 High Street perfume (originally called HQ). For those unfamiliar with this product, 29 was a perfume designed to smell just like a Lush shop. Remember that potent smell that first enticed you to step into the cosmetic equivalent of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory? Well the clever bunnies at Lush decided to take this wonderful mixture of fragrances and turn it into something you could wear on you all day. I'm actually rather surprised that Lush doesn't have a permanent ballistic with this scent as I'm sure it'll be very popular.    

Modelled on the original Lush shop, 29 Poole High Street, Secret Santa is a new bath ballistic that was first featured in Lush's Christmas 2013 range. The bath bomb is super sized, barely fitting inside one of Lush's generic paper bags and is supposed to be used across 2-3 baths. However, due to the fact that it is a very compact ballistic, it is slightly difficult to break apart to do this. Rather than bashing it against the bath tub, like I have done for other ballistics, this one works better when you use a knife to separate the two halves. Around the outside of the bath bomb, you'll find a 'seam' line that, when you press the sharp edge of a knife into it, will give way and present you with two equal-sized pieces. 

Lush claim that the Secret Santa contains a smaller, 'secret' Father Christmas bath bomb inside. However, when I broke one apart, I found that mine had a circular red core that was welded to the ballistic, so I don't think you could use this separately. 
Much like the perfume, Lush have chosen specific scents to represent their unique shop fragrance. Firstly, they've included both lime and lemon oil, which give the product it's uplifting scent and helps to soften the bath water. Secondly, they've used Jasmine Absolute; a rich, floral scent that helps to lighten your mood and relax your mind.

Up next is Sandalwood oil; a base note that is used in a whole array of Lush products, especially in their perfumes. This gives Secret Santa a light, woody scent that balances out the sweetness of the citrus oils and gives it a rounder overall fragrance. Finally, they've included Tonka absolute, which gives the ballistic a natural, sweet scent that compliments the citrus elements.

With the calming scent of ylang ylang as well as all of these diverse yet complimentary scents, Secret Santa is a feast for your senses. I really enjoyed it's citrusy smell, which I feel is more prominent than the other scents featured here. However, the longer you spend in the bath, the more you begin to notice those woody and floral fragrances coming through.
When you drop it into your bath, it starts to fizz and create the most wonderful bright orange shade in the water. As the ballistic fizzes away, the water begins to turn a beautiful fuchsia colour with a slightly glittery finish. This uplifting tangerine colour is a real treat for the eyes, and the scent, which remains throughout the entire bathing experience, perks you up and leaves your skin feeling warm and slightly scented. 

For £5.75, it's a rather expensive ballistic and this is part of the reason why I have rated it lower than I would have done. For the hefty price tag, it doesn't offer you any more than a usual bath bomb would. For almost £3 cheaper, I would much rather pick up a Father Christmas, which shares similar traits to Secret Santa, but offers me a lot more bang for my buck.

However, it does smell very similar to 29, one of my favourite Lush perfumes, so I cannot complain about the scent. I think if this was a limited edition ballistic that had come out for a special occasion, I would have understood the price tag and bought a few to last me. As it's most likely to come back next Christmas, I'll refrain from buying anymore and just hope that they harvest the smell in a more cost-effective bath bomb. 
Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Ylang Ylang Absolute, New Caledonian Sandalwood Oil, Indian jasmine absolute, Lime Oil, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Tonka Absolute, Water, *Citral, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Limonene, *Linalool, Methyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Benzyl Alcohol, Coumarin, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Colour 14700, Colour 17200, Colour 15510, Colour 45410, Snowflake Lustre.

Vegan?: Yes

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

26 January 2014

Limited Edition Wooden Karma Set

Being a massive fan of Karma, I desperately wanted to get my hands on one of these super-sexy limited edition Karma box sets. As it so happened, I was lucky enough to be given a substantial amount of Lush gift cards for Christmas, and visited the Covent Garden store to find just one Karma set left!

I stole away with it as fast as I could and I'm really happy that I did; it's a beautifully presented gift set that looks and smells fantastic, and I think, super value for money. If you add up the cost of the products inside, you're only really paying a couple of pounds for the box, which is worth every penny.

Check out these shots of my wonderful gift set;

25 January 2014

I Am 10 Bubble Bar

A few years ago, when I was unfortunately not attuned to the amazing world of Lush, the company would throw Forum Parties where die-hard fans would be able to purchase limited edition products that were not available in the shops. It was a great opportunity for staff and fans to get together and discuss their favourite topic, Lush, and share amazing products that were only available in small batches online.  

One such party was held in 2012; a party to celebrate Lush Online’s tenth anniversary - so the products available were going to be pretty darn special!

The I Am 10 bubble bar was designed to resemble one of those badges you get on birthday cards for children; a fun idea to symbolise the very nature of the company it represented. It's round and bright red with ‘I Am 10’ written on it in white: a simple design but an eye-catching one. 
The best part about it is that it's scented with the American Cream fragrance; a wholesome strawberry and cream concoction not unlike the scent of vanilla milkshake. The addition of lavender and sage helps to add a herby undertone that compliments the fresh vanilla scent and gives it a more rounded smell. The American Cream scent of Clary sage, vanilla and lavender is so scrummy in bubble bar form and gives this product a fruity, sweet and incredibly comforting scent.

It also happens to be vegan, a fact that excited me to no end when I first discovered the bar. Do you know how many times I have picked up a bottle of American Cream Conditioner, in the store, and given it a sniff, pleading inside that it'll one day be made vegan? Too many to count. 
I am 10 is probably about eight centimetres in diameter, meaning this bubble bar is perfectly made for two baths. It's soft and squidgy to the touch, making it really easy to break it in half or quarters, depending on how many baths you wish to get out of it. I crumbled half of a bubble bar into the running water, and swished my hands throughout the tub, as this is the best way to create loads of bubbles. The water turned a beautiful salmon-pink colour, the water felt silky-soft and lovely creamy white bubbles were formed. 

The delicious American Cream scent remained with me throughout the entire bath and continued to nestle on my skin right through until the following day. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that it is probably the longest lasting product I have yet to try from Lush. 

Unfortunately, I Am 10 was released as a limited edition product, meaning it can no longer be bought from the Lush website. However, I was lucky enough to pick up five of them on one of my recent eBay sprees, and I highly recommend that you grab one if and when you can. 
This is probably one of my all-time favourite bubble bars from Lush, and I'm really surprised this is not more readily available. I can imagine it being a very high seller so I'm hoping that Lush bring this back soon as I'm keen to stock up! 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate),Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax tonkinensispierre),Clary Sage Oil (Salvia sclarea), Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia),Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Titanium Dioxide, Coumarin, Methyl Ionone, *Linalool, Colour 17200.

Vegan?: Yes

2014 Price: Unknown.

Scent Family:
American Cream Body Lotion
American Cream Conditioner
American Cream Liquid Perfume
American Cream Shower Gel
American Cream Solid Perfume
American Pie Shower Jelly
Flosty Gritter Bubble Bar
I Am 10 Bubble Bar
Twinkle Bath Ballistic

23 January 2014

Melting Snowman Bath Melt (New)

Melting Snowman Bath Melt first made it's appearance during the Christmas 2012 range, boasting to be not only the cutest product in the Christmas selection, but also the cheapest as well. For this reason, I wasn't expecting to be overly impressed by what it could offer me. I was about to be proved wrong.

For those of you unfamiliar with what a 'bath melt' is, Lush have coined this term as meaning a product which is used in the bath, that does not create bubbles or give you a show with different colours, glitter and so on. Renowned for their moisturising properties, bath melts create a layer on the top of your bath water which helps to soften and smooth the skin, as well as releasing oils and fragrances to make your bath more relaxing. Often people will use one alongside a bath bomb to get both a colourful and moisturising experience. However, some bath melts can be used on their own with equally good results. Melting Snowman is one such product...

Lush describe the bath melt as an 'exquisitely fragranced' product 'with a spicy, warming, hot toddy fragrance to banish winter chills. Turn on your bath taps, put the plug in and fill up your tub with warm water before dropping in your cinnamon, clove and lime snowman on a hot summer's day!'

Melting Snowman possesses the same scent as both Snowcake Soap and Hot Toddy Bubble Bar, depending on how old the product is. In 2012, Lush switched the scent of the bath melt to that of the Hot Toddy fragrance; something perhaps spurred on by the popularity of the scent. Although it doesn't make me love this melt any less, it is a shame that there is one less Snowcake-scented product to enjoy. 

I found that Melting Snowman contains a spicy, fruity scent that has elements of both Glogg Shower Gel and Hot Toddy. Initially, you can smell cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon here. However, almost as soon as you detect the spiciness, you experience the orange, vanilla and rich fruits that intertwine themselves wonderfully with the cloves. 

This product was super easy to use; I simply dropped it into the bath, under the running tap, and the bath melt began to dissolve wonderfully by itself. Although it does take a little while to fully dissolve, you can get into the bath while it's working it's magic and enjoy the softness of the water straight away.

The only aspect of this bath melt that I didn't enjoy were the addition of the dairy-free chocolate chips for it's eyes and decoration. Once in the water, these little pieces melted very quickly. But rather than dissolve into the water, they instead left sticky marks on both my skin and the bath tub. I had to spend a good 5 minutes trying to scoop the 'gloops' of chocolate out before I could really relax.

Melting Snowman turned the water a cloudy white colour, which seemed boring when compared with the show that other Lush bath bombs put on. However, the bath melt was a hit for me. Containing both cocoa butter and shea butter, Melting Snowman made the bath water incredibly moisturising and left my skin looking radiant and feeling silky smooth and soft. 
Overall, I was really impressed with the results. For a product so cheap, I really felt that this was going to be one I tried and never went back to. As it happens, I would consider this to be amongst my favourite bath products ever. The scent stayed with my for a long time after I got out of the bath, and I didn't feel as if I needed to moisturise my skin afterwards, as the bath melt really goes to town on healing and softening your skin. 

This is now a staple in my house, and I tend to bulk buy at Christmas so I have enough to last me throughout the entire year. I dread the year that Lush choose not to bring this back as I don't think I could live through a Christmas without Melting Snowman being there to comfort me.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Icing Sugar, Citric Acid, Cocoa Butter, PEG-6 Caprylic / Capric Glycerides, Almond Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Perfume, Shea Butter, Benzoin Resinoid, Rose Absolute, Cassie Absolute, Dairy Free Chocolate Drops, *Benzyl Benzoate.

Vegan?: Yes

2015 Price: £2.45 each.
2016 Price: £2.75 each.

Scent Family:
Christmas Kisses Bubble Bar
Holly Golightly Bubble Bar (Christmas 2014)
Hot Toddy Bubble Bar
Hot Toddy Shower Gel (Christmas 2014)
Melting Snowman Bath Melt (New)