27 February 2014

Rose Bubble Bar

When Lush's Mother's Day and Easter ranges were first announced, there was a lot of criticism about the fact that a large percentage of the products were heavily rose-scented. And where I can recognise why this negativity has come about, I for one am very happy with this smell being a prominent part of the range. I only wish that the products were fragranced with a new rose-inspired scent, not just a remodelling of products that are available to buy in the first place.

Rose Bubble Bar was probably the one product that didn't immediately get me excited when I saw the Mother's Day range. Although it shares it's scent with the wonderful Amandopondo Bubble Bar, I wasn't initially bowled over by it's design; it looks a little cheap. It's supposed to represent a rose, hence the name, although in pictures I think it looks more like a roulade of pink and white children's play dough. These colours intertwine and create a swirly pattern; giving off an almost pearly glimmer that makes the bubble bar look tarnished. This shine is no doubt a product of the many essential oils that Lush have packed in here to make it an enjoyable experience.

When I first received this product through the post, there were two aspects of Rose that stood out. Firstly, the bubble bar didn't look anything like the ones that Lush had posed on their website; mine didn't represent a flower in anyway, as you can see from the picture above. Not that this was a problem as I'm much more interested in how a product performs than it's design. 

Secondly, this is by far the smallest bubble bar I have ever brought from Lush - it's tiny! I was advised by another Lush fan that Rose Bubble Bar was created using a new concentrated recipe, meaning the bar had double the strength of a regular bubble bar and therefore, only needed half the size to create the same amount of scent/bubbles in the water. However, given my experience of this bubble bar tonight, this 'concentrated' element is definitely not working. In fact, I would say that this bar produces the least amount of bubbles that I have seen from a bubble bar to date; even my bars from 2008 and before, produce more bubbles than this disappointing thing. Although the bubbles produced were lovely and soft, they dwindled very quickly and left me with a bath of rose-tinted water, and little else.

Fragranced with Turkish rose absolute to soothe the spirits, lemon oil to bring clarity and cocoa butter to soften the skin, this is definitely an exquisite and highly beautiful smelling bubble bar. It's scent was the first that greeted my senses upon opening up my Lush order, and became the dominating smell in my room for weeks.

Unfortunately, when this bubble bar is placed in the bath, it gives off next-to-no scent at all, and I was only able to smell it's fragrance when I stuck my nose to the water. Only when I got into the bath, could I pick up the smell a little stronger, but it was still very weak. I found that whenever I would use another product in the bath, Rose's smell would be completely overridden by the scent of my shower gel, soap and shampoo. 

Ultimately, this is not a product I would recommend. Although it has an elegant, floral smell, the fragrance is very weakly displaced within the bar and fades very quickly. On getting out of the bath, I did notice that my skin had retained the slightest hint of rose. However, this was lost within a matter of minutes.
This is definitely a bubble bar for those of you who like gentle, subtle smells, and maybe that was Lush's aim when they designed and created Rose. I've given this bar three marks simply because it does have a wonderful smell, even if it smells stronger when not in use; it does leave your skin feeling quite soft after you've towelled yourself down and it did relax me quite a bit. However, for it's £2.95 price tag, I was expecting a lot more. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Cornflour, Perfume, Lemon Oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Rose Absolute, Organic Rose Hip Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Citric Acid, Laureth 4, *Citral, *Citronellol, *Geraniol, *Linalool, *Limonene, Calcium Sodium Borosilicate and Titanium Dioxide, Colour 17200, Candy Leaf.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £2.95 each.
2017 Price: £3.25 each.

Scent Family:
Amandopondo Bubble Bar
Amandopondo Perfume
Amandopondo Soap
Ring of Roses Buttercream
Ring Of Roses Soap 
Rose Bubble Bar (Mother's Day 2014)

Inhale/Exhale Bath Bomb

Inhale/Exhale is a rather odd choice for a Mother's Day bath bomb. Firstly, is stands out like a sore thumb amongst the peaches and purples, pinks and yellows that have graced most of the range this year; a combination of red and blue isn't an immediate pairing that you'd associate with the seasonal event. 

Secondly, the ballistic shares it's scent with the popular Breath of God fragrance, a strong smokey scent that I would say is more masculine than feminine-smelling. Despite this, it's the product I was most drawn to in the range, so the first one I decided to try.

Lush describe it as a 'bath bomb of two halves', and it definitely is. The red half is scented with Inhale, a blend of neroli and rose oils which creates a wonderfully light and fruity scent; the blue half is scented with Exhale; a rich, smokey fragrance that is definitely the more potent out of the two scents. I found that this latter part dominates this bath bomb's scent, and it is only after the ballistic starts fizzing in the bath tub, that the sweeter smells begin to come through. 

What I loved about this ballistic is that both halves reacted differently when the product was placed in the water. The red side immediately began to bubble and fizz, spewing vivid red streams of foam waves around the tub. Although the blue side was also dispersing colour throughout the water, it was not until the red had completely dissolved, that this part began to work it's magic. Noticeably, the ballistic begins to slow down it's dispersal, allowing the user to enjoy a sensual bath whilst Inhale/Exhale gently releases a trail of creamy blue foam across the surface.

Lush claims that 'the Inhale half fizzes quickly, allowing you to breathe in the neroli and rose oils' before lying back and enjoying 'the grounding effect of Exhale, which fizzes more slowly to allow the opportunity for a long-lasting, indulgent bath.' What's strange is that I found this process to be the exact opposite for me. From first sniff, until it had been completely dissolved, all I could smell was the intense sandalwood, cedar wood and amber concoction. This stayed dominant until about five minutes into the bath, wherein I began to pick up the sweetness of the grapefruit, mixed with the floral elements of the rose and neroli.

Unfortunately, this bath bomb doesn't sell itself very well. Much like the Breath of God Perfume, this is a scent that doesn't hold back. In fact, I would probably say that it's the strongest Lush fragrance I've smelt so far. I know a lot of people would be put off by this product's over-poweringly musty perfume, as it's one to catch in your throat if you take too strong a sniff. This is a shame as, once the bath bomb has dissolved, the scent is dispersed somewhat so the smell is much more bearable and actually very sensual and relaxing.

One aspect I did enjoy was the surprise message that Inhale/Exhale contained inside. Once the red side has completely dispersed, a small message floats to the surface and adds that special touch to the whole experience. It reads:

 'Inhale, lay back under the water, listen to your heartbeat, Exhale and relax.'

Although not an obvious choice for a Mother's Day product, I really enjoyed trying this one out in the bath as it was very unique and very sensual. It's a bath bomb that makes a statement, and one that would work well as a permanent member of Lush's bath bomb range. Despite it's poignant scent, it does make you feel very relaxed and it leaves your skin beautifully soft and lightly scented. I'll definitely be buying this again.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Neroli Oil, Ylang Ylang Oil, Black Pepper Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Vetivert Oil, Cedarwood Oil, Lemon Oil, Grapefruit Oil, Cade Oil, Cream of Tartar, Cornflour, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Coumarin, *Hydroxycitronellal, Methyl Ionone, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 17200, Colour 42090, Colour 45410, Colour 16255, Paper Slip.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £3.95 each.

2016 Price: £3.95 each.
2017 Price: £3.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2014.

Scent Family:
Breath of God Liquid Perfume
Breath of God Toothy Tabs
Inhale Exhale Ballistic

Under The Umbrella Tree Bath Bomb

26 February 2014

My Easter/Mother's Day 2014 Order!

Surprisingly, this is the smallest seasonal order I have ever placed at Lush. I normally always buy a good 4+ of every item available. However, my New Year's Resolution was to halve my current Lush stash, so this means not over-spending. It's difficult but I know it needs to be done!

Overall, all of these items look lovely and smell just as amazing. The only let down was the size of the Rose Bubble Bar; I was expecting a Happy? or Karma sized bar. Instead, it's probably about the size/weight of a quarter of the Comforter Bar, which makes it extremely expensive at £2.95 a pop!

I cannot wait to try out all of these beauties, and if you visit my blog every day for the next week, I'll be reviewing a new product each day. 

Golden Egg Bath Bomb

I knew when Golden Egg was first unleashed on the world, there would be a division of fans; on the one side there are those that get overly excited about anything glittery and will no doubt head straight for the most lustre-tastic looking product in the shop. Then there are those that sort of grimace at anything vaguely shiny and begin envisaging how much of a clean up there'll be after the bath. As for me, I'm one of those rarities that sort of balance precariously in the middle, hoping that lush have used the force of balance to create a product that can offer a sensual experience alongside one that's a little bit sparkly.

This product is new for 2014, although it shares it's scent with the Honey I Washed The Kids range so it's not all-together that new. What is unique about it however, is that it's composed of both a bath melt and a bath bomb, and it is this part that intrigued me the most. 

The outer shell is a glorious cocoa butter and sweet orange oil melt that, on contact with hot water, immediately begins to melt and ebb into the water, creating a beautiful stream of yellow foam. As Golden Egg continues to fizz, the bath bomb centre begins to release creamy white foam, which disperses into the tub and mixes with the yellow. The result is a wonderful, golden bath that possesses just the slightest hint of lustre. There's enough glitter to create a slight shimmer on and underneath the surface, but not enough that you have to worry about scrubbing it off of you afterwards. When the bath water has been drained, there is traces of the glitter left behind, but nothing that doesn't wash away after a splash of water. 

The best part about this product is that it gives off a wonderfully sumptuous and warming toffee and honey scent; it really is a rich treacly fragrance that wraps itself around you and leaves it's wonderful presence on your skin. I kept getting whiffs of this all night after I used one of these eggs, and it even stayed in my hair the following day. Furthermore, I love the fact that this product is vegan as I adore the Honey I Washed The Kids scent, yet can rarely buy any products with this smell as, like the title suggests, the products tend to contain honey. I love that Lush have found ways of producing this fragrance without using any animal derivatives. 

Lush claim that because the bath melt part of Golden Egg is rather heavy, this product sinks to the bottom of the tub before resurfacing when the ballistic part starts fizzing. However, I found that mine remained on the surface, which meant I was able to watch the egg spew out it's wonderful velvety entrails.

My only negative observation is that the bath melt part of Golden Egg is nowhere near as moisturising as other Lush bath melts have been in the past. When I was in the tub, I didn't notice any beads of cocoa butter or traces of oil like I would normally expect from such a product. Although my skin felt really smooth and soft afterwards, it didn't feel anything more than what I would expect an average bath bomb to do. 

Overall, this is a wonderful product, and one I will certainly buy a few more of before they are discontinued. The scent is strong and prominent throughout the entire bathing experience, something I value a lot with my bath products; definitely good value for money.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Fair Trade Organic Colombian Cocoa Butter, Citric Acid, Laureth 4, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Perfume, Sweet Wild Orange Oil, Bergamot Oil, Olive Oil, Cornflour, Lauryl Betaine, Amyl Cinnamal, Citronellol, Geraniol, Lilial, *Linalool, *Limonene, Gardenia Extract, Colour 19140:1, Radiant Gold Lustre, Gold Glimmer Lustre.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2015 Price: £3.75 each.
2016 Price: £3.95 each.

Year of Original Release: 2014. 

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

25 February 2014

Eye's Right Mascara

As silly as it sounds, I never even considered Lush to be a company I could buy my make-up from, despite using them for every other cosmetic need on the planet. A part of me always thought of them as being rather expensive; I would sometimes browse their Emotional Brilliance range but not even consider investing in anything to try out. That was until I went to buy my usual eyeliner at my local SuperDrug store, and realised that the price was actually not that far off Lush's fresh, more natural variation. So for Christmas last year, I asked my mum to buy me their Eye's Right Mascara

Packed full of wheatgrass, Eye's Right claims to help condition and nourish your lashes, using natural ingredients with plenty of vitamins and minerals, to strengthen and lengthen them. This mascara also boasts key elements to ensure that this product does not irritate or worsen sensitive eyes.  

When my mascara first arrived, I was a little bit taken back by the size of the container. Housed in an apothecary-style bottle, my first impression was that you don't really get a lot for your money. However, after investigating further, I realised that there was the same amount in this bottle, as there is in any other average-sized mascara tubes available commercially. 

One key difference between Eye's Right and any other mascara, is that Lush offer a much more practical packaging solution for their customers. The short brush means that the mascara doesn't get 'lost' or wasted in the bottle and it's a lot easier to monitor how much you have left, without running out beforehand. Additionally, it also means that you have much more control when applying it; this helps you to style your lashes much more effectively. 
Another difference is that Eye's Right contains both Japan and Caranuaba wax, two ingredients that prevent smudging and flaking once the mascara has been applied. With previous mascaras, I always expected to have to wipe away liquid that had rubbed off, onto my face, because I had blinked at some point during application. With this one, I found that this didn't happen at all. 

The main ingredient in Eye's Right is fresh wheatgrass, a natural, gentle plant extraction that helps to make this mascara really sensitive on your eyes. Boasting the inclusion of only one preservative (most mascaras can have up to six), this mascara is suitable for anyone looking for a simple, caring alternative to commercial products. 

What I found is that this product didn't feel heavy on my lashes. Neither did it dry, harden or clump; something I have found every other mascara to do. In fact, a few months prior to receiving this product, I was finding many of my lashes were falling out, most probably due to the heavy and unnatural elements in the products I was using. Ever since I switched to Eye's Right, not a single lash has fallen out.  

I cannot believe that I have taken so long to invest in Eye's Right. It's easily the best mascara I have ever used, and I love the fact that I know it's completely cruelty free. It gives me great coverage throughout the entire day and is easy to remove in the evenings, before bed. It sits wonderfully inside my handbag and works a treat if I ever need to top up throughout the day. I'm hooked!

Quantitative Ingredients: Fresh Wheatgrass Infusion, Water, Japan Wax, Stearic Acid, Talc, Triethanolamine, Carnauba Wax, PVP, CI77499, Methylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

24 February 2014

Tramp Shower Gel

I feel like I have to tread rather carefully when discussing Tramp Shower Gel on this blog. The reason being that it seems to be one of those Lush products that inspires a very strong reaction from fans worldwide. In fact, when Lush originally discontinued it from the shops, they got more letters, emails and phone calls than ever before from fans desperate to have it reinstated. 

When I originally heard about Tramp, I was rather excited to give it a go. Much like Grass, I think the more natural and unique smelling Lush products encompass the very purpose behind the company. A shower gel that claimed to smell like a forest, sounded like an interesting and exciting venture for me to try out. 

The main ingredient in Tramp is White Horehound Infusion, an ingredient which is not featured very often in other Lush products. The herb is known for it's mind calming, spirit lifting properties, which is in keeping with the sensual element surrounding the shower gel. Lush mix this up with balm infusion and patchouli oil, making this shower gel great for conditioning your hair and your skin. The latter ingredient also offers most to this product's distinctive aroma.

Tramp is designed to evoke the atmosphere of a forest, and it does this well, by giving off an earthy, woody scent that is unlike any other cosmetic I have tried. You can definitely smell the patchouli here, which gives the shower gel a slight sweet kick that works well alongside the mossy fragrance of the oakmoss. Even though patchouli is the main scent here, the overall smell of this is so refreshing, clean and uplifting.

Unfortunately, despite initially loving this smell when in the bottle, I found it almost unbearable when using it in the shower. I don't think that this enigmatic scent works well when mixed with hot water, as the earthy elements were too potent on the nose. I found that the smell became quite overpowering in the shower and it lost it's sweet edge, which was probably my favourite part of the fragrance.

Despite not being too keen on the smell, inside the bottle, Tramp is very dark beautiful green colour, like the dark forest it is trying to replicate. It lathers up very nicely, and has an oily consistency which helps to soften out your skin and leave it feeling smooth. This product was intended to be used as both a shower gel and a shampoo, although given my negative experience in the shower, I don't intend on testing it out as a hair product. 
Overall, I was a little disappointed with Tramp. Having heard so many rave reviews from other Lush fanatics, I was expecting a lot more than what I received. Lush state that its a unisex product though, in my opinion, its definitely more of a masculine fragrance. Perhaps this is why I was not as keen on it as I expected to be. I do enjoy the smell of it in the bottle though, so I shall keep the product and give it little sniffs every once in a while. 

Quantitative Ingredients: White Horehound Infusion, Balm Infusion, Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Fine Sea Salt, Patchouli Oil, Oakmoss Absolute, Plantain Vinegar Gel, Eugenol, Methyl Ionone, Perfume, Methylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes

Year Of Original Release: 2000.

2015 Price: £10.95 for 250g.
2017 Price: £11.25 for 250g

Scent Family:
Tramp Body Lotion
Tramp Liquid Perfume
Tramp Shower Gel
Tramp Shower Jelly
Tramp Solid Perfume

23 February 2014

R N B Hair Moisturiser

My hair goes through a lot, what with dyeing it once a month and only cutting it once or twice a year. This means that I have to protect my hair as best as I can, and find ways of preventing it from drying out before it begins to look horrible. I am always looking for new products to carry this out, and on a recent Lush trip, one such product took my fancy. 

R & B (which stands for Revive and Balance) Hair Moisturiser is a leave-in hair treatment that is supposed to revive the hair and balance the scalp. Packed full of many different butters and oils, including avocado butter, olive oil, coconut oil and cupuacu butter, this product is an extremely rich moisturiser that can be used in different ways to cater for a whole array of different hair styles. 

The idea is that you take a small scoop with your fingers and then apply it to your hair. Lush recommend that on thin or straight hair, you work a little through after you've conditioned but before you've begun to towel dry or blow dry. On thicker, curly hair, the product is supposed to be added when the hair is completely dry. 

Having applied a walnut-sized amount to my locks, I immediately noticed that my hair felt rather greasy. This was even more noticeable when my hair was completely dry, wherein my hair seemed more flatter than usual and had a slight 'gleam' to it.

After using it once a fortnight, for a few months, I found that my hair began to feel brittle and thin, and my hair colour seemed really dull and lifeless. Furthermore, I found that my ends seemed to become drier after a few uses, which meant that I had to refrain from using it in order for my hair to repair itself.

Not only this, but the smell of R&B is very poignant, and after application, it will override any other product you use alongside it. It's not an unpleasant smell; a mixture of Jasmine and, what smells like, lemon. However, there's definitely an element of grease in the fragrance. The overall scent is somewhat synthetic smelling, almost 'plasticy', and it reminded me a little of Cif bathroom cleaner. 
In conclusion, I won't deny that my hair wasn't sleeker and smoother after I used this product, which is partly why I have awarded R&B 3 bottles out of 6. However, it also looked rather greasy if I used it more than once a month, which meant that it could never be a product I used regularly.  

Another reason why I have given this product a mark of three, is that my flatmate uses R&B twice a week and it does wonders for her hair. Therefore, I recognise that this product does have it's uses. Unfortunately, it just doesn't live up to it's promise of being suitable for all dry or curly hair types.

Quantitative Ingredients: Oat Milk, Glycerine, Organic Avocado Butter, Fair Trade Olive Oil, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Perfume, Cetearyl Alcohol, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Cold Pressed Jojoba Oil, Bay Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Cupuacu Butter, Candelilla Wax, Benzyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, *Benzyl Salicylate, *Eugenol, *Geraniol, *Isoeugenol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Lilial.

Vegan?: Yes

Hello Gorgeous Gift Set

I would say that this is probably one of Lush's most popular gift sets available. I only say this because I have received this gift set probably 4-5 times over the last couple of years, all from different people, none of which have asked me for any input before they have bought it. 

It's a gift set that would appeal to most Lush fans, containing some of their most popular and exquisite products available. Who can say no to sharing a bath with the Comforter Bubble Bar? Or lathering their post-bath body with the glorious Vanilla Dee-lite moisturiser

It's beautifully packaged in a reusable and very pretty box, and one that I would be very grateful to receive again. The only negative aspect about this gift box is that it contains a non-vegan item; a small, 10g tin of Lush's Gorgeous Facial Moisturiser which I have to give away each time. It would be wonderful if they could exchange this for a small sample of the much-loved Celestial Facial Moisturiser, making it 100% vegan and even more amazing.