30 November 2014

Jumping Juniper Solid Shampoo

After the disastrous effect that Ultimate Shine caused on my hair, I was really hesitant about trying out another one of Lush's solid shampoo bars, especially after spending many weeks afterwards desperately trying to reclaim my hair. But with a further four more solid bars left to try, I was determined to press on and find the perfect one for me.

For those who are not familiar with Lush's solid shampoo bars, they are different coloured/scented shampoos that have been compacted into 50g rounded chunks. You use them in the same way as you would soap, either rubbing it over your wet hair to create a lather, or massaging it between your palms and applying the lather to your hair. Either way, they work just like a normal shampoo would. 

In addition, these shampoo bars are much better value than their liquid counterparts; firstly, you can get near-enough 80 uses out of a single bar, which works out at just over 7 pence a time. Secondly, the bars don't need to be stored or presented in any packaging so they're environmentally great. Finally, Lush don't have to include any nasty synthetic ingredients to keep them at liquid consistency when at room temperature, making them more natural.  

Jumping Juniper is perhaps the most visually gorgeous as well as being the most beautiful smelling solid shampoo in Lush's collection. Presented in a vivid shade of purple, you would expect the bar to smell of lavender or violet - something herbal or floral. However, that is not the case. 

Although subtle smelling like all of Lush's other shampoo bars, this one possesses an uplifting and highly fruity lemon and lime fragrance, not far off the Dragon's Egg and Avobath Ballistics. To make it a little more unique-smelling than these bath products, there is also a very small hint of the rosemary at the back of the aroma - something that is a little more prominent when you're using this product in the shower. 

Made from a combination of juniperberry, lemon and lime oils, lavender and rosemary, this shampoo claims to give your hair and scalp a deep cleanse, whilst giving it a natural shine. Much like elemi oil, the juniperberry oil also helps to regulate sebum production and secretion, detoxifying the scalp and cleansing clogged up pores and the build up of grease. The citrus oils then help to give your hair a natural shine, without making it look greasy or weighed down. 

This solid shampoo lathered up very easily and I could feel it getting to work immediately. My hair felt soft and easy to manage, and after I had applied my conditioner and washed this off, my felt light and airy to touch. While it was drying, I noticed that my hair definitely did give off a slight glimmer - something my hair hadn't possessed before I had washed it.

My locks felt really moisturised and healthy, whilst retaining a light, well-conditioned consistency overall. When used daily, Jumping Juniper Shampoo didn't dry my hair out or cause my dyed hair to fade, which I appreciate. After using it for a few weeks, I found that this gentle shine stayed with me, and didn't make my hair look greasy. However, I did find, as with some of Lush's shampoos, that I needed to wash it daily otherwise it would begin to look a little flat and lifeless. 

Overall, this washed my hair effectively and didn't dry my hair out as I was dreading. I was a little disappointed that the smell wasn't more prominent when I applied it in the shower, as it's definitely an uplifting and beautiful aroma that would entice more people to try it out. However, it worked well with my conditioner to leave my hair feeling soft with a natural healthy shine.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Lavender Decoction, Rosemary Decoction, Juniperberry Oil, Lemon Oil, Lime Oil, Citral, Limonene, Perfume, Colour 60725.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £5.75.

29 November 2014

Butterball Bath Bomb

As I've mentioned in previous reviews, I'm not one of those people that has an obsession with the Butterball fragrance. Much like Karma, Comforter and Calacas, the Butterball scent is one of Lush's most popular scent families, and inspires quite a following. At the risk of repeating myself, I find the smell of cocoa butter to be an over-used scent in cosmetics, and after using cheap alternatives for years, the smell doesn't insight anything other than a slight shrug from myself. However, as the colder months begin to close in around us, I need something to nourish and hydrate my skin, and Butterball Ballistic is just the person for the job. 

Containing only seven ingredients, it appears to be one of the most natural bath bombs available on the market. Free of gimmicks, colouring and bathtub decorations, this product has only one role - to replenish the natural oils of your skin and leave you looking and feeling beautiful. Cocoa Butter is the key ingredient here - helping to moisturise and soften the skin, whilst the musk works with the butter to create a wonderfully creamy, vanillary-toffee scent. Finally, Ylang ylang has been used to relax your mind and your nervous system, relieving you of any stresses and tensions you may have been harvesting. 

When this bath bomb hits the water, it immediately begins to fizz, albeit rather loudly, releasing a stream of white foam throughout the water. Seconds later, little beads of what looks like oil, begin to seep from the bath bomb, most of which float on the surface, but some of which tend to spread out and rest against the edge of the tub. I found out, after some research, that these beads of gold are the cocoa butter, which has been included to soften the bath water and moisturise your skin whilst you're relaxing. 

Lush say that if you have 'dry, sensitive or irritated skin, this is the bath bomb to replenish it.' I couldn't agree more. On entering the bath tub, you can immediately feel the buttery goodness which makes your skin feel velvety soft almost instantly. The beads of cocoa butter dissolve into the water and settle onto your skin, creating an oily layer that coats you and softens your body wonderfully. 

As Butterball is one of Lush's smallest ballistics, it takes less than a minute to fully dissolve and leaves the water a cloudy white colour. As I mentioned above, this product has been designed to moisturise and soften your skin. So if you're looking for a 'show' in the bathroom, you may wish to use a second ballistic alongside this one to get the best of both worlds.

This ballistic really moisturised my skin and I found that I didn't have to use my normal body lotion afterwards. In fact, my skin stayed beautifully silky-smooth throughout the entire day and I might have even been able to stretch this out for a second day. After towelling myself down, I found that my skin retained a gorgeous vanillary smell that was comforting and made me feel extremely sexy. 
Overall, it's not one of my favourite ballistics, but it is a great addition to add to your tub, especially when your skin needs that little bit extra TLC. Despite normally disliking products that smell of cocoa butter, Butterball has a better quality of smell to it, and for this reason, I will definitely be buying this one again.

Quantitatives Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Cocoa Butter, Synthetic Musk, Ylang Ylang Oil, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £2.75 each.

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

The Enchanter Bath Bomb

'She left my life, mind, and imagination
We did nothing but, she’s my short-lived love
A creation that’s fake and tainted
Because I never had the time to see
We never had the time to be
And it’s a shame'

When I think of The Enchanter, I think of the above poem - a short excerpt about a man whose love for a woman is short-lived after she leaves him before their love is able to fully flourish. Although I recognise that it may seem a little extreme to start linking bath bombs to poems, it definitely sums up how I feel about this magical ballistic.

The Enchanter was first released during the winter months of 2012; a bath bomb specifically designed to coincide with Lush's Halloween range at the time, and one that already had a execution date the second it arrived. Sharing its scent with the extremely popular Calacas/Day Of The Dead fragrance, this bath bomb is a beauty inside and out. And while recent renditions have not been as vivid or as stunning to look at, they have still hit the spot in every way. When dropped into the tub, this ballistic immediately begins to spew vivid streams of red, orange and yellow foam. These quickly dissipate throughout the water and turn your bath into a bright-orange feast. Lush have added a surprise element to this bath bomb; a bright pink centre which releases even more waves of rich colour, making this bath wonderfully warming and very inviting. 

The best part about The Enchanter, is its smell. Made from a combination of neroli, lime and lemon oils, the bath bomb possesses a tart citrus scent. Unlike the shower jelly, shower gel or perfume, this ballistic has an almost sherberty element to it, which is no doubt due to the dry ingredients added to help create it's solid form. Furthermore, both lime and neroli essential oils are brilliant mood lifters, making you feel bright, cheerful and ready for anything. It's an incredibly uplifting and youthful fragrance.

When you submerge yourself in this bath, you instantly feel revived and refreshed; it's a wonderful experience. Additionally, the scent of the The Enchanter permeates your skin and stays with you and the bathroom for hours and hours. If you don't like strong-smelling bath products, I suggest you avoid this one.

The only bad factor that I feel I should warn you about, is that this bath bomb tends to stain the tub a little. You may discover that your tub will have a smear of murky orange around the outside after the water has been emptied. Although I would normally slate a product for this, I feel that The Enchanter is so perfect in every other way, that it's not enough to tarnish it's rating.

Unfortunately, I was only able to grab myself a couple of these before they were discontinued. For this reason, I have to use them scrupulously so that I can savour these marvels for as long as possible. If Lush were ever to bring these back, I can guarantee that I'd buy an entire batch, as I consider The Enchanter to be my all-time favourite bath bomb. I can only hope that Lush will one day see the error of their ways and bring this back.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Lime Oil, Neroli Oil, Olibanum Oil, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Hydroxycitronellal, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 15510, Colour 45410, Colour 19140:1.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £4.25 each.

Scent Family:
Calacas Shower Gel
Calacas Shower Jelly
Calacas/Day of The Dead Perfume
Lady Catrina Soap
Man In The Moon Bubble Bar
Monsters' Ball Bath Bomb
Skullduggery Ballistic

2015 Version:

Old Version:

28 November 2014

Light Pink Foundation

As you can see from my recent reviews, I am slowly making my way around the array of weird and wonderful make-up offerings from Lush. A year ago, I wouldn't have even dreamt of using any of their products - simply because I didn't view them as a company that could offer me products on par with the likes of Mac and Bourjois. How wrong was I?

After the success I had with both their Charisma Skin Tint and Emotional Brilliance Face Powder, I was rather intrigued and equally excited about trying their Light Pink Foundation. One of two light foundations available from Lush, this particular one is aimed at those of us with pale pink complexions - a product that is supposed to even out the skin and make the complexion appear smoother and without blemishes. 

As per usual, Lush offer consumers something a little extra with their foundations. As someone who dislikes wearing anything too heavy and constricting on my skin, I found this foundation is not only very light and cannot be felt once it has been applied, but there is a whole host of ingredients present to make it actually beneficial for the skin. One of the main ingredients in Light Pink is rose petal infusion, which unfortunately doesn't make this foundation smell particularly floral but it does help to settle the skin and reduce any redness or irritation you may be experiencing. 

I know from previous experiences that wearing foundation all of the time can dry out my complexion and I have even known to come out in rashes and spots because of the irritation it causes my face. This particular product contains bran rice oil, which is fantastic for putting moisture back into the skin, and I found that some four to five weeks after using this daily, I have not experienced any irritation, spots or dry patches so far.  
Lush suggest that you mix this together with a little of your favourite moisturiser and apply to clean skin evenly - a way of giving your face a little colour whilst also nourishing the pores. However, I have found it much more useful to apply this directly to the face by way of a make-up sponge and then using the sponge to distribute it evenly across the face - just like you would with any other foundation.

It was on my initial attempt that I realised how special this foundation was. After using a very small amount (probably no more than an eighth of a teaspoon ) to cover my whole face, I was amazed to find that my complexion looked really smooth, with the dark circles under my eyes noticeably reduced. Although I was really pleased with the results, it wasn't until my friend commented that I looked 'photoshopped' that I realised just how much it had softened and smoothened out my face. 

What makes it even more impressive, is that once it's been applied, this foundation offers you coverage for the entire day. It doesn't fade or move when I contour my face, and it doesn't come off if I accidentally rub or scratch myself. In fact, Light Pink remains in place until I wipe it off with a cleanser when I get home in the evening. 

Priced at £9.50 for a 20g tub, this is probably very slightly more expensive than the Mac bottle I had been using up until this point. However, when I compared the two, I was amazed to find that Lush's foundation triumphed considerably over the other - my complexion looked and felt better and there wasn't any of the heaviness that the Mac one offered. 

This small tub has lasted me almost a month of daily usage now, and I would say I'm about halfway through the pot. My skin still feels and looks radiant and my confidence has improved dramatically since I can rely upon this foundation to support my skin and keep it in great condition. I definitely consider this to be a must-have and I cannot see myself straying and using anything else, anytime soon. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Fresh Rose Petal Infusion, Soya Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Rice Bran Oil, Stearic Acid, Talc, Glycerine, Triethanolamine, Cetearyl Alcohol, Colour 77491, Colour 77499, Colour 77492, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £9.50 for 20g.

27 November 2014

Hottie Massage Bar

Up until the Lush Kitchen made it's presence known back towards the beginning of the year, I had been working my way rather quickly through the array of massage bars that I've managed to amass over the last couple of years. I had just begun to see glimpses of the base of the box I had been storing them in and I thought I'd perhaps have all of them used up by the end of this year.

Unfortunately, as soon as Lush began releasing limited edition body lotions that I have been wanting to get my hands on for many years, I knew my stash was doomed and my goal of finishing them all before 2015 was dashed. However, now that I've gotten over how amazing Tropical Jungle, American Cream and The Olive Branch lotions are, I'm back to trying out my massage bars, and it's a refreshing experience.

Hottie is one that I've had stored for a long time, so initially I was worried that it would be dried out and unusable. Fortunately, the bar was perfect underneath the wrapper - it's scent still strong and interesting - it's body still very easy to melt and use. 

Much like Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar, this one has been created for sore muscles, with both it's design and ingredients offering key characteristics to aide and suppress aches and pains. Firstly, this bar has been specifically designed to enhance the pressure put on the body when in use. The pattern of bumps that you'll find on the surface stimulates the body when it's being massaged into the skin, which in turn encourages the circulation of blood around the body. 

Secondly, the inclusion of black pepper and ginger work with the radiation of your body's natural heat, helping to soothe aching muscles. These ingredients also give Hottie its rather strange and unique fragrance -a hot and spicy but equally sweet aroma that you wouldn't expect to work, but which does. 

A combination of cocoa butter, shea butter and vanilla absolute, means that this massage bar possesses a wonderful sweet, comforting scent, while the pepper and ginger add a kick to it that you would assume would clash with the other ingredients, but which actually work effectively. 
A word of warning to those thinking of trying this product: this is one of the most potent smelling massage bars I have ever experienced so it's best you give it a sniff in store if you are unsure. I left mine in my walk-in cupboard for only a day and when I went to collect something later on, the entire space stunk of Hottie. If you're looking for subtle - this is not it.

In the case of Hottie, this massage bar has been designed very effectively. The bar melts very easily when you massage it between your hands and I didn't have to put any extra effort into getting the product to release the oils. Once on the body, it's very easy to manipulate over the skin and it's absorbed rather quickly, leaving no sticky residue or greasy streaks. 

To test out whether or not this works on aches and pains, I did massage this for a while on my leg, as it was aching after a challenging workout. I did notice that the tension in my muscles was greatly reduced after using it, however, I'm wondering whether or not my 'recovery' was aided more by the fact that I was resting, as opposed to the massage bar. Who knows!
It's definitely not one of my favourite massage bars, but I did enjoy the smell and the design makes it a really effective massaging tool. I was able to get roughly 14 uses out of it, which I consider to be good value for money. I only hope that Lush release a few more massage bars in this style, as they definitely work better than other shaped designs. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Perfume, Ginger Oil (Zingiber officinale), Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Black Pepper Oil (Piper nigrum), Benzyl Salicylate, Citral, Coumarin, Geraniol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Farnesol, Limonene, Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2014 Price: £5.95 for 60g.

26 November 2014

Spice Mountain Soap

I have always claimed that cinnamon is my favourite scent and I doubt this will change any time soon. I love adding it to sweet and savoury foods when I'm baking and there's nothing better that a sprinkle of the stuff on a Starbucks' hot chocolate. However, that's not to say that I cannot tire of the scent when it's used in cosmetics. Such is the case with this soap.

While I love Glogg Shower Gel, Christmas Kisses Bubble Bar and Melting Snowman Bath Melt, I recognise the fact that I love these products because of the inclusion of cinnamon alongside other ingredients. Despite Spice Mountain claiming to be a multi-layered spicy and fruity concoction, I found it's scent rather strange and rather one-dimensional at times. 

When Lush brought this back during a retro release in December of 2012, I was rather excited. Before this appearance, Spice Mountain hadn't been seen for eight years and I had resided in the fact that I would probably never get to try it out myself. For shame. However, when it made an appearance in the Kitchen recently, I couldn't wait to get a fresh slice as I couldn't remember what I first thought about two years ago. I wish I had saved my money.   

Described as possessing a mulled-wine aroma, this soap contains a combination of patchouli, cinnamon, lime and orange oil. The latter two ingredients supposedly add a fruity element to the scent whilst cinnamon gives it it's warm, spicy aroma and patchouli ties everything together with a gentle exotic kick. These ingredients have not only been added for their scent, but because they're great at stimulating circulation and aiding warmth for those winter-kissed bodies in need of something comforting. 

In the packet, I could immediately smell the cinnamon - a fresh, spicy aroma that was very welcoming and very Christmassy. Alongside this, I could also detect a playful fruity scent, which is no doubt the orange and lime coming through. Together, they reminded me very slightly of the rich and rather sweet combination that you would expect with a Karma product. Fans of Hot Toddy and Glogg will no doubt love this.

Unfortunately, when I removed the soap from the packet, I was able to detect an aroma that was far from pleasant. Now this is going to sound rather strange, but to me the soap possesses a note of what I can only describe as dried sawdust soaked in stale hamster urine. In all fairness, I never expected to use the words 'hamster' or 'urine' on this blog and it sounds a little strange doing so, but that is the only way I can describe one of the dominating notes that a fresh slice of this soap seems to have. Has anyone else experienced this or are my senses completely off? 

While I am aware that this distinctive smell would no doubt put most people off of using it, I was determined to test it out in the shower and was pleased to discover that the unwanted Eau-de-rodent aroma does dissipate behind the other smells. The heat brings the sweetness of the other ingredients to the forefront and the scent reminded me a little of old-fashioned cola cubes and Lush's Santa Lip Scrub. Unfortunately, the soap's fragrance doesn't diversify much in the water and I was disappointed to find that instead, it gave off quite a strong cinnamon smell that became a little unbearable at times. 

Surprisingly, Lush have also include soya milk in the ingredients list, which does make this soap slightly softer and gentler on the skin. You can see the milk in action when you're lathering it up in the shower as a light, creamy foam is dispelled from the chunk. This leaves your skin with a slight gleam after you've towelled yourself down, which is lovely. 

In it's defence, the soap does leave you feeling refreshed and more alert - snorting a load of cinnamon will do this to you! However, I didn't find it very easy to lather up when compared to other Lush soaps, and I ended up making my legs a little sore after I tried to massage the soap over these areas to clean.  

While the soap is definitely in keeping with the festive period, it didn't offer anything that I couldn't get from sniffing a pot of the spice and it wasn't anywhere near as comforting as the products I mentioned at the start of this review. For this reason, it's not one I intend on purchasing again, even if Lush take another eight years to bring it back. 

For some reason I get the impression that this would be more appealing for men as it's quite a strong, wholesome fragrance. Reflecting on my experience, I think I'll leave Spice Mountain for others to enjoy and instead share my winter showers with my much loved Hot Toddy Shower Gel. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Soya Milk (Glycine soja), Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin), Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax benzoin), Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum cassia), Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Sodium Chloride, Titanium Dioxide, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Colour 18050, Colour 61585.

Vegan?: Yes.

2014 Price: £4.00 for 100g.
2016 Price: £4.25 for 100g.

13 Rabbits Bath Melt

Way back when I would spend an embarrassing amount of money on rare Lush goodies on eBay, I happened upon a bottle of something called 13 Rabbits Shower Gel. At the time, I didn't know anything about it other than the fact that it was like gold dust to find. So I snapped it up and waited to see what it would be like upon arrival. 

While the shower gel was rather runny and a little past it's best, it got me intrigued about the interesting concoction of chocolate and ginger - not a combination that I would usually be interested in, but something that I grew to appreciate after using the shower gel.

When Lush released 13 Rabbits Bath Melt in the kitchen, I knew the moment had come for me to re-live the strange but intriguing aroma. I couldn't wait to snap up a handful of these rare beauties and bathe in a tub of spicy, chocolately liquid gold. 

Made from a combination of four essential oils; walnut, peanut, ginger and clove bud, this bath melt is packed with enough moisturise to reenergise your skin and leave it feeling beautifully silky soft. Peanuts are known for being packed full of protein, and the inclusion of the oil in this product helps to heal and protect the skin; the ginger oil, aside from giving the melt a spicy kick, is an astringent and antiseptic ingredient that helps to relax, detox and cleanse your body and mind - using it's warming properties to aid circulation and heat up those frost-bitten body parts. 

13 Rabbits is also made from a base of cocoa butter, which is a powerhouse of an ingredient - known for improving the look and feel of your skin without stripping your body of it's natural oils. It reacts to the temperature of the water, melting and depositing a layer of oil that softens, moisturises and conditions the skin, leaving it feeling supple and smooth to the touch.

While the latter ingredient is most prominent in this product, it is the cocoa powder along with the ginger oil and cinnamon stick and clove infusion, that gives this bath melt it's unique and rather decadent fragrance. A first sniff reveals a slightly bitter chocolately scent - one that is immediately followed by a strong note of ginger. Although I would normally shy away from anything that has such a dominant ginger smell, this bath melt has a good balance of ingredients to stop the herb being too overwhelming. The cinnamon and clove infusion sit slightly behind the above two scents and compliment them nicely, while the peanut and walnut oils round the aroma off with a deliciously nutty fragrance. 

In the bath, the bath melt dissolves slowly - releasing waves of thick brown oils that float across the surface of the tub. It takes about two minutes for 13 Rabbits to melt completely, and what you are left with is a blanket of oils and butters to indulge yourself in. 

Unfortunately, before I had even tested one of these out, I knew that it wouldn't be scoring high for presentation in the bath. The product isn't the most exciting of colours to bathe in, and the puddles of brown that decorate the water and the edges of the tub, isn't all that attractive or appealing. However, once you are in and under the water, you'll appreciate how quickly the bath melt gets to work - softening and moisturising your skin and leaving you feeling really relaxed and pampered. 

While the bath melt did leave smears of oil up the side of the tub, these were very easy to wipe away and didn't stain the sides at all. Furthermore, the oils didn't taint my skin or leave me feeling at all dirty - something I was expecting it to do. Unfortunately, while it worked wonders on my skin, the scent didn't linger for long and within 20-30 minutes I could no longer detect it at all. 

Although I used an entire bar, I would say that this could easily be divided into two and used alongside a bubble bar or bath bomb to get more use out of it. Using something like Ma Bar or Butterball as well as 13 Rabbits would mean that you'd get all of the bath melt's healing properties, while getting something a little stronger in scent as well. 

Although I have given this a 4 out of 6, this is one of those products that was close to scraping a five. The only aspect of this that put me off awarding it higher, was the unappealing bath it created. Having said this, I am thankful for how amazing my skin felt after sharing a bath with the product and I urge you to try it out for yourself, if you get the chance. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Laureth 4, Walnut Oil, Peanut Oil, Cinnamon Stick and Clove Infusion, Perfume, Cocoa Powder, Ginger Oil, Clove Bud Oil, Eugenol.

Vegan?: Yes.

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

Scent Family:
13 Rabbits Bath Melt
13 Rabbits Shower Gel