31 January 2015

Lush DIY: Heart Throb Shower Gel

It was only a matter of time before I found new ways to enjoy my Lush products. Now that I have tried pretty much everything that Lush are currently offering in their shops and I'm on top of my Lush Kitchen orders, I have a little spare time to experiment and convert my favourite Lush products into other formats.

After my initial attempt with Lord Of Misrule Shower Gel, I found that my mind was rampant with ideas for what to make next. As shower gels are my Achilles Heal, I felt it was apt that I try my hand at creating another variation - this time using a bubble bar as opposed to a bath bomb. With the Valentine's Day products the most recent addition to the Lush family, I thought it was best that I choose one of those to experiment with. 



What you'll need:

-Two bowls 
-A Spoon
-A rolling pin or something strong enough to crush the bubbleroon
-An empty plastic bottle (preferably 100g)
-A Sieve 
-A funnel 

-A Bottle of Unscented Shower Gel
-Golden glitter (Optional)

Begin by measuring out the amount of shower gel that you'll need for this project. Fill up the 100g empty bottle with the unscented gel and try to leave a small, 1cm gap at the top of the bottle. This will allow room for the excess shower gel that you'll get once you've added in both the gel and the crushed bubbleroon. 

Pour the measured shower gel into one of the glass bowls and leave it to sit while you prepare the bubbleroon. Place half of the bubbleroon into one of the bowls and use the rolling pin to crush the product as much as you can. You could probably grate this if you wanted to, but I found this method much easier and quicker. 

Transfer the crumbled bubbleroon into a sieve and use a spoon to force the product through the grate and into the second bowl. You'll find that once all of the product has been sieved, the crumbs will be very fine and super soft - perfect consistency to make the shower gel.

Pour all of the crumbled Heart Throb into the bowl with the measured-out shower gel and stir until it is fully mixed together. What's wonderful about using such a colourful bubble bar is that the end result is so vivid - the shade of red that this shower gel becomes is stunning!

While bath bombs will react to the mixture at this point - rising and frothing in the bowl until you're left with what looks like mousse, the bubbleroon won't do this. However, it is important that you leave it to sit for a good 30-40 minutes. The DIY gel will create rather a lot of bubbles when you're combining the two ingredients. If you try transferring it to a bottle straight away, the mixture will foam up and explode out of the bottle. 

Once you have stirred this in, you will need to pour the mixture into the plastic bottle for storage. If you have a funnel, I would highly recommend that you use it as it'll make things far easier. If, like me, you don't have one of these handy, you can craft a makeshift funnel using a piece of greaseproof paper and some sellotape  Make sure that if you're using the latter, you support it whilst the liquid is being transferred as it can make a large mess if the paper falls out midway through. 

Once it's in the bottle, it's ready to use. By this stage, the product smells beautiful and the bright shade adds to the allure. As there is not preservatives in this shower gel, I would say that a 100g bottle will last up to 5 weeks, depending on how it's stored. The shower gel shouldn't separate but you may need to give it a little shake from time to time. 

If you want to add a little something extra special, the colour lends itself to a generous helping of gold lustre to add a wave of simmer in the bottle. I would recommend that you use the base products from Calmer Solutions if you want to recreate this shower gel. They offer a really good unscented shower gel - the same one that I used in this experiment.

Heart Throb Shower Gel was a real success - lathering up in the shower and giving off a wonderfully strong and beautiful fragrance. I was a little worried to begin with as the smell dissipated somewhat when I first mixed it with the shower gel. However, after it was allowed time to develop, the fragrance acme back even stronger. 

The combination of a good quality shower gel and the moisturising properties of all of those wonderful oils in the bubbleroon, this shower gel leaves your skin feeling really silky soft and you could detect a very faint hint of the smell once I had left the shower. The consistency was much better than my previous attempts - the gel was smooth, without any grittiness and it flowed just like a real shower gel, albeit slightly thicker and creamier. I would just warn you that although it doesn't stain the skin or any surfaces it comes into contact with, I would be wary when you're using this in the bathroom as it will easily splatter the walls and leave you with a big, red mess to deal with.

It was so good that I've already made a large order of these bubble bars to stock up on, so I can remake this again and again across the year. If you love African Paradise, this will be something you need to try. 

Lush Cocktail: Sultry Floral Nights

Sarah's Sultry Floral Nights Cocktail 


Lashings Of Twilight Shower Gel



There are many reasons why I have chosen to trial and document heaps of Lush Cocktails across the next twelve to eighteen months. Firstly, I want to improve and extend my experience with the products I know and love - while I could never imagine getting bored of bathing, trying something new only adds to the excitement of bath time. 

Secondly, I recognise the fact that Lush products can be rather expensive, so I thought these reviews would be helpful for those wanting to find the cocktail that is right for them, without wasting value products trying to establish the perfect combination. Finally, I realise that I have far too many ballistics and bubble bars, and this is the perfect excuse to use them up a little quicker than usual.

It was this latter reason that initially disappointed me about this Lush Cocktail. Although the ingredients used are some of my all-time favourite items, the fact that I wouldn't be using up any bath products was a little off-putting. However, I soon ate my words when I submerged myself under the bubbles and soaked up the wonderful waves of fragrance that this experience offered. 

Sultry Floral Nights is a cocktail for those who want something strong, heady, yet gentle enough to send them off to the land of nod. What is great about this combination, is that although it's comprised of some of Lush's rarer products, if you happen to have them in your vicinity it actually makes for rather cheap cocktail. 

First up, I crumbled half of a Christmas Hedgehog Bubble Bar under the running tap and watched as the tub quickly filled up with light, velvety-soft bubbles. While this seasonal special doesn't have a very potent smell, it does give off a light, sweet and rather unique combination of lavender and rose, which is lovely. 

This product has been added for it's moisturising qualities so it doesn't really effect the colour of the water and it can't really be detected once the stronger-smelling ingredients are added. 

Next, I squirted a generous helping of Black Pearl Shower Gel under the running tap and watched as this completely transformed the colour of the water. What had started out as a boring bluish/green shade, quickly became a shimmery, metallic-grey colour, which I've never seen before in a Lush product. 

This shower gel has a very distinctive sweet, floral smell, which I would describe as a combination of blackberry and lavender. This overpowered the bubble bar and added a gorgeous fragrance to the experience. As it's a very nourishing, hydrating shower gel, these properties were transferred into the water and I think this is the main reason that this whole cocktail is so moisturising. 

Once I had given the shower gel a few seconds to settle, I added in a generous helping of Violet Nights Bath Oil. This happens to be one of my all-time favourite Lush products and I was very happy to find that this was the most dominating aroma of the bath. While every other element could be detected in short, sharp bursts while I was under the water, it was the Violet Nights that made itself known throughout the entire experience.

Finally, I added in a generous helping of Twilight Shower Gel. Firstly, the shower gel darkened the shade of the water and have it a slightly better shimmer under the surface. Not only this, but it also complimented the other scents with it's own thick, malty lavender smell. To extend the experience a little further, I also continued to use both the Twilight and the Black Pearl Shower Gels throughout the while experience and this suited the bath perfectly. 

I left the bath feeling really clean, smooth and refreshed - ready for my head to hit the pillow and sleep off the stressful day I had had. It was definitely a very different experience to anything I have had so far. 

Having said that, I did think that perhaps I could have conserved my Lush products even further and just used Violet Nights by itself. While the other smells were present, they were very much governed by the bath oil. 
Furthermore, while my initial reaction to the colour of the water was excitement and intrigue, I quickly grew bored of the rather colourless water and feel that something else needs to be added to spruce up the grey a little. 

Vegan?: Yes.

Rating: 7.1 out of 10.

29 January 2015

Flosty Gritter Bubble Bar

Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with the amount of bath products that I own from Lush, that I often forget what I have stashed away in those overfilled drawers of mine. Too often I'll buy a handful of one product only to find that I own as much as fifteen of them already. Ops! 

With the amount of different bubble bars and ballistics that I have, I sometimes find it a challenge to remember all of their names, so remembering anything else about them is asking for a miracle. However, this latter problem can often turn out to be a blessing, as was the case with Flosty Gritter Bubble Bar

It wasn't until I dug out one of my abandoned bars and peeled back the wrapper that I realised why I had been so excited to get my hands on these in the first place. Made from a combination of vanilla absolute, clary sage and lavender oil, this bubble bar shares it's scent with the wonderful American Cream Conditioner and the now discontinued I Am 10 Limited Edition Bubble Bar.   

Described by Lush as a 'sexy vanilla' bath companion, this rare product is slightly smaller than your average bubble bar - measuring in at roughly 5 centimetres in diameter. It's soft and squidgy to the touch, making it really easy to break into halves or quarters, depending on how many baths you wish to get out of it. If, like me, you enjoy bubbles, I would recommend that you share this across two baths as I found that each half gave me the perfect amount of bubbles. If you're not too fussed about the bubble element, you could probably stretch this across three or four baths, although I don't know how strong the scent would be if you do this. 

After crumbling the bubble bar under the running water, the tub filled up with wonderfully soft and fragrant bubbles. Admittedly, there wasn't as many bubbles as I would normally expect for a piece this size, but there was enough to keep most people happy. Flosty Gritter redeemed itself by giving off a pungent and gorgeously-rich fragrance that filled the bathroom very quickly and stayed throughout the entire experience. Furthermore, it turned the water a beautiful shade of fuscia-pink, which only heightened the experience. Although the bubble bar is decorated with a slight sprinkling of glitter, I couldn't detect this once it had been dissolved in the water and neither did I find any on my body afterwards.  

The aroma that this bar gave off was a creamy, wholesome vanilla musk supported by a natural blast of strawberry. 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. While the herbal element was definitely present here, it was very subtle in the overall fragrance and didn't overpower the fruitiness of the berries.  It's an incredibly comforting and deeply relaxing scent that wraps itself around you - yet the light, fresh element of the aroma means that this bubble bar can be used at any time of the year.

My only issue with this bubble bar, and the reason it didn't score full marks, is that the scent didn't seem to leave an impression on my skin. Although I left the bath feeling soft and well-pampered, the scent was rather quick to evaporate once the water had been drained.
Although I'm not really a 'girlie-girl' and wouldn't initially get excited by the look of this bubble bar, Flosty Gritter is a definite favourite of mine and one I'll be stocking up on whenever I have the chance.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Cocamide DEA, Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Clary Sage Oil (Salvia sclarea), Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax benzoin), Linalool, Colour 45410, Colour 17200, Pink Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate and Acrylates copolymer).

Vegan?: Yes.

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
Marshmallow World Bath Bomb
Twinkle Bath Ballistic

Ultrabalm Multi-purpose Balm

In all honesty, when I first sat down to write this review, I didn't really know where to start. This wasn't because I had little experience with this product - in fact, I've been using it solidly for the past six months. Neither was it because it was ineffective - quite the opposite. It was simply because this product is as basic as they come and does exactly what it states on the tin. No more, no less.

Ultrabalm is a multi-purpose balm made from three ingredients and designed for  'bits that chap and chafe'. In it's simplest terms, it's Lush's version of Vaseline - just without the long list of non-vegan ingredients and a company that test on animals. 

Much like the above product, the balm's consistency means that it's resilient to water and works as a very effective barrier on the skin. At the same time, the jojoba oil is highly moisturising and stops Ultrabalm from drying out the skin. Then there's rose oil, which aside from being fantastic at calming and soothing irritated and sensitive skin, also gives this balm a very subtle floral scent. 

This useful balm can be used for an impressive array of ailments - from wounds and dry patches, sun-damaged skin and hair management. However, I will state that this balm should not be used as a lip balm - simply because it's too greasy and doesn't dissolve well enough to moisturise the lips. 
Aside from this, let's focus on what this balm can do. First and foremost, this balm works wonders at protecting shallow cuts and scrapes, forming a barrier to prevent dirt getting in whilst keeping the area well lubricated. Since turning to a vegan diet almost seven years ago, I have noticed that I tend to heal a little bit slower than I used to. Ultrabalm helps to speed things up.  

Secondly, this balm also helps to soothe skin and reduce redness, whether it's from eczema, bites, rashes or sunburn. I notice a difference within a few hours of applying this and it's a godsend if you're out somewhere and get stung by a stinging nettle. I have also used this after I've been tattooed and it helps to keep the colour in whilst soothing my scarred skin. 

Finally, the carefully selected waxes make this a highly moisturising product. When I get dry patches on my face, arms or feet, I always apply this and within a day or two my skin looks and feels so much better. It works especially well on the soles of my feet, where I sometimes get a build up of hard, dry skin from being on my feet all day. Within a few days of using this, my skin softened and by the end of the month, these patches had all but disappeared. 

A 45g tub will set you back £8.75, and while that may sound like a lot of money, the tub will last you a good six months to a year - even with daily use. Unlike Vaseline, it's great for the environment and is 100% safe to use on your skin. Plus those who dislike overpowering smells, will be happy to know that this has a very subtle smell. 
Overall, this is staple Lush product and one that is well worth the investment. It fits in your bag or pocket and can be taken anywhere, should you need to pull it out during an emergencies. Although I have described lots of ways that this product works, I haven't even covered half of the things that it can do, and it is up to you to try it out for yourself and discover how it can help you. I will never not have a pot on my being. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Organic Jojoba Oil, Candelilla Wax, Rose Wax.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £8.95 for 45g. 

28 January 2015

Lush Cocktail: Rainbow Dash

Londo's Rainbow Dash Cocktail

Lashings Of Snowcake Shower Gel
Lashings Of Twilight Shower Gel



When I first saw the recipe for this cocktail, my initial reaction was that these ingredients wouldn't work together. While Luxury Lush Pud, Twilight Shower Gel and Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar all pertain a lavender scent, and Snowcake Shower Gel and Snow Angel Bath Melt share the same fragrance, the idea of incorporating all of these strong-smelling products in one bath sounded like a headache waiting to happen. 

However, I was surprised and rather excited when I began creating my Lush cocktail in the bath tub and discovered very quickly how well the smells compliment each other and create something rather magical... 

First up, I crumbled just over half of a Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar under the running tap. While I wasn't initially bowled over by this product when I first tried it, it has since gone up in my estimations and this was one bath where it showcased it's redeeming qualities wonderfully. 

The bubble bar created a pretty light pink coloured bath and filled the tub with an impressive range of soft, fluffy bubbles that glimmered in the light. These bubbles tend to subside fairly quickly once you're in the tub, but the moisturising properties of the bubble bar remain until the water is drained away. 

Next I squirted two or three generous helpings of Snowcake Shower Gel under the tap. This not only added to the amount of bubbles on the surface of the water, but the shower gel itself is really nourishing so it created a slightly oily consistency in the water - helping to make the bath water feel like velvet. 

Both of the ingredients so far gave off rather lovely smells - the lavender coming through from the bubble bar and a gentle sweet, almond aroma revealing itself as the heat reacted to the shower gel. 

It was then that I added an entire Snow Angel Bath Melt - a product that could easily be halved if you're looking to utilise Lush products across more than one bath. This dissolved slowly - throwing out waves of creamy, fragrant foam that floated on the surface of the water and created a silk blanket that I just wanted to curl up in. Not only this, but the melt also gave off a lot of glittery, gold lustre which only served to make the bath look even more stunning. Glitter-phobes will be glad to hear that while there is a lot of glitter, it doesn't stick to your skin and washes away with ease at the end of the bath. 

Finally, I added in my favourite - a Luxury Lush Pud Bath Bomb. This immediately fizzed and frothed on the surface and gave off a bright pink foam that stretched out across half of the tub. As the ballistic continued to spew out rainbow waves, the water began to change colour and by the end it was what I would call 'peach-cobbler red'. It reminded me of the deep but slightly orangey-scarlet colour that you may expect to see during a sunset - it was rather beautiful. 

To round off the whole experience, I used Twilight Shower Gel to compliment the other lavender elements in the overall fragrance and this only served to make my skin feel even more pampered by the end. Although I never need an excuse to use this as it is one of my favourite products, this shower gel really compliments this cocktail and I couldn't imagine using anything else.  

While I would find it difficult to describe the scent of this bath, I will say that it's a very unique one and one that I enjoyed very much. The lavender scent settled very quickly and although it was very much present throughout the whole experience, it wasn't too potent at all. The sweet nuttiness of both the Snowcake Shower Gel and the Snow Angel Bath Melt was also very pronounced but not so strongly that it took away from the floral element of the other products. 

This Lush Cocktail did exactly what I was hoping it would: give me a vivid, colourful and very bright experience; offer me something relaxing and unwinding but equally exciting; allow me to experience a scent combination that I wouldn't have tried myself through choice. Having so many of these products hoarded, I only have to stock up on Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar and I could have one of these cocktails almost every week for a year!

Vegan?: Yes.

Rating: 8.6 out of 10.