31 August 2015

Jo Jo Hair Wax

As I have stated in many of my reviews on hair care products, years of disregard for my locks left my head of hair in a terrible state. A combination of over-brushing, dyeing, straightening and using cheap shampoos amongst other crimes, left my hair dry, thin and almost unmanageable - it got to the stage where I was throwing on a hat overtime I left the house because I just couldn't bare to show the world the car-crash on top of my head. 

For this reason, I am always slightly hesitant when it comes to new products that I've not tried before. While I do test out new shampoos and conditioners - experimenting to find combinations that work well with my hair, I try not to expose my locks to too many alien products - my motto being that hair care should be as natural as can be. 

So when I obtained a generous block of Jo Jo Solid Hair Wax from the Oxford Street store, I was slightly terrified as to what state it would leave my hair in afterwards. As it turned out, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to use, how little I needed to use to get the desired results and how good it felt once it was in place.

One of two new solid waxes (alongside Queen Bee Hair Honey), this self-preserving beauty may look a little daunting at first. It doesn't come in a fancy tin or offer itself up with too many instructions on how to use it effectively, so it's ultimately down to you to experiment - a task that may either excite or terrify a person, depending on their disposition.
Designed to replicate a truckle of cheese, this product is named after the generous helping of jojoba oil that goes into making this as effective as it is. Containing a combination of vanilla and tonka absolute, along with a dash of orange oil, this wax happens to smell rather pleasant - albeit more so when it's in your hair. 

Jo Jo has a gentle, sweet musky aroma - one that elevates with the heat of both your fingers during application and the warmth of your head once it's been set in place. It's one that's strong enough to make an impression on the wearer, but one that would no doubt compliment whatever other aromas you may have lingering from your shampoo and conditioner. 

Created to 'to remedy fluffiness in shorter styles', this wax works equally as well with longer styles as well. To use, you can do one of the following; if you only want a minimal amount, simply run your finger along the surface of your piece and then apply this directly to your hair; if you want a more substantial amount for heavy styling, it's soft enough to break off a small piece with your hands, massage it between your fingers until it's melted and ready to use and then apply it that way. 

In regards to how much product you should use, it really depends on what style you're aiming for and how much hair you have to work with. I would say on average that someone with a grade 3-4 hair length would probably need a piece the size of a large pea - but again it depends on how much 'work' needs to be done to achieve the style you want. 
As I have shoulder-length hair, I'm not really a candidate to use this product at all, but Lush products are normally very versatile and I found that it was equally as effective in my hair. I didn't need much so brushed my fingers across the length of its body and then worked it through the straggly hairs that sit on the crown of my head. Not only did it take mere seconds to set the hair in place, but it gave my locks a slight shine that didn't look at all greasy, which was pleasant. 

When I used a little more to give my hair a messy, wavy look, I found that I needed very little wax to do this and Jo Jo was effective at setting my hair in place without becoming rigid or sticky. While I could tell that I had 'product' in my hair, it wasn't heavy or noticeable to others and I would be confident using this as part of my daily routine. 

Even better was the fact that I was able to brush my hair once the wax was in place and then re-style my hair slightly differently, without needing to add any extra product to get that effect. The wax then held itself in place throughout the whole day and only relented when I washed my hair in the evening.

While I wouldn't use this daily, this is no reflection on the product - more because of my decision to not plaster my hair with endless styling products as best as I can help it. Having said this, Jo Jo is natural enough that it won't damage your hair, dry it out or flatten it over time, and while it will set you back £9.95 got 100g, the piece will outlast any commercial brand that stands against it. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Organic Castor Oil (Ricinus communis), Organic Illipe Butter (Shorea stenoptera), Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia cerifera), Japan Wax (Rhus succedanea), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Perfume, Sweet Wild Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Tonka Absolute (Dipteryx odorata), Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Rose Wax (Rosa damascena), Black Wax (Specerit Black), *Benzyl Cinnamate, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Coumarin, *Limonene.

Vegan?: Yes.

Price: £9.95 for 100g.

Year Of Original Release: 2015.

30 August 2015

Lush Cocktail: Rainbow Magic

Anonymous' 'Rainbow Magic' Cocktail




While I could easily come up with a million different ideas for Lush cocktails, I love the fact that you guys have tried and tested these ones out before me. I appreciate the stories that inspire your recipes; the instructions you share with me to make my experience as memorable as possible. 

For this reason, I get rather excited when I discover one that is simply sublime - one that immediately makes me envisage just how the maker must have felt when they realised the gold mine they had just stumbled upon, in the bathing world. This is one such cocktail.

While it's called Rainbow Magic, I wouldn't say that this is the most colourful experience I have had in the tub. If anything, it reminds me more of a summer sky or a reflection in stream - those blues and yellows, whites and greens swirling around like a sea of goodness. 

Crumbling the Holly Golightly Bubble Bar under the running water, I relished in the beautiful spring green colour that the water turned - enjoying the sweet but spicy cinnamon aroma that at first seemed rather contradictory to the shade that the water had become. 

This seasonal favourite creates a haven of wonderful, fragrant bubbles and turns the water into a silky haven of beauty. By this stage I was rather intrigued to see how the three completely different products that went with this would work with this seemingly 'odd one out'. 

Up next I dropped the piece of Star Light Star Bright Bath Melt into the water - immediately getting a strong note of lemony goodness that engulfed my senses and filled the bathroom. This product can be rather greasy if too much is used, and while my bath was not in the slightest bit too oily, I would say you could probably use a third instead as the bubble has already helped you out a bit by this stage.

Next I added in the Dragon's Egg. This didn't offer much in the way of colour but did replenish the bath with a wave of beautiful golden glitter. The lustre didn't stain my skin or leave horrible smears on the bath - instead swirling underneath the surface and elevating the beautiful experience that I knew this was shaping up to be. 

Finally, I added in an entire Golden Wonder which immediately gave off a strong, zesty, fruity aroma and began to spew out waves of pastel blue foam across the tub. Again, this didn't really add much in the way of colour overall but it did strengthen that citrus aroma and soften the water even further. 

After submerging myself beneath the water, I knew I was in heaven. Not only did each of the products make themselves known in the aroma, but they complimented each other perfectly - offering me a blend of fruity, citrusy goodness but just a hint of spice that helped to keep this bath as warming on the senses as it was on the skin. 

I left the tub feeling refreshed and thoroughly uplifted - my skin felt as smooth as silk and the wonderful aroma stayed with me all through the night and into the next day. While the sun was shining outside the window at the time, it was so light a bath that it didn't matter that it was the middle of the summer when I was in it. 

This is easily one of my favourite bath cocktails to date - one that needs to be tried by everyone, and one that I will use time and time again - whenever I need a pick me up or just simply want an amazing bath. 

Rating?: 9.2 out of 10.

Vegan?: Yes.

Powder Puff Deodorant Powder

There are just so many reasons why you should (and why I do), love this product. Firstly, there is nothing like seeing an ingredients list with under ten components: in a world where I'm used to seeing huge essays on the back of packets, often containing a group of words I cannot pronounce and an even bigger selection of names that are alien to my brain, this is very refreshing and equally exciting. 

Secondly, the fact that red rose petals is one of the key ingredients, gives this product an air of luxury about it - an expectation that it very much lives up to in every sense of the word. Finally, after testing out all of Lush's other deodorant powders, and not really enjoying any of the fragrances that accompanied them, I was thrilled to own a powder that smelled unlike any other - one that happened to be absolutely beautiful as well as fairly effect. 

Having not heard of Powder Puff Deodorant Powder before it was made available in the Lush Kitchen, I decided to do a little research online and discovered that it hadn't been produced in quite a number of years. Discontinued back in 2010, this powder has been hidden in the vault for the last five years - a fact that I cannot understand because I would imagine it to be fairly popular for those wanting a less 'clinical' smelling deodorant then the ones that Lush currently offer.

Featuring both cornstarch and kaolin, these ingredients help to absorb sweat and soothe the skin, while the dried rose petals and rose absolute offer up a fragrance that will keep you smelling good for at least a good few hours. Both in the bottle and on the skin, Powder Puff smells very similar to both Tisty Tosty Ballistic and Softy Bath Bomb

The rose scent is not as 'jammy' or as sugary as the likes of Rose Jam Bubbleroon and Rose Bubble Bar, but neither is it as potent as something like Imogen Rose Liquid Perfume. Instead, the aroma sits somewhere in the middle -offering a gentle rose aroma that has just the slightest sweetness to it - making it one of the most beautiful floral aromas to come from Lush. In a way, it has a slight resemblance to Amandopondo, just without the citrus element. 

Much like The Greeench Powdered Deodorant, applying the deodorant proved a little difficult. While there are multiple ways of approaching this, I chose to pour a little on the tips of my fingers and then massage it into my armpits. Despite my best efforts, I still found that some of the excess powder would end up on either my clothes or the floor - it's a little fiddly to say the least.

On the positive side, unlike a lot of synthetic deodorants available in shops, this one is far more natural, meaning it doesn't clog the sweat glands in order to mask the smell. Furthermore, I found that this made me feel far more comfortable than applying my roll on as I wasn't left with any wet patches on my clothing from my top rubbing against the skin. 

Another aspect of this powder that makes it a winner is that it's really versatile and can be used for many things aside from deodorant. Having read other reviews on the powder, I learned that it can also be used as almost a dry shampoo. 

Having experimented with some almond oil, I found that my hair became incredibly greasy and no amount of shampooing seemed to relinquish the oily feeling in my locks. After rubbing a little Powder Puff into my hair before bed, I found that it soaked up a lot of the excess moisture and left my hair feeling much lighter and far more normal than it had done the day before. 

While this dusting powder has a lot of positive attributes, I will say that this product, as well as all of Lush's other powdered deodorants, doesn't seem to have the longevity as a normal commercial deodorant. For this reason, if you're using this regularly, you have to be prepared to reapply the powder every few hours to ensure that the freshness prevails.  

This fact became all the more apparent when I found myself sweating profusely at work one day and became paranoid that the sweat would permeate my top and show through. However, the deodorant does act as a great repellent of smells, and despite amassing a fair bit of sweat, I couldn't detect any bad smells coming from my body. A top up of the powder and my skin was dry to boot!

Although I'm still not sold on Lush's deodorants wholeheartedly, this is definitely a step in the right direction, and I shall continue to use Powder Puff after the shower and throughout the day to keep me smelling wonderful and feeling dry. I will also try this out on feet as an alternative to T For Toes as I've heard it makes a fantastic deodoriser and would no doubt keep my feet dry and smelling wonderful as well.    

Quantitative Ingredients: Cornstarch, Magnesium Carbonate, Dried Red Rose Petals, Rose Absolute, Citral, Limonene, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £5.95 for 45g.

Year Of Original Release: ?

29 August 2015

Dirty Dusting Powder

Having tried so many Lush products over the expanse of the last three years, you would think that I would forget about the key characteristics, ingredients, scents of a large percentage of these items, right? Well as it happens, I have a very good memory, so feel confident that I could probably describe about 99% of the cosmetics that I have used during this period.

Unfortunately, there are always a few products that slip my memory - mostly ones that didn't really make an impression on me to begin with, but some because they seem to merge into the background and not really hold my interest at all. 

In fact, it took me three visits before I realised that Dirty Dusting Powder was a new product in the Oxford Street store - three visits to realise that it hadn't always been there and that I hadn't actually ever used or reviewed it at all. With all of the interesting and rather exciting new offerings that Lush had brought out, this product just didn't seem that important to me. 

So I was rather surprised then when I discovered just how much I enjoyed using this dusting powder, and indeed how much I actually benefitted from it as well.

Like most of Lush's dusting powders, this one features kaolin to cleanse and soften, as well as to absorb excess moisture and leave you feeling as smooth as can be. Surprisingly, this is another one of Lush's dusting powders, much like Princess and Karma, that doesn't feature sodium bicarbonate.

Instead, Lush have included a healthy dosage of talc to help bulk out the product and make this one of the smoothest dusting powders around. Also known as hydrated magnesium silicate, this soft chalk is often ground down and used in cosmetics - offering the skin a chance to reap the benefits of using a natural mineral to clear the pores, soften the skin and leave it feeling incredible.   

To use this product, simply shake into the palm of your hand and then rub into your skin. You can also apply it directly onto any areas you wish to, although I found that this can cause a lot of the powder to fall off and get onto your clothes and/or carpet. You only need a small amount to cover your whole body - I found a teaspoon amount was more than enough each time.

Much like every other dusting powder, this one sits beautifully on the body, immediately being absorbed into the skin so you don't have to worry about it rubbing off on any clothes you put on afterwards. What you are left with is soft, beautiful skin with a very light fragrance that stays with you for a short time.

Sharing it's scent with the popular Dirty range, this powder contains spearmint as one of the key ingredients, which is what gives the product its signature minty smell. Alongside this is a generous helping of thyme oil - a strong, herby element that makes this fragrance very different from the usual humdrum of mint smells you find in other shops. 

Not only do both of these ingredients help to give this powder a wonderful refreshing and uplifting aroma, but they also help to cool the skin - perfect for those long, sticky summer months. With the help of the lycopodium powder, which comes from the spores of plants and works wonders at absorbing moisture and neutralising bad smells, this dusting powder couldn't have come at a better time. 

In the bottle and indeed on the skin, I found that this powder was slightly different from many of the other products found in this scent family. For one, I found that the mint element was thwarted slightly by some of the other components - whereas the spearmint is normally the main note, I found that it wasn't so much in this format. 

Instead, I found that the rosemary, thyme and rosewood oils were more defined, which made it more enjoyable for me. On the skin, I detected a really strong, herby smell on the surface, with the spearmint adding a crisp burst of fragrance underneath to make this a well-rounded and very refreshing experience.

Although this dusting powder can be used all over the body, making a rather uplifting experience when applied straight after a shower, I found that this also worked really well as a foot powder. A small sprinkle of this in my shoes and indeed on my feet, and I found that it neutralised any odours that were present at the time - helping to keep my feet clean and fresh for the rest of the day.

While I would normally expect the smell of any dusting powder to linger for a few mere minutes, I was impressed to find that elements of Dirty were still detectable on my body an hour after application. Dare I say it - this might be the best format in this fragrance that I have had the pleasure of using, and might very well become a regular purchase for me - that's if I ever manage to get through the twelve other bottles of dusting powder that I currently have. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Kaolin, Talc, Magnesium Trisilicate, Lycopodium Powder, Thyme Oil, Rosemary Oil, Rosewood Oil, Spearmint Oil, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £6.95 for 45g.

2016 Price: £6.95 for 45g.

Year Of Original Release: 2015.

28 August 2015

Deo My B.O Solid Deodorant Bar

As with quite a number of products from Lush, when I first started using their innovative alternatives to deodorant, I found that I just didn't get on with the different formats that they offered. While I was desperate to find myself a product that could replace the usual shop-bought antiperspirant, none of Lush's variations worked for me.

And then I found Sunflower - a product that I could have easily walked straight past in the Oxford Street store, but luckily took the plunge and purchased - later turning out to be the best decision that I had made that day. So when it came to trialling out the new Deo My B.O Deodorant Bar, I looked to the experience with a little more optimism than I would have initially done had I not tried the aforementioned product first. 

Sporting the same design as the regular T'eo Deodorant Bar, this beautiful looking oval is packed full of various oils to not only help absorb any excess moisture that may form there, but work to relieve your underarms of unwanted smells as well - leaving you feeling clean, refreshed and ready to face the day ahead. 

With a pastel green-coloured wax base and dried Delphinium petals adorned across the surface, this is probably the prettiest of all of the Lush deodorants. Yet I was rather disappointed to find that the scent that accompanied it was very subtle indeed, which was especially frustrating when the fragrance I could detect was so wonderful and would work wonders as a perfume. 

Boasting the inclusion of bergamot, neroli, juniperberry and lemon oils, not to mention fennel juice, this product offers a delicate floral aroma with a hint of sweetness to round it off. As I mentioned above, it's a very weak smell so I cannot imagine anyone disliking this because it doesn't make a strong enough impression to do so. 

As with T'eo, I was initially unsure about how best to go about using it - whether or not your underarms are wet or dry, this is not a product that yields a lot from either scenario. However, I found it slightly more useful to make sure that my armpits were left slightly damp after getting out of the shower so the product worked a little better. 

Rubbing it gently onto your skin, the lycopodium powder gets to work at absorbing excess moisture and neutralising any odours that may be present - working to eradicate these problems completely rather than masking the smells that may then multiply throughout the day. 

Annoyingly, the floral decoration completely dropped off on the initial use, so while it may serve a purpose to look attractive in the store, it's not very practical when you begin using the product. However, this really wasn't that much of a problem and I know to remove the petals before using it next time. 

In hindsight, I imagine this being a product that you carry with you in your bag - topping up every few hours throughout the day to prevent smells and moisture from seeping through and causing embarrassment. While initially I was treating this as a direct alternative to the roll on, I realise now that I had to change my state of mind when it came to how and when I used this deodorant - breaking a habit that I had been practicing for near on 20 years. 

After getting into the mindset of how to use this product, I found that I really enjoyed how the product left me feeling. I noticed that a 'top up' every couple of hours kept me dry throughout an entire working day and I didn't notice hardly any odour at all. While I think I would need something a little stronger if I was looking for something to leave me smelling lovely after a gym session, as a regular deodorant I found that it does its job and gave me the confidence to not rely on any nasty chemical-riddled commercial alternatives instead.

While massaging this onto the skin doesn't leave any trace of the product, and may look as if it hasn't worked at all, I recognise that it is effective at absorbing that excess moisture and does remove unwanted odours. If you're someone you likes to 'smell' your deodorant to know that it's working, it may be worth you spraying yourself with your favourite perfume after using this - safe in the knowledge that your deodorant has worked and that you smell rather lovely to boot. 

My only word of warning would be to not apply this after shaving your underarms; I found that swiping this too soon caused an unpleasant stinging sensation that I certainly wouldn't want to experience again. While this may not have impressed me as much as Sunflower did, its definitely one that I will rely upon to keep me fresh and clean for the foreseeable months. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar (Potassium bitartrate), Baobab Oil (Adansonia digitata), Green Wax (Specerit Green), Lycopodium Powder, Magnesium Carbonate, Perfume, Sicilian Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Fresh Fennel Juice (Foeniculum vulgare), Water (Aqua), Delphinium Petals (Delphinium staphisagria), Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Neroli Oil (Citrus Aurantium amara), Juniperberry Oil (Juniperus communis), Amyl Cinnamal, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Benzyl Cinnamate, *Benzyl Salicylate, *Citral, Eugenol, *Farnesol, Geraniol, Hydoxycitronellal, *Limonene, *Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £6.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2015. 

27 August 2015

Fox In The Flowers Bath Bomb

If you dislike strong aromas or find yourself reacting badly to anything that makes you sneeze or cough or wince, this is not a bath bomb you want to purchase. In fact, if you find yourself in the same room as this very product, I would suggest you throw yourself into the nearest cupboard and hope that the oxygen doesn't run out before someone comes and removes the culprit. 

While I've had some pungent bath bombs in my time, Fox In The Flowers takes the crown for ballistic most likely to suffocate you with its fragrance. While it was not Lush's intent to make it so overpowering, the combination of ingredients featured means that this is one that leaves a lasting impression - on both your senses and your skin...and probably your neighbour's dog its so powerful. 

Designed to replicate 'a magical summer walk through the woods as day breaks, slick with rain and the rich scent of upturned earth', the arrival of this bath bomb was a rather bittersweet moment at first. With the rain pummelling on the windows and my feet neatly tucked under the hem of the oversized cardigan I was draped in, it brought on the reality that summer was slowly disappearing and winter was peeping from behind the curtain.  

Sporting a beautiful pastel-green demeanour - one slightly darker than that of the All That Jas bath bomb, this ballistic is made even more stunning by the inclusion of a dried rose decoration on the surface and chamomile and blue mallow flowers threaded throughout it's middle. While this isn't the messiest of bathing products to come from Lush, this is definitely one that needs a sieve if you hate any sort of debris in your bath. 

While I would describe the scent of this to be a floral one, it's definitely not a typical flowery aroma. In fact, I'd feel as if I was underselling this product by labelling it as so. Made from a unique combination of chamomile and blue mallow flowers, this bath bomb is far deeper and more complex than most other floral aromas that I have tried from Lush. 

To me, the initial note I get from Fox In The Flowers is the smell of freshly cut, damp grass. However, this is immediately followed by an array of different 'green' smells. Firstly, this bath bomb reminded me of walking through the garden of a country house that has recently been watered - the ivy stretching up the walls of the house; the dandelions and nettles intertwined and giving off that chlorophyll-dominated smell you get with leaves; the dry twigs of deceased plants offering a gentle wet woody aroma underneath everything. 

This bath bomb has a really deep and complex floral aroma - one that is complimented by the tiniest dry citrus note that elevates the flowery smell to new levels of beauty. The slightest hint of lavender in the mix makes this mesmerising on the senses, and while I didn't appreciate the abruptness of the fragrance to begin with, I found myself craving another bath with the product after I'd experienced it for the first time.

Lush describe the bath bomb as smelling like 'cut grass, wild flowers, and woodlands', and I couldn't agree more. To make it even more beautiful, when the bomb erupts and fizzes away in the tub, you'll left with a stunning array of mossy-green coloured water and a handful of flowers to make this one of the most gorgeous baths I have had in a while.   

On the positive side, this bath bomb left me feeling really refreshed and 'light on my feet' - with skin that glowed and pertained a little fragrance to see me through a good couple of hours afterwards. Furthermore, while the aroma splayed out a little in the water and wasn't so overbearing as it was in the wrapper, it still offered a very fragrant bathing experience and didn't lose its smell, even though I was in there a good hour.

However, I feel as if Fox In The Flowers is a bath bomb that inspires quite a strong reaction from those who discover it. For some, the scent will be far too potent on the senses and would almost bring about a headache for those more sensitive to smells - while for others, the love affair will be an instant one.

I feel very privileged to have been able to try this out for myself, and although I will say that I really enjoyed using it, it's not one that I would necessarily run out to buy again if they were made available in the future. Most notably, the green stain around the outside of my bath was a little off-putting and definitely put a bit of a downer on the whole experience at the end.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Roman Chamomile Flowers, Rosebuds, Blue Mallow Flowers, Lime Tree Flowers, Lavender Absolute, Nettle Absolute, Lavendin Absolute, Water (Aqua), Chlorophyllin.

Vegan?: Yes.

2015 Price: £3.95 each.

2016 Price: £3.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2003.