31 January 2016

Ladybird Bubble Bar

With some products, you're able to guess pretty well from the description what the item might smell like, and while you can never be one hundred per cent certain of its fragrance, you're not normally that far out. However, there are some occasions where the ingredients list gives very little away, and the surprise is discovering the mystery aroma upon receipt of the product. Such is the case with Ladybird

A brand new release for this year's Mother's Day range, this gorgeous looking bubble bar is a mystery - in both how this bath product actually ties in with the seasonal selection to begin with, and also how very different the aroma is when compared to the ingredients that have gone into making this limited edition beauty.

On the brightside, I cannot fault the design of this little critter at all. Sporting a vivid red and purple appearance, this definitely showcases Lush's ability to produce unique and attractive products. You'd be hard-pressed to find a cuter product in the store right now, and it's unlikely you'll be able to walk past it without at least giving it a sniff or two.
What is surprising is its smell. While it contains geranium and peppermint oils as the main ingredients, the aroma I make out is not what I was expecting at all. My initial thoughts upon removing the product from the bag was that Ladybird was far sweeter than the write-ups suggest. 

Immediately I could detect a strong, sugary-sweet smell that reminded me very much of Snow Fairy Shower Gel. When opening a bottle of the seasonal favourite, I get a very sickly, syrupy scent that reminds me of pear drop sweets and bubblegum, and this to me is very similar to one of the main notes in this bubble bar. 

Alongside this is the note of peppermint, which is what I think gives this product its uniqueness. Rather than a straight forward sweet smell, the peppermint gives it a refreshing element that sets it apart from other Snow Fairy, Creamy Candy inspired cosmetics. It's a very cooling smell - one that doesn't have the sharp kick that you would normally expect from mint-scented products, but one that is definitely at the forefront of the fragrance.

What is interesting is that if you continue to smell the bubble bar, you do begin to recognise the floral elements that the geranium brings to the table. However, the combined efforts of both this and the peppermint, causes the former ingredient to have a very different impact on the overall smell of this bubble bar.

This is quite a stubborn bubble bar to break down so you might need to crumble this up before running the tap. Having said this, once Ladybird begins to work her magic, the water is transformed into a stunning deep, warming red colour. Furthermore, the abundance of silky-soft, fragrant bubbles is promising, and they cocoon you throughout the whole experience - I was very impressed. 

What is also fantastic is that the water itself is very moisturising. While Lush's bubble bars tend to be far superior in the water than their bath bombs, it is a rare occasion when I discover a bubble bar that is as nourishing on the skin as this one. After exiting the bath, I found my skin felt refreshed and soft, and this feeling lasted all the way through to the following day. 

Not only this, but the scent of the product remained really prominent throughout the whole bathing experience. I was in the tub for a good hour with this one, and I found that I could still make out the fragrance of Ladybird on both my skin and in the water, despite using an array of equally potent cosmetics that would normally outshine certain bathing products.
I would expect this bubble bar to heed two to three good quality baths, or more if you decide to use it as part of a cocktail. While the scent certainly isn't my favourite from Lush, I really appreciate that it's a new fragrance, and I cannot fault its productivity both in the bath and afterwards.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Cornflour, Perfume, Geranium Oil, Peppermint Oil, Colour 45410, Colour 17200, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes.

2016 Price: £3.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2016.

Lush Mother's Day Haul 2016

30 January 2016

Sunflower Bubble Bar

I can promise you that when it comes to brand new Lush products, I try my very best to be as objective as possible. When your cosmetic diet is as heavily saturated with Lush products as mine is, it can sometimes be difficult not to get swept away with adoration for everything new that comes along. I'd certainly hate to think that I would overlook product flaws, simply because it's attached to my favourite brand.

However, when it comes to both the Valentine's Day and Mother's Day range this year, I really cannot fault any of the products that the company have brought out so far. With the consumer market being far more reserved about spending their hard-earned money, it's no wonder that companies are having to ensure that quality far outweighs quantity, and when it comes to Lush, they've certainly stepped up to the mark. 

Sunflower is a brand new product to grace the shelves this year - although it's one of the many products that seem to be following a trend of being exclusive to the Oxford Street store. While this bubble bar is available in some of the gift sets online and in all other shops, you cannot buy it individually unless you visit the flagship store. 

This is one of those products that makes an immediate impression. Firstly, it is huge - measuring in at about 15cm in diameter. Although Lush have released a few limited editions years ago that were bigger, this is easily the largest bath product that I have had the pleasure of purchasing and using in recent years.

It's not only its size that is impressive. Decorated with dried sunflower leaves in the centre, and sporting a vivid collaboration of yellows and oranges for the design, this seasonal bubble bar is an absolute pleasure to behold. It looks like a piece of artwork - so much so that I had to convince myself to actually use the thing, rather than framing it and hanging it on my wall. If Still Life payed homage to Van Gogh, this is reverence of the highest form.    

What is unique about Sunflower, compared to other products of a similar nature, is that you could mistake it for a bath bomb to begin with. Not only is it far softer that many of the regular ones, but it is also slightly more crumbly than what you'd expect of a bubble bar. That's not to say it's particularly fragile, just that it's far easier to crumble under the water.

Containing lemon oil and little else in terms of fragrance, it offers a really bright, uplifting zesty aroma. A little like Lemslip Buttercream, it's a very clean, citrusy smell, and one that will certainly bring some sunshine into your bath. However, it's not as sharp as the aforementioned Kitchen exclusive, but is far 'spritzier' than Still Life. If you like lemon smells, this will be right up your alley. 

As for usage - you can either crumble it under the water as it's running, or break it up into your tub before adding in the water. Either way, this bubble bar can be broken up into multiple pieces and used across more than one bath - I would probably get three luxurious experiences from a single bar, but if you're using one for cocktails, you can probably stretch this to four or five.

As to be expected with all of Lush's bubble bars, Sunflower created a mound of soft, fragrant bubbles, and turned the water into a deep, golden-yellow colour. In its favour, this bubble bar turned out to be one of the softness products I have ever used from Lush, and I was amazed at how velvety-smooth the water became. After dipping my feet into the tub mere minutes after running the bath, I was really impressed to discover that the water got to work immediately at moisturising my skin, and I could really feel the difference it made on my skin afterwards.

While the scent of this dampened just slightly during use, I could still detect a strong lemony aroma throughout, and I was able to make out a very light note of fruity goodness on my skin afterwards. Furthermore, I didn't need to moisturise after using Sunflower, and I was still able to appreciate the smooth feeling the very next day as well.

Overall, this is a fantastic addition to the Lush family, and I will definitely be buying a few more before they disappear at the end of the season. While some would argue that the simplicity of the scent is to the detriment of the product, I think it encompasses Mother's Day perfectly, and is a great reminder that spring is just around the corner. A must have for all Lush fans. 

Quantitative Ingredients:
Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream Of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Lauryl Betaine, Cornflour, Sunflower Petals, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Limonene, 
Gardenia Extract, Citral, Colour 19142:1, Colour 19140, Colour 15510.

Vegan?: Yes.

2016 Price: £4.95 each in Oxford Street (only available in gift sets otherwise).

Year Of Original Release: 2016.  

25 January 2016

Lots Of Love Gift Set (Valentine's Day 2016)

It's quite a sad state of affairs that I have to buy my own Valentine's Day gifts - partly because I'm too impatient to wait for the actual day to come around, and mostly because nobody that knows me is willing to buy me Lush when they recognise that I have so much already. A predicament if there was ever one!

While this isn't my favourite design from the current collection, it's definitely got the best and most superior selection of products inside. And there's no denying that this isn't visually stunning to look at - if I received this from a loved one, I would more than ecstatic.

Reminiscent of the Heart Of Gold collection I was given a few years ago, this is the perfect gift for anyone looking to wow a loved one. Whether or not you love chocolate, I cannot see anybody being disappointed if they were presented with this - unless of course they didn't have access to a bath tub! 

This gift set features:

What is great about Lots Of Love is that every product compliments the others, while also being incredibly diverse enough to offer a completely different experience. You have Tisty Tosty for a rose and geranium-dominated bath; Sex Bomb for those jasmine moments; Lover Lamp for when you want something creamy and fruity; Rose Jam for the sweet and lemony rose experience; Unicorn Horn when when nothing but a gentle floral will do; and French Kiss for when you're in need of sleep and you wish to be buried in lavender.

Each of these products offer at least one bath - with the bubble bars stretching to two or three for those who wish to be conservative with their goodies. Of if like me, you enjoy experimenting with scents and combinations, you can mix and match pieces of any of these items, and you'll be sure to create a wonderfully relaxing bathing experience.

If the products aren't enough for you, there is also the beautiful design of the box to enjoy. This thick, sturdy case looks gorgeous on the mantel piece, and can be used afterwards as a jewellery box, make up box, or just about anything you think of. It's one of those that more than makes up for the price tag, and while this will be the only collection I grab from the Valentine's range this year, I am no less than in awe of Lots Of Love.

Vegan?: Yes.

2016 Price: £27.95 each.