29 June 2017

1000 Millihelens Jelly Face Mask

One of the biggest problems I have with Lush is their constant need to invent new products. This may sound rather strange, given that you'd normally expect to find me revelling in new releases. However, I have more of an issue with the fact that many of these new inventions never see the light of day, or if they do, they're likely to be made in very small batches and only available to those lucky enough to be there at the time. For someone who has a compulsion and a need to experience everything that comes out of the company, this is a practice that I feel uncomfortable with. 

When I attended the Lush Summit event earlier this year, I was apprehensive about the fact that the company had five brand new face mask inventions available to sniff, hold and experience right there and then. However, not one of them was available for sale at that particular moment, meaning that I had to walk away knowing that there was a product in existence that I wasn't able to try. Luckily for me, I was finally able to obtain four out of the five of them later that day, which helped to relieve the uneasiness that I had been feeling up until that moment.

1000 Millihelens is one of a handful of exclusive new jelly masks that have just recently made themselves available in stores. The first of its kind, this brand new invention is an exciting leap for Lush, who have only been known to release fresh face masks up until this point. 

While there current range of masks are far superior to any other mask I have experienced outside of Lush, my only issue is the fact that they offer the shortest shelf life out of every other Lush product available to buy. What first struck me about each and every one of the five new jelly masks, is that they appear to have an extended use by date of up to a year - which is a 1100% increase when compared to the regular masks. 

After using the face mask near on every day for a matter of weeks, I have also concluded that the longevity of this product far outweighs that of its predecessors. Whereas a normal pot would give me on average about 6-8 uses, I found that the jelly variation had barely shrunk after my tenth use, and I could easily envisage getting upwards of another twenty uses out of it, if not more.

The basic premise of the jelly face mask is that you could can utilise it in one of two ways. Firstly, you have the option of using it in the same way as you would a regular shower jelly, albeit on the face. You can either add a little dash of water between your palms, massage it to create a gentle lather and then apply this to your face; or you can ensure that the jelly is wet and then massage it directly across your face. This way will heed a very light layer of product on the skin, although it's still enough to get impressive results from the mask.

Secondly (and the way that it was meant to be used) is to break off a small grape-sized piece, use a small amount of water to massage the jelly into a paste-like consistency, and then apply it directly to the face. This will give you a much thicker layer of production on your skin, and perhaps works slightly more intensely overall. 

Either way, what you will notice is that this mask is not as heavy or as noticeable as the regular face masks are. You wont be left with a really thick layer of product on your skin, like you would normally expect to. Instead, your face will harvest a thin layer of product, that you then leave on for the usual twenty minutes, before washing off.  

Having chosen 1000 Millihelens to try out first, I was really impressed by the fragrance that greeted me from the tub. Sharing its scent with the Johnny Appleseed Bath Oil, this bright, fruity apple-dominated mask is delicious from the word go. Featuring witch hazel to soothe and relieve irritated skin, green tea to detox and purify the pores, and kaolin clay to remove unwanted grease and dirt, this powerhouse of ingredients is lighter and far sweeter than any of Lush's other masks. For those who have not experienced this bath oil before, 1000 Millihelens smells like a combination of expensive apple juice with a gentle layer of herbal green tea alongside this.  

Based on Helen Ambrosen, this face mask also features lemon oil to add radiance to your complexion, making it super effective but equally gentle on the skin. What I really appreciated about this face mask was that it was far easier to use than a regular face mask, and I was able to apply it after jumping in the shower, rather than set time aside to so before I could wash myself. 

After washing this off, I was initially disappointed to find that my skin didn't feel as plump or as well-nourished as the likes of Oatifix or Don't Look At Me. However, I discovered that this product was more of a 'grower' - in that it worked more subtlety over time, so that my skin felt far softer and smoother half an hour after I had rinsed it off.

I feel as if this mask would be suited for most skin types. My complexion is what I'd describe as normal to dry, and my skin was left feeling very radiant and smooth afterwards. The inclusion of the green tea infusion really help to clean out my pores of any dirt or debris; the apple gave my complexion a natural shine that stayed with me for the most part of the day. For those with slightly greasier skin, you may find that the different clays will help to absorb excess oils  as well.  

Overall, I am really excited about the idea of these being made for shop release. The jelly face mask is a unique concept that won't (and shouldn't) replace replace the regular face masks, but definitely makes a very different and more cost effective alternative. I look forward to seeing what other variations may transpire in the near future.

Quantitative Ingredients: Green Tea Infusion, Glycerine, Propylene, Glycol, Kaolin, Zeolite Clay, Fresh Apple Juice, Talc, Carrageenan Extract, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Neroli Oil, Brazilian Orange Oil, Witch Hazel Extract, Water, Geraniol, Perfume, Chlorophyllin.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £6.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

Scent Family:
1000 Millihelens Jelly Face Mask
Johnny Appleseed Bath Oil

28 June 2017

Fomo Jelly Face Mask

When Lush first showcased the new concept of jelly face masks at the last Summit event, I cannot say that I was overly excited by the idea. While it was innovative and definitely interesting, I couldn't see myself being overly enamoured with the finished products. How wrong could I be?

Fomo is one of five brand new jellies that will change-up your facial routine for the better. Not only are they considerably less messy than their original counterparts, but their shelf life far outlasts that of the fresh alternatives. While there is definitely still something magical and natural about the fresh face masks, and I by no means want them to disappear, the benefits of all five of the new masks make them equally as important. 

Designed for all skin types, Fomo is one for the fans of floral-scented cosmetics. Featuring both calamine powder and rose absolute, this gentle gem gives off a smell that is very similar to Rosy Cheeks. Initially, you can detect a light and slightly powdery rose aroma, while the calamine sits behind this and adds its own delicate burst of coolness. With a mild touch of neroli to bring a little sweetness to the mix, this facial jelly smells just as calming to sniff as it is to apply to the skin.

What I love about all of Lush's new facial jellies is how they can be used in different ways. If you're someone who is a little conservative with your products, you can use Fomo in a similar way to that of any of Lush's other shower jellies. Simply wet your face and the jelly, and then massage it across the skin, where it will leave a gentle layer of product. Simply leave it on for 5-10 minutes and then rinse away. While you wont get a deep cleanse this way, you will notice a difference to your complexion, and this will ensure that a single tub would last you for months on end - even with daily use. 

However, the way in which Lush suggest that you use it is by pinching a small, grape-sized piece from the tub; work into a paste in the palm of your hands, with a little water to do so; and then apply it directly to the face. I found that leaving it on for 15-20 minutes worked best, and my skin felt noticeably different when I rinsed the product away afterwards.

With calamine powder helping to calm the skin, this is a great choice for those who have sensitive skin, or suffer from acne. This ingredient helps to prevent any irritation from occurring, and can even reduce any redness that you may be suffering from at the time. For this reason, Fomo Jelly Face Mask would also be a great choice for the hotter months of the year, as I feel that sunburnt complexions would really benefit from this after a long, hard day in the heat.

The kaolin clay featured here also helps to absorb any excess oil that may be present on oiler skin-types. However, those with drier complexions like myself, should not be put off from giving this facial jelly a chance. I found that my skin felt very clean and smooth afterwards, and the inclusion of the clay didn't leave my face feeling or looking parched. 

Overall, I am really impressed with this new invention - much more so than I expecting to be. You can easily get 6-8 uses out of a single pot, and for the same price as a fresh face mask, this is definitely worth the money. Given that these are not at risk of leaking, don't need to be kept in the fridge, and have a shelf life of a year, Lush's new jelly face masks are a fantastic invention - with Fomo being my favourite one yet.      

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Calamine Powder, Glycerine, Propylene, Glycol, Kaolin, Carrageenan Extract, Neroli Oil, Rose Absolute, *Linalool.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £6.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

26 June 2017

Green Coconut Jelly Bath Bomb

It was during a Lush discussion the other day that I realised that the company don't offer that many coconut-scented products for vegans. Aside from Salted Coconut Hand Scrub and Trichomania Solid Shampoo, there aren't very many other options for those of us who love the uniquely-smelling fruit. When Lush announced that Green Coconut Jelly Bath Bomb was coming to stores as a possible permanent, I was overly-excited to purchase one and try it out as soon as I could.

As with all of Lush's new jelly bomb inventions, this bath bomb features an ingredient called sodium alginate, which is a component taken from a type of brown seaweed found in the ocean. The ingredient, when added to water, reacts by creating a thick, gloopy residue, and it is this process that gives the new range of bath bombs their name.

As the name suggests, Green Coconut Jelly is a warming, musky-smelling bath ballistic, with coconut being the most dominant feature in the overall aroma. Alongside the cinnamon leaf oil, the coconut in this bath bomb is very different from the likes of any other product that Lush have released to date. In fact, what makes this fragrance very different is that it is much gentler and far subtler than other coconut-scented products.

While I didn't think so at first, a discussion with another Lushie highlighted the possibility that this bath bomb has an essence of green Thai curry about it. Although I wouldn't describe Green Coconut as having a 'foodie' smell at all, there is definitely something rather fresh and slightly aromatic about it.

To me, I get a sense of both coconut, and what I can only describe as the grassy element of lemongrass without the citrus component that you would normally expect. It is definitely not anywhere near as potent or spicy as the Asian dish. However, it does hold a resemblance to that of a fresh mix of coconut, kaffir leaves and lemongrass. Having said that, I should once again reiterate that this bath bomb does not have any of the fruity, citrusy components that you would normally expect from lemongrass; it merely has a bamboo-esque sort of aroma.

As with Dark Arts, this bath bomb begins fizzing immediately, and it doesn't take more than a few seconds for the sodium alginate to kick in begin creating that jelly-like coating on the surface. Surprisingly, I discovered that despite the identical structure of the bath bomb, Green Coconut didn't produce as much 'gloopy' overall, and the jelly come across as being quite as imposing in the water.

Once again, I should warn you that the base of the bath tub does become very slippery when you first get in, and those who need support getting into and out of the bath, may need extra help to ensure that they have a good grip before resting their feet on the base of the tub. Even though I had almost slipped over during my experience with Dark Arts, I still lost my footing with this one, and I would worry that others might not be quite as prepared as they need to be when using this bath bomb.

Much like the other jelly bombs, the mineral-rich sodium alginate makes the water super moisturising, and you don't have to be in the bath long to notice the difference the water makes to your skin. Again, this bath bomb might look like a grease-fest waiting to happen, but it is not at all oily. Instead, the balance of oils, the coconut cream, and the sodium alginate, make this a well-balanced and very nourishing bath for the skin. Unfortunately, there was very little remnants of the fragrance on my body afterwards, despite how smooth and radiant my skin felt when getting out of the bath.

Unlike Dark Arts, the jelly layer wasn't so imposing once I had got into the tub, and while I still experienced some of the gunk sticking to my skin for a while, it was a little easier to rinse away. As there was less of it as well, I found that the jelly dissolved a lot quicker into the water, and I was able to wash my hair without worrying about the mess it would collect under the surface. Furthermore, Green Coconut Jelly Bath Bomb didn't leave any unpleasant-looking stains on the tub, and I didn't even need to rinse away any unwanted residue afterwards either. 

Overall, I enjoyed how great my skin felt after using this, and I really appreciated the wonderful spring green colour of the water. While it offers quite a subtle aroma in the water, there is something rather refreshing yet comforting about the fragrance, which makes it great for those cooling summer baths. Although not one I would want to use all of the time, I think this is definitely fitting for this time of year, and I'd be interested to see if Lush bring out anything more in this scent. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Sodium Alginate, Coconut Cream, Perfume, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Water (Aqua), Dipropylene, Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, *Eugenol, Colour 42090, Colour 47005.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £4.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

24 June 2017

Dark Arts Jelly Bath Bomb

Let's be honest: Harry Potter is a series that lends itself well when it comes to cosmetics. There are so many different concepts within both the books and the films that play perfect inspiration for bath bombs and bubble bars, perfumes and much more. In all fairness, I'm a little surprised that it's taken this long for Lush to bring out a product such as Dark Arts.

One of four new 'jelly bombs', this ballistic is inspired by the more sinister side of J.K.Rowling's fictional world. As with the other variations of this new concept, this bath bomb features an active ingredient known as sodium alginate, which is what creates the jelly-like reaction in the bath water. Mineral-rich and known for its moisturising properties, this ingredient gets to work at making your bath one of the most nourishing experiences you could wish for.
Containing a combination of cinnamon, orange and almond oils, this bath bomb is surprisingly gentle in scent. While I would describe it as being a warming, musky cinnamon scent, unlike Cinders Bath Bomb or Taai Taai Shower Gel, the smell featured here is nowhere near as heated or as spicy. Instead, you get a slightly powdery cinnamon smell with a subtle hint of orange. The fruity side of the orange oil is also very dampened in Dark Arts, so don't expect more than a gentle reference; while the almond oil offers an almost burnt-like note that sits alongside the other components and rounds the smell off. 

While I think it's a lovely fragrance to bathe with, I would have quite liked it to have been a little stronger, and I also find it a rather odd choice for a summer release. I see this as being more of a limited edition Christmas or Halloween product, as it would be more suited to that time of year. Not that cinnamon is exclusively a winter scent; just that it would not be a product I would want to reach for in the warmer weather.    
Upon contact with the water, the bath bomb immediately begins to fizz, and sends out waves of thick, gloopy black colour across the surface of the tub. Quite a fast fizzer, it didn't take long for Dark Arts to fully dissolve, and what was left behind resembled that of an oil spillage at sea. There was a thick layer of jelly-like residue that clung to the water, and I found that the second I began to get into the tub, this stuff latched itself to my body and made a mess of my skin. 

Throughout the experience, I found that the jelly did begin to dissolve into the water, and within about fifteen minutes it had fully disappeared. However, during this initial stage, the gloopy mess stuck to most parts of my body and had to be rubbed a number of times to clean it off. Although it certainly didn't stain myself or the tub at any point, it was a little stubborn at removing itself from my skin.

One word of warning that should be heeded is that the base of the tub becomes extremely slippery when you first hoist yourself into the bath - a fact I learnt fairly quickly when I almost slipped over when climbing into the waters of this very bath bomb. 
Once you're submerged in the water, the jelly gets to work at moisturising your skin very effectively, and I was definitely impressed with how soft and shiny my body looked and felt afterwards. Furthermore, it should be noted that I would not describe this experience as being at all oily or greasy in the slightest. While it looks as though it's going to be too overwhelming, there was just enough of the sodium alginate to make an impression on the skin, without drowning your pores. 

Having said that, I did not particularly enjoy the many smudges that appeared around the outside of my bath tub after using one of these. While most of the smudges can be rinsed away easily afterwards, I found that if the bath hadn't been scrubbed clean beforehand, black smudges did make their way to these places. In addition, some of the black residue did remain on the back of my legs, unbeknownst to me, and this transferred onto my towel afterwards, which then had to be cleaned right away.

Although the bath bomb wont stain your skin or the bath permanently, there was something rather messy about this experience that I didn't really enjoy. With the amount of 'gunk' present, I wouldn't feel confident washing my hair in the water, and I didn't feel as refreshed or as clean when I stepped out of the tub, as I would with most other bath bombs. 
Finally, I found that the fragrance of this was a little weaker than I was hoping for. For a bath bomb such as Dark Arts, which makes a big statement with its design and functionality, I was expecting something a little bit bolder and stronger than the aroma that stayed with me in the bath tub. 

While this is a novelty concept, and one that I have enjoyed testing out in my bath, this is not one that will sustain my interest for very long, and definitely not one I would buy regularly. Although I understand the allure of a Harry Potter-inspired bath bomb will no doubt make this a popular seller over the coming months, I cannot see this as being one that'll have much longevity in the great scheme of things.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Sodium Alginate, Cornflour, Perfume, Almond essential oil, Brazilian Orange Oil, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Propylene, Glycol, Laureth 4, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, *Eugenol, *Cinnamal, *Limonene, Colour 77491, Colour 77266, Colour 17200, Colour 16035, Colour 60725.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £4.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

22 June 2017

Mother Of Dragons Egg Bath Bomb

There was quite a stir when Lush unveiled some of their enlarged bath bombs at the original Summit event last year: I remember having my mind blown just thinking about the concept of one of my favourite ballistics being over quadruple the original size. While I had the opportunity to purchase one at the time, my financial situation meant that I had to choose between two products, and this led to invest in a Nebula instead. However, when the Lush Kitchen released Mother Of Dragons Bath Bomb in the Kitchen a few months back, I jumped at the opportunity of trying a 'Lush classic' in bigger proportions.

Sharing the same scent and concept as Dragons Egg, this limited edition is enlarged to the point of being over four times as heavy (and as big) as its original older sibling. Inspired by the popular TV series, Game of Thrones, this huge ballistic can be cut into multiple slices, and could probably last across 5-6 different baths. Having said that, it can also be used in a single go, and this is what I decided to do after a long, hard day at work.

Containing both lemon and bergamot oils at the forefront, this rather plain-looking bath bomb is scented with a beautiful, uplifting fruity aroma. Although not as 'in your face' as both Avobath or Cheer Up Buttercup, Mother Of Dragons offers a generous burst of playful, citrusy goodness - a smell that reminds me of lemon sherbet sweets with a subtle touch of grassiness. 

With jasmine absolute to add a slightly sweeter touch to the aroma, this bath bomb is great for the summer months - when you want something warming and comforting to bathe in; yet something equally as light and refreshing. Mother Of Dragons is light and spritzy - a magical but rather simplistic fragrance to comprehend. 

Much like the smaller Dragon's Egg, this one is decorated with colourful, circular discs of rice paper, that decorate the surface of the tub for a short while before melting away in the water. Alongside this is a generous dose of golden lustre, which spills out of the centre after a couple of minutes of it being in the water, and patterns the surface with swirls of magical, golden decoration. 

As with the original bath bomb, this one isn't much of a fizzer, and will instead bob on the surface whilst sending out thick blankets of white foam to soften the water. In fact, I was rather disappointed to find that Mother Of Dragons didn't really do much aside from fizzle away fairly quickly and leave a thin, cloudy coating on the surface.

After taking about 4-5 minutes to fully dissolve, I found that the water had turned into a haven of bright orange: the golden lustre floating underneath the surface and making the whole bath glisten in the light. Surprisingly, even though the bath bomb was huge to begin with, the water isn't any darker or more vivid in size, nor is the smell. While you can smell the wonderful uplifting elements of the ballistic throughout the whole experience, I wouldn't say it is any stronger than if you were to use a regular-sized alternative.

Although this bath bomb did leave my skin feeling really soft and moisturised, I don't feel as if it was any more effective than a normal bath bomb would. As a novelty, this is great for a single-use bath, and if you love Dragons Egg, I'm sure you'll appreciate having an extra large one to indulge in. However, I don't feel as if this offered much in the way of a show, or a particularly stronger scent to make it worth buying again.    

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Popping Candy, Lemon Oil, Bergamot Oil, Jasmine Absolute, Cream of Tartar, Water (Aqua), Gardenia Extract, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, *Citral, *Limonene, Perfume, Gold Lustre, Radiant Gold Lustre, Titanium Dioxide, Colour 77491, Colour 15510, Colour 17200, Colour 14700, Colour 45410, Rice Paper.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £12 each. 

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

20 June 2017

Rocket Science Bath Bomb

As a full-fledged kid at heart, I can honestly say that I became perhaps a little too excited when I heard about the release of Rocket Science Bath Bomb earlier last week. Although only a temporary release in the Lush Kitchen, this bath product will be making its way into most shops within a matter of weeks, and I can imagine it making a big impression on those who rush out to get it. 

No stranger to rockets, Lush have already graced the world with both Rocketeer Bath Bomb and a Rocket Reusable Bubble Bar, and it seems as if this might be their greatest space-travelling invention yet. Originally created to support this year's Father's Day range, this bath bomb has got Lush fans rather excited about a permanent release.

Priced up at £2.95, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the bath bomb is not as small as I envisaged it would be. Although a little lighter than the average 200g spherical bath bomb, this gorgeous ballistic packs a punch when it comes to how it interacts with the water, and for this reason I think it is great value for money.

Containing both bergamot and lemon oils, Rocket Science could be described as a powdery, fruity smell - very similar, in a way, to the popular Dragon's Egg Bath Bomb, albeit a little fresher and 'grassier'. There is also a rounded note that wraps itself around the citrus smell, that I can only describe as being like caramelised brown sugar. It's not particularly strong, and acts as more of a lasting thought, but it is still very much present.

Upon dropping this into the water, the bath bomb immediately began to send out thick, puffy waves of blue foam, and for a short time the bath bomb remained stagnant in its own blanket of foam. However, within thirty seconds these dispersed across the surface and the bath bomb began to move around as it was supposed to.

Within a very short space of time, the bath water had turned a wonderful shade of blue, and there was silver lustre swirling around underneath the surface: not enough that you need to be worried about being made to leave the bath looking like a disco ball. In fact, the colour and underlying lustre reminded me of my very much-loved Intergalactic Bath BombAfter a while, the yellow and pinks from inside begin to seep across the tub, and the water glistens in the light to create a very inviting, and very visually beautiful bath to submerge yourself in. 

Unfortunately, I did find that the smell tends to disperse quite a bit when it's in the water, and I wasn't able to detect much of the scent when I was using other products. Even when I had a short dose in the tub, and I submerged myself under for the most part, there was not much of a fragrance to enjoy. This was a shame as everything else about the bath bomb had worked so well up until this point.

As with most of Lush's bath bombs, this one left my skin feeling soft and nourished, although it was by no means one that goes above and beyond when it comes to your skin. In the future, I think I would pair this up with Star Light Star Bright to gage a little more scent from the experience. However, when it comes to the visual aspect of this bath bomb, I cannot fault it whatsoever. 

Overall, I definitely love the playful element to it, and I think this will be one that kids enjoy just as much as adults. The fragrance that it gives is sweet and refreshing, while also offering a little comforting blanket of muskiness at the same time.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Bergamot Oil, Cream Of Tartar, Water, Titanium Dioxide, Cornflour, Glycerine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Lauryl Betaine, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Maltodextin, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Sodium Carboxy Methyl Cellulose, Perfume, Limonene, Colour 42090, Colour 15850:1, Colour 45410:1, Colour 47005, Colour 19140, Colour 45410, Colour 77891, Colour 77019, Colour 75810, Colour 77492, Colour 16255. 

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £2.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.