16 December 2018

On Edge Edging Balm

Out of all of the brand new hair products from Lush, this was the one that confused me more than any other. As somebody who has never heard of an edging balm before, and certainly never used one, I had no idea what to do with this cylindrical piece of blue. If I'm going to be honest, after using it for a couple of weeks, I'm still not 100 per cent sure that I'm using it in the right way.

Simply put, On Edge Edging Balm is a tube made up mostly of waxes, and some oils, that you use to keep the edge of your hairline in check. Usually, this type of product comes as a wax or a putty, and seems to be designed for those with thicker, wavier hair. Women who have cornrows are particularly drawn to edging cosmetics because they can help protect the hair around where the braids have been fixed. 

Using an edging wax, balm or putty can both prevent the drying out of a person's hair, as well as preventing any fraying from occurring due to the pressure of the fixtures. As someone who doesn't have braids, doesn't really tie their hair up at all; and certainly doesn't tie it up tight enough to be worried about breakage, this product wasn't really one designed with me in mind. However, I do have enough frizz to win a few awards so I thought I'd give this one a go anyway.

Firstly, while there was a light fragrance accompanying this product, it was so mild, as well as being thwarted by the smell of the wax, that it came across as rather nondescript. Secondly, the edging balm itself can be quite intimidating for those of us who don't really know what we're doing, as it's very rigid to the touch, and feels more like something you'd want to either melt in a wax burner, or use to seal holes in the bathroom.

To use, you simply take the bar and begin to smooth it around the edges of your hairline, starting from the outside and swiping it backwards as far as you wish to go. On Edge is not the most generous of products so you will have to push considerably hard to transfer the product from the tube to the hair. However, it is evident straight away that some of the wax does make its way onto your hair.  

Then with either your fingers, or Lush suggest a toothbrush, you can smooth the product backwards and across the areas you wish to keep in place. As someone who has frizzy 'horns' on either side of the head, I decided to focus on these two parts, and was impressed when On Edge managed to not only hold my frizzy bits in place, but also seemingly removed the frizzy element completely. 

In all fairness, I wasn't exactly surprised when I saw that my hair now looked (and mildly felt) pinned down to my head. There are some serious strong waxes that have gone into making this product, so it's no surprise that your hairs will stay rooted to the spot after receiving a hit of this product. There's no denying that on the outside, this product works.

After researching quite a lot about these 'edging' products, the one key concern that came up time and time again was how the continual use of such an item could lead to hair damage long-term. While Lush have included a high dosage of organic jojoba oil, shea butter and castor oil to ensure that the hair stays hydrated and conditioned when the product has been applied, the way On Edge felt on my hair led me to believe that the consistency of this product could still cause a few issues in the future.

It took almost two hours for me to not feel the 'wax-like' layer of product across my hairline, and while my locks stayed in place and certainly didn't look like it had the product on there, I was aware of the coating every time I went to run my hands through my hair. After using a lot of hair wax a good few years ago, I distinctly remember how it weakened my hair over time, and I can envisage the same thing happening here as well.

Hold-wise, I found that my hair stayed in place for over six hours, and the wispy bits only started to reappear when I got my hair a little damp in the rain. If I had kept my hair dry, I think that On Edge would have seen me through until the evening. This is definitely impressive when compared to what I've learnt about a lot of other edging products on the market.

However, I feel that this balm might well dry my hair out a little too much to use it regularly (which is sort of the point with most women who use these edging products), and you would definitely need to wash it out in the evenings to ensure that your hair has a breather before application the next day.

Given how many uses I was able to get out of the bar, and seeming how little it changed shape and size, this would definitely rival that of the potted balms, waxes and gels that I have seen. However, On Edge is not really a product that I can see myself using in the future: I would much rather have another bottle of Shield to help me with my frizz. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Murumuru Butter (Astrocaryum murumuru), Water (Aqua), Candelilla Wax (Euphorbia cerifera), Japan Wax (Rhus succedanea), Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Fair Trade Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Rapeseed Wax (Brassica napus), Silica, Glycerine, Castor Oil (Ricinus communis), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita), Kaolin, Cetrimonium Chloride, *Limonene, Perfume, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: unsure.

2019 Price: £8.95 for 45g.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

15 December 2018

Willo The Wisp Hair Marshmallow Shampoo

When I first discovered the table of Lush's new hair care range at the Showcase event, I was rather intimidated by just how many new items there were, and I set about trying to acquire one of each for me to experience, review and share with the online community. 

During my manic dashing to grab one of everything, I was told by a member of staff that I wasn't actually allowed to take every one of the hair marshmallows because of how limited they were for stock. Luckily, I had many friends around me who were able to help me get most of them, but I was so close to putting this one back and picking up another. The very thought of not experiencing this one myself almost brings a tear to my eye.

I should probably start by saying that in the beginning Willo the Wisp Hair Marshmallow absolutely stinks - to the point that it overpowered all sixty of the other products in my bag at the time. To my nose, the shampoo smells like a science experiment gone wrong, and I can imagine many consumers will be put off from this enough to never invest furthermore. 

This is a shame as the fragrance definitely dampens down quite a bit if it's left to 'rest' for a couple of weeks before use, and then it doesn't ever reach that ridiculously smelly level again. In fact, after a couple of weeks I started to appreciate the smell quite a bit, as the various fruity oil and the lavender came through a lot more. It was then that Willo The Wisp started to offer a rather wonderful but gentle smell.

While at first I simply assumed that Lush's new Hair Marshmallows were just an alternative to the regular shampoo bar - and another naked way to replace the liquid hair care range as well - there was definitely far more than initially met the eye.

Not only are these bricks of ingredients incredibly light - very much like holding a polystyrene block, but you need very little of the product each time you want to wash your hair. Thanks to the inclusion of the aqua faba, which is the high-protein water that beans and chickpeas have been cooked in, these marshmallows create a beautifully light and fluffy foam that not only cleans and softens your hair, but also enriches your locks with that extra protein - which only serves to strength, condition and thicken your hair.

Willo the Wisp in particular has been designed to add volume and thickness to lacklustre locks, while the inclusion of the olive oil helps to strengthen and condition your hair as well. The magnesium sulfate, which is also known as epsom salts, gets to work at plumping and volumizing your hair at the same time, and to say it works is an understatement.

I only had to use this shampoo once to reap the full benefits of what it had to offer. Not only was my hair instantly more manageable, beautifully silky-soft and light to the touch, and with a wonderful shine to boot, but there just seemed to be an extra burst of life about my hair that wasn't there prior to washing it. There are very few times when a product makes such a massive impression on me, in such a short amount of time, but this is up there as being one of my favourite Lush hair care products without a doubt. 

Much like the other marshmallows, this block worked really well with a minimal amount of the product, and I was able to heed enough foam to wash my whole head with, with a piece about the size of a small grape. and I could probably have gotten away with using a little less as well. To use, I simply crumbled the piece in my hand; added a little water to start the lather off; and then massaged it between my hands, and then across my whole head, to create a generous amount of silky foam.

After washing it off, my hair felt instantly softer and not as wirey as it had been before, which just made me feel amazing. I continued using this every second or third day, without the need of a conditioner afterwards, and I found that my hair needed very little prep if I wanted to wear it down, which is a rare occurrence when it comes to my mane. 

Out of all of the hair marshmallows, this one was 'destined' to be my least favourite, and ended up my favourite. I cannot recommend Willo The Wisp high enough and I only hope that this makes its way into the stores very soon. Without a shadow of a doubt, this would be my permanent shampoo if it ever made it into the regular range.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Coco Sulfate, Aquafaba, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Hand Harvested Sea Salt, Magnesium Sulfate, Citric Acid, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Perfume, Organic Agave Syrup (Agave Tequilana), Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum), Guar Gum (Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride), Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia), Sicilian Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Persian Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Fair Trade Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Leucine, Glycine, Alanine, Isoleucine, Arginine, Threanine, Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, *Citral, *LImonene, *Linalool, Colour 42090, Colour 42090:2.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: £12 for 100g.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

14 December 2018

Cranberry Fizz Lip Scrub

Cranberries have never been something that my family or I have ever indulged in, aside from my mum drinking a glass of the juice every morning when I was much younger. I think the fruit is definitely more of an American Thanksgiving tradition than anything else, as I don't recall ever having cranberry sauce or jelly on any of my meats growing up.

To be honest, I usually find the fragrance of cranberries to be a little too bitter and sour for my liking, so I tend to shy away from any cosmetics that have the fruit at the forefront of their smell. However, I was intrigued and very surprised when I sniffed Cranberry Fizz Lip Scrub for the first time and found myself enjoying the scent rather a lot.

Containing peach kernel, orange and lime oils, it's safe to say that the smell of this lip scrub is gorgeous. It's like a fruity collaboration between the cranberry and the other components, so rather than the bitterness of the cranberries coming through, the orange and peach soften the edge with a syrup-like burst of fruity sweetness. The lime oil then runs through all of this with it's uplifting and slightly zesty appearance.

Although not really something that should be particularly important, the taste of this lip scrub was one of the best I have tasted so far. Many a time I found myself scooping the product right out of the pot and consuming it like it was a dessert. Whereas I would normally detect a very delicate soapy component to the taste of Lush's lip scrubs, I found that this wasn't the case with this one - which could be seen as a good or a bad thing, depending on how much restraint you have when it comes to your sweet-tooth.

To use, I simply scooped out a tiny amount with my finger and then rubbed the scrub all over my lips in a circular motion for about thirty seconds. Then the best part: I used my tongue to lick off the excess sugar from my lips before applying my favourite lip gloss or balm to finish the routine.

With Cranberry Fizz, I found that my lips felt super smooth and soft almost immediately, and they continued to feel this way for a good few hours afterwards. Any dried skin that had been present before using this disappeared, and after trying this across the space of a few days, I found that any signs of chapping disappeared within forty-eight hours.

Ultimately, this little lip scrub is a must have from this year's Christmas range. Although small and possibly something that many consumers will ignore, I highly suggest that you tuck one of these away in your loved one's stocking, so that they can enjoy smooth and soft lips during the more harsher months of the year.

Quantitative Ingredients: Caster Sugar, Organic Jojoba Oil, Fair Trade Shea Butter, Citric Acid, Peach Kernel Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Cranberry Seed Oil, Brazilian Orange Oil, Ginger Absolute, Lime Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, *Citral, *Limonene, Flavour, Colour 77491, Colour 15850:1.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: £6.50 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Something About Rosemary Naked Hair Gel

Good old Lush and their clever puns, their clever inventions and their very clever marketing techniques. I could barely make it in the front door and up the stairs before I was routing through my endless bags of Lush, trying to find Something About Rosemary Naked Hair Gel so that I could reenact the famous scene that this product is based on. 

In all fairness, being the world's first solid hair gel is probably an achievement that should really be celebrated, so Lush have every right to make a big fuss over something so creative. And I think it was this very thinking that sucked me into the concept of this Showcase exclusive very quickly, and why I have been using it ever since.

Something About Rosemary Naked Hair Gel doesn't really need much of an explanation. Presented as a solid green disc, with absolutely zero packaging, it's safe to say that not many people will have experienced a product like this before - hence the world's first and all that...

Created by Lush product inventor Ale Commy, this brand new naked design is as much a novelty as it is an original concept. That's not to say that the naked hair gel doesn't have an abundance of merits to rave about. However, the name suggests something a little more playful and comical about this limited edition as well. 

Containing a generous helping of fresh rosemary, alongside a wonderful spritz of lime oil, this naked gel offers a fresh, herbal and slightly fruity aroma to indulge in. Having said that, the fragrance of this product isn't particularly strong to begin with, and only slightly strengthens once it is on your hair. If you're looking for a gel that will double up as a hair perfume as well, you'll be sorely disappointed. What's important though is how well this naked product actually works as a hair gel.

Lush's directions simply states that you should add water to use, which is probably about as useful as trying to explain to a baby how to pilot a plane. As per usual, I used my initiative to figure out the best way to make the most out of this naked disc, and here is what I found.

To prolong the disc for as long as possible, I chose to add water to my fingers by holding them under the running tap, and then massaging Something About Rosemary Naked Hair Gel to transfer the product onto my fingers. When I did it this way, I found that I was able to control how much of the gel came off, which helped me to preserve the bar as a whole.

When massaging the bar, you'll find that the gel feels slightly slimy between your fingertips, which makes it super easy to apply it to your hair afterwards, without any stickiness or rigidity. I chose to smooth my hands across the outside of my hair, before stimulating a little more 'gel' and running my fingers through my locks for maximum results. As someone who has rather long hair, I found that I needed very little to hold my hair in place. For this reason, I can foresee this disc easily outlasting that of a 250g pot of regular gel, making it much better value for money. 

As Lush have already stated, this naked hair gel gives your locks the 'wet look' so I wasn't at all surprised when I found that my hair did appear a little wet after applying this, as well as being instantly shinier as well. Having said that, my hair did not look at all greasy or oily, and the shine only served to make my hair look in much better condition than it currently is.

As if this wasn't enough, my hair felt instantly softer and velvety smooth for the first time in a good while. For the little amount of product I used, the benefits were massive. Furthermore, I couldn't honestly feel this gel on my hair after I had applied it, so you don't have to worry about your locks feeling heavy or coated in gel. 

While this naked gel has quite a relaxed hold overall, and certainly wouldn't actually be able to recreated Cameron Diaz's quiff in the movie Something About Mary, my hair seemed so much calmer and less frizzier than it had done so before, and the shiny and silkiness was a much welcome bonus. 

This definitely needs to be released to the general public as I feel it's a big step in the right direction for cosmetics. Although Lush are usually at the forefront of these groundbreaking creations, Something About Rosemary Naked Hair Gel is easily one of their best inventions in a good many years. I cannot wait to see what other naked gels make it onto the shelves in the future.

Quantitative Ingredients: Isomalt, Glycerine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Cetrimonium Chloride, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Xanthan Gum, Lime Oil (Citrus aurantifolia), Fresh Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Titanium Dioxide, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, *Citral, *Limonene, Colour 77491, Colour 42090:2, Colour 19140:1.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: £8 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

13 December 2018

Snowflake Bubble Spinner

It's of little surprise that Snow Flake Bubble Spinner was the last of this year's Christmas bath products I had to review. While delicately pretty in the same way that an actual snow flake could be described as, I already suspected that the bath it was going to heed wouldn't be particularly interesting, and this was before I'd even gotten it home from the shop. Unless snow flakes had been hiding their coloured centres from me my entire life, I wasn't expecting much in the way of vibrancy with this one.

As predicted, the water that this limited edition created left very little to the imagination. There was a very subtle grey tinge to its transparency, but nothing more in the way of colour. Even the gentle sparkle that features on the surface of the bubble spinner wasn't replicated in the water. This is definitely aimed at those who don't particularly enjoy colourful baths, or perhaps consumers whose skin can become a little irritated with two many ingredients in a product.

Containing patchouli, orange oil and orange flower absolute, Snowflake is definitely the least Christmassy fragrance from the range. Definitely more wintery to my nose, this lovely aroma holds the sweet, spicy element of the former ingredient, whilst also celebrating its earthy properties. Entangled around this is then gentle, warming sweetness of the orange flower absolute, and a delicate fruity note of orange to finish. 

While subtle scents can be beautiful, and this one certainly was before it had been used under the tap, I found that a good part of the fragrance was lost once it was put to use. Although I was still privy to snapshots of the fragrance throughout my whole bath, my nose was engulfed with every other product I was using at the time, and therefore Snowflake didn't really have much of an impact on me overall.

As with all of Lush's reusable bubble bars, this one needs to be held under the running tap to create both the colour and an array of bubbles. Once you feel you have enough of the product in the water, you can pat the bubble bar down and leave it somewhere to use again and again. As Snowflake also happens to be a bubble spinner, this limited edition will quite literally spin under the running tap and send an abundance of bubbles across the surface of the water.

What I will say about Snowflake is that it is fairly generous with the amount of bubbles that it produces in the water. Although I had to stimulate more by swishing my hand around the tub, the bubbles that were produced floated on the surface for a lot longer than most bubble bars usually do.

In addition, this seasonal beauty did leave my skin feeling really smooth and soft afterwards. Although not as moisturising as most of Lush's regular bubble bars, I know not to expect that of a reusable bubble bar, and this one definitely turned out more conditioning than I was expecting. My hands especially had a slightly gleam to them that I don't usually get with many products, and I found that the blisters from when I lift weights appeared much calmer and subdued.

As the scent of Snowflake wasn't all that strong in the bath tub, there wasn't much of a smell on my skin afterwards. However, I was able to detect an earthy note of patchouli for a good forty minutes between towelling myself off and going to sleep. In hindsight, I honestly believe that the patchouli was what helped me to have a great night sleep that night.

Ultimately, this makes for an interesting stocking filler, and fans of patchouli will no doubt want to purchase one of these to enjoy their favourite smell in a new format. However, there is nothing that Snowflake offers that I cannot find done more successfully in another product, and for this reason I wouldn't be tempted to buy another one.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine, Lauryl Betaine, Sicilian Lemon Oil, *Limonene, Brazilian Orange Oil, Patchouli Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Cornstarch, Titanium Dioxide, Maltodextrin, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, *Citral, *Citronellol, Coumarin, Geraniol, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: £6.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Don't Touch My Hair Hair Marshmallow Shampoo

Don't Touch My Hair should have been the first hair marshmallow that I decided to use, if only because it shares its scent with the wonderful Avocado Cowash range. This beautiful fragrance is a combination of litsea cubeba, olibanum and bergamot oils, which combine to create a smell that reminds me of freshly made lime cheesecake. 

While it is definitely not a zesty or a spritzy smell, there is something warm, succulent and fruity about this Lush fragrance. Every time I come across a new product with the same scent, I find myself craving dessert to the point of insanity - so perhaps not a great shampoo to use when I'm trying to stick to my training diet. 

Unfortunately, this hair marshmallow didn't offer me an experiment anywhere near as positive as the likes of The Black Stuff or Mint Condition, as my hair took to it horribly, and it spent a good couple of weeks quite literally trying to wash the effects of this Showcase exclusive out of my locks.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a hair marshmallow, these odd looking bricks of colour are an alternative to the likes of the regular shampoo bars and liquid hair care. What makes them special is the fact that these limited editions are the lightest product you have ever witnessed coming from Lush's vaults.

As I've said in previous reviews, holding one of these is very much like holding a polystyrene block, and it is thanks to the inclusion of the aqua faba that allows it to be this way. Aqua faba is the name given to the water that various beans and chickpeas have been cooked in - which myself and many other vegan bakers use as a replacement for eggs in our cakes. After a little whisking, aqua faba creates a light, fluffy foam that Lush have managed to adapt and use to create these super airy blocks of shampoo.

The idea is that you crumble a small piece into your hand; add a little water to start the lather off; and then massage it between your palms before transferring it across your whole head. All of the hair marshmallows that I have tried so far have created a thick, fragrant foam that coats and washes the hair with ease.

Don't Touch My Hair has been specially designed to add shine and hydrate your locks at the same time. Containing avocado, capuacu and mango butters, this shampoo bar should moisturise and condition your hair during use, so that you can feel a difference when rinsing the suds away. Lemon juice and cider vinegar then brightens the hair; brings out your natural highlights; and adds a much needed shine.

What I found was that while the shampoo did the latter to my hair, and I was able to see the effects of it for days afterwards, it certainly did not leave my hair feeling all that moisturised. In fact, out of all of the marshmallows, this was one of the only ones that didn't make my hair feel instantly softer whilst I was washing away the foam.

After using this hair marshmallow, my locks were difficult to brush through, my ends felt drier and wispier, and I had to use a variety of oils to try and replenish the moisture that had clearly been removed during use. Whether this was a product fault or just simply a case of this marshmallow not suiting my hair type, I am unsure. However, Don't Touch My Hair is not one that I would consider purchasing again.

Ironically, if this marshmallow was to approach me in person, I really would tell it not to go anywhere near my hair. It took me a good two days of using intensive treatments to revert my locks back to their previous state, and I certainly don't want to have to repeat that any time in the near future.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Coco Sulfate, Oats and Banana extracted in Propylene Gycol (Avena sativa: Musa paradisica), Aquafaba, Cetearyl Alcohol & Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, SIlica, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Perfume, Guar Gum (Guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride), Litsea Cubeba Oil, Olibanum Oil (Boswellia carterii), Bergamot Oil (Citrus Aurantium bergamia), Avocado Butter (Persea gratissima), Mango Butter (Mangifera indica), Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum), Organic Cider Vinegar, Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Cocoamidopropyl Betaine, Cetrimonium Chloride, Amyl Cinnamal, *Citral, *Limonene, *LInalool, Colour 19140.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: £12 for 100g.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Scent Family:
Avocado Cowash Body Spray
Avocado Cowash
Avocado No Wash Body Lotion
Avocado Wash Shower Gel
Don't Touch My Hair Hair Marshmallow
Melusine Bath Bomb

Minamisoma Shower Oil

12 December 2018

Punkawalop Matte Hair Clay

Out of all of Lush's limited edition hair care products from the Showcase event, this was the one I was most nervous about using. After deciding to cut my hair super short, bleach it bright blonde and then style it with wax every day, I know the effects that products such as this can have on the health and condition of your hair over time. Let's just say that I didn't want to repeat the mistakes of my youth some twenty years later.

Punkawalop Matte Hair Clay has been described by Lush as being a product for the rebels, although I don't really see how using this was going to turn a vegan, primary school teacher into somebody that was at risk of receiving an asbo. Jokes aside, this Showcase exclusive was sounded like it meant business, and I was a little worried just how my hair would turn out after using this.

Firstly, I found the scent of this product to be rather strange, as there appeared to be very little to the smell at all. The rose, cardamom and ought oils definitely offer something in the way of the smell. However, it is a very gentle aroma overall: this clay is definitely more about how it works than what it can offer your nose.

The scent you do get is a dry, clay-like smelling rose aroma, with just the added warmth of a little note of cardamom. There smells as if there is a little squeeze of lemon in here as well, although there is nothing in the ingredients list to suggest so. Instead, the strongest smell that I can detect is by far the kaolin and the rose clay itself, which creates a dry and very nondescript fragrance.

The idea is that you take a small amount from the tub: I found that a raisin-sized piece was adequate, and massage this between your fingers to add some warmth. Then you apply this to the areas of your hair that you want to and style as you please. 

I tended to use this hair clay as a way of flattening the frizzy parts on top of my head, and I really appreciated how well Punkawalop worked at doing this. Not only that but the product also added a beautiful shine to my hair that brought out my natural highlights, and just made my hair look even healthier. I chose to wash this out in the evening of the day I first applied it, so I don't know how it would affect your hair the following day. However, my prediction is that it certainly wouldn't leave it the horrible, oily mess that other waxes and clays have left my hair in the past. 

What I will say is that the clay is great at leaving very little in the way of 'product' in your hair. Whereas a lot of waxes and clays can make your hair feel rigid and hard in places, and can also cause a grease build up over a couple of days, I found that this simply wasn't the case with Punkawalop.

However, if you're looking for a clay with serious hold, this wouldn't be one that I would recommend. When I attempted to spike up my hair, no matter how much clay I added, it simply wouldn't hold into place. This is definitely more for those who like to run a little wax through their locks and then just 'mess it up' a bit, as opposed to somebody who wants to really shape their hair.

Ultimately, this isn't a product that I would have any interest in using regularly - not because it isn't a good product, just because I don't feel the need to use this in my hair at all. However, I can recognise its merits in being able to control my hair a little better and keeping it in place after many windy and rainy days at work.

Quantitative Ingredients: Cardamom Seed Infusion (Elettaria cardamomum), Coffee Infusion (Coffea arabica), Japan Wax (Rhus succedanea), Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Carnauba Wax (Copernicia Cerifera), Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Olea europaea), Cetearyl Alcohol, Polyquaternium-88, Rapeseed Wax (Brassica Napus), Hydroxystearic/Linolenic/Oleic Polyglycerides, Polyquaternium-81, Cardamom Oil (Elettaria cardamomum), Olive Leaf Absolute (Olea europaea), Rose Oil (Rosa damascena), Colombian Cocoa Absolute (Theobroma cacao), Oudh Oil (Aquilaria agallocha), Kaolin, Rose Clay (Kaolinite), Behentrimonium Chloride, *Anise Alcohol, *Benzyl Alcohol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Citral, *Citronellol, *Coumarin, *Farnesol, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: unsure.

2019 Price: £9.95 for 45 g.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

The Black Stuff Vegan Protein Shampoo

As I've said time and time again, just when you think Lush cannot possibly come up with anything weirder or more interesting, they go ahead and prove you wrong. Such is the case with these brand new hair marshmallows, that have only currently made an appearance during the Lush Showcase event earlier this year. 

The Black Stuff is one of six hair marshmallows to appear in very limited amounts back in September, and it's taken me a good month to get into the swing of using these new concepts in the correct and most effective manner. What I will say in each of these reviews, is that while you get a lot of 'product' for your money, these early renditions are still slightly crumbly, and it may be a problem if you decide that you want to travel with them.

While at first I simply assumed that these were just an alternative to the regular shampoo bars - and another naked way to replace the liquid hair care range - there is far more here than meets the eye. As someone who has always maintained that you should never judge a book by its cover, this can safely be said for these rather messy looking bricks.

When I first picked up The Black Stuff, I couldn't believe just how light the product was: it's very much like holding a polystyrene block. And it's thanks to the inclusion of the aqua faba that allows it to be this way. For those unfamiliar with what this ingredient is, it's just the water that beans and chickpeas have been cooked in - which myself and many other vegan bakers use as a replacement for eggs in our cakes. After a little whisking, aqua faba creates a light, fluffy foam that Lush have managed to adapt and use to create these super airy blocks of shampoo.

Aside from how light the components is, aqua faba is also known for being high in protein, which alongside the inclusion of the hydrolysed wheat protein in The Black Stuff, makes this shampoo super effective at maintaining, strengthening, thickening and generally helping to make your hair even healthier.

The inclusion of the molasses in this limited edition then offers a wonderfully rich supplement to soften your locks, and give it a wonderful shiny to carry with you throughout the day. I was super impressed by just how quickly this product got to work at conditioning my hair, and I didn't even need to use an actual conditioner afterwards.

While this blocks work really well, with minimal amount of product, they are definitely very crumbly, so you'd need to consider how to store these in between uses. Furthermore, left out in the open, the marshmallows tend to turn a little sticky, and this means that you're left trying to scrape the product off the paper. Given that Lush haven't offered anything to hold them in between uses means that you'll have to use your imagination, or simply allow the block to leave sticky marks for you to clean away. 

However, after only using a small grape's worth of The Black Stuff, I was able to heed enough foam to washed my whole head with, and I could probably have gotten away with using a little less as well. To use, I simply crumbled the piece in my hand; added a little water to start the lather off; and then massaged it between my hands, and then across my whole head, to create a generous amount of silky foam.

Unlike a lot of shampoos, Lush and otherwise, I found that this one felt really softening when it was in my hair, so I knew straight away that I was going to be left with silky locks afterwards. As if to prove this, I chose my condition my hair at all for the few days I used this and found that my hair still looked and felt really smooth and shiny.

Unfortunately, my hair is rather stubborn when it comes to my attempts to add volume, so I didn't really notice much change in how thick my hair felt over time. However, my dry ends and the rest of my hair did feel more manageable, and certainly appeared more tame, without looking or feeling thin and lifeless.

In terms of the smell of this hair marshmallow, the myrrh and molasses make the biggest impression. The Black Stuff shares its scent with R&B Hair Moisturiser, and offers a prominent sweet smell with subtle balsamic qualities underneath. However, there are also little notes of both the yeast and the stout as well, which aren't exactly pleasant, but definitely isn't strong enough to put many people off using this.

As an estimate, I would probably say that a 100g block of this shampoo would probably last me about three months, which is a little less than that of a regular disc-shaped bar. Given the price tag, it does appear to work out a tad more expensive in the long run. However, I do like how this worked on my hair; how quickly it improved my hair's condition and shine; and I figure that if I can use this without a conditioner, I'm saving money in the long run.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Coco Sulfate, Glyceryl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Aquafaba, Molasses, Perfume, Activated Charcoal, Water (Aqua), Stout, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Organic Balsamic Vinegar, Yeast, Guar Gum, Orange Flower Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Titanium Dioxide, Cetrimonium Chloride, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, *Benzyl Benzoate Butyl, Methoxydibenzoylmethane, *Eugenol, *Farnesol, *Geraniol, *Hydroxycitronellal, *Limonene, *Linalool, Colour 77491, Colour 77266, Colour 17200, Colour 42090.

Vegan?: Yes. 

2018 Price: £12 for 100g.

2019 Price: £15 for 100g.

Year Of Original Release: 2018 as a Hair Marshmallow; 2019 as a Protein Shampoo.