30 September 2018

Floral Milk Giant Bombshell

We all remember that one person in school who would eat their dessert first and then chomp through their sandwiches like they were somehow normal in doing so. Perhaps you yourself was that special little soul - not even noticing the bewildered looks on the faces of your friends, as they tried to fathom the carnage that they were witnessing in front of their eyes. EVERYONE knows that you save the best to last, and you were bucking that trend without a care in the world.

Unlike that weird friend, I saved my dessert until the end, and the rewards I reaped were far greater than I could have ever imagined. While I've been on the fence about many aspects of the Giant Bombshells, Floral Milk Giant Bombshell threw all of these aside, and proved to me that Lush still have the capacity to surprise me when I least expect it. 

Sharing its scent with the Daddy-O range, this limited edition, beast-of-a-bath-bomb is packed full of violety goodness like no other bath bomb to come before it. If you want a scent that will blow you away in the water; engulf every one of your senses from start to finish; and linger on your skin and hair for hours afterwards, this is the one for you.

As with most of the other products in this scent family, Floral Milk contains both violet leaf and rose absolute, which both work together in perfect unison. First and foremost, the violet scent this bombshell offers is rich and super sweet but very in keeping with the natural scent of the flower. It's not the same as Tuca Tuca, which has more vanilla-led sultry notes alongside the violet. Instead, the violet here is far stronger, more uplifting and slightly powdery, which is why I associate the smell as an intensified version of the old fashioned Parma Violet sweets.

It is the rose absolute that I believe gives the violet that strength, as the muskiness and the haziness of the floral aroma is very in-keeping with what rose absolute would normally offer by itself. Alongside both of these components, there is also a gentle woodiness underneath, which I just think grounds the whole fragrance a little, and gives it an extra level of warmth to boot. This is definitely stronger than the aforementioned shampoo but the scent is definitely there.

The idea of a 'bombshell' is that it has been customised for you. When purchasing the from the Showcase event, I was asked to choose from a selection fresh of plants, flowers and herbs to go into the centre before the employee sealed the bomb with a piece of natural raffia. The price tag reflects not only the size of the bomb and the fresh Forna that has gone into finishing the product, but the unique experience you go through to create a one-of-a-kind bath bomb.

In my review of Pink Floral Giant Bombshell, I made it clear that the price tag was definitely over budget for most people, and I stand by that for this particular bombshell as well. However, I can see the appeal to a select few consumers who may wish to purchase something unique to them or their loved one, and I'm sure Lush will continue to reformulate their ideas to something a little more affordable in the future.   

In the water, this giant bombshell immediately begins to fizz across the surface - sending thick waves of pastel purples and pinks. Within seconds, the two halves break apart and an incredible show takes place: pinks and purples and blues bubble and fizz and swirl and pop across the water. It's rather intense to watch, and I found it difficult to know where to look because so much was going on at the same time. 

As the bombshell begins to dissolve away, the flowers that had filled the centre float gracefully across the surface, and the water settles as a stunning shade of pastel blue. If this wasn't enough to impress, the water also becomes extremely moisturising on the skin: you can literally feel the oils around your body, getting to work at nourishing and replenishing every pore across your skin. As you sweep your hands across the surface, the water looks and feels like milk - you even get trails of the coconut milk on your skin. It was simply beautiful.

Afterwards, the fragrance followed me around for hours and it made me feel simply beautiful in every way. Not only did it calm me down and give me a sense of clarity after a hectic day, but I felt in a daze - as if I wanted to experience it all over again.

While the price tag would put most people off, and I'm not going to lie: I would find it difficult to justify buying many of these, Floral Milk is definitely something that I would buy again, as a treat. As a gift for someone else, this one certainly offers something unique and amazing for the person in receipt of it. As I have said above: if Lush were to shrink this and remove the flower filling: just making it regular bath bomb, this would probably make it into my top five favourite bath bombs of all time.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Coconut Milk Powder, Violet Leaf Absolute, Rose Absolute, Water.

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £18.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Scent Family: 

29 September 2018

Fruit Giant Bombshell

Looking back at my childhood, I remember developing a fear for a short while about the possibility of the world running out of new music; that there would be a time when no original songs could or would be produced. While it may sound like an irrational fear, my love of music was (and still is) the biggest influence in my life, and if this was to ever happen, it would be the worst thing to ever happen to me...almost.

I say this because I'm always surprised that Lush are able to produce so many different fruity and citrusy scents. Although the company would do well from stepping back a little, and creating a few more unique scents instead, I'm always intrigued to know how they can take the same ingredients and yet somehow create something new, if only slightly different.

When Over and Over Bath Bomb appeared at the Showcase last year, I remember thinking how wonderful the scent was, even though I had seen similar combinations of ingredients in many of Lush's previous bath bombs. As it shares the same fragrance, the same can be said for Fruit Giant Bombshell. However, there are differences between these two bath products that I'll go into detail about below.

One of five limited edition bombshells featured at the Showcase this year, Fruit Giant is one of two pre-made beauties that you could have purchased. Comprised of two halves, the idea is that you fill the centre with a selection of flowers, plants and herbs that suit your fancy, and the whole bombshell is sealed together with a piece of raffia.

While this one features lime and fennel, orris and cypress oil, there are slight differences in scent when compared to the Over and Over Bath Bomb. Firstly, as expected, my nose detected the element of lime, which just like the aforementioned bath bomb, doesn't offer something particularly light and fruity, nor something super citrusy either. The lime in this bath bomb sits somewhere in between. Although not tart of bitter, there is a tangy element to this ingredient that sets it apart from most out lime-scented Lush products.

Alongside this, the inclusion of the fennel oil adds a warm but very subtle herbal layer that sits underneath the lime. I believe it is this component that elevates the fragrance of the lime, whilst also offering a slight aniseed-like afterthought to the bomb. How this differs from Over And Over is that I did find this bath bomb a little fruitier, which I think is because it doesn't feature the cocoa butters that usually cost one of the sides of the bomb. This means that the powdery-ness of the bombshell has an opportunity to let the lime shine a little more.

In the tub, this beauty immediately begins to fizz - sending out waves of vibrant orange across the surface of the water, and giving off a beautiful scent that stays wonderfully intense throughout the whole experience. Once fully dissolved, the dried pieces of orange from the centre of the bath bomb float across the surface, making the bath even more beautiful. 

I think it is these pieces of fruit, along with the slightly different format, that brings out an almost orange-like fragrance in the tub. To my nose, it was a little fruitier again when compared to the original bath bomb, and I really appreciated the difference. It was like sunshine in my bath tub and it warmed me up so quickly.

While not the most moisturising out of the five bombshells, this is anything but drying. The fruity oils did wonders at clearing out my pores and leaving my skin feeling really soft; the lime oil helped to bring a little radiance back into my complexion and leave me looking a little less weathered. 

Unfortunately, I didn't find that the scent stayed on my skin for that long after I had towelled myself down, and this would be something I feel Lush would need to rectify, if they plan on selling these for the price tag that they were at the Showcase.

Overall, this is a really lovely bombshell, especially for those who love the Over And Over scent and wish to try something a little different. While it's unlikely Lush would be able to dip a bath bomb of this size with cocoa butter, and not charge a fortune for the privilege, I feel as if a little extra helping of butters would just seal the fragrance in a little bit more and make it slightly more nourishing overall.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Titanium Dioxide, Lime Oil, Fennel Oil, Orris Oil, Cypress Oil, Water.

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £18 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.


28 September 2018

Amazon Primer

When you haven't had something, you cant miss it, and this is what I told myself when I missed out on buying the exclusive naked facial oils that Lush brought out earlier this year. While I did manage to grab Sky 79, I tried not let my disappointment of missing out on the others take away from the privileges I was experiencing through travelling. You can imagine my elation then when I saw the little cuties being displayed, and on sale, at the Showcase event earlier this month. 

While I am not one to wear make-up, Lush have always been known for the versatility of their products. So I was not put off at all by the fact that Amazon Primer was initially created for those who enjoyed the indulgence of wearing make-up. If anything, the fact that I didn't even wear concealer most of the time meant that I would be able to test out the other uses that this limited edition had to offer.

While the name of this primer is taken from the cupuacu and the murumuru butters being sourced from the Amazon jungle, there is a part of me that links Mark Constantine's feud with the billion pound company of the same name. Somehow I don't think the name of this is just a coincidence.

Having said that, these two ingredients do an amazing job of moisturising and conditioning the skin at the same time. After applying this two to three times throughout the day, I could visibly see how hydrated my complexion was beginning to look, and my skin only took a couple of days before there was an element of vibrancy about my complexion that I hadn't seen in a long time.

Alongside these two ingredients is a dosage of arrowroot powder. This not only prevents the product from being too greasy on the skin, but also allows Amazon Primer to offer a more matte during use. After massaging this across my face, it didn't take more than about twenty seconds for it to be absorbed into my skin - which is perfect for those who then wish to apply concealer and foundation without having it run or not set properly. For me, it was a great way to give my face a little more radiance, without putting too many oils and butters into my pores. The lemon oils helped my skin to appear brighter without looking at all shiny, and worked well to cleanse my pores at the same time.

To apply, you can either melt a little between your fingers and then smooth these across you face, or you can apply the little oval block directly onto your skin. I found that the latter way was much more effective because massaging it between your fingers means that you lose some of the product due to it being absorbed into your hand first. And while the shape isn't the most cleverly designed tool for application to reach in the hardest of places, it's not exactly rocket science to use the primer well.

While this wouldn't apply to me due to the nature of my complexion, Amazon Primer features a green pigment that not only colours the product as we can see, but helps to neutralise flushed cheeks and reduce the appearance of redness, so those with irritated skin should find that this compliments there skin very well - with or without make-up being applied afterwards.

While my nose recognises this scent, my brain is yet to get its act together and figure out the familiar aroma that Amazon Primer offers. What I will say is that the orange and the rosewood are very competitive in this format. You can smell a strong, almost bitter orangey aroma, alongside of which the rosewood throws in a heavy amount of woodiness. This is not exactly the prettiest of smells, which is just as well because the fragrance doesn't last on the skin for long. Although there is also tonka absolute in this facial oil, very little of that made its way to my senses.

Overall, this is a great primer for those looking for a matte base, or hoping to smoothen their skin out before applying their make up. For those like myself who are interested in ways to moisturise our complexion, this is far less intense than some of the naked facial oils, and would definitely suit those with more oiler complexions. 

Although the size and the price tag may avert consumers away from the investment, this little oval would most likely last upwards of six months, with family usage. So little is used each time that I reckon I'll be using this for nearly a month before I notice any change in size. This is definitely a winner in my eyes. 

Quantitative Ingredients: Murumuru Butter (Astrocaryum Murumuru), Maranta Fecula (Maranta arundinacea), Lemongrass Infusion (Cymbopogon Citratus), Japanese Wax (Rhus Succedanea), Carnauba Wax (Copernica Cerifera), Cupuaçu Butter (Theobroma Grandiflorum), Tincture Brazil Crescione Alcohol (Spilanthes Oleracea), Rosewood Essential Oil (Aniba Rosaeodora), Andiroba Oil (Carapa Guaianensis), Tonka Absolute Essence (Dipteryx Odorata), Brazilian Orange Essential Oil (Citrus Sinensis), Aqua (Aqua) , Gardenia Extract (Gardenia Jasminoides) * Benzyl Benzoate, * Citral, * Coumarin, * Geraniol, * Limonene, * Linalool, Perfume, Chlorophyllin (CI 75810) * Naturally present in essential oils.

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £9.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Seaweed Giant Bombshell

Onto day three of my very expensive bath week, and I find myself being drawn to the Seaweed Giant Bombshell. Whether it be because of the blue theme I have in mind for my Instagram feed, or because of how much it's overpowering every other product in my haul bag, I'm not sure. What I do know is that the second I threw this one in the bath tub, I realised I'd made the right choice.

Seaweed Giant Bombshell is one of five limited edition, extra large bath bombs that made themselves known during Lush's Showcase event at the end of September. The idea behind the bombshell is that it comes as two halves, and you have the luxury of choosing the array of flowers, plants and herbs that an employee will cut and add into the middle of your product.  

However, alongside Fruit Giant Bombshell, this particular one already comes filled with a selection kombo, sea lettuce and toothed wrack seaweed, hence the name. While at first I was little disappointed that I paid the same price for a customised bombshell as I did a pre-filled variation, this feeling soon vanished when I found out how incredible this is in the bath.

Sharing its scent with the incredible Big Shampoo, this bath bomb is easily one of the best smelling bombs ever created. What I will say is that the orange flower absolute plays the biggest part: sending out a warm burst of floral goodness that you'll want to relive time and time again. There is something so sweet and musky about this fragrance, yet there is also a natural freshness that isn't lost from the flower itself. 

Although there is vanilla absolute and mandarin oils in the bombshell as well, I didn't find that either offered anything particularly strong in the way of scent. I feel as if the mandarin just elevated the aroma a little more, and made something slightly refreshing out of it, and the vanilla just complimented the powdery element of the orange flower absolute. Strangely, I found something slightly violet-y about it, although this may just mean that my nose is broken. 

What set this apart from the other bombshells I had used was that this one featured sodium alginate: the ingredient responsible for creating the 'jelly' in jelly bomb. This component is supposed to be super softening on the skin, and with the amount that featured in this particular bath bomb, I can honestly say that this was the most moisturising bomb I have ever experienced from Lush.  

Within seconds of throwing it into the water, Seaweed Giant Bombshell began to create a thick, gel-like coating across the surface, which stayed there for a good few minutes before starting to dissolve into the water. Just like with the other bombshells I have experienced, this one soon opened up and allowed for the surplus amount of seaweed to come out into the water and float around the tub.

Firstly, I was super impressed with how much 'filling' there was in the bombshell. The pieces of seaweed were ginormous, and I have since kept them to use in other baths as there is enough here to make your bath moisturising enough, without the sodium alginate at all.

Given the size of the bomb, this one took a good fifteen to twenty minutes to dissolve, and even then this was helped by me crumbling the bath bomb between my fingers. Even then I was left with lots of jelly and small pieces of the product floating across the surface, which did leave the bath a little messy and I had to rinse myself off afterwards.

What I would say about Seaweed Giant Bombshell is that this should definitely be split and used across two different baths, and perhaps even more if you want to make the most out of the price tag. Either way, what you'll get is a super moisturising experience. I couldn't believe how beautifully silky my skin felt within a matter a seconds of being in the water: I have never known anything like it.

Even more impressive was the fact that the scent was super strong in the bathtub and remained on my skin, and in the bathroom, for hours after I had rinsed away the water. For someone who wishes they still had this Big Liquid Perfume, this is the perfect tribute until I can get my hands on it again.

While I will say that this bath bomb does get a little messy, and you may need to check your body before getting out so that you don't find splodges of the jelly on your skin, the experience you will enjoy whilst using this bombshell is definitely worth it. My skin has not felt this good in a long time, and I would definitely invest in one again, even though it may be deemed as a rather expensive investment.  

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Sodium Alginate, Sicilian Red Mandarin Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Orange Flower Absolute, Water.

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £18 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Scent Family:
Big Perfume
Big Shampoo
Seaweed Giant Bombshell

coming soon!

27 September 2018

Renee's Shea Soufflé Hair Balm

I should probably state that I have suffered with a ‘bad hair day’ for the entirety of my thirty two years on this planet. When I was younger, my thick, frizzy locks were untameable: you could brush my hair free of tangles, only for me to sneeze a second later and gather a hundred more. As I’ve gotten older, my hair has slowly begun to thin thankfully, but the curls and wispy bits have remained as stubborn as ever - perhaps even more so. 

Forever searching for hair care that makes a difference, I will latch myself upon anything that proves its worth. While only three days into using Renee’s Shea Soufflé Hair Balm, I can honestly say that this is product that should be made a permanent member of Lush’s in-store range. It has not only made a huge difference to my hair in such a short space of time, but it’s super value for money and smells equally as wonderful to boot.

The idea behind this exclusive hair balm is to tame hair without losing the beautiful natural shape of that person’s locks. While I obviously don’t have the Afro they suggest it works best for, I do have enough shape and frizz to give this product a run for its money. And while I was initially convinced that this product wasn't going to do much at all, I was very quickly made to eat my words.

In all fairness, this hair balm does seem a little daunting at first. In the tub, the product looks like an oversized pot of lip balm, and the idea of putting something so thick and oily on my hair worried me a little. Although my locks are notoriously bad for being thin and wispy, I still worried that this would be too heavy and greasy. 

Massaging my hand across the surface of the tub however, revealed that this hair balm is not as thick as you would expect. While Renee’s Shea Soufflé appears as solid as a lip balm to begin with, the butters and oils actually melt really well with little stimulation, and the residue to find on your hands is much lighter and seemingly less oily as well. The format of this balm means that it’s super easy to transfer a small amount of the product onto my fingers rather than having to scoop into the balm itself. This means that you’ll never overindulge or get excess product on your hands that you don’t need. 

Once on the tips of your fingers, you then massage it into your hair and leave it to work its magic. While Lush state that it can used on both wet and dry hair, I’ve found that dry hair works far better - as with wet hair it is far more difficult to monitor how much product you've used each time. 

If you want to give your whole hair a deep condition, you can massage the balm from root to tip, if you have straight hair - or work it into your curls/afro/dreads if you’re hair is a little more segregated. Those who don’t wish to apply the product to their whole head can use the desired amount on the ends, to help counteract dryness or help to seal up split ends. 

After only my first application, I found that my hair looked immediately more shiny and vibrant. The balm quite literally gave some life back into my locks, and this only served to bring out the natural highlights that I’m usually blessed with, when I'm having a good hair day. My hair also felt far fuller to run my hand through, and the dry ends didn’t appear as broken as they had done the day before. I noticed a huge difference in the condition of my hair: it felt a little weightier and less frizzy, and while I applied more each morning before work, I really feel as if I could use this twice a week and reap the benefits for days. 

What I will say is that my hair lacks moisture quite severely, so anything that will give it some much needed oils is gladly accepted. However, I could really see how someone with much oiler hair might find this a little heavy, or may cause their hair to appear greasier as the intensity of the butters and oils in this product is rather heavy.

Scent wise, this beauty contains both vanilla and tonka, so what you get is a rather basic but equally enjoyable sweet, musky scent. While nothing to write home about, it is the effective nature of this hair balm that is far more important, which is why Lush haven't bothered to create anything particularly strong or original. Having said that, the scent does stay on your hair for a good while after you've applied it and I found that I could detect whiffs of the aroma every time the wind brushed my hair against my face.

The only negative aspect about this hair balm is that I found it didn't do anything to alleviate my wispy tuffs of hair at the front of my head. Like the devil horns that they are, they remained regiment in their quest for world domination, no matter how much balm I smothered all over them. 

Each application saw me use so little: probably the size of my smallest finger nail, and yet I found that I got so much out of the littlest of amounts. This large tub then will easily see me through for the next twelve months, making the price tag seem a little less scary than it might have done in the beginning, and I one that I truly hope comes out as permanent before I run out.

Quantitative Ingredients: Fair Trade Shea Butter, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Perfume, Vanilla Absolute, Tonka Absolute, Anise Alcohol, Coumarin. 

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £30 for 240g.
2019 Price: £12.95 for 100g, £25.12 for 250g, £47.95 for 400g.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Herbal Green Tea Giant Bombshell

Lush have always been great at harnessing nature and putting it into some form of cosmetic format. Some of their fragrances are simply stunning, and I've never come across another company who have done it so well - hence why I am always waiting in anticipation to see when the next unique aroma should arrive. And it has.

While admittedly not my favourite out of the five limited edition bombshells, Herbal Green Tea was quick to make a big impression on me. For starters, the verdant colour of the design was an instant draw. My favourite could has always been green, for as far back as I can remember, and this beautiful, earthy shade won me over before I had even had a chance to sniff the thing.

Containing so many key ingredients, I was expecting this bombshell to be a little too overwhelming for my nose, but was instead impressed and in awe by how beautifully each component complimented the other. Although the word herbal is in the title, this is definitely both herbal and floral: perhaps one of the most  perfect combinations of the two that I have ever experienced from Lush.

Sharing its scent with Flowering Tea Reusable Bubble Bar, this exclusive product offers a generous helping of orange flower absolute, which I believe is the strongest note. This naturally sweet and musky aroma works alongside the neroli and the jasmine to offer a rich but yet equally warming floral smell. Neither of these two latter ingredients overpower the other: instead working in unison to create something powerful but not intoxicatingly strong.

As I stated in my review of Flowering Tea, the smell of this is very much like walking through a green house during the summer time, when the fresh flowers and plants have been left to sweat a little and release some of their magic. Coupled with the fresh peppermint and sage that featured in the centre, this was a well balanced and very relaxing bath. Luckily, the inclusion of the green tea powder only served to add a gentle herbal tone underneath, and didn't drown out the floral with it's strength. Furthermore, I didn't find the inclusion of the green tea did anything in the way of stopping me from being able to sleep - which some people may have been worried about given the caffeine content before bed.  

The idea of a bombshell is that it has been customised for you. When purchasing the from the Showcase event, I was asked to choose from a selection fresh of plants, flowers and herbs to go into the centre, before the employee sealed the bomb with a piece of natural raffia. The price tag reflects not only the size of the bomb and the fresh Forna that has gone into finishing the product, but the unique experience you go through to create a one-of-a-kind bath bomb.

In my review of Pink Floral Giant Bombshell, I made it clear that the price tag was definitely over budget for most people, and I stand by that for this particular bombshell as well. However, I can see the appeal to a select few consumers who may wish to purchase something unique to them or their loved one, and I'm sure Lush will continue to reformulate their ideas to something a little more affordable in the future.   

In the water, Herbal Green Tea was a fast fizzer, much like all of the bombshells in this range. In under two minutes, the entire bomb had dissolved, and I was left with a range alluring but equally terrifying mess across my bath tub. I assume it was the green tea powder that caused this to happen but this particular bombshell created a blanket of large, gloppy bubbles that fizzed and popped for a good minute or so before popping. While it looked pretty disgusting, and not to everyone's tastes, I found myself rather fascinated with the unique experience.

Unfortunately, I found that this bombshell left smears of green around the outside of my tub, and the weird trails of green, swamp-like mess that stayed around for most go my bath, left me with no choice but to shower afterwards to ensure that I was fully clean.

Having said that, I was super impressed to find that the fragrance lingered around for a long time on my skin, it remained in the bathroom almost three hours after I had rinsed away the water. Furthermore, the water felt super moisturising whilst I was bathing myself, and I was able to opt out of using a body lotion afterwards to retain the moisture in my skin. 

Overall, this is definitely too expensive for a regular investment, but I can see why it would be appealing for those looking for something a little more personal. Lush would definitely benefit by bringing this out as a regular bath bomb, as I much prefer this to the Flowering Tea Reusable Bubble Bar. I definitely enjoyed using this in my bath.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Green Tea Powder, Jasmine Absolute, Neroli Oil, Orange Flower Absolute, Rosewood Oil, Gardenia Extract, Water.

Vegan?: Yes.

2018 Price: £18 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2018.

Scent Family:
Flowering Tea Reusable Bubble Bar

Herbal Green Tea Bombshell

coming soon!