Friday, 24 December 2010

Cinders Ballistic

On the twelfth week of Christmas my LUSH limited gave to me......
12 Cinders Ballistics,
11 Gingerbread Houses,
10 Sacred Truths,
9 Snowcake soaps,
8 Buffy body butters,
7 Sonic Death Monkeys, 
6 Bearded Ladies,
4 Ghost shower gels,
3 Hottie bars,
2 Halloween specials,
and a Snow Fairy lip and cheek tint!

Price: £1.95/90g.
Product category: Ballistic
Contains: Coarse Sea Salt stimulate, cleanse, soften and hydrate the skin; Fizzy Candy for the crackling ambers on the fire effect; Gardenia Extract for its exotic scent and it’s beautiful Mediterranean sunset colour; Almond Essential Oil to give a warm, comforting almond scent. Almonds have a high vitamin E content, protect the skin and leaves it silky soft and smooth; Sweet Orange Oil for its antiseptic and toning properties and uplifting fragrance; Cinnamon Leaf Oil for its warming, spicy aroma,  great for warming the body on cold winter nights.
Other Interesting facts:
·  Almond essential oil comes from processing the kernels of bitter almonds and apricots
·  Sweet orange oil is generally used to lift the mood and as a cheery scent for dark winter days.
·  Orange blossoms have been are highly symbolic in many countries. Traditionally brides wore orange blossoms to symbolise fertility. The scent of orange blossoms many also have been used for calming wedding nerves.
·  Cinnamon leaf oil is used to fight feelings of depression, weakness and exhaustion, so it’s great for those winter blues and winding down after the Christmas rush.
·  Course sea salt is packed full of minerals which maintain the water balance essential for healthy skin.
How to use:
To get the full effects of your ballistic (unless you’re cocktailing);
·  Run your bath fully and climb in.
·  Then drop the ballistic into the bath
·  Lay back and enjoy the magic, inhaling the beautiful oils and fragrances dispersed by the ballistic.
NOTE: If your cocktailing this ballistic, remember it contains sea salt which will affect the amount of bubbles created by a bubble bar.
I had a hard time deciding which product I’d review for my final Christmas countdown theme, but finally settled on the lovely Cinders. An absolutely divine product to use Christmas Eve, to wind down after all of the Christmas hustle and bustle and relax before the big day itself. Cinders is another product I was really happy to see make a return this year. Not only is it lovely just as it is, it also cocktails well with so many of this year’s Christmas products.
Cinders is one of the smaller ballistics which is certainly reflected with the price tag. It’s beautiful golden yellow in colour, with a patch of red salt crystals on the top. LUSH describe Cinders as ‘Feisty, Fiery Spice Ballistic’, and have obviously spent some time and effort in the design to reflect this fiery theme.
Cinders’ scent is truly Christmassy. The fresh scent of sweet orange oil really lifts the mood, while the cinnamon relaxes and de stresses and gives you that lovely warm, comforting feeling. In the water the true magic happens adding to the warming, comforting experience. When Cinders hits the water it disperses it’s warm golden yellow colour around the tub, with the red combining with it in swirls to give the overall water a fire like effect. When the colours mix the water turns a warm orangey colour. As the ballistic is fizzing away the fizzing candy crackles like an open log fire.  The overall bathing experience with cinders is mesmerising and relaxing.
To see Cinders in action in the water take a look at my Winter Warmer Cocktail video . Skip to 11mins 58sec to just view Cinders :)
Following your bath you’ll feel like all the stresses of Christmas shopping, wrapping and general rushing around will have been washes away. Cinders leaves you so warm and cosy and ready for a good night’s sleep before Santa arrives the next day ;) I great product for Christmas Eve!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Cocktails well with: Glogg shower gel; Christmas Kisses bubble bar; New Shampoo Bar; Gingerbread House; Bearded Lady; Snowcake soap; Wiccy Magic Muscles; Once a Year massage bar; Bob Soap; Hot Toddy bubble bar.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Gingerbread House Bubble Bar

(Owed for Friday the 17th December)

On the eleventh week of Christmas LUSH limited gave to me......
11 Gingerbread Houses,
10 Sacred Truths,
9 Snowcake soaps,
8 Buffy body butters,
7 Sonic Death Monkeys,
6 Bearded Ladies,
4 Ghost shower gels,
3 Hottie bars,
2 Halloween specials,
and a Snow Fairy lip and cheek tint!

Gingerbread House

(Dedicated to Rachael Juma) 
Price: £2.45/100g.
Product category: Bubble bar.
Contains: Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar and Sodium Laureth Sulfate to give you masses of thick, rich, frothy, Hollywood style bubbles; Ginger Oil for its warming effects, circulation stimulating action, and its astringent and antiseptic properties. Ginger is also for soothing aching joints and relaxing tense muscles; Lemon Oil for its antiseptic and cleansing properties, and its uplifting fragrance; Buchu Oil has a sweet fruity blackcurrant scent and is used for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties by aroma-therapists; Ginger Powder promotes relaxation, helps our bodies eliminate toxins, stimulates circulation and warms the skin; Cinnamon Stick for decoration (the cute little chimney).
Other Interesting facts:
·         In Chinese medical literature, ginger was mentioned around 400 B.C. Wowza!

How to use: Start running your bath, crumble bar (or ½ a bar) into the bath while water is running (crumble under the running water). Give the water a really good swish, enjoy the mountains of bubbles.
I must admit when LUSH released their Christmas line this year, I was super excited about the Gingerbread House. For its appearance to its scent description, they had me hook line and sinker. I did my usually trip to my local LUSH store to give all the new items a good sniff and inspection and I have to say, I was a little underwhelmed by the scent of this product . As cute as it was I decided not to purchase it during my trip and off I went home with my bag full of other Christmas lovelies.
That was until a couple of weeks ago, when one of my friends presented me with a bag full of LUSH for my Christmas present. In there was a little Gingerbread House, and out of the LUSH store the scent definitely grabbed my attention more and of course it’s cute design had me at the word go. I happily gave this product a go the day after receiving it and I was so glad that I didn’t miss the opportunity of using this product before it goes, as I absolutely adore it. I’ll definitely be buying more in the New Year before it disappears!
OK so onto the review and let’s start with the design/appearance. Its design is an adorable, chubby gingerbread house, decorated with white mock icing (for the roof), hundreds and thousands sprinkles and a little chimney made of a cinnamon stick. Enough to make even the scrooges stop and go awww! As for the size, I feel that while it can easily do two baths, any more and you wouldn’t get the full effects of the scent and bubbles.
Gingerbread House’s scent out of the bath is much a more subtle warm gingerbread cookie scent, but it really comes alive when it hits the water. The orange house part of the bar crumbles easily, however the white roof is much firmer and I struggled to crumble it (with my feeble lack of strength). In saying that I easily managed to break it into small enough chunks to melt away merrily in the tub. Half a bar created lots of lovely soft bubbles even with my dismal water pressure, and the water turned a lovely warming, burnt orange colour.
Like I said the scent really comes alive in the water. Gingerbread House brings a sweet (not sickly), subtly spicy and fruity scent to your bath. It’s quite a difficult scent to describe as it seems to have layers which hit you during your bath but those are the key notes that hit me. It’s a very warming, comforting scent that definitely reminds me of freshly baked gingerbread cookies with fruity notes coming through from the buchu oil. The ginger comes through in a sweet cookie sense, not a fresh ginger root way if that makes sense. It’s not an overpoweringly strong scent, or a scent that’s super subtle. LUSH seem to have got the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, warming and comforting with Gingerbread House.
Gingerbread house leaves your skin lovely and soft once you’ve dried off. Admittedly it’s not as softening and moisturising as some of LUSH’s other bubble bars, but my skin definitely felt pleasantly soft after my bath. The scent on the skin is subtly sweet and comforting, and I felt so snugly and warm after my bath. Gingerbread House is a winner for those cold winter nights; its gorgeous scent will warm you right up, and wrap its arms around you in a comforting, relaxing cuddle.  Try taking a yummy cup of hot chocolate with you to enjoy in your Gingerbread House bath. Trust me it’s a winner!
You might also like: Hottie massage bar (sensual warming blend of ginger, vanilla and black pepper); Bob Soap (chocolate orange with spicy cinnamon and clove); Cinders (spicy cinnamon, fresh orange and softening almond, crackling ballistic); Butterball (super softening ballistic packed full of cocoa butter and ylang); Brandy Butter (softening cocoa butter, warming cinnamon and brandy and fresh tangerine); Egg Snog lip balm.

On the twelfth week of Christmas LUSH limited gave to me.......
tune in on Christmas Eve for the final instalment of my Christmas countdown.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Q&A- Melissa

Q. I actually have a question about Catastrophe Cosmetic, since you mentioned that you use it for hormonal breakouts. My skin type is odd, I have dry skin with breakouts. A bit tricky, since many of the good products for spots are formulated for oily skin. So my question is whether Catastrophe Cosmetic is drying at all? I'm interested in trying it (for breakouts), but I don't want to use something that will dry my skin out a lot! It doesn't need to be super moisturizing, as long as it doesn't make my skin more dry. Anyway, just wanted to see what you think! Thanks for your help!

A. I understand your predicament  Melissa with regards to your skin care. I too have quite complicated skin and don’t want to use something that strips my skin too much that the dry bits get dryer, but I want something that will help clear my skin.
First of all what I can tell you is stay well clear of Cupcake, as this product is designed for oily acne prone skin types. As for Catastrophe Cosmetic, I don’t find it drying at all. It soothes and calms my spots, while leaving my skin softened and smooth. It does contain Calamine powder which is absorbent, but certainly doesn’t dry. From what I remember Cosmic Warrior is slightly more softening (though the scent isn’t great), and still works great on spots. In saying that what works for me (or anyone else to that matter), may not work for you.  We all have very individual skin needs which, react and behave differently to different products even if our skin types are similar.  
Some people feel put off by the tightening effects these 2 masks have, as they think its drying their skin. However, this is simply down to the pores being deeply cleansed and closing and isn’t anything to worry about. It’s also important to remember that your skin may appear worse to start with as the mask draws out all the impurities in the skin, before it will clear.  Some people believe some masks have made their skin worse, but it’s just the skins way of clearing itself up. There is no such magic product that will just make your spots vanish straight away, just products that will calm the skin and draw out the impurities.
Another very important thing to remember is that, as a general rule of thumb you should only use a face mask 1-3 times a week. Once a week for dryer skin types, twice for combo, three times for oilier skin types. Any more than this can have an adverse effect on your skin as it will strip too much of the skins natural oil production (which is actually good for your skin), causing it to over produce oil more than what is normal. Some people panic that as this products have a short shelf life, that they have to use them up quickly, therefore using them far too often. However even if you only use once a week, you’ll get at least 5 treatments out of the pot for less than £1 each.

I’d also highly recommend that you don’t dismiss some of LUSH’s other fresh face masks that don’t have ‘spot fighting’ claims to them. Many of the fresh face masks contain great ingredients that have antibacterial, antiseptic, antioxidant properties for the skin (such as honey), which will help clear your skin, while moisturising at the same time. BB Seaweed is a great all rounder that is pretty uneatable in my opinion.
My best piece of advice would be to pop into your local LUSH store and speak to the staff. Explain your skin type and needs in as much detail possible and tell them what you want from the mask. They’ll be able to advise you on the best product for you. I’m sorry this is a bit vague but without seeing your skin, and knowing its specific needs it’s difficult to say ‘this one is for you’.  Quite often it’s just trial and error. What I would highly recommend is that if you don’t have joy with one you have bought, say for example Catastrophe Cosmetic, don’t throw it away. Try using it just over the affected area rather than all over the face.
Remember a great skin care routine is essential too in keeping the skin clear. Make sure you cleanse, tone and moisturise regularly as well as using a face mask. I cleanse, tone and moisturise in the morning then sometimes cut out the toner in the evenings and just cleanse and moisturise.  Eau Roma is the best toner for dryer/combo skin types and I’d also highly recommend Angles on Bare Skin as a cleanser or 9-5 (if you want a lotion like cleanser). You can find mini reviews of these products in my Skin Care Routine post
Please let me know how you get on :)

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask (with Oatfix mini review)

(Owed for Friday the 10th December)

On the tenth week of Christmas my LUSH limited gave to me......
10 Sacred Truths,
9 Snowcake soaps,
8 Buffy body butters,
7 Sonic Death Monkeys,
6 Bearded Ladies,
4 Ghost shower gels,
3 Hottie bars,
2 Halloween specials,
and a Snow Fairy lip and cheek tint!

Sacred Truth
Requested by and dedicated to Alex Ward.
Price: £4.95/75g.
Product category: Fresh Face Mask.
Contains: (You might want to a make brew before you read this, as the fresh face masks are PACKED FULL of ingredients)
Ginkgo Leaf and Brown Linseed Infusion stimulates the skin and works as an antioxidant; Kaolin cleanses the skin and exfoliates dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin; Talc is an absorbent, bulking agent allowing the face mask to be easily applied to the skin; Honey for its antibacterial,  antiseptic and moisturising properties for the skin; Fresh Papaya for its powerful brightening properties for the skin; Glycerine is softening and moisturising and is also used to effectively carry oils allowing the skin to absorb them and benefit from their properties; Organic Yoghurt is soothing, cooling and moisturising on the skin; Fresh Free Range Eggs contain vitamin A which help maintain healthy skin by regulating sebum production;
Shea Butter for its moistening, emollient and softening properties on the skin. It also contains vitamin A which helps maintain a youthful appearance and healthy skin; Evening Primrose Oil cares for dry, irritated or troubled skin; Lanolin has a plumping effect on the skin. It is highly emollient and an effective moisturiser for dry skin, and leaves a protective barrier on the skin; Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for its moisturising and softening properties and balancing action on the skin; Ginseng Root Powder smoothes, conditions and stimulates the skin; Green Tea Powder for its powerful antioxidant properties; Fresh Wheatgrass for its antioxidant and moisturising properties;
Bee Pollen refreshes, nourishes and protects the skin; Ylang Ylang Oil for its uplifting aroma; Rose Absolute is moisturising (great for dry, rough, irritated and mature skin types) and improves the skins appearance.; Lavender Oil for its antiseptic, antibacterial and soothing properties; Rosewood Oil has antiseptic properties that ensure fresh, clean skin.
Other interesting facts:
·  Kolin is naturally occurring soft clay, first discovered at the Kao-Ling Mountain in South-East China.
·  Honey has been used successfully to treat problematic skin conditions such as infected acne spots.
·  Papaya is packed full of vitamins A, B, and C, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and iron; it also contains malic and pyruvic acids, two potent alpha hydroxy acids, and the enzyme papain. This ingredient is fantastic for the skin and breaks down dirt as the Kaolin cleanses.
·  Evening Primrose Oil has been evidenced to help psoriasis and eczema and acne.  
·  Bee pollen is full of beneficial elements for the skin. It is antibiotic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antibacterial, calmative and tonic, and its natural composition keeps the skin healthy.
How to use:
1. (Optional, but defiantly worth doing) Apply a layer of a LUSH serum bar to the face (Saving Face for oily, combination, normal, acne prone and breakouts, Full of Grace for dry, irritated, sensitive and normal skin types). Using the serum under the face mask will enhance its effects.
2. Apply a good amount of the face mask to the face (avoiding the eye area) on clean dry skin, massaging the product into the skin.
3. Leave for a minimum of 5mins (I usually leave on for 10-15 minutes).
4. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.

LUSH have a fresh face for every skin need going. I generally have combo skin (slightly oily tzone, with dry patches on my cheeks), though its needs change like the weather. I tend to use BB Seaweed for a general face mask, then change to Catastrophe Cosmetic during hormonal breakouts (Cosmic Worrier is also great for this), and Sacred Truth when my skin is crying out for moisture.
The reason I’m including Sacred Truth in my Christmas countdown, is that during the winter months my skin can get quite dry (due to the cold weather and central heating), and also appears duller. And for this very reason I always make sure there’s a tub of Sacred Truth in my fridge during the winter or just when my skin needs some extra moisture.
It’s absolutely packed full of beautiful natural ingredients that have great properties for the skin. The linseed, eggs, shea butter and lanolin leave the skin nourished, moisturised, soft and supple, while the powerful antioxidants in ginseng, wheatgrass, green tea and papaya, clear and brighten mature, sun-damaged or tired skin. The papaya works at breaking down the dirt while the kaolin clay gently exfoliates.  All skin types can benefit from this face mask, but mature, dry, sun damaged and dull looking skin in particular. The results are definitely noticeable, my skin looks and feels really hydrated, moisturised (without being greasy or too heavy for my slightly greasy tzone), supple, fresher and brighter. Used over time the results are even more impressive, it really improves the skins appearance and tone.
OK so onto the scent, texture and appearance. Sacred Truth has a lovely, fresh, clean, fruity scent, and a lovely smooth, creamy texture to it, making it easy to apply (with minimal mess). The colour isn’t the greatest; it’s sort of a sludgy green colour, though due to its amazing effects this doesn’t bother me at all.
When you apply it feels really cooling, nourishing and soothing on the skin, and I usually enjoy a lovely LUSH bath while I leave it to do its work as the steam also helps it effects. It stays quite moist on the skin (unlike some of the other masks that completely dry), so don’t be surprised if you decide to give it a try.
As with all the fresh face masks you need to store this in the fridge due to all the lovely fresh ingredients. I get about five or even 6 good uses out of the pots, but I think LUSH state three to four uses (maybe I have a small face). They also have a short shelf life (4 to 6 weeks), but I’ve found that they can last a little longer. The best thing is if you save 5 of your empty black pots (now including shower jelly pots), you can exchange them (after cleaning them out), for a free fresh face mask...YEY!
I’d highly recommend Sacred Truth for any of you whose face is feeling the effects of the cold, and is looking a little dull during the winter. It’s also great for those of you who have mature skin types and have sun damage to your skin.
Another fabulous fresh face mask to use during the winter if your skin is feeling a little tight and dry from the cold is Oatfix. I’ll do a mini review of this just because I like you all so much (hehe), and owe you for falling behind on my blog.
Glycerine is softening and moisturising for the skin; Fine Oatmeal soothes the skin and relieves dry, irritated and itchy skin. They also gently exfoliate, removing dead skin cells and improving the skins tone and appearance; Fresh Organic Bananas act as an emollient and are highly moisturising and softening while leaving the skin more supple; Water cleanses the skin; Ground Almonds exfoliate and smooth the skin; Illipe Butter moisturises and softens the skin and restores the skins flexibility; Kaolin cleanses the skin and exfoliates dead skin cells and debris from the surface of the skin; Talc is an absorbent, bulking agent allowing the face mask to be easily applied to the skin; Vanilla Pod contains sugars which act as a humectants helping the skin to retain moisture and have antioxidant properties; Vanilla Absolute for its cosy/comforting scent and also its moisturising properties; Sandalwood Oil for its emollient, protective and moisture retaining properties; Benzoin Resinoid calms and soothes irritated, cracked, sore and dry skin conditions. It also leaves a protective film on the skin, which prevents it from loosing moisture; Gardenia Extract for its balancing effects on the skin.
Oatfix smells like deliciously sweet flapjacks and bananas. It’s super moisturising and leaves the skin, soft, hydrated and supple. It gently exfoliates the skin too, so when you’re ready to rinse, spend a little time massaging the product into the skin first, to get its full exfoliating effects. My only quibble with this product is that the consistency is very thick making it quite difficult and messy to apply and work with. Other than that a great face mask for dry skin, or skin that needs some extra TLC during the winter!

On the eleventh week of Christmas LUSH limited gave to me....tune in tomorrow to find out :)

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Snowcake Soap

(Owed from Friday the 3rd December)

On the ninth week of Christmas my LUSH limited gave to me......
9 Snowcake soaps,
8 Buffy body butters,
7 Sonic Death Monkeys,
6 Bearded Ladies,
4 Ghost shower gels,
3 Hottie bars,
2 Halloween specials,
and a Snow Fairy lip and cheek tint!

Snowcake Soap
Requested by and dedicated to meeee!
Price: £2.60/100g
Product category: Soap.
Contains: Water (Aqua); Rapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil for their moisturising and softening properties and as an alternative soap base to palm oil (see below); Benzoin Resinoid calms and soothes irritated, cracked, sore and dry skin conditions. It also leaves a protective film on the skin, which prevents it from loosing moisture; Rose Absolute soothes and moisturises the skin, and helps improve the skins appearance helping to create a smoother effect; Cassie Absolute for its beautiful uplifting aroma; Glycerine (palm free) is softening and moisturising on the skin and is also used to effectively carry oils allowing the skin to absorb them and benefit from their properties.
Other interesting facts:
·  Tradition methods of making vegetable soap have for many years used palm oil as a base. Palm oil plantations themselves cause severe deforestation, problems for indigenous populations and the animals that live there. LUSH discovered that cosmetic companies are responsible for around 7% of the worlds palm usage, so in an effort to reduce this problem, went off to the labs to work hard in creating a new palm free base to their soaps. They now use rapeseed and coconut oil with glycerine as a base to all their soaps. 
·  You may be wondering what gives Snowcake its almond/marzipan scent, when there’s no almond oil/almonds to be found in the ingredients (I know I was). Well after doing a little research I found that it’s all down to the clever blend of cassie (aka sweet acacia or prickly Moses), rose and benzoin that give products like Snowcake, Marzibain and Smitten their sweet (not sickly) almond scent. Cassie has a fresh sweet, spicy floral aroma, Benzoin a sweet warm vanilla like aroma and Rose absolute a sweet floral aroma, and blended together they create the most beautiful almond scent that’s not too sickly sweet. So there you have it :)
·  Rose absolute is great for dry, rough, mature, sensitive and irritated skin due to its gentle, moisturising, and soothing properties for the skin.
·  Cassie absolute has uplifting properties due to its beautiful sunny aroma, making great for treating stress, exhaustion, and depression.
·  Benzoin has been used for thousands of years to treat various skin conditions. It has also been used as an incense to drive a way evil spirits, and inhaled to help with respiratory conditions. 
How to use:
1. As it’s a creamy soap it melts a lot quicker than some of LUSH’s other soaps. Because of this I find chopping the bar into small chunks rather than using the full bar, helps make the bar last longer.
2. Take the small chunk and wash all over your body, working it into a beautiful creamy lather and rinse.
TIP: Try not to submerge the bar in water as it will melt very quickly. Step out of the shower stream, or lift the areas your washing out of the bath, to make your soap last longer.

I absolutely had to include this product in my Christmas countdown (don’t worry I’ve not forgotten about the requests I’ve received). I’ve been using this product for years since its release, and was so happy to see its return again this year. I always make sure I get a reasonably big slab after Christmas in an attempt to be able to enjoy it all year round (though I never get one big enough slab).
LUSH describe Snowcake as ‘marzipan- scented soap cake’, and that’s exactly what it is. Snowcake has the most beautiful almond/marzipan scent with subtle hints of rose. It avoids being sickly sweet by blending sweet floral scents into the mix. It’s far more subtle than Smitten in my opinion and reminds me very much of the retro bubble bar Marzibain. To me it’s a perfectly balanced (not too sweet, not too floral), pretty, comforting scent that I never tire of.
Snowcake has a simple design, your chunk of soap is cut from a white rectangular slab, decorated with delicate snowflakes. The design was inspired by Russian cakes that look like this, each with an individual message on them. Don’t let its simple appearance deceive you though, Snowcake is a real piece of luxury.
LUSH have done it again with their carefully thought out blend of ingredients. Not only does the blend of rose, cassie and benzoin give Snowcake its delicious almond/marzipan scent; but these ingredients also have great properties for the skin too.  The winter weather can leave your skin feeling dull and dry, but Snowcake comes to the rescue with its moisturising and softening blend of ingredients, leaving your skin moisturised, soft and silky smooth.
Snowcake is very moisturising and hydrating on the skin, without leaving the skin feeling greasy or leaving a film/residue on the skin. It gentle cleanses the skin without leaving it feeling overly squeaky clean and stripped of moisture. Snowcake produces a beautiful creamy lather over the skin which feels really luxurious, and it’s an absolute joy to use. The scent lingers on the skin after your bath/shower in a subtle way for hours.  As it’s one of LUSH’s creamier soaps it doesn’t last as long as some of the others (as it melts much quicker) but I feel that this is reflected in its reasonable price tag.
At the moment I’m loving cocktailing Snowcake with lots of different LUSH products. My favourite combos with Snowcake at the moment are Glogg, Sugar Plum Fairy scrub, Marzibain, Cinders, and Lil LUSH Pudd. Though for a cherry bakewell theme it’s yummy to use with Sweetie Pie, Happy Blooming, Skin Sin and Comforter too.
I’m sure if LUSH released this as an all year round product, it would be a best seller. But until they do, I shall be awaiting its return each Christmas with bated breath.
Complimenting products- Smitten, Skin Sin, Marzibain, Lil LUSH Pudd, Butterball, Happy Blooming, Comforter; Coconut and Almond Smoothie, Summer Pudding, Sweetie Pie, Sugar Plum Fairy scrub (trust me it works).  

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Buffy Body Butter

On the eighth week of Christmas LUSH limited gave to me......
8 Buffy body butters,
7 Sonic Death Monkeys,
6 Bearded Ladies,
4 Ghost shower gels,
3 Hottie bars,
2 Halloween specials,
and a Snow Fairy lip and cheek tint!

Requested by and dedicated to Elodie Schneider
Price: £5/90g; £9/200g
Product category: Body Butter (exfoliating)
Contains: Cocoa Butter softens, nourishes and moisturises the skin, leaving it sooth and supple; Shea Butter softens and moisturises the skin and contains vitamin A, which helps maintain and youthful appearance and healthy skin; Ground Rice is a gentle exfoliant, which sloughs away dry skin cells which leaves the skin brightener and looking fresher; Ground Almonds exfoliate and smooth the skin; Ground Aduki Beans remove dead skin cells and absorb excess dirt and oils from the skin. They polish the skin, leaving it healthy and renewed; Lavender Oil for its antiseptic, antibacterial and soothing qualities; Lemon Oil is an excellent cleanser and a powerful antiseptic for the skin.
Other interesting facts:
·  During a trip to Brazil, product inventor Rowena was inspired by the beautiful women who rub a mixture of sand and suntan oil on their backsides to improve circulation and reduce cellulite. She came home, mixed together cocoa and shea butters (to soften and moisturize), ground rice, almonds and aduki beans (to exfoliate you to polished perfection) and hey presto, Buffy was born.
·  Shea butter is so gentle that it has been traditionally used for baby massage in Africa.
·  Lavender is often used to calm the mind, aid restful sleep and as a relaxing oil.
·  The word lemon is derived from the Arabic ‘laymun’ and Persian ‘limun’ (generic terms for all citrus fruit).
·  The name aduki comes from the Japanese, ‘azuki,’ meaning good health.
·  Buffy is a fantastic exfoliator. Exfoliating the skin has considerable benefits in increasing the renewal of cells and hence the youthfulness and health of surface skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite.
 How to use:
1. Wash your body with the soap/shower gel of your choice before using Buffy.
2. Grab hold of the bar and give yourself a good scrub down all over your body on damp skin.
NOTE: Buffy is quite a rough scrub so be gentle. You can scrub a harder on your thigh and bum area (your cellulite will thank you for it).
TOP TIP: Keep the bar out of the direct flow of water from the shower (step out from under shower). You'll find it will last much longer.
3.  To use in the bath, just stand up (out of the water) and give yourself a good scrub then dunk yourself back in when you're done.
4. Rinse your skin briefly, then step out of the bath or shower and dry yourself off.

Buffy the cellulite slayer (as I call it) “slays unsightly bumps” (LUSH) sums this product up perfectly! I could just leave it as that, but this exfoliating body butter does so much more.
Buffy is one of my favourite ‘all year round’ must have products. Whether you need to get your skin smooth and polished for the beach in summer, or you’re fighting the effects the cold has on your skin in the winter (when your skin needs some extra moisturisation and hydration), Buffy ticks all the boxes. If you’re anything like me in the winter, you’re skin will get covered up and neglected a little. Well I’ve changed my ways since I was introduced to Buffy and come rain or shine; my skin always looks in tip top condition. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.
Comforting shea and cocoa butters are the prominent scents with this product, with very subtle calming notes of lavender (which comes through a little more on the skin once you’ve dried off) and fresh notes of lemon. It’s not an overpowering scent so doesn’t interfere with perfume or other scents you’re using. It kind of reminds me of Ceridwyn’s Cauldron, a very gentle, light, comforting scent.  
Buffy is a fantastic product for all over the body. Use it gently until you get used to its scrubby texture, and alter the pressure you use for different parts of your body. Go gently on the arms and upper body and rougher on the thigh and bum area.  I can’t believe the genuine difference it’s made to my skin in general and even more impressively, to my lumpy bumpy cellulite on the backs of my thighs and bum. With regular use (3-4 times a week), I’m pretty much cellulite free.
As well as banishing my cellulite, it’s softened and smoothed the slightly rougher skin on the backs of my arms, and drier skin on my knees and elbows. Buffy leaves my skin looking really fresh, healthy, beautifully polished and smooth. It leaves a comforting layer of cocoa and shea butters on the skin which deeply moisturises, softens and conditions. You won’t need to moisturise when you’ve used Buffy, which makes this the perfect product for people who are ‘on the go’.
I was so impressed with the results I dared to bare and sent a pic of my polished backside to Big Harry @LUSH times and it was published in the Christmas edition of LUSH times :)

Some people find the residue Buffy leaves on the skin off putting, though I love spending a few minutes when I’ve dried off massaging the beautiful butters deeply into the skin, and the results are definitely worth it.  This leads me nicely onto the Buffy vs. Aqua Mirabilis debate. Personally Buffy wins hands down for me every time and here’s why;
·  Buffy lasts so much longer and provides you with many more uses than Aqua Mirabilis.
·  Aqua Mirabilis is much more difficult to dry out between uses, and can get a layer of mould like product on the surface (which needs scrapping off) in between uses.
·  I much prefer Buffy’s scent as opposed to the digestive/nutty biscuit scent of Aqua Mirabilis.
·  Buffy’s effects on cellulite, smoothing and polishing the skin and level of moistuisation are far greater than that of Aqua Mirabilis.
However some people prefer the milkier nature of Aqua Mirabilis to the oilier nature of Buffy. I guess it’s down to personal opinion and preference, but after giving them both a go over a period of time, I’ll always fight Buffy’s corner. Personally I cannot sing it’s praises loud enough. I’ve tried many expensive products in the past claiming to banish cellulite, smooth and hydrate the skin and Buffy is the only product that has actually made a noticeable difference.
Finally I’ll discuss value for money. Getting the larger bar (200g) is definitely worth while as you’ll save some money (to spend on other LUSHie delights), though you’ll need to chop it in half for it to fit into the body butter tin. Just place the palm of your hand on the top of the bar and slice carefully through the middle with a long sharp knife.  
Another great tip to make it last even longer, is to make sure you don’t use the bar directly under running water, or submerge it in the bath. I was quite surprised at how long a 90g bar lasts considering I use it 3-4 times a week. Buffy is the most long lasting of all the exfoliating body butters LUSH sell (You Snap the Whip, Aqua Mirabilis).
I’ll get back to you on how many uses/weeks it lasts, when I start a new bar, as I’ve never actually counted, though I think I get at least a month out of a 90g bar? Obviously this will vary upon how long you spend using the product each time, and what areas you cover.  I tend to focus using the product mainly on my problem areas (such as my bum and thighs), then quickly and gently apply to the rest of my body. Although you probably don’t need to use it quite as often as I do, I’d say twice a week would be fine, if you spend some time giving your skin a good buff.
In my opinion an absolute must have product to use all year round for noticeably smoother, glowing, polished and deeply nourished skin.
In conjunction with using Buffy here’s some simple top cellulite busting tips I follow (apart from the smoking, tut tut);
·  Eat plenty of fruit and leafy greens.
·  Avoid excess junk food (treats in moderation are acceptable, lol).
·  Avoid toxins like excessive alcohol and cigarettes.
·  Drink plenty of water to hydrate your body and flush out toxins. Eight to ten glasses a day are recommended *this is one of the best tips for cellulite busting and improving the skins appearance*
·  Dry brush your skin daily, preferably before bathing.
·  Finish your daily shower with a cold rinse to tone your skin *not the most pleasant tip and admittedly I don’t do this every day (especially in the winter), brrrrr*

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy- LUSH Christmas Bath Cocktail

Products used

In the bath:
Christmas Carol ballistic (xmas retro)
1/4 Two Timing Tart bubble bar (retro)
1/2 Marzibain bubble bar (retro)

To wash: Snowcake Soap (xmas ltd edition)
To scrub: Sugar Plum Fairy (xmas ltd edition)
To finish: Skin Sin (discontinued item) and Vanillary Perfume
You could also use: Vanilla Dee-Lite or Heavanilli

A more adventurous LUSH Christmas cocktail from me this time. Inspired by the Sugar Plum Fairy scrub which is described as Fairy Jasmine with a fruity marzipan twist. The Christmas Carol brings the delicate and relaxing floral notes (jasmine and ylang ylang) while the Two Timing Tart, Marzibain, Snowcake and Skin Sin bring the fruity marzipan twist to the cocktail. Next time I might try using the Happy Blooming bath melt to replace the TTT. I absolutely loved this cocktail, the water was so silky soft and the blend of scents really worked well together. My skin was beautifully silky soft and delicately scented. I'll definitely be doing this one again. Please let me know if you try this cocktail :)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sonic Death Monkey Retro Shower Gel

On the seventh week of Christmas LUSH limited gave to me......
7 Sonic Death Monkeys
6 Bearded Ladies
4 Ghost shower gels
3 Hottie bars
2 Halloween specials
and a Snow Fairy lip and cheek tint

Sonic Death Monkey
Requested by and dedicated to Francesca Nguyen
Price: £4.95/100g; £17.50/500g
Product category: Shower gel
Contains: Ground coffee is deeply aromatic and is soothing on the skin; Cocoa and hibiscus infusion for its soothing, softening and moisturising properties; Water; Fresh organic lime juice for its cleansing action on the skin and refreshing invigorating fragrance; Organic hemp oil is calming on the skin and is said to balance the emotions; Tangerine oil improves the condition of the skin and has an uplifting aroma; Sweet orange oil for its antiseptic and toning qualities and mood lifting aroma; Vanilla absolute creates a barrier on the skin which prevents moisture loss and of course for its sweet, comforting and reassuring scent.

Other interesting facts:
·    The name of this product was inspired by the film High Fidelity, in which Jack Black’s character was the lead singer in a band called Sonic Death Monkey.  


·  Arabica coffee is considered to be the best quality coffee and is mostly grown in South America.
·  Sonic Death Monkey contains water, not that interesting right??? Wrong! LUSH use water in some of their products, as it is absorbed by the skin and travels to the deeper layers. By blending water with emollient ingredients, such as cocoa, softens the upper layers of the skin and stops water from escaping out again. This creates a softening cleansing action   on the skin, clever hey!
·  Hundreds of years ago sailors who had contracted scurvy (caused by severe vitamin c deficiency), discovered that drinking lime juice could cure this disease.
·  Hemp is well known to be illegally cultivated for marijuana. However it has many properties for the skin and hair and has been used since ancient times in India, China and Egypt for:
-          Balancing hormones
-          Digestive problems
-          Rheumatism
-          Promoting hair growth
-          And healing (in Chinese and Indian medicines)

Verdict: Was anyone else hoping Sexy Boy massage bar (Christmas range 2009) would make a return this year??? Not to worry you can enjoy a chocolate, lime scented experience all year round with LUSH’s retro shower gel Sonic Death Monkey :)
I have to say this is my favourite shower product that LUSH do, so I was very happy to review this product requested by the lovely Francesca (genius idea hun).
LUSH describe Sonic Death Monkey as their ‘choco-mocha and lime flavoured shower gel to get your day off to a lip smacking start’. I doubt I could describe this any better than that to be honest but I’ll have a go. In the bottle the deep earthy scent of hemp plays quite a large role, but you can still detects the citrus juice/oils, chocolate and subtle coffee aromas. However when you use this product in the bath/shower the scent really comes alive. It reminds me of a combination of those chocolate lime sweets, orange chocolate and mocha coffees. It’s seriously delicious. You won’t detect any artificial chocolate scents like in some ‘chocolate scented’ products on the market, it’s a real, deep, high quality coco scent. The zingy citrus scents also really come alive and seriously uplift and refresh you and you get a perky shot of coffee to start the day off well. If you can bear to share this (personally mine gets hidden), Sonic Death Monkey if most definitely a unisex scent. So great for dads, brothers, boyfriends, husbands etc too.
Onto the consistency, I seem to remember this being much thicker when it was in LUSH’s regular range and sold in the shops. However now it has gone Retro, it is one of LUSH’s runnier shower gels, so little word of warning DON’T SQUEEZE THE BOTTLE TOO HARD! Otherwise you’ll end up waving goodbye to half of it down the plug hole. Despite its thinner consistency a little definitely goes a long way. Also while we’re talking about consistency, make sure you give the bottle a good shake before use as it can separate slightly in the bottle. Sonic Death Monkey is creamy deep brown (sort of like gravy or melted chocolate) in colour. OK so not the nicest of colours but in keeping with the coco-mocha theme.
Sonic Death Monkey lathers really well on the skin and even better if you use with a shower poof or sponge.  It’s a lovely rich lather that combined with the scent makes using this product a luxurious experience. The combination of wonderful ingredients leaves the skin beautifully soft, moisturised and supple. The scent isn’t particularly strong on the skin once you’ve dried off, but rather a subtly sweet comforting scent remains. I have to mention, that as well as being a gorgeous shower gel, Sonic Death Monkey is also fabulous for the hair. It contains hemp which is known to help promote healthy hair growth and soothes the scalp and lime juice to refresh the scalp, cleanse the hair and add shine. I’ve used this a few times as a shampoo and it leaves the hair seriously soft and smooth not to mention smelling great all day!
There’s only one slight negative regarding this product. It’s only available in 100g and 500g bottles which makes the price range a huge leap. It’s also LUSH’s most expensive shower gel since going to Retro setting you back nearly £5 for 100g and £17.50 for 500g. Personally I can’t justify spending nearly £20 on a bottle of shower gel, so I go for the 100g bottle and use as a treat. I wish LUSH would release this little lovely in 250g bottles so I could afford to get more, but I think I appreciate its loveliness even more because I only use it now and then.
I have to say that Sonic Death Monkey is my ultimate favourite in shower experience. It’s both invigorating and comforting and a great way to start the day. Yes LUSH I dig you’re crazy gravy!!!

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