30 July 2017

Furze Body Lotion

The Furze fragrance has always been one I've been up and down about, since it was first introduced a few years ago as a liquid perfume. There are times when I really relish in the soft, hazy aroma of the bath melt, and end up basking myself in the body spray and sniffing my skin for hours. However, there are also times when the fragrance doesn't interest me at all, so I had no idea how I would react to the lotion until I had tested it out over a number of days. 

While not a product I would ever have expected Lush to release, Furze Body Lotion definitely impressed me upon arrival. Smelling exactly as expected, this limited edition is easily my favourite format in this scent. This is not only because of the way it settles on the skin and leaves you smelling beautiful, but because of how effective it is as making you feel super soft.

As with its older siblings, this body lotion contains a generous helping of mimosa absolute, which offers up what I can only describe as a hazy and very milky floral fragrance. Alongside this, there is also a very strong thread of both coconut and vanilla, which gives Furze a sickly sweet element to it as well. The coconut is definitely very prevalent in this body lotion, and I really appreciated the almost nutty component that you can smell on your skin after application. 

Together, all three of these ingredients create a very unique and equally very beautiful aroma - one that reminds you of being outdoors, in the fields, during the summer months. There is something rather romantic about this scent, and as Lush state themselves, is 'reminiscent of sunny walks through the British countryside' - a pastime I enjoy doing every summer.

From the tub, Furze is slightly pink in colour, and presents itself as a fairly medium consistency - similar to Sympathy For the Skin but perhaps a little thinner. This turned out to be the perfect consistency as it absorbed into the skin so quickly and didn't leave any stickiness behind on the surface. I was able to apply my clothes after only a matter of minutes, and I wasn't worried about it leaving any marks.

Once on the skin, this Kitchen exclusive settled wonderfully and I could smell warming bursts of coconut and mimosa reacting to the hear of my body. Unfortunately, this experience was short-lived as I found that the smell had all but vanished within the first 30-40 minutes. This was such a shame as I think it definitely a scent that lends itself to be used on the skin, and I only wish I could have appreciated it for longer.

Having said that, I found that my skin looked and felt really replenished after using this. It was instantly moisturising, which is great for someone like me who often gets quite dry and parched skin. However, I did find that I had to reapply the lotion a few times during the day,  in order to maintain that feeling. 

I will definitely continue to use my tub throughout the summer months, as I feel that it's a fragrance well-suited to the hotter weather. And coupled with the body spray means that I can enjoy the smell for a lot longer as well. I may not always be able to enjoy the English countryside in central London, but I can give the impression I can by using this little gem.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Almond Oil, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, *Glycerine, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Mimosa Absolute, Neroli Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Amyl Cinnamal Hydroxycitronellal, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £13.95 for 225g.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

Scent Family:
Furze Bath Oil
Furze Body Lotion
Furze Body Spray

Furze Liquid Perfume

14 July 2017

Plantational Cake Solid Shampoo Bar

My vast experience with Lush has told me never to judge a product based on its colour or description. Whereas many people might run the other way upon seeing a brown lump that resembles a mud pie, I relish in experimenting with the company's weirdest and most wonderful of creations. Some of my most favourite products have come about through experiences that I've had in which I was expecting things to go horribly wrong at first.

Plantational Cake is equally brand new and retro at the same time. Based on Lush's old-school liquid shampoo of the same name, this limited edition solid looks no different than one of my firm favourite products from the Kitchen - Reincarnate Solid Shampoo. In fact, this product may appear very different ingredients wise, but the two share many good qualities that puts them both in the firm favourites category.

To look at, this solid shampoo bar looks like a cross between a badly-baked brownie and a lump of solid mud. You might be surprised to learn then that this limited edition doesn't smell like either of those two itmes. In fact, the smell of this surprised me quite a lot when it first came into contact with my nose.

Containing Brazilian orange oil combined with a nettle and rosemary leaf infusion, this shampoo bar presents a distinctive sweet smell that reminds me very much of sultanas. The inclusions of both the red henna and the labdanum resinoid add to this subtle fruity element - giving the solid bar a gentle layer of spice and rounds the aroma off with a dry but rather more-ish fragrance. In many ways, Plantational does smell very similar to Reincarnate, so if you've been fortunate enough to have tried the aforementioned shampoo bar, you'll have a good idea about the fragrance of this one.

As with most solid shampoo bars, this one works by wetting it a little under the running water and massaging it straight into your wet hair for a short time. It only takes a few seconds for the product to produce a light but thick lather, so you don't need to use it for more than that to cover your entire scalp. I would then recommend using both hands to ensure the shampoo is equally distributed across your locks. 

Depending on how long you have in the shower, I would suggest that you leave it on for a good few minutes before rinsing it away and applying your conditioner. What I found with this solid shampoo is that the henna taints the lather slightly, so don't worry when you rinse it away and find that the water presents itself as brown.

What I loved about Plantational is that it was effective from the very first wash. Unlike a large percentage of Lush's solid shampoo bars, this one moisturised and detangled my hair while I was in the shower, and I felt at times that I could almost have gotten away with not using conditioner afterwards - it was that effective. 

Upon drying my hair, I noticed that this bar left a slight bit of residue that seemed to coat my hair like a protective blanket. Don't get me wrong, my hair was neither greasy or oily afterwards, but there was something about the feel and touch of my locks that told me that the shampoo bar was still present on my hair. Until you try it out for yourself, it may be difficult to understand what I mean. However, it was almost as if the product had put up a slight barrier around every strand, so it felt as if my hair had more moisture present, without it looking or feeling weighed down. 

My experience with this one was very different to any of Lush's other shampoos, liquid and solid. I really felt as if this one added in that much-needed moisture that my dry hair needed, and within 2-3 uses my hair was looking and feeling much less frizzy and far more manageable. Furthermore, I found that I didn't need to straighten my hair that much, as the shampoo supported and accentuated my waves, without leaving it looking frizzy or untamed.  

Having said that, I will mention that your hair should be completely dry before attempting to straighten it after using Plantational. If your locks are even so much as damp when you use the straightening irons on them, this blanket of moisture that coats your hair will turn greasy, and I found that I had to use dry shampoo afterwards to try and settle the excess moisture. 

Overall, this solid shampoo bar has been an absolute pleasure to use. Not only has it rejuvenated my hair and made it feel far less parched than it did before, but the inclusion of the henna supported my natural hair colour - accentuating the highlights and bringing out the different shades of browns and reds that I don't often get to see.

This is definitely one that I would buy again, and I would go as far as to say that this would be a staple in my house if it was a regular item. Whatever condition your hair might be in, I have heard nothing but glowing reviews about this wonderful Kitchen exclusive, and my experience only serves to support and verify that this shampoo bar is a royal treat.         

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, Stearic Acid, Nettle And Rosemary Leaf Infusion, Red Henna, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG 100 Stearate, Soya Lecthin, Brazilian Orange Oil, Labdanum Resinoid, Irish Moss Powder, Limonene, Citral, Perfume.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £6.25 for 100g.

Year Of Original Release: 1999

11 July 2017

Ice Hotel Bubble Bar

While I love the concept of the Lush Kitchen, and I obviously invest a lot of money into their wonderful products, there are times when the magic is lost a little when recreating some of Lush's older products. Although the smell and initial appearance may bowl you over when it comes to first impressions, the stories behind some of the company's retro creations are sometimes lost in translation. Such is the case with this bubble bar.

As the name suggest, Ice Hotel was originally more than just a product to crumble under some running water. Inspired by the famous sculpted hotel in Sweden, this limited edition is one of Lush's few bubble bars that had to be carved off like you would expect them with a piece of soap. These gorgeous creations were available for a short amount of time in stores, where you could buy as little or as much as you wanted. 

Containing a strange collaboration of lavender and mint, I wasn't expecting to appreciate the fragrance as much as I ended up doing. There is something rather refreshing and almost uplifting about the scent of this bubble bar, while it also retains a certain number of comforting qualities as well.

To describe the scent in a way that most Lush fans would be able to recognise, I will start by stating that this bubble bar smells like a combination of Dream On Bath Bomb and Freeze Shower Gel. While the mint is perhaps a little more dominant in the overall scent, there is definitely a pronounced lavender note present as well.

This thread of lavender is a very herbal one, so don't expect it to mimic the rich, sweet undertones of Twilight, or even the more powdery, floral properties of French Kiss. Instead, the natural lavender smell adds a light but very calming floral component, while the mint is cooling as well as refreshing. Together, both ingredients work together in an odd but successful pairing, and are the perfect bathing companions in the warmer months of the year.

To look at from afar, Ice Hotel isn't exactly the most eye-catching of bubble bars. Even up close, I cannot say that I was bowled over by the gentle, iridescent shade of artic silver that it comes in. While the indented window was definitely a sweet touch to give it some character, I can see why consumers would opt for other, more colourful variations over this one.

Even in the tub, the lack of any colour in the water would probably deter a lot of people from wanting to invest in more than one of these gems. However, what it lacks in character, it more than makes up for in productivity. For starters, this bubble bar produced a lot of bubbles, and these bubbles stayed present for the most part of my experience. 

Secondly, the water was super-softening, even when I opted to use only half of the product in a single go. I was amazed by how quickly my skin began to feel silky-soft while I was bathing, and the effects of this lasted a good many hours after I had exited the tub. Finally, the fragrance was very much present throughout the whole experience, and I was able to detect gentle hints of both lavender and peppermint on my skin for a short while afterwards. 

Whether it was the physical or phycological effects of the peppermint oil, my skin still felt really refreshed after bathing in the waters of Ice Hotel. Much like Christingle does to the body, this bubble bar felt really cooling on the skin, and it would be the perfect choice to use after being exposed to the heat all day. While the lack of presentation was an initial barrier for me, I would happily use this again - after a hot day on the beach, or after a particularly sweaty session at the gym.   

Quantitative Ingredients: Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Sodium Bicarbonate, Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax benzoin), Limonene, Linalool, Geraniol, Perfume, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Titanium Dioxide, Tin Oxide.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £3.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2004.

9 July 2017

Happy Blooming Body Lotion

Although I would never claim to be a huge fan of cherries, or indeed cherry-scented products, there was something special about the Happy Blooming Bath Melt that won me over fairly quickly. While it is definitely not the most easy-going bath melt, when compared to newer releases, I still find it super indulgent, even today. You can imagine then how bowled over I was to try the shower jelly out for the first time, and indeed how I felt then with the recent release of the body lotion.

Having spent years being disappointed by the synthetic, poor-excuse-for-a-cherry-fragrance products that brandish the shelves of other high street stores, it is both refreshing and exciting to experience an aroma so true to the original fruit, and so naturally beautiful in every way.

Happy Blooming Body Lotion is an exquisite, richly-scented product that offers fans of the shower jelly and bath melt everything that they could ever wish for. Despite the ingredients list leaving you wondering just how exactly the company have crafted this sweet and fruity offering, this limited edition is exactly what you'd expect it to be, and more.

From the tub, this lotion displays a strong, juicy cherry aroma. It is almost like taking a freshly-picked handful of succulent black cherries and grinding them down to form a thick pulp. In a way, the smell of this lotion reminds me a little of the boiled cherry drops that you'll find in most old-fashioned sweet stores. However, to say that the smell is identical would be underselling this limited edition quite a bit.

It is the inclusion of the benzoin resinoid in this lotion that creates such a powerful and long-lasting fragrance. This is a product you use when you want something withstanding, and something comforting to see you through a good many hours. I can happily vouch that after applying this to my skin, I found that I could still smell the warming, sweetness some four hours later. In that way, I consider it to be one of Lush's most potent body lotions to date. 

As with many of the recently released body lotions, Happy Blooming is what I'd describe as being of medium consistency. While it's not a tub you could hold upside down without an spillage, it is also not as thick as it  initially appears in the pot. 

Once you've divulged a small amount onto your skin, you'll see that it's the perfect consistency for massaging it across the body. What I love about this lotion is that it is one of those that the skin absorbs really quickly, so you are not left feeling sticky or particularly wet afterwards. Furthermore, there is something rather cooling about this lotion that I appreciated very much, and it was the perfect companion for me after a long day at the beach.

Containing a generous amount of cocoa butter to moisturise and nourish your skin; and a large helping of almond oil to soften and replenish, Happy Blooming does the job of rejuvenating weathered and tired looking skin - banishing any dry areas and giving your skin a natural glean that makes it look even healthier throughout the day. 

My only issue with this body lotion is the fact that I didn't find the benefits lasted much longer than a day. To continue improving the condition of my skin, I would need to apply this daily, which is perfectly fine to do so, but isn't necessarily the case with some of Lush's other lotions.

Overall, this is exactly what fans of Happy Blooming were no doubt waiting for: a product that is not only delectable and super fruity, but one that is very much true to the original scent family. Robust and juicy - this is a body lotion that I will continue to enjoy across the next few months, and I would highly recommend that you experience yourself.

Quantitative Ingredients: Water, Almond Oil, Fair Trade Organic Cocoa Butter, Glycerine, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Benzoin Resinoid, Ylang Ylang Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Benzyl Cinnamate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Methylparaben, Propylparaben.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £13.95 for 225g.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

Scent Family:
Cherry Blossom Reusable Bubble Bar
Happy Blooming Bath Melt
Happy Blooming Body Lotion
Happy Blooming Shower Jelly

Happy Blooming Solid Perfume

6 July 2017

Bubble Spinner Reusable Bubble Bar

It would be very easy for me to roll my eyes and immediately attack the concept of this brand new bubble bar from Lush. If I'm honest, the cynic in me was very quick to brandish this new idea as a rubbish one, and this was before I had even attempted to purchase any for myself.

Truth be told, as a teacher you are surrounded by the youth of today: you see and hear and experience every single form of trend going; you hear about all of the latest celebrity news whether or not you are particularly interested; you are forced to confiscated bright, colourful 'toys' that find themselves in the hands of the students in your classroom.

Whether or not I particularly like of agree with the concept of a fidget spinner, there is no denying that they are one of the biggest trends of 2017. So it is  understandable that as one of the fastest growing companies on the high street, Lush would want to offer their own unique interpretation of this gadget.

As far as presentation goes, the Bubble Spinner Reusable Bubble Bar is rather adorable to look at - a product decorated with pastel pink, yellow and blues, and held together by a recycled wooden peg through the middle. As you'd expect from such a playful release, this bubble bar is a bright, uplifting combination of lemon, lime and grapefruit oils - a combination suited for any and all ages, so adults can indulge in this just as much as younger consumers. 

Despite being a huge fan of fruity smells, I did feel as if the zesty, almost soured lemony aroma was a bit of a let down. As a company known for their unique fragrances, this scent did feel a little 'basic' and simplistic, and definitely not something that represents the amazing combinations that Lush can offer.  However, I recognise that this product is more about the concept and design as opposed to the smell, so I can look past this flaw. Furthermore, as a product designed to enhance your mood and soothe away your worries, something as fruity as this lemon and lime combination is probably a good idea.

As a reusable bubble bar, Bubble Spinner should stretch across multiple baths, and despite its size, I was lucky enough to use mine for three separate occasions. If you're cocktailing this with other items, you may even squeeze a couple of extra uses out of it. Once you have finished, I suggest that you pat the bubble bar down and allow it to dry, as the colours will begin to run and the bar itself will crumble.

What was enjoyable about Bubble Spinner was that, while holding it under the running water, the bubble bar actually began to spin. This allowed the three different colours to ebb into the bath and create a delicate peach-coloured water. If you were careful enough to use each colour separately, I can imagine that you would be able to create three different coloured experiences from this single bar.

While the product didn't heed as many bubbles as a regular bubble bar would, I did find that I could swish my hands around in the water and create more if I wanted to. Impressively, the lemon and lime scent did retain its presence in the water, the whole way through the experience, and I could still smell it when I was draining the water away.

Having said that, I found that this bubble bar was fairly drying on the skin. As with a lot of Lush's reusable bars, I didn't find the water was particularly moisturising in this case, and I felt that my hands were rather rigid during the experience. Once I had towelled myself down, I did feel the need to apply some sort of body lotion as I didn't feel particularly smooth of soft as I would expect from most of my baths.

Overall, this is a bubble bar that has a purpose in 2017, but one that I don't necessarily feel as any kind of longevity. As a novelty purchase for kids and adults, it's a great way for them to get into Lush; as a release for the most established fans, it is not one that I plan on re-purchasing any time soon.        

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Carbonate, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Glycerine, Lauryl Betaine, *Limonene, Lime Oil, Perfume, Grapefruit Oil, Lemon Oil, Titanium Dioxide, *Citral, *Geraniol, Colour 47005, Colour 45410, Colour 42090, Colour 42090:2.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £4.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.

4 July 2017

No Name Bubble Bar

No Name sounds like an odd choice for the name of a bubble bar - almost like Lush just couldn't be bothered to conjure up a name when it came to finalising the product. However, the story behind this limited edition gives its name a rather endearing touch, and it made me appreciate it even more when I discovered the meaning behind it.

As part of the Christmas range a few years ago, Lush brought out this nameless bubble bar and sent it to every store across the country. As each and every culture have their own name for the mythical creatures that feature in their yuletide celebrations, the company decided to let each store come up with their own name for the bubble bar. From classic elf names to down-right obscure results, this seasonal product brought that extra swish of magic to the holiday season.

With two adorable vegan chocolate eyes, No Name resembles the long distant cousin of The Bearded Lady Bubble Bar, although they are very different in scent. Containing lime and neroli as key ingredients, this limited edition is an uplifting, fruity experience - one that is very different from anything else that I have experienced from Lush before.

On the surface, this bubble bar smells like a super sweet glass of old-fashioned soda pop. Imagine the aroma of the jellied cola bottle sweets that you can buy as part of the Pic 'N' Mix range, and you'll be on the right path to imagining how this product smells from the packet. There is something very bright and slightly zesty about the lime. Yet there is almost a sweet, resinous note that rests beneath this, that allows the fruity element to settle. 

Alongside both of these ingredients is the inclusion of the vanilla absolute, which doesn't have a huge impact on the overall smell, but does offer a gentle touch of sweetness to the overall experience. Together, these three components create a very pleasant sweet and fruity aroma, that although different, might interest those people who enjoyed the Reindeer And Robin FUN Bar from last Christmas.

As with most of Lush's bubble bars, this one is easy enough to crumble under the running tap, and creates a generous amount of bubbles that decorate your bath. Given its size, you could easily halve or quarter No Name and use it across multiple baths, although I opted to use the full one for a truly decadent experience.

The bubble bar turns the water a beautiful shade of red, which is both warming and comforting at the same time. Furthermore, the water was lovely and softening the whole way through my experience, so my skin felt nourished and replenished after my bathing. Finally, the scent wasn't excessively strong when in use, but I was able to detect the lime and neroli while I was submerged under the blanket of bubbles, and there were traces of the fragrance in the bathroom for a while afterwards.

Although originally designed as a Christmas product, I really feel as if the scent of this is also very much suited to the warmer months of the year as well. There is never a bad time to enjoy a No Name in the tub, and I will definitely be buying a few more of these if they make an appearance in the near future.

Quantitative Ingredients: Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid), Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Lime Oil, Neroli Oil, Vanilla Absolute, *Limonene, *Linalool, Cinnamal, Eugenol, Vegan Dark Chocolate.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £3.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: ?

2 July 2017

Big Sleep Jelly Bath Bomb

As someone who has chronic insomnia, I am always on the lookout for products that are going to help me drift off, or at the very least stop me from staring at the ceiling all night. While most cosmetics don't make much of an impact on my (not) sleeping patterns, this brand new invention from Lush sure helped me to feel a little more relaxed after using it in the tub.

Big Sleep Jelly Bath Bomb is one of three brand new, innovative inventions from Lush. Containing an ingredient known as sodium alginate, this new invention offers more than just a colourful display in the tub. As soon as this ballistic hits the water, it begins to create a jelly-like substance across the surface, which not only thickens the water overall, but helps to make this bath bomb far more moisturising than the regular editions. 

Containing a blanket of lavender, neroli, tonka and chamomile, this bath bomb has its own unique fragrance. However, there are similarities between this and both the Ickle Baby Devils and Ickle Baby Angels that made an appearance in the Kitchen last year. 

While I was expecting this bath bomb to be far more tonka-led, as I find that the ingredient can often dictate a fragrance with its potency, I was surprised to discover that it was governed more by the inclusion of the chamomile and lavender. 

To me, the aroma is a gentle, powdery concoction of chamomile with a thread of fresh and very natural-smelling lavender. The inclusion of the neroli gives Big Sleep a very subtle sweet but grassy element, while the tonka rounds the whole fragrance off with a gentle sprinkling of sweetness. I should point out that when I say that the neroli brings about a grassy aroma, I don't mean that this is in any way potent, just that it complements the lavender a little and brings out the fresh element a little more.

As to be expected, this bath bomb immediately begins to fizz on contact with the water. However, instead of twisting and turning while it projects out a display of colour, this one tends to bob on the surface and build up a puddle of foam, before dispersing it across the water. As with Green Coconut, I found that this one not only produced less jelly than Dark Arts, but it also didn't fully dissolve. A few pieces of the bath bomb were left floating on the surface and needed to be crumbled to disperse properly into the water.

I was really impressed by the wonderful turquoise colour that the water turned afterwards, and I found that I could detect the subtle notes of chamomile, lavender and tonka while I was submerged under the water. Much like Green Coconut, I also found that the jelly dissolved a lot easier in the water, and I didn't have to scrub myself or the bath afterwards to remove any excess slime.

What impressed me about Big Sleep was that it was incredibly moisturising, and it only took a matter of minutes for me to feel the impact the jelly was having on my skin. Although the smell had almost diminished on my skin when I had towelled myself down, I found that the impact of such a nourishing bath stayed with me for the most part of the day.

As a warning, I should state as I have done with both of the other jelly bombs, that getting into the bath will prove itself to be quite slippery ay first. Having said that, once you are settled into the water, Big Sleep offers a warm coven to lose yourself in, and hopefully allow you to have a restful night afterwards.

Quantitative Ingredients: Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Sodium Alginate, Lavender Oil, Neroli Oil, Tonka Absolute, Chamomile Powder, Cream of Tartar, Dipropylene, Glycol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Coumarin, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume, Colour 42053, Colour 42090, Colour 59040, Colour 47005.

Vegan?: Yes.

2017 Price: £4.95 each.

Year Of Original Release: 2017.