My favourite store, Lush, introduced a service called the “Kitchen” around a year ago – in this, they make several products a month in extremely limited quantities that you can order online. I don’t use this very often, but I did pick up a Gold Star Bubble Bar with my Christmas order.
This bubble bar first appeared a few years ago, before I became a Lush fan, so it’s nice to have a chance to try it. It is yellow with a gold star on the top – hence the name. The bubble bar cost £3.95, which is normal for this kind of product from Lush. I got two uses out of it so it works out better value than a single-use product.
The bubble bar is suitable for vegans and is made with a base of sodium bicarbonate, cream of tartar and sodium laureth sulphate to create the crumbly texture of the bar and help it create bubbles. It’s worth noting, though, that SLS can cause skin irritation in some people – something to be aware of if you have sensitive skin. It also contains sandalwood and frankincense – with the gold on the star, this completes the trio of festive Wise Men gifts! The bubble bar also contains benzoin oil. Altogether, it is a fruity, slightly spicy, sweet scent – rather hard to describe as you can probably tell, but I thought it didn’t smell particularly “Christmassy”.
I crumbled half of the bar into the running water and by the time my bath was ready I had lots of bubbles to look forward to. The bath water was yellow, which I don’t normally like, but there was also a subtle golden shimmer which made it look pretty. If you really hate the thought of glitter/shimmer in your bath you can always leave off the star and just use the main part of the bar in the water.
I thoroughly enjoyed my bath and felt really warmed up by the end of it. The water felt soft, with the soft shimmer looking pretty in the water. The bubbles were lovely and the smell wafted around the bathroom.
After my bath, I hardly had to use any moisturiser as my skin still felt pretty soft. The scent lasted on my skin for a while, too. There was a very faint shimmer present, though not a great deal. I didn’t have to scrub the bath out – a quick rinse with the shower head removed any remaining glittery residue.
I definitely recommend this bubble bar, if you can get hold of one. An amazingly relaxing bath with a lovely scent – brilliant. Hopefully the Lush Kitchen will bring it back next year.
As some of you may know, Lush release a Christmas range each year, usually around October. Every year they will bring back some favourites and some new additions. Christmas 2008 was no exception and it was the year Lush invented the Gold Star bubble bar.
Gold Star was a very pretty bubble bar. Bright yellow in appearance with a goldy bronze star covered in glitter on top. Though the appearance is pretty and quite spectacular, the same cannot be said for the scent.
Although the scent is very pretty and nice, it is also sharp and citrussy. The scents include gardenia, sandlewood, frankincense and benzoin. It is a strong scent and with the injection of frankincense it is quite Christmassy.
When you crumble the bubble bar under the water, the surprise is that hundreds of little gold stars come out of the bubble bar and into the water whilst the bubble bar works the rest of its magic and turns the water an electric yellow with masses of bubbles.
It makes for a pretty and relaxing bath and it is nice to have such a bright bubble bar for the cold dark winter to brighten up the evenings. The only down side is that the little gold stars can become itchy and scratchy when in the bath. They can be quite prickly. It isn't overly moisturising but with a bath this pretty, I'm not complaining.
Every Christmas, Lush release a selection of seasonal products. Some of these are repeated year after year, but there is always a number of new entries: every true member of the Lush cult awaits them in trembling anticipation.
2008 brought a decent crop of new inventions, and among them was what was possibly the best Christmas bubble bar Lush have created, and certainly among the best bubble bars ever: the Gold Star.
Gold Star looks pretty enough, though unexceptional: a slice in vivid yellow, a bit darker than the clour of lemon, speckled with gold glitter and topped with a paler, more bronze-looking star on top.
The ingredients' list mentioned "solar essential oils" and indeed, had sandalwood, frankincense and benzoin listed along some citrusy-sounding oils.
The smell is not that promising - a bit sweet and sharp at the same time, not unpleasant but nothing particularly great. I was also wary of the yellow colour - yellow water can look rather worryingly reminiscent of pee, especially to a mother of two small children.
But in use, Gold Star is simply wonderful. The process of preparing the bath is just like with all other Lush bubble bars: crumble in your hand under running water, admire a building mountain of bubbles, step in, wallow for as long as you want, come out reviwed and smelling lovely.
The bubbles, as expected and as usual with all Lush products, are long lasting, thick and plentiful. Gold Star is a decently economical bar, and a quarter bar will produce enough for me (though somebody that likes lots and lots and lots will need half a bar).
The water doesn't turn horrible, wee-like yellow but becomes slightly electric, golden, lemon, sparkly and entirely inviting.
The scent is, though, what makes Lush products and it was brilliant: fresh, lively, but at the same time very reassuring, and relaxing. It clears the head without making one hyper: makes you think of summer, picnics in lemon groves, sparkling sea and clean sand. The psychological effect was quite similar to the Big Blue ballistic, although obviously it was yellow not blue and bubbly.
It leaves behind a trail of little gold stars, which is annoying but motivates one to rinse a bath, at least. The scent lingers, but not terribly so.
All in all, a fantastic bubble bar, ideal for the darkest of winters, and pretty good all year round: stock up if you get a chance.
[I am including a list of ingredients because people DO actually search for these, not just because of allergies; and the Lush own site is unreliable as to what is there and what disappears]
Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar (Tartaric Acid), Sodium Laureth Sulphate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), *Limonene, Cocamide DEA, Sandalwood Oil (Santalum austro-caledonicum vieill and Fusanus spicatus), Frankincense Oil (Boswellia carterii), Benzoin Resinoid (Styrax benzoin), *Citral, Colour 59040, Golden Edible Lustre, Red Golden Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate)}
I used this a few days ago the morning of an interview that i needed to do well in. I was bought it as part of a christmas list and so was just using the last of my Lush list up (still haven't finished it yet though) I don't often buy bubble bars (i'm more for the bath ballistics) But after enjoying a few other bubble bars i put this on my list.
As usual the value of Lush is reasonable, packaging is great even if you need to look after the Lush products more as the packaging breaks easily. First looking at this bubble bar it made me feel positive from the colours and the gold star presents a positive self image. Anyway,i crumbled the bubble bar underneath the bath water,leaving quite a sticky mess on my hands that i needed to rinse off. The smell didn't envelope me as it does with some other Lush products but it was quite refreshing and quite a pleasant smell.
The bath water gradually got bubblier.....and bubblier.....and bubblier so i think i would possibly use half of it for a bath if/when i used it again. The water turned a very very bright yellow which was quite painful to the eye (as i don't tend to have a lot of bath water-saving water is good!) but this wouldn't be the case ofr everyone and it was good as i was tired from worrying it really woke me up and refreshed me (so would also be good for people who are taking exams!) I'm sure that using this bubble bar made my skin softer too even though that isn't it's main purpose.
Altogether it is not something i would normally choose but is great fro those times when you need a "lift".
This year I managed, for the first time, to pretty much sample ALL of the Lush xmas range - whoo! I realise some of you are far from impressed by that feat, but for me it means trying to get through several reviews before the arrival of the day itself makes it a bit pointless. Sorry ;)
Bubble bars are my favourite of Lush's products, made for luxurious baths with mounds of bubbles, wonderful scents - and slightly less likely to contain annoying bits. Alas, Lush have really ramped up the bits-quotient this year, and if you haven't guessed by now I Am Not Amused.
Back to the beginning, and A Gold Star was one of the more tempting xmas offerings. Despite everything, I actually prefer the plainer-looking products - I'm after scent and luxury, after all, and the various decorations seem either pointless or sometimes a bit scary! As you can see from the picture, this looked pretty plain - well, I can cope with a bit of glitter!
On top of the glitter, this - appropriately, with the name! - contains little gold stars. Plastic ones, about 5mm across. This is nothing new for Lush, and indeed I've experienced similar of late, with little red stars in the Stardust ballistic. They were no bother at all, apart from sticking to the bath - I can cope! However, this is the first time I've experienced little bits of plastic in a bubble bar. Sharp, pointy plastic. Now, the first thing you do with a bubble bar is *crumble it* under the running tap. Often this is an easy exercise in squidging a soft block up a bit, but for whatever reason my Gold Star was pretty solid. It required quite the effort to crumble it up - quite a bit of pressure... straight into those pointy star-ends. Ouch!
In the bath, those stars were very appealing to look at, I'll grant you - they all sank, forming a constellation on the bottom of my tub, with the small amount of glitter also contained in the bar swirling about the water to add to the galaxy effect. Pretty :) But my goodness are they uncomfy to sit on! And I did. And there's one jagging into my leg. And just ow!! There's a vague outside chance I might buy one of these again, but only if I strain it first!
Wait - I might buy it again?! Well, probably not (there are so many other products, after all!), but I wouldn't turn one away either. Stars aside, it was a perfectly pleasant bath, with soft-feeling (but not overtly moisturising) water, plenty of bubbles, and a really lovely smell.
Now, I've been dire this year with reading ingredients before using the products - perhaps I really did overdo it on the buying everything front, and have overwhelmed myself! On using this, my impression was that it smelled exactly the same as the Sunnyside bubble bar - warm citrusy scents. Which was great, as - almost exactly this time last year! - I said it would be good if they brought out the Sunnyside scent in a non-glittery, and therefore cheaper bar. Well, the Gold Star is 50p cheaper indeed, but I'd rather pay the extra it turns out!
Anyway, despite my impressions, I was totally off on the ingredients! Actually, I'm convinced the ingredients list on the Lush website (see below) is a mistake, for the wrong product, as the listed vanilla, clary sage and lavender are nothing like the citrusy scent I thought I was smelling - I'm not the only one, judging by the comments on the site! However, the main description talks about sandalwood, frankincense and benzoin, which is more like it! I use frankincense in my oil burner, often with orange oil, so I do associate it with citrus scents. It's a slightly spicy scent, with obvious Christmas connections, and in aromatherapy is said to have emotionally 'centring' effects.
Sandalwood is to me the aftershave scent! It's woody and slightly sweet, and always reminds me of my dad's aftershave when I was younger (and my sock drawer, now!) - I do like it! It's not obvious in the bath, but its properties include anti-inflammatory effects, good for stress and anxiety, and also for fatigue.
Benzoin is a strange one - it sounds like a chemical, rather than an essential oil, I always think. I couldn't tell you what it smells like on its own, although a quick google tells me it's "sweet, warm and vanilla-like". Hmm on that last one - sweet and warm, yes, but no vanilla to my nose in the Gold Star! That said, benzoin is apparently synonymous with incense, and is good for respiratory problems.
I've little to report on the after-bath: my skin felt normal afterwards, neither needing nor already being moisturised. The smell didn't really linger, on me or in the bathroom. There was minimal 'damage' to the tub, apart from the base remaining littered with gold stars and a little glitter - all of which rinsed away easily enough. The tidemark was thankfully minimal, considering the water had been so brightly yellow!
Overall, this was a perfectly pleasant, both warming and refreshing citrus-y bath - with just a bit too much added danger from the gold stars! I did enjoy it, minor injuries aside (!), but it felt a bit like a sub-standard Sunnyside. Splash out the extra 50p, and get that instead!
Availability: this is part of the Christmas range, so will be disappearing soon. Pfft, says I. Try your local Lush store, if you have one, or www.lush.co.uk if you don't - there are lots of online-only retro Christmas products to try now, too, if you want to get value for that postage charge ;)
Who knows?! The ones listed on the website are obviously wrong (vanilla, lavender, red glitter - urm, no!), but this does contain sandalwood, frankincense and benzoin essential oils.
"Give yourself a pat on the back with a golden bath that smells of frankincense. If you've been good all year round you can award yourself a few of these. Give a couple to everyone you know who deserves a reward for getting through 2008 [and I add: WARN THEM about the stars!!]. A thousand years ago, Yuletide was a time when we lit lamps and candles to keep away the spirits of the dark. That's why we still have fairy lights on the Christmas tree. A Gold Star is full of solar essential oils - sandalwood, frankincense and benzoin - which release as you bathe and fill you full of sweetness and light. Everyone deserves a bit of that. A Gold Star will revive your spirits as the nights get longer. (Each one contains a micro-galaxy of little gold stars too.)"
Meh. It's okay, but Lush can - and has - done better. And do mind your fingers on those star points when you're crumbling it!
This bubble bar was part of a selection of bath goodies lovingly chosen by my six year old son for my birthday last week. I suspect he chose this because of the bright yellow colour and the sparkly gold star on top! It looks all bright and glittery but, surprisingly, it doesn't actually contain much glitter at all. It does have tiny little gold stars hidden inside. These are the same gold stars that you used to get for doing good work at primary school and are a cute little addition.
'A Gold Star' is a bubble bar which is essentially solidified bubble bath, compressed into a bar shape. To use it, you just crumble under running bath water to produce lots of lovely bubbles. It has a similar appearance and texture to slightly dried out Playdough and is easy to crumble up. I eagerly crumbled the whole bar into a nice warm bath and was overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of bubbles it produced! I could quite easily have used half, even a third, of the bar and there would still have been ample bubbles. If I did have one again, I would definitely make it last for more than one bath. If you like a bubbly, bubble bath, this one will suit you down to the ground.
As for the smell, the Lush website informs me that it contains sandalwood, frankincense and benzoin essential oils. I couldn't tell you what any of those smelt like, to be honest! The unused bar smelt gorgeous in the little paper bag and it had quite a distinctive vanilla smell to it. I have checked the ingredients and it does actually contain vanilla absolute so my nose was not deceiving me. Once the bar is crumbled in the bath, though, the predominant fragrance is completely different. To me, it was quite a citrusy sort of smell. It is more of a 'perking yourself up after work, before going out' kind of smell and not necessarily a 'relaxing before bed' fragrance. I certainly felt quite invigorated and uplifted after using it, rather than wanting to doze off in the bath.
The other distinctive feature of this bar is the really vibrant colour that this turns the bathwater (as much as you can see under the masses of bubbles!) It is a bright, artificial looking greeny shade of yellow (if that makes any sense at all!) It is definitely a fun colour to bath in. Although glitter is listed on the ingredients and the gold star on top looks all glittery, it doesn't seem to contain a great deal. It certainly didn't coat my skin with lots of glitter, during and after the bath, unlike some Lush products. I suppose that might be either a good or a bad thing, depending on your personal take on glittery products. Personally, I prefer my bath products just to leave my skin smooth and silky and am not too keen on fishing bits of glitter out of my nether regions for days, or even weeks, afterwards!
So - how did it fare in terms of lasting effects? Well, the bath itself did make me feel quite lively and invigorated. Shame I wasn't doing anything more festive than writing reviews on Dooyoo for the evening! The smell was really strong and lingered long after the end of the bath, both in the bathroom and on my skin. I can't honestly say that my skin felt particularly moisturised afterwards but it certainly smelt nice. I wouldn't rush out to buy this again as I prefer having a bath last thing at night and tend to choose soothing bath products to relax and de-stress me. Nonetheless, I would be happy to receive another as a present at some point.
Pricewise, this is available from Lush stores and online at www.lush.co.uk at £2.69 per bar. (I think the odd pricing is due to the VAT reduction.) It would easily stretch to two or three baths and is much easier to seperate than a bath bomb. 'A Gold Star' is part of Lush's seasonal range so it will only be available over the Christmas period. Better stock up quick if this sounds like your sort of product!
I am working my way through the new Lush Christmas products, and the latest I've tried is The Gold Star.
The thing that put me off using this sooner, was that it contains glitter, and I thought that perhaps it was better to leave it for a special occasion, or just an occasion when I wanted to look glittery! After talking to someone else who had used this, I was assured that it doesn't actually leave any glitter on the skin, so decided to use it after all.
For those of you not familiar with Lush, a bubble bar is a solid bubble bath, which is crumbled under running water to produce a mass of bubbles. The advantages to this, are that it uses no packaging and the bubble bath can be made in all sorts of interesting colours and shapes. This particular bubble bar is yellow, round and fairly flat in shape, with (not surprisingly, given its name) a gold star on the top of it. The star contains red and gold glitter to give it a bit of a festive feel.
Most of the Lush bubble bars are very easy to crumble. They are quite solid, but just exerting a small amount of pressure will make them crumble up easily. This one however, I found very difficult to crumble. It actually took two hands to break it apart, and even then, it made a clean break in two, rather than crumbling. It was then that I noticed the label on the paper bag that this had come in. It said on it 'A Gold Star Ballistic' which confused me a bit as I had thought it was a bubble bar. The ballistics should be dropped into a full bath and will then fizz away, but don't create bubbles. I tried dropping this into the water, but it just thudded to the bottom and didn't do anything, which had me even more confused!! I picked it out of the water, and now that the water had softened it a bit, I found it crumbled a bit easier, and started to make lots of bubbles in the water, which led me to the conclusion, that it was in fact a bubble bar, and checking online later, this product is listed under 'Bubble Bars' on the Lush website.
The bubble bar turns the water a yellowy green colour - and to be honest, it isn't the most attractive colour ever - it reminds me a bit of wee!! The glitter which I had been worried about was nowhere to be seen though, so I probably shouldn't have worried about it.
Something I didn't realise about this product, is that it actually contains lots of little gold foil stars. The stars had sunk to the bottom of the bath, and I only knew they were there because the sharp points of the stars were digging into me! As they were on the bottom of the bath, and the bubbles were covering the top of the water, they seemed a bit of a pointless addition to me. Also, Lush are a company who often emphasise the fact that they use natural and ethical ingredients in their products, and although personally I use a hair trap when I drain the bath, which stops anything but water going down the plughole, I do wonder how many people just wash these down the plughole, as I don't think they can be very good for the environment.
The Gold Star contains vanilla absolute, clary sage oil, and lavender oil. I have said before in reviews that I am not a huge fan of Lavender, but I don't think this is the dominant fragrance here, so I don't mind too much. The product has an unusual smell, but at the same time, it's one of those scents that you only really get from a Lush product - I doubt you'd find anything similar on the shelves of Boots! I think it's quite herbal, which probably comes from the clary sage, but its also a soft scent and quite gentle, which I would assume is down to the addition of vanilla absolute.
When it was in the water, the smell stayed strong - I have found with a few recently used Lush products, the smell disappears as soon as the product hits the water, but this one lasted the entire duration of the bath, and lingered in the bathroom for hours afterwards too.
The lovely scent stayed on my skin and it felt lovely and soft for ages afterwards too, and no glitter stuck to my skin.
A Gold Star Bubble Bar costs £2.75 from Lush, or can be purchased online at www.lush.co.uk
So to conclude, I really loved the scent of this, as well as the way it made my skin feel. The main downside is that it didn't crumble very easily, and I have to question the need to fill it with spiky foil stars, but nevertheless it made for a nice relaxing bath, and I would consider using it again.
A christmas bath containing the essential oils sandalwood, frankincense and benzoin /