“ Brand: Lush / Bath bubble bar. / Type: Bubble Bar / Subcategory: Bath Melt / Bath Foam „
Just after Christmas I ordered loads of Lush products, and got a free New Year offer box (in fact everything ended up free..long story), and now I just got two huuuuuuuge bags of products for £15 each in their in store offer, so I'm set up for the year and consequently there will be lots of reviews of all things Lush to come.
One of the products in the New Year freebie box was a Bling Crosby bubble bar. I'm a huge fan of bubble bars, but not that keen on glitter. After unpacking my parcel, I found huge chunks of coppery-gold glitter EVERYWHERE, and let's just say it took a little bit of courage to finally use the offender, Bling Crosby himself, in the bath. The human mirror-ball is not a look I aspire to, and as such opted for an evening before my day off, so I would be spared the potential embarrassment of being rather more dressed up than I'd like for work the next day!
If you're not familiar with bubble bars, here's how they work. Crumble a bar (or half, or less, as I find works just as well and makes it much easier on the wallet) under running water and enjoy heaps of bubbles. Some bars also turn the water a fun colour, and some, like this one, have glitter.
I prefer to use an old butter knife to "shave" bits of the bar into the bath, then add water on top. I find that the smaller the pieces, the better the bubbles, and this method also ensures you're not covered in glitter before you even get in the bath, if you hold the bar inside its yellow paper bag.
And the smell? This bar smells just the same as Lush's Karma bubble bar, which has sort of a Marmite effect, you either love it or you hate it. I really enjoy the smell, despite the fact that patchouli the more prominent note and I had previously found this a little too masculine a scent. It is a mysterious, musky, oriental and quite "grown up" smell, and I find soaking in a Karma or Bling Crosby bath a relaxing experience.
As always, the bar delivered plenty of bubbles, even though I only used about a quarter to a third of a bar in my pretty large bathtub. Like I said, you really don't need to use as much as Lush reckon, unless you like to absolutely drown in so many bubbles you can no longer see the water. The water itself didn't really alter too much in colour, perhaps turning a little more yellow/orange (this effect of course would be increased by using more), although of course there was masses of glitter from the outside of the bar floating around.
Yes, it caught the light and looked nice, but it soon settled to the bottom of the bath and after getting out of the bath (nice soft skin fortunately glitter-free), there was a huge layer of glitter which took some rinsing out. I must say, from the unwrapping of my parcel to the bath itself and the aftermath, I found the glitter pretty annoying and unnecessary.
Bling Crosby is one of Lush's Christmas special editions, and so is off the shelves until next year. But don't worry, here's a home made solution. Buy a Karma bubble bar from Lush online or in store. Pop into your nearest craft shop and buy a pot of gold glitter. Shake liberally over bathtub. Voila, you have yourself a Bling Crosby bath!
Alternatively you can wait until next Christmas and pay around £3.20 (this year's price) for the real deal.
Last year I braved my first ever sparkly Lush creation, and found they weren't as bad as all that. So when the new Christmas range came out this year, the super-sparkly 'Bling Crosby' had to join my list of new experiments!
First step: finding a BC (Bling Crosby) in the shop. Not as easy as you might think, as my first glance overlooked it as being a rather off-looking Sunnyside. Not at all! Sunnyside is bright yellow glitter; the other, reappearing xmas glitter bubble bar, Ruby Red Slippers is just that - bright red; and BC is sort of an orange-y something somewhere in between. Hmm. It's actually much prettier in the picture above than it is in real life.
Break it open and you'll find the bar is the same shade as the lighter, peachy bit of a Karma bubble bar, if you've seen one of those. That's not surprising, as BC is part of the Karma range! It's not something I was ever that fond of, the Karma stuff, but really it's a pleasant enough smell, if a little subtle in use. It's just the same here: pleasant enough, but I had to stick my nose right at the water to get any scent. Nor did it linger, on me or in my bathroom. Okay, so I only used half a bar, but I expect that from the Lush range - at least! Any more than that and I find the whole experience too soapy... not to mention pretty pricy!
Of course, the reason you're shelling out an extra [goes away to find price of normal Karma bar. Really? That much?] - hmm, well, apparently an extra 70p - is for all that glitter. Now, I well remember the Sunnyside experience (I should; I bought a bar just last week!): at first the water looked murky, and then I realised that the bath was actually full of a hypnotic, iridescent swirl - it was so pretty! Alas, it was not to be with the BC: here the glitter particles are a lot bigger, and far fewer. Instead of swirling around the water, they all just sink to the bottom. Agitating the bits does send them eddying about, and it reminded me of nothing so much as a cheap snow globe - the kind full of glitter rather than 'snow'.
On the plus side, the glitter bits in the water look subtly multicoloured, and were pretty enough. Actually, they're just orange-gold: drain the bath and you'll see the difference! That's another pointer to the heavier glitter - all the bits are on the bottom, not halfway up the sides... not really a bad thing ;) And none appeared to stick to me, at all.
Back to the more 'sensual' (steady!) experience: the Karma scent is described as a wonderful "oranges and multi-layered spices". Sounds very appropriate for Christmas, and it isn't hard to find the scent pretty festive, even when it's not meant to be! In the bag, it really is a rather lush (pardon the pun) smell: sweet oranges and a tangle of spices. The ingredients list at least six essential oils (see ingredients list below), including patchouli, pine, and cloves. It's actually totally yummy - I'm sitting with the bag beside me and the smell is classic Lush wafting about my nose. This is probably why I'm so darned disappointed when I get into the bath and struggle to smell much at all!
Of course, I could perhaps forgive the scent for being subtle - I rather appreciate that in the Amanadopondo bar, after all - if the bath was utter luxury. It's not: the water is only mildly coloured (I like dramatically coloured bath water!), the scent doesn't envelop me, but much worse - the bubble factor is useless. It's not a case of too few bubbles - with half a bar I don't expect to be drowning in them - but they weren't creamy moisturising. Instead they felt rather watery and ticklish. Bah.
Overall, this wasn't a nasty experience in any way shape or form so I won't offer less than a middling rating. However, for almost £3 I really would expect a LOT better from Lush. This was easily the priciest of my latest batch of products, and just doesn't live up to it. I was expecting something special, but while my bling wasn't the nasty kind to leave green marks on my skin, it was surely a low karat gold.
* Boring bits:
Price: £2.95 for a half-globe - Lush recommend you buy two and package them together to look like a glittery orange, but I'd be recommending a chocolate orange instead!
Ingredients (from the Lush site, www.lush.co.uk - look under the 'Xmas' heading):
Sodium Bicarbonate , Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid) , Sodium Laureth Sulfate , Lauryl Betaine , Perfume , Cocamide DEA , Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin) , Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis) , Lavendin Oil (Lavandula hybrida) , Pine Oil (Pinus) , Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus) , Elemi Oil (Canarium commune) , *Citral , *Geraniol , *Citronellol , *Limonene , *Linalool , Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides) , Colour 18050 , Orange Glitter (Polyethylene terephthalate) , Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus) (* Occurs naturally in essential oils.)
"Crumble a Bling under the running bathwater for a warming, reviving, refreshing, sparkly bath heaped with bubbles - just right for capturing the spirit of the season."
My summary: just not worth it, I'm afraid - too disappointing especially for the price. Buy a Sunnyside for glitter and citrusy scent, or Christmas Kisses for the extra festive touch. If you must, at least save yourself the 70p and try the Karma bar first - some people do rave about it, just not me.
It looks a bit like half an orange dipped in glitter; buy two and wrap them back to back in tissue paper / It is scented with our signature Karma fragrance: oranges and spices / Crumble a Bling under the running bathwater for a warming, reviving, refreshing, sparkly bath heaped with bubbles / just right for capturing the spirit of the season /