“ Brand: Lush / Type: Gift Pack „
About a year ago, Lush introduced a new range into their stores: the Dirty range. Most of their ranges are unisex, a few are quite girly, but this was designed as more of a masculine range.
The philosophy behind the range was the idea that spearmint is an aphrodisiac, and it has been used in the range along with other fresh herbal notes. Different aspects of the scent come out in different products, and you can use one or all of them to layer the scent. At the same time as the individual products were released, a Dirty Gift with four products came out: I bought this for my brother as a random treat, because I'd tried all the products myself and knew they were good.
Lush's gifts are designed to be environmentally friendly. The cardboard boxes in which the items are packaged can be reused to send parcels or as containers, and can be recycled afterwards. The foam pieces that protect the products are biodegradable and can be put into a compost bin: they can also be used to make interesting models and shapes, as if you wet them you can stick them together and construct things. Lush often put pictures of interesting models made by fans in the Lush Times! The wrapping paper used for the gifts is made from recycled paper, and can be reused and recycled in turn.
This particular gift has a blue, green and white swirl pattern: it is brightly-coloured and quite retro in design. The gift tag is round, like an old-style LP, and contains details of the product inside. I really like the packaging and feel it makes the gift suitable for men of all ages (and women too!).
This gift contains four items - Dirty Springwash Shower Gel 100g, Dirty Hair Styling Cream 45g, Dirty Shaving Cream 45g, and Dirty Toothy Tabs. I will discuss each of these items in turn below.
*Dirty Springwash Shower Gel*
The shower gel is a lovely jewel-like bright blue colour, showcased effectively in one of Lush's clear plastic bottles with a black label. Of all the products in the range, it is probably the one that smells the most like mint. It contains spearmint oil and menthol crystals to cool you down: The Lush website suggests it is ideal for use after exercise. It also contains sodium bicarbonate (used in cooking, and very safe) to soften the water and create more bubbles. It's worth noting that the product also contains sodium laureth sulfate, which is a foaming agent used in the vast majority of shower and shampoo products, and has been known to cause skin irritation in some people (though many including me are fine with it). The gel is suitable for vegans and also contains sea salt, to add to the freshness and softness of the shower gel.
I always use a shower puff to wash myself, and only need a tiny amount of this gel to create a good lather. The fresh minty scent is refreshing and revitalising and I enjoy showering with this gel, both in the morning to wake me up and after I've been to the gym to cool me down.
The gel doesn't actively moisturise my skin - I still need to apply moisturiser - but it doesn't dry it out either. Sadly the scent doesn't last on my skin, but I do feel more refreshed and prepared for the day ahead. I really like this shower gel. It's a little pricey, but it smells lovely, is pleasant to use, unisex and really refreshing.
*Dirty Hair Styling Cream*
The Dirty hair cream is suitable for vegans and contains a variety of ingredients designed to hold your hair in place and keep it soft at the same time. Japan Wax and a polymer help to hold your hairstyle in position, while coconut oil, illipe butter and cocoa butter keep your hair soft and in good condition.
The cream smells absolutely amazing. Unlike some of the Dirty products which smell strongly of mint, this hair cream has an earthy herbal smell created by the use of a herb infusion, sandalwood oil, pine oil and oakmoss absolutes. It smells natural, like forests, and I often open the pot just to smell it, even if I'm not using it. The scent lasts on my hair for a good few hours after I apply the cream, and I often end up sniffing my hair, which I imagine looks rather odd to passers-by! The scent was designed to be masculine, to fit in with the rest of the Dirty range, but I am quite happy to use it. Only a small amount of hair cream is needed at a time, so my pot is lasting ages.
The hair cream is thick, but not too much so - rather like a body lotion or moisturiser for dry skin. I have used it on both wet and dry hair. I've let my hair grow longer lately, and it's down to my shoulders. One of the things I like to do is let it dry naturally into waves, which is quick and convenient. This cream is ideal for that purpose. Normally I apply a 1p-sized piece from the middle of my hair to the ends, rubbing it between my palms and spreading it throughout my hair, which then dries naturally. I can see a definite difference in my hair compared to when I don't use the product: the waves are more defined, my hair is shinier, and I suffer from far less frizz. Having said that, the product works on my hair invisibly: no one would know unless I told them that I was using a product on my hair, as it feels completely soft and natural to the touch and doesn't look styled or fake at all. Occasionally when I want a bit more hold, for example if I'm going out, I add a tiny amount of product to the ends of my hair to keep it styled and under control. It isn't a firm hold product though so you're probably best off with a strong hairspray if you need that! I imagine someone with short hair would be able to style it fairly firmly with this product, but my longer hair is heavier. The cream doesn't make my hair greasy at all, which is good as it means I still only have to wash it every couple of days, even after using this product on the first day.
*Dirty Shaving Cream*
The shaving cream is made from oatmilk which helps to calm skin, safflower oil and shea butter which moisturise, honey which is known for its antibacterial properties and lanolin (made from wool) to hold it all together. The scent is made up of lavender, sandalwood and tonka absolute, as well as the perfume that makes up the Dirty scent.
The scent is designed to go well with the rest of the Dirty range, and there is a hint of the minty Dirty scent there, but the overwhelming impression is of a lavender herbal smell. It is sweeter and less 'woody' than the smell of the hair cream, but very calming and relaxing. I love the scent and feel that it is neither especially masculine nor particularly feminine, so though it is designed for use on men's faces, it can be used by women too.
I epilate my legs, but still shave my underarms in between laser hair removal appointments (you need several to completely remove the hair and I'm nowhere near the end as yet). I've used this shaving cream both in the shower and over the sink. I normally scoop out a piece of shaving cream not much bigger than a pea, rub it between my hands and smooth it onto my armpits before shaving. I find that the cream can clog the razor a little if too much is allowed to build up, but I can easily solve this problem by rinsing it frequently. The cream is white and about the thickness of a moisturising body lotion. It isn't as thick as the Lush Prince shaving cream which I have also tried.
After use, the cream rinses off easily leaving no residue. It leaves behind a faint scent on the skin, but nothing too over the top. My underarms feel incredibly soft, smooth and moisturised, even though I use strong antiperspirants which can be drying. I am very impressed with the effect the cream has been having on my skin, particularly as shaving can be drying.
*Dirty Toothy Tabs*
Toothy tabs were invented by Lush a couple of years ago. They are solid toothpaste and the Dirty flavour was the first to come out. I found that using these toothy tabs, initially my teeth didn't feel as clean as usual. This is probably because the spearmint taste was fairly subtle and there wasn't as much foam as usual. I normally like a strong toothpaste and lots of foam to keep my mouth feeling clean. However this effect was minimised as I used mouthwash afterwards, which freshened up my mouth.
As the days wore on and I got used to the toothy tabs, I realised that my teeth still looked clean and felt clean too, notwithstanding the lack of foam and flavour. Going about my day to day business, I certainly couldn't tell that I hadn't been using 'proper' toothpaste. I used the toothy tabs constantly for almost three weeks until they were used up, and could have gone on longer with no ill effects that I could see - although I didn't go to the dentist during this time, and I don't know what the long-term effects on my teeth would be.
The tabs contain no animal-derived ingredients, so are entirely suitable for vegans. Dicalcium phosphate dehydrate is a gentle abrasive that helps to remove plaque from your teeth. Sodium bicarbonate, together with cream of tartar, cleans and whitens the teeth and is safe to use, as it is used regularly in cooking. In fact sodium bicarbonate is well known as an alternative to toothpaste if you can't/don't want to use it for whatever reason. Glycerine helps to soften the tongue and gums, while sodium lauroyl sarcosine is a surfactant, used in many major toothpaste brands, that helps to create foam. A surfactant also helps to dissolve the residue that builds up on the teeth.
Sodium saccharin, a widely used sweetener, makes the sodium bicarbonate taste less bitter. The tabs are flavoured with spearmint oil and neroli oil, which help to make the taste of them more palatable.
They are good for the environment as well as being compact and easy to carry. They would be ideal for taking away on holiday (especially when you're flying as they are solid and don't count towards your liquid limit) or an overnight stay, and are handy to keep in your bag in case you need to freshen up during the day. The peppermint flavour is pleasant and the closest to 'real' toothpaste out of the entire Toothy Tabs range.
The Dirty Gift costs around £15 which is more expensive than buying all the products by themselves. Also, Lush no longer put their 10% off vouchers in the gifts, which is a bit of a shame. However, the tubs of shaving cream and hair cream in this gift set are smaller than the ones you can buy individually, so if you want to try before you invest in the full size pots, this is a good way to do it. It's also good as a gift to give to someone - if you were going to buy the items separately and wrap them yourself you'd have to buy wrapping paper and sellotape, so you might as well pay a little more to buy it ready-wrapped.
This is a lovely gift that makes a nice change from the extremely feminine and girly gifts common to Lush. My brother really liked it and I really enjoy using the products that I've bought myself. Highly recommended.