“ Brand: Lush / Bar / Type: Massage Bar „
I absolutely love the store Lush and their massage bars are among my favourite products. These are solid moisturising blocks that are meant to be used by two people for massages, but they also work just as well as solid intensive moisturisers.
One of the newest massage bars in the range is Hottie. This bar is designed to soothe muscles: it contains warming oils such as ginger and black pepper, which help to stimulate blood flow, as well as comforting jojoba oil and vanilla absolute. It is supposed to benefit muscles after exercise. Since one of the most frequent occasions on which I use a massage bar is after my post-gym shower, I felt that this bar would be ideal for me. The bulk of the bar is made up of cocoa and shea butter: these provide a base for the oils and are incredibly moisturising. The bar is suitable for vegans.
The bar isn't the most exciting to look at, being pale cream in colour, though it does have the same interesting shape as the Bewitched massage bar from the Retro section - it is rectangular with knobbly bits on one side which are designed to give your muscles a good massage. The downside of the shape is that it doesn't fit in a massage bar tin - I kept it in its original Mail Order wrapping.
As mentioned, I've been using this product after my post-gym showers in the evening. The first time I used it, I used the knobbly side to massage my shoulders and back, as far as I was able by myself! It definitely felt comforting and made my muscles feel better. However, by the end of my first use the knobbly bits had sadly all worn down. I tried to follow Lush's instructions by using the flat side first to rub over the skin and dissolve the butters, then use the bumpy side just for massaging. However, this still ran down really quickly, which was a shame.
During subsequent uses I used the massage bar like any other - I rubbed it between my hands to melt the oils and then rubbed them onto my skin. I then massaged my shoulders for a bit! The massage bar melted fairly easily, but not too much so and it didn't run down overly quickly, despite the fact that the knobbly bits did! It felt extremely moisturising on my skin, and this feeling lasted right up until the next day. The product did feel slightly greasy on my skin, so I had to wait a few minutes after use before putting my pyjamas on, but I didn't mind as I was about to go to bed. I wouldn't recommend this massage bar for use during the day, as it is quite intensive. It doesn't irritate my skin at all - possibly because the solid nature of the bar means that it doesn't need many preservatives.
The smell of this product is lovely - really warming and soothing with ginger and black pepper. The vanilla adds a hint of comforting sweetness. In some ways this is quite a masculine smell and I think men would be happy using this product, particularly as it is designed to be used after exercise. However, though I'm quite a girly girl I really like the smell too - it's really comforting and warming. The smell is quite strong and lasts a good number of hours. I can still smell it, albeit faintly, the next morning.
The product costs £5.25 which is normal for Lush, and is a price I am prepared to pay as it lasts me quite a while. I think it would get used up a lot more quickly if it was used liberally for proper massage purposes, but I'm quite sparing with it - it is still extremely effective.
I'm going to give the Hottie bar four stars - I really like it and it's definitely something I would repurchase. I've removed one star because the knobbly bits wear down so quickly!
The collection of Massage Bars by Lush offers you a different way to moisturise your skin instead of boring old potions and lotions. The bars have been created with a double purpose. They can be used as a massage oil, the clue was in the name for that one, or as a luxurious moisturiser to be used after showering.
The thing that makes this collection of Massage Bars different and special is that the product begins to melt at body temperature. When the bar comes into contact with the skin, it starts to melt into an oil which you can slather on your body leaving your skin silky smooth.
After falling in love with Heavanilli, a vanilla fragranced Massage Bar, I went in search of my next one to try. As I am such a big Vanilla fan, I selected Hottie just because I saw that it included my favourite scent.
Hottie does a little more than the average Massage bar. It not only serves the purpose of hydrating your skin but it is also a remedy for aching muscles. Now I rarely do enough exercise for my muscles to ache but I liked the look and smell of the product so I bought it anyway! It'll cost you around £5 for 90 grams of Hottie and it is available from both the Lush Store and their online website. It is made using only handmade ingredients, none of which have been tested on animals.
This Massage Bar looks like a bar of white chocolate with smooth circular bumps moulded into the surface. It is reminiscent of a plastic massaging tool that you can buy in the shops. The purpose of these bumps it to enhance the massaging experience by applying extra pressure to your skin, therefore soothing aching muscles and getting your blood circulation going. The action of this massage bar is also good for reducing the appearance of cellulite.
How does it work?
This key ingredient to all of the Massage Bars is Cocoa Butter. This is an ingredient that has been used for its moisturising properties for centuries and it is commonly found in body butters. It is the Cocoa body that begins to melts when it reacts with body temperature, allowing this product to work. It is also included for its excellent moisturising properties which leave even the driest of skins feeling softer, smoother and in a better condition.
Another important ingredient is the Fair Trade Shea Butter that it contains. It performs a similar role to Cocoa Butter and is a great moisturiser. It works towards promoting cell renewal and increases your blood circulation which keeps your skin looking young. It is beneficial because it contains Vitamins A and E and the substance is easily absorbed into the skin providing a smooth and sensual experience.
It also contains Jojoba Oil which closely resembles the oils naturally produced by our skin so it is readily absorbed by our bodies. It is hydrating for the body and contains many different vitamins and minerals which are essential to the well being of our skin, including Vitamin E.
This is where the ingredients get a little weird. Sprinkled into the mixture is black pepper. This substance is commonly used to boost poor circulation and to relieve aching muscles. It gives you a radiating warmth when used on the skin to sooth and relax the body. Black pepper is also thought to help in reducing pain and the appearance of bruising. This ingredient gives the product a slightly spicy aroma.
Another odd ingredient is Ginger. This stimulating substance provides a warmth and a tingling sensation to the skin and helps to boost poor circulation. It also helps to moisturise and tone the skin.
Vanilla Absolute gives this bar its sweet aroma which works suprising well with the spice of the pepper and ginger. The Vanilla is sweet like syrup and is a delicious aroma that many people are fond of.
How do you use it?
I use Hottie when I have come out of the shower and my skin is dry. I hold my Hottie Massage Bar in my hands until it starts melting and then I smooth the bar across my skin in a circular action using applied pressure, particularly on my thighs. Once I have a lovely layer of the product on my body, I massage the product into my skin again using circular motions. Once the product has been fully absorbed into my skin, it is left feeling soft and smooth. The shape of this bar making it a little uncomfortable to use on the shins and hips because it clashes against your bones!
It goes without saying that this product is heavily oil based. Before dressing or going near anything that is made with cotton or silk, make sure the oils have been completely absorbed by your skin because it will stain.
Because this product begins to melt at body temperature, you must never leave it near any heat source such as a radiator or in direct sunlight. It must be stored somewhere cool and dark like a cupboard or even the fridge. Little tins are available from Lush and they are perfect for storing their massage bars. They cost around £5.
This particular bar is greasier than Heavanilli and takes longer to be absorbed by the skin. I'm not sure how much of a benefit the bumps provide because the longer you hold the product, the more it melts so I do a super quick massage with it. I like to think its helping with my cellulite and it does feel nice on tired muscles after a long day in work.
The first time you use this bar, you'll get into a real mess. But it gets easier to use with time and practise makes perfect. Once you get the hang of it, it will leave you with beautifully hydrated skin and its very relaxing and soothing action with make you feel as good as new.
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Perfume, Ginger Oil (Zingiber officinale), Vanilla Absolute (Vanilla planifolia), Black Pepper Oil (Piper nigrum), *Benzyl Salicylate, *Citral, *Coumarin, *Geraniol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Benzyl Cinnamate, *Farnesol, *Limonene, *Linalool
~~~What is Lush~~~
I'm just going to quickly introduce Lush Cosmetics as a company, in case anyone reading is not familiar with them. Lush is a Poole (Dorset) based cosmetics company who manufacture and sell handmade natural products. Their range of products includes hair care, skin care, bath products, and shower gels. There are currently over 90 Lush stores across the UK, as well as stores in several other countries. Lush is probably best known for the strong smells emitted by each store, which can always be smelt a few streets away! Some people love this, but I've heard others say it just gives them a headache! For more information on Lush, they have a website (www.lush.co.uk) or you can pop into any store and pick up a 'Lush Times' which tells you about every product and also contains monthly Lush related news. I personally am a massive Lush fan, and this review is about one of my most recent Lush favourites; 'Hottie' massage bar.
~~~What is Hottie?~~~
Hottie is one of the massage bars made by Lush cosmetics, in fact it is the newest one at the moment (apart from the limited edition Christmas one that was released for a while.) Unless you have purchased a Lush massage bar before, or are a Lush fanatic, you probably won't know how these work, so I will explain.
Lush massage bars are a solid block made up mainly from cocoa and shea butter, as well as some other ingredients (depending on which massage bar you choose.) They are essentially a solid moisturiser. In order to use one, you melt the bar slightly in your hands (which isn't too difficult as they are designed to melt on skin contact) and rub it over the skin.
I would say the bars have two main functions:
1) When a bar is rubbed over your body, the butters and essential oils sink into the skin, moisturising it leaving it smooth, soft, and smelling delicious.
2) As well as using the bars on yourself as a moisturiser, you can also, as the name suggests, use them to massage with. Once the bar has started to melt in your hands, you use the melted butters and oils as you would any normal massage oil. The person getting massaged should feel moisturised afterwards-as well as hopefully relaxed!
So that is basically what a Lush massage bar is, how to use it, and what it does. Lush have a range of about 12 of these massage bars, and as I said, 'Hottie' is the newest, and has also become my favourite.
~~~What does it look like?~~~
'Hottie' is a white/cream colour, very similar to the look of white chocolate. Most of the other massage bars are this colour also, and I remember going into Lush when I was young and thinking it was some kind of sweet shop!
The massage bars come in various shapes, and I think the shape of Hottie is what makes it my favourite. The bar is a rectangular shape, roughly 1 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches, and about an inch thick. The top of the bar is made up of 12 round bumps, and the whole thing reminds me of a large piece of Lego.
~~~Ingredients and Smell~~~
Hottie has quite a floral, vanilla smell, which is quite delicate, but strong enough to last on the skin. I love the smell of Hottie, and when I use it I can continue to smell it on my skin all day and evening. Yummy.
Here is a list of some of the key ingredients used in Hottie and the benefits they can bring.
Cocoa and Shea Butter.......
Like all other Lush massage bars, the main ingredients are Cocoa and Shea butters. This provides a good solid base for the massage bars, and one which will melt well on skin contact. These butters are incredibly moisturising, and are fantastic for anyone with dry skin. Even if you don't suffer from this, cocoa and shea butter will make your skin beautifully soft and smooth.
Black Pepper Oil.......
This is for poor circulation and aching muscles, and gives Hottie a nice warmth, which I'm guessing could be where it gets the name 'Hottie' from! It is also stimulating.
Stimulating also and good for blood flow, ginger oil has similar uses to black pepper oil. I don't really like the smell of ginger, but I personally can't smell it in Hottie.
This helps the massage bar to glide easily onto the skin, and is quite easily absorbed. Jojoba oil is also very cleansing, softening, and moisturising.
Vanilla provides a sweet and warming scent, and is moisturising in conjunction with the other ingredients.
I mentioned before that it is the shape of Hottie that makes it my favourite massage bar. The bumps on the top of the bar have been designed especially for a more effective massage, and to get good circulation going. I would definitely say these work, and when I use the bar, it creates a warming sensation on my skin. The bumps on Hottie feel amazing when you rub the massage bar into your skin.
With most of the massage bars I would melt the butters and oils into my hands and then use my hands to apply them to the rest of my body. With Hottie I just apply to bar straight onto my body as the shape of it creates such a relaxing feeling!
Application is pretty simple, as I mentioned earlier, the bar melts so easily when you rub it between your hands for a moment. Once it has started to melt it will glide over the skin easily, leaving a path of fantastically moisturiser and delicious smelling ingredients! If you've got someone who will give you a massage then I thoroughly recommend them using a Hottie massage bar to do so! The bar does feel amazing when you apply it to yourself, but even better if someone else does it for you. I find the easiest time to apply it is straight after a hot bath or shower, as it glides even more effortlessly over warm skin.
After I have used Hottie, my skin smells gorgeous, and it is a smell that normally lasts all day or evening, depending what time of day I have used it. The solid massage bars seems to take quite a lot longer to soak into the skin, compared to a conventional liquid moisturiser. This is slightly annoying and means you can end up with slightly oily skin for a while after applying. However, once everything has soaked it, it leaves such soft and smooth skin behind!
~~~Cost-is it worth it?~~~
The Hottie massage bar costs between £4 and £5. I wish I could be more accurate with this but I really can't remember how much I paid, and the Lush website is still down due to hackers! I will update when I know how much, as I don't trust another source to tell me, I definitely want to get my price from the website.
I absolutely think this price is worth it for Hottie massage bar. It lasts such a long time, I've used mine several times over the last few months and it is smaller than when I bought it-however there is still a large amount of it left.
When compared to a tub of moisturiser, I would say Hottie will probably last me longer, and feels nicer to apply!
Not only this but I feel better about buying an ethical product that includes natural ingredients, as after all, I like to know what I'm putting on my body is good for my skin. I do often find Lush products a little overpriced, but in this instance I would say it's very fair.
~~~An Ethical Choice~~~
As you may or may not know, Lush is a company that strives to be ethical at all times, and as far as I'm aware they always achieve this. They never test their products on animals, and always try and use natural ingredients.
Hottie is one of their 'naked products' meaning it is packaging free, so a good choice if you are someone who is passionate about environmental issues and buying ethical products. Even though the product is packaging free, as I mentioned it does melt on skin contact so does need some sort of protection in order to get it home! However Lush does provide little yellow recycled paper bags in all their stores for you to use and get your massage bar home in tact.
~~~Other products from Lush which go well with a Hottie~~~
As I mentioned before, Lush massage bars, including Hottie, can leave skin feeling quite oily for a while as you wait for everything to soak into your skin. This isn't too much of a problem if you have time to wait, but a lot of the time I like to use Hottie on my skin before I go out. In this case I recommend buying a 'Dusting Powder' to go with your Hottie.
A Lush Dusting Powder is a lot like talc, only it has very small shavings of cocoa butter in it also. This means that it will soak up all the excess oils left from the massage bar, without drying out your skin.
Another product that I would normally recommend with a massage bar is a Lush Massage Bar Tin. Unfortunately Hottie does not actually fit into the tin due to the shape of it! The tins are worth getting if you buy any of the massage bars that will fit into it, as they are good as somewhere to store your massage bar, and also will protect it. Once Hottie has been used lots of times and gradually become smaller, then I'm sure it will fit in the tin-however this will probably take a while! I've used mine many many times and it still doesn't fit in. Just in case you buy any other massage bars, just bare in mind that you get a free tin if you purchase two bars (tins are normally £2.95.)
As I'm sure you can tell from the review, I definitely recommend Hottie massage bar. It smells delicious, is full of helpful ingredients, moisturises the skin, and the bumps on it feel amazing when it's massaged into your skin. As I said, the butters and oils take a while to soak into your skin, and can feel a bit greasy whilst you wait for this to happen. This is the only negative point that I can make about Hottie, and it can be overcome with a Lush Dusting Powder, or even just a normal talcum powder. I am still going to give this product 5/5 though, as its benefits far outweigh the one small negative aspect.
Aching muscles from digging and weeding on the allotment, followed by a very bad head cold and the shivers, and left me with aches and pains in more muscles than I knew I had. A hot bath usually works wonders to ease my aches and pains but I needed something a little more. I am allergic to both Deep Heat and Ralgex Spray as much as I love the smell, they leave me with an itchy rash which isn't very attractive to see nor watch as I scratch like I've got fleas, so its either Badger Balm which I've run out of or my new Lush product which I ordered some weeks ago called 'Hottie'.
You might have realised by now that I am a huge fan of Lush massage bars because not only do they always smell amazing but they are a great way of getting some personal one on one loving and because they come in an array of shapes and sizes they are quite a fun product. So once a massage bar has been purchased all that I now require are two things - one is my loving husband...tick, I've found him.... and one pair of warm hands...check and the massage bar which has been bought and paid for.
Hottie, which is quite an odd title for a Lush product because it neither represents the shape, smell or colour of the massage bar unlike Strawberry Feels Forever, which is bright pink and in the shape of a strawberry or after eight which smells all mint like. Instead Hottie is rectangular shaped and has sticky out bits on the top which are raised bumps and it is rather dull in colour and by dull I meant a creamy white, the sticky out bumps are specifically designed according to Lush, to enhance any massage with extra pressure to get the circulation going. Its smell however is quite divine taking in Shea Butter and Vanilla both of which are dominant smells. This product from Lush is around 90g making it the latest massage bar that Lush currently sell and for that size you can expect to pay around £4.95 making it cheaper than most of the massage bars. When purchased it comes wrapped within a paper bag which clearly displays the Lush logo and the paper bag is closed with a sticker detailing when it was bought, who made the product and how much I paid for it.
For anyone who has yet to try a Lush Massage Bar and to be honest, I really hope it isn't many of you, it is one of the easiest things in the world to do, much easier than using massage oils and much more economical because you don't use one bar in one massage, there should be no spillage, little mess and a lot of love, in my opinion. So how do you use it? You simply mimic the actions of using a soap, the principal of a massage bar is that it will contain essential oils which are released onto the hands of the masseur as soon as it becomes warm and to do this you rub it (as in massage bar) between the palms of your hands this then softens the Shea butter and releases some of the calming essential oils used as ingredients to enable you to massage who or whatever much easier. As the massage bar becomes warm your fingers will become covered in the essential oils thus making them easily glide over the skin making the massage much more delightful. However, when it comes to these products they can become quite messy and I would suggest that you have a towel at the ready and something covering whichever surface the person is laying on, depending on what you are massaging of course, to ensure no oils leak onto that or those surfaces. Also, these massage bars can be used all over the body and one other piece of advice would be to make sure the person massaging you has warm hands when they begin to massage you, there is nothing worse than a cold handed masseuse.
After using the massage bar you may need to towel off any excess oils because as good as it is at disappearing totally into your skin I have always found there to be parts that have been missed and unless you want to leave stains around your home, always double check that it has all been massaged into your skin or that you do towel yourself off afterwards for double checking.
Hottie as a massage bar to me might be dull in looks and colour, but the smell and the after effects make it for it. Yes I am bias because I am a big fan of Lush (although there are some products that I hate) and I also love massage bars but the look and smells are important to me. The use of ingredients within this massage bar have been chosen to work with relaxing the muscles and the tag line "No Nonsense Massage Bar for Tense Muscles" gives you an idea as to what you can expect from it.
So to the ingredients, with most massage bars we have Shea Butter which is known to soften and moisturise the skin. Shea butter is referred to as an Emollient and that means it is a substance that softens and soothes the skin. Black Pepper Oil comes next and I was surprised to see it listed as an ingredient because I had never come across it before in any of the Lush products I had used and it is a warming oil which warms the instant it touches the skin and a little research that I did told me that this ingredient is recommended by Aromatherapists for headaches, to treat poor circulation, to ease aching muscles, and because it acts as a natural pain reliever and helps to combat mental fatigue. So in a massage bar such as this one it becomes the perfect ingredient. Ginger Oil is used because it helps to relax tense muscles and to soothe aching joints and like Black pepper Oil it hosts warming properties which helps stimulate circulation. Jojoba Oil is next which works well as a moisturiser on the skin and it keep it feeling soft and smooth and finally Vanilla Absolute which adds to the Shea Butter to fragrance the product but it also hosts antioxidant properties which help protect the skin. There are also many other ingredients contained within this massage bar and they can be found on the Lush website.
How long you use the massage bar to be massaged it completely up to you and the person who is massaging you, but in my opinion I would suggest massaging your body (or should I say, get a loved one to massage it for you) for at least 30 minutes so that you can ensure your entire body has been thoroughly covered and also that you have been given a good massage and allowed the ingredients to work as they should work and for the reasons they have been chosen. With this particular bar more attention was paid to my shoulders and my lower back where I had the most aches and pain and I did find it to be really soothing, as soon as the oils touch your skin there is definitely an immediate warm sensation which is truly relaxing and soothing and this is why the product is called Hottie, though I must stress the oils do not turn hot, they are warm and soothing! After using this product my skin was totally moisturised and soft and more importantly the aches and pains soothed away.
So do I recommend this product? Well you won't be surprised to learn that I would recommend this bar and any other massage bar to anyone who loves a good Lush product and one that is quite unusual. It does what it claims to do which is relax, relieve stress and anxiety and make you feel loved, well assuming you get a good massage and is relatively cheap in price for the length of time it seems to last, in my case a good few months and it is being used quite a few times a week in my house.
For anyone wanting further information the Lush website has it all from animal testing to organic ingredients and other snippets that you might find relevant to your purchase.