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Fun is a Lush product that was released in 2013. Invented by co-founder Mo Constantine, it is a rather innovative multi-use product. Squashy like Playdough, it is popular with children as it can be shaped and moulded into a variety of different shapes. If you go into a Lush store, you can see all the different shapes that have been made using the different colours of Fun.
A 4-in-1 product, it can be used in the shower or bath or as a shampoo, as well as a toy.
Fun normally comes in 5 different colours: red, green, yellow, pink and blue. This review will focus on the Yellow Fun. A 200g bar of fun costs £5.
All Fun bars are suitable for vegans and are made with a base of talc, cornflour and glycerine, which help to make it pliable and squidgy. The product does contain sodium laureth sulfate, which is the ingredient helping to make bubbles in bubble bath and which allows shampoo and shower gel to lather. Most products of this nature contain SLS, but some people are sensitive to this chemical, which can be a little harsh, so it’s worth being aware of it in case you prefer to avoid the product for this reason.
Yellow Fun is a lovely bright yellow colour and smells of warm sweet vanilla, thanks to the Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute and Gardenia Extract contained inside.
*Maintenance and Storage*
Fun comes wrapped in biodegradable cellophane, but I recommend removing it from there as soon as possible and keeping it in a Lush pot or other container. Some Lush fans have reported that it can go soggy after a while, and while I haven’t experienced this myself, I would like to avoid it. The product can easily be squashed and shaped into the required shape to fit in a tub.
Being solid, the product was slightly tricky to use in the shower, but it lathered up very well. I do prefer shower jellies or shower gels, but again this would be a good product to take on a weekend away to save space.
I find it very easy to use Fun in the bath. It is similar to Lush’s bubble bars, albeit softer. I break off a small part – only a little is needed – and rub it between my fingers underneath the running water.
I really like Fun – it is, well, fun. This one smells nice and it’s versatile, although I think it performs best as a bath product. I look forward to trying the other colours.
I got a mini bottle of this Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle Leave-In Conditioner in a beauty box ages ago. I’ve used it several times since and thought the time was right to review.
A full-size bottle of this costs £14; it contains 236ml of product which strikes me as a particularly random number! The bottle is red with black writing and a slightly gothic design, which I really like. The product is vegan, paraben-free and sulphate-free and it is designed as a leave-in conditioner which detangles, conditions and minimises frizz while also protecting against heat and UV rays. It has a pleasant smell which I like, but the smell is faint and goes away after a while, it doesn’t overpower your perfume.
I am pretty low-maintenance with my hair – I tend to wash and condition it then leave it to dry naturally. This product fit easily into my normal hair routine, requiring just a few sprays on my wet hair before I brushed it ready for drying. I rarely used it as a complete substitute for conditioner, as my hair is quite dry – instead I used it to help style and calm my hair, and provide extra moisture.
I can definitely tell the difference in my hair when I use this product. Even my wet hair feels noticeably smoother, and as it dries I can see that it looks more shiny, feels softer, and is clearly less frizzy, while also being easier to brush. It makes my not-really-styled-at-all hair look a bit more polished. I can’t confirm that it protects my hair from heat, as I haven’t really tested it, but it is reassuring knowing I have some kind of protection on my hair.
Regular use hasn’t caused the product to build up on my hair at all, and it still works just as well as it did at first. Despite the high price, it lasts ages as only a few sprays are needed each time. Definitely recommended.
I’ve been dyeing my hair for several years now, ever since a former colleague described my hair colour as “mousy”. I wasn’t having that, so ever since I’ve dyed my hair, which is naturally dark blonde, a medium to dark brown shade.
One thing I love about this ten-minute dye is that it is so quick – I can even do it before work, if I get up half an hour earlier, which saves me wasting my weekend dyeing my hair. I get an old towel ready to wrap around my shoulders, put another one on the floor (though the dye doesn’t really drip so long as I am careful, so this isn’t a necessity) and smooth Vaseline along my hairline and on my eyebrows. This helps to prevent the dye staining my skin.
I LOVE that the dye is applied on dry hair. There’s nothing worse than shivering on a cold morning applying dye to wet hair, unable to put your dressing gown on because you don’t want to stain it! This way is much more comfortable. I comb out my hair, ensuring my parting is in the correct place, and I’m ready to go.
I put on the gloves and follow the instructions to mix up the dye, shaking the bottle and removing the tip straight afterwards. I use the precision applicator to apply the dye to my roots as instructed. I find it is relatively easy to angle the applicator and rub the dye into my hair. Once this is done, I wait five minutes or so, checking my skin during this time and wiping off any dye/reapplying Vaseline. I change the precision applicator to the comb applicator, and apply the rest of the dye to my hair. I find this really easy as it just works like a comb. I have to squeeze the tube slightly, but not much. After waiting the rest of the time – five minutes, though I sometimes leave it a little longer just to be sure – I get in the shower to rinse off the dye. This doesn’t take too long. My hair does feel quite dry afterwards, but I apply some of the conditioner included in the pack, and this sorts it out.
The dye lasts three or four weeks on my hair before it starts to fade, though this depends on the shampoo I use. I use the included intensive conditioner and it helps to keep my hair in good condition. Overall this is a great hair dye which is priced well and meets my needs: it is easy to use, quick to apply, and makes my hair look good. I don’t have any complaints and I intend to continue using it for as long as I am dyeing my hair.
I have very pale eyelashes so mascara is an absolute must for me. I’ve tried several in my time, the most recent being Boots 17 Blow Out Mascara, available from Boots stores and online for £6.29. I picked some up when it was on a 3 for 2 offer.
The mascara comes in a thick black tube with the product name printed on. According to the Boots website, the mascara contains vitamin E and Argan oil, and is designed to condition lashes while lifting them to make them stand out.
The mascara is easy to apply, though the large brush means you have to be careful not to get mascara on the skin around your eyes. It does mean that it is fairly easy to coat all of the lashes, though difficult to get the small ones right at the end. The mascara seems to dry pretty quickly, and makes lashes look thicker and more defined.
One coat provides a nice daytime look, while two coats create a more intense look. I have to say though that my lashes still don’t look particularly dramatic. They look more defined, and I’d be happy to use this mascara during the day, but for the evening I prefer something a bit more dramatic.
The mascara doesn’t clump but it does start to flake slightly after several hours. This wasn’t too bad though and I was still able to wear it for a full day at work without any problems.
Overall, this is an OK mascara but I’ve used better, even for the same price.
I often buy products from The Body Shop and one of my most recent purchases is the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. The store produces many different skin care ranges all designed for varying skin types. The Seaweed range is designed for oily/combination skin, which is my type.
The mask comes in a tub which has a blue water pattern, to fit in with the rest of the Seaweed range. A 100ml tub costs £12 but Body Shop products are always on special offer so I certainly didn’t pay this! The mask lasted me a good few months, even though I used it once a week.
The mask is described as a “revitalising” clay mask designed to cleanse and control excess oil. It has a fairly strong, but not unpleasant, smell and is grey, like clay. After washing my face I apply a thin layer of the mask. It is easy to apply, with a slightly sticky texture ensuring that the mask sticks.
You are supposed to leave the mask on for ten minutes, but unfortunately the mask started to make my skin itch so I only left it on for about five before washing off. I noticed that if I left it on for any longer it became really hard to remove – I had to scrub and scrub to get it off, leaving my face a bit red.
On the plus side, the mask seemed to do a good job at refreshing my skin and getting rid of dirt and grime. My skin seemed to have fewer spots and blackheads. However, on balance I think the mask is a bit harsh for me. It dried my skin out if left on too long, and made my skin itch. I will use the mask until it’s used up, but I probably won’t repurchase.
As I am sure you will all know by now, I am a huge fan of the brand Lush and am trying to sample all of their products. Though they are most famous for soaps and bath products, they also produce a number of cleansers. One of those I’ve tried recently is the Coal Face cleanser.
Coal Face is a fresh cleanser, which means that you buy the amount you want in the store (or online), get it weighed and wrapped, and take it home. This means it is better for the environment as minimal packaging is needed. Once home, you just need to keep it in a soap dish or leave it by the shower/sink. 100g costs £4.75 and my piece lasted me for a good couple of months, so I think it’s really good value for money.
I used Coal Face in the morning, as I prefer a more luxurious creamy cleanser in the evening. In addition, the cleanser is black and I prefer to use it in the shower to make sure I get it all off! Don’t worry about the black colour though, it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s dirty.
A full large solid piece of cleanser, from which individual slivers are cut, looks a bit like a flower, similar to the Fresh Farmacy cleanser. The black colour comes from the charcoal, which is absorbent and helps to make this cleanser good for oily skin. Other ingredients include antiseptic rosewood and sandalwood, as well as liquorice root which softens the skin. The base of the cleanser is made up of rapeseed oil and coconut oil, and it is suitable for vegans.
The cleanser lathers up well and has a pleasant fresh, slightly liquorice-y scent. I rub it gently over my face in the shower, as it has slight scrubbing properties too. I then rinse it off. The cleanser goes on easily, lathers up well and feels very refreshing. It doesn’t cause my skin any irritation but does sometimes make it feel a bit tight. The cleanser is designed for oily skin, and mine is combination but can be sensitive.
Overall I think this cleanser has helped keep my skin reasonably smooth, clear and in good condition. In the summer it’s ideal in the hot weather but I found it to be slightly drying and I think it would be too harsh for me during the winter. I would consider buying it again, but I would probably only use it every few days, not every day.
I do suffer from dandruff on occasion so I was pleased to find this Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo in The Body Shop. Priced at £4.50 for 250ml, it was similarly priced to other Body Shop products and I was able to get hold of some on offer.
The shampoo comes in the typical Body Shop shampoo/shower gel bottle, with an easy-to-use flip-top lid and a transparent body so that it’s easy to see how much product you have left. I liked the label on the shampoo, which made it look quite modern.
The Body Shop describes the shampoo as a cleansing and refreshing product with ginger extracts that is perfect for dry scalps. It definitely smells of ginger, but the scent isn’t overwhelming, and I can’t smell it on my hair after I’ve washed it. I love ginger but I know a lot of people don’t, so this might be handy information.
The shampoo works just like any other: apply to wet hair, rub in and rinse. It lathers up well and cleanses the hair with no problems. As usual, I apply conditioner afterwards. It doesn’t irritate my scalp.
Regular use suggests that it is reasonably effective at dealing with dandruff. I’ve noticed that I hardly seem to get it any more. It does seem to be slightly harsh on my hair, so I tend to only use it every two or three days, not every wash.
One negative effect I’ve noticed is that it does seem to strip hair colour to a certain extent, so this is another reason not to use it every day.
In general, though, this is an effective anti-dandruff shampoo that is recommended by me.
I am a huge fan of Lush and am trying to sample all of their products. One of the most recent products of theirs I have tried is the Ice Blue Soap, which is ironically one of their most longstanding products; the Ice Blue scent has also been produced as a shower gel and a shampoo in the past. It is a rich blue colour and has a lovely fresh scent, appealing to both men and women.
***What is Lush?***
Lush is a store that makes toiletries and cosmetics, using natural and organic ingredients where possible and minimising packaging where they can. It started out as a mail order company called Cosmetics to Go, but this failed and the new store, Lush, opened in Poole, Dorset. Later branches of the shop opened in London and beyond, and there are now Lush stores all over the world. As well as in store, you can also buy products from the website, www.lush.co.uk. There are similar websites for many different countries including the USA, Japan and Germany.
Lush buy ingredients only from companies that do not test on animals. All of their products are suitable for vegetarians and many are suitable for vegans.
Lush say: "We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud.
"We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again."
The soap, which is suitable for vegans, is made with a base of rapeseed and coconut oils. Lush no longer make their soaps with palm oil owing to environmental concerns. The soap lathers up well and doesn’t irritate my skin. It is very refreshing and, while I do have to use moisturiser after use, I don’t find that the soap dries my skin out. It contains sweet wild orange oil, bergamot oil and peppermint oil which together give the soap a lovely refreshing minty smell.
It costs £3.10 for 100g which is about normal for Lush soaps. Ice Blue is a gorgeous blue colour with bits of white in; it looks a bit like the sea. I like to use it in the summer. It also contains sea salt which helps to exfoliate.
The soap smells amazing, really refreshing, and helps me to wake up in the morning. It is gently exfoliating and cleanses without drying my skin out. After use I can smell the scent faintly on my skin, but I do prefer to use moisturiser so I tend to find the smell of the moisturiser overpowers the scent of the soap.
This is a lovely soap and I can understand why it’s been so popular at Lush all these years. Definitely recommended.
I got a small spray vial of perfume in a beauty box a while ago. The said perfume is called Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Mandorlo di Sicilia Eau de Toilette – a bit of a mouthful! It isn’t a fragrance I’d ever heard of before, and I was shocked when I looked it up online and found the price: £57 for 75ml and £82 for 150ml. I was very happy that I had a free sample!
The packaging isn’t particularly exciting. It comes in a square dark blue bottle that looks more like aftershave than perfume. In fact when I looked it up I found that it actually IS aftershave. That explains it! Having said that, it isn’t an obvious “aftershave” smell and I think it is a unisex scent. I certainly wouldn’t wear it if I thought it made me smell like a man!
The scent of the perfume is gorgeous. It contains almonds, star anise, bergamot and orange. The scent is meant to evoke Sicily and it is lovely, with a citrusy tang tempered by the sweetness of the almond. The fragrance has a base of cedar wood, vanilla, Tolu balsam and white musk.
The scent lasts a good few hours on me, and I find I can’t stop sniffing my wrists when I am wearing it. It is totally unique and I can’t think of any other similar scent. The scent deepens as time wears on although it is still recognisably the same scent. The warmth of the almonds and the freshness of the citrus make it the perfect perfume for the summer, particularly summer evenings.
This is very expensive but if I saw it on special offer I would certainly consider purchasing it, or asking for it as a special gift. Though it is meant as an aftershave, I would recommend it for both men and women. A gorgeous, unique scent.
A while ago in the Body Shop sale I picked up a few cleansing products from their old-school range. They had brought back a number of products that were popular in the 90s, complete with original packaging. My bottle, which was the same clear plastic as the current ones, had a black lid and a retro-style label. The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic and was fully recyclable. I bought the Cucumber Cleansing Milk and Cucumber Cleansing Toner. This review will focus on the Cleansing Milk.
It’s easy to see the white cleansing milk in the clear plastic bottle, meaning it’s easy to see how much you have left. The lotion is made with Community Trade organically grown soya oil, and it is designed to be cleansing and lightly moisturising.
The lotion is quite runny and has a faint fresh scent. To use, I apply some to a cotton wool pad and wipe it over my face. It feels cooling and soothing on my skin and doesn’t cause any irritation. It does a good job of removing makeup and making my skin feel clean, although I do prefer to use a specialist eye makeup remover if I am wearing heavy eye makeup. After use I apply toner and then moisturiser. I tend to use the product in the evening only, as I prefer to use a facial wash in the morning.
Regular use suggests that the cleansing milk is doing a good job of keeping my face clean and blemish-free. Overall I recommend the product, and at £4 for a bottle it is reasonably good value.
A while ago I signed up for some beauty boxes and accumulated quite a few samples. One of the samples I got was a small glass pot of the Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream.
Benefit is an American brand most famous for its makeup products, however, it has in the last couple of years launched a skincare line. This product normally costs £27.50 for 48.2g of product, which is quite pricey, however this is in line with their makeup range. The product does look quite classy, with pale green and white packaging, and a glass pot. It’s clear glass, so it’s easy to see how much product you’ve got left.
The product is designed for normal to dry skin and is described as a “hydra-concentrated facial cream with tri-radiance complex”. That complex is meant to help reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier. It contains mango butter, a naturally moisturising ingredient. It has a faint but pleasant smell.
I don’t have particularly dry skin, so I stuck to using this product in the evening, rather than during the day when I prefer a lighter moisturiser. The lotion went on easily, and was thick but not too thick. It sunk into my skin well and felt non-greasy, which I was impressed with. Despite this, I felt that it kept my skin moisturised well into the next morning, including the dry bits I sometimes get on my face. Regular use helped my skin look and feel in good condition.
As my skin tends towards being oily, I couldn’t very well use this as a day cream, but as a more intensive night cream I’ve been very impressed with it. I would certainly consider repurchasing it in the future, but considering the price I might well wait until a special offer!
I really like treating my skin with a face mask every week or so and have tried several masks in the past including several from the Montagne Jeunesse range. A while ago I got an email offering a free face mask to try from the new range. Never one to pass up a freebie, I filled in my details and shortly afterwards received this Dead Sea Mud Spa masque in the post.
Animal lovers will be pleased to know that the mask has been approved by the Vegetarian Society and bears the BUAV bunny logo to show that it has not been tested on animals.
The masque comes in a plastic sachet and has a picture of a woman about to wear the masque, surrounded by green leaves and a sunny beach picture. The sachet design is similar to others in the range.
The product is made up of mud-infused fabric containing nutrient-rich sea kelp and seaweed. You are meant to cleanse your face, then apply the masque, leave for 10-15 minutes, massage and rinse.
Applying the masque, it felt very strange to be putting damp mud-infused fabric on my skin, but once I got used to it the sensation was oddly pleasant and rather calming. The masque felt cooling and I felt a slight tingling, though no irritation. As instructed, I left the masque on for about ten minutes, relaxing as I did so. It had a pleasant fresh scent that luckily wasn’t too strong.
After I removed and rinsed off the masque, I found that my skin felt cleaner and looked brighter and more radiant. I could definitely tell that I had just applied a face masque. The effects calmed down over the next few hours but overall I could tell that it made a difference to my skin. Highly recommended.
Montagne Jeunesse products are made in the UK and these face masks can be bought from places like Boots, Superdrug, Savers and Amazon (where you can currently buy 6 sachets for a fiver). Normally they are priced at £1 or less which makes them good value for money, particularly when each sachet can normally be used at least twice. You can find out more at www.montagnejeunesse.com.
A while ago in the Body Shop sale I picked up a few cleansing products from their old-school range. They had brought back a number of products that were popular in the 90s, complete with original packaging. My bottle, which was the same clear plastic as the current ones, had a black lid and a retro-style label. The bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic and was fully recyclable.
The passionfruit cleansing gel is a pale peach colour and it’s easy to see how much you have left. The gel is gentle but effective, refreshing with a scent of passion fruit. I thought the gel smelled gorgeous, and it helped to wake me up in the morning. I tended to only use this product in the morning, using a creamy cleanser at night.
The cleanser is meant to be massaged into damp skin, then rinsed with clean water. It doesn’t irritate my skin or cause any breakouts. It lathers up well and only a small amount is needed at a time. It is gentle on my skin and my face feels thoroughly cleansed after use. I did really enjoy using the cleanser.
Overall, while I don’t find this cleanser particularly groundbreaking, it does a good job and has a lovely smell. It cost £4 which I feel is a reasonable price as it lasted a long time. Keep an eye on the Body Shop website as it may come back in stock.
I tried a sample of this Garnier Miracle Skin Perfector BB Cream not long ago. BB Cream has become really popular in recent years. Inspired by popular products in Asia, BB creams are similar to tinted moisturisers, in that they moisturise while also adding a little colour. They are meant to condition and care for the skin; this one contains Vitamin C and mineral pigments to keep skin looking fresh.
The product is meant to hydrate and illuminate skin in one. It also contains SPF 15, which is handy, as you’re meant to wear some kind of sun protection every day but I don’t like to use “proper” suncream, which can be greasy.
Normally priced at £9.99, the cream is available in Light, Medium and Dark. Being incredibly pale I was glad that my sample was in the Light shade, although I still feared that it would be too dark for me. This was not the case, however: thankfully the cream blended well with my pale skin.
The cream sank into my skin well, kept it reasonably moisturised (I had to use extra moisturiser during the coldest days of winter, but otherwise it was fine) and didn’t cause irritation. I felt that it helped care for my skin and keep it looking good and healthy.
Overall I’d be happy to purchase this BB cream. It is a good product that treats my skin well.
My favourite store, Lush, launched two new products in the last couple of years. Identical in size and shape – they clearly came from the same mould as the Shimmy Shimmy glitter massage bar – they were priced at £7.50 and were designed as skin tints. One, Silk Stockings, was designed to add a light shimmer and the illusion of stockings to paler skin, while the other, Black Stockings, was designed to add a deeper shimmer to black and Asian skin, or add a hint of fake tan to lighter skin. Having already reviewed Black Stockings, I will now review its lighter cousin, which doesn’t seem to be available on the Lush website any more although I am sure it will pop up on the Lush Kitchen at some point.
Now, I am quite happy to be ‘pale and interesting’ – and trust me, I am REALLY pale – but when it comes to my legs, I understand that a little bit of colour can work well. I prefer to steer well clear of actual fake tan, as well as those body lotions which purport to add colour over time (‘tanning by stealth’, I call it), but I thought it couldn’t do any harm to try some of this once in a while. I love the vintage look of stockings, but they’re a hassle to wear, as well as being hot in summer, and expensive: I thought the Silk Stockings bar would be a handy substitute.
The bar is designed to do three things: add subtle colour, even out skin tone, and moisturise. Suitable for vegans, the bulk of the bar is made up of cocoa butter and shea butter, both of which are excellent moisturising ingredients. This means that you don’t need to apply moisturiser before using, even if you have dry skin. I have found that the bar keeps my legs soft and smooth all day, just like my normal moisturiser.
The bar also adds subtle colour and helps even out my skin tone, which is handy as it helps stop my legs being pasty white, and also helps cover up any flaws or spots (like shaving marks!). I am very sparing in the way I use this: I rub the bar gently on part of my legs then use my hands to massage the colour throughout my legs.
Altogether, this bar is handy for adding a hint of colour and glow to my legs particularly in the summer. It costs £7.50 which sounds like a lot, but it lasts ages – my bar hardly looks used. I find it helps make my legs look a bit less pasty and gives them a pretty subtle shimmer. Recommended.