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Being a bit of a beauty product addict, I always like to try out new things and vary the brands that I use. One of my most exciting discoveries has been finding online companies that provide beauty boxes. The idea is that you will be sent a box every month, which will contain a selection of various make-up, skin care, fragrance products etc for you to try out, and I have been trying a few from different suppliers. I received this Complete Bliss Moroccan Rose Organic Hand Cream by Neom in a previous delivery. You can find further information at www.neomorganics.com.
Product description: "Complete Bliss is the unmistakably beautiful scent of Moroccan Blush Rose, modernised with a hint of Lime and Black Pepper and created especially to lift your spirits during those indulgent moments. Our Organic Hand Cream is packed with the anti-oxidising superfruit Acai Extract and nourishing Argan Oil, which helps with skin elasticity and makes it look visually firmer and smoother. The cream penetrates rapidly leaving skin soft and non-greasy."
The hand cream comes in a 50ml plastic tube with a very simple white design. It doesn't look particularly eye-catching, and had I come across this by myself I probably wouldn't have chosen to buy it. The tube has a screw-top lid at the bottom which is handy as the cream then stays at the bottom of the tube making it easier to dispense. Unfortunately it is impossible to see through the packaging to figure out how much of the cream is left inside, and I do tend to prefer packaging that is clear for this reason.
This hand cream itself is pure white in colour and has a light, slightly oily consistency. It sinks into skin straight away and leaves my hands feeling smooth without any greasy or sticky residue. It is absorbed very quickly which makes it convenient to use throughout the day. This isn’t the richest sort of hand cream, so if you suffer from particularly dry skin then this might not be hydrating enough, but it works well to keep skin in good condition.
I have been looking to try more natural and organic beauty products recently, mainly because they seem to be better quality and I don't have to worry about adding more chemicals into my body. This cream contains 83% certified organic ingredients, and 17% natural ingredients.
The scent of this hand cream is quite subtle and doesn’t really stand out in my opinion. I catch the main rich rose scent when applying, but this fades quite quickly. There are some spicy undertones which come through after the top notes have faded, but this is only noticeable if I intentionally hold my hand up to my face and smell it to catch the scent.
Overall this is a nice hand cream, and I appreciate that it has such a high content of natural and organic ingredients. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a light hand cream to use on a regular basis to keep skin looked after.
I got a bit spoiled at xmas time and was thrilled when I opened a Molton Brown gift bag, containing this Gingerlily Body Wash. The full size product contains 300mls and the RRP is £18.00. You can find further information and purchase at www.moltonbrown.co.uk.
Product description: "A luxurious bath and shower gel blended with enriching Polynesian tamanu nut oil and moisturising white lily extract. Formerly known as Heavenly Gingerlily."
The body wash comes in a clear plastic bottle which allows the product to show through, which I find really useful because it allows you to see exactly how much you have left. The gel itself has a pinkish brown sort of colour to it. The gel consistency is lovely and light, and it foams up easily to give a good coverage. It seems very nice and gentle on my skin, and although I do still need to use a body lotion afterwards to keep my skin fully hydrated, the body wash does help to make my skin feel smooth and thoroughly cleansed.
For me, the product really falls down because of the fragrance. It has top notes of warming ginger oil, middle notes of exotic tuberose, base notes of spicy cedarwood, and extract of white lily. I was expecting a warm, spicy floral fragrance, but in reality I can’t detect any hint of spice and the lily comes across as overpowering. It seems old-fashioned and stuffy. I’m really not fond of the scent at all and it does seem disappointing as this is probably what I enjoy most about bath and shower products, as it helps to get my mind going and my mood lifted.
I do really like the Molton Brown range, and consider it something of a treat to use high-end beauty brands. However, for this particular body wash, I find that my personal dislike of the scent overshadows the otherwise good quality and performance of the product, and I would not choose to buy it for myself.
I purchased this No7 Completely Quenched Moisturising Body Lotion from Boots during one of their No7 voucher offers.
This lotion comes in a 200ml bottle, it is made of a peachy coloured plastic which means that I can't see through to see how much is left inside. The bottle has a plastic flip-top lid at the bottom of the bottle with a small hole underneath which the product is dispensed through.
The lotion itself has a pure white colour and a thick consistency. It is quite a heavy lotion but it still spreads over the skin easily and soaks in quickly. The lotion is quite rich and hydrating, and gives good long-lasting results. It is really effective at treating dry skin and I use this when my skin needs a bit more care and attention, particularly with cold weather in the winter. The product has a light musky floral scent which I personally find quite unpleasant, and is my least favourite thing about the lotion. There are other matching items in the range such as bath soak and shower cream, and if you like the scent then this would be good for layering the fragrance.
Overall this is a really effective body lotion and I can recommend it for the results, but I am not keen at all on the fragrance so I probably wouldn't choose to buy it again. This is a bit more expensive than I would usually pay for such a product, but not too bad when using the special offer vouchers.
Being a bit of a beauty product addict, I always like to try out new things and vary the brands that I use. One of my most exciting discoveries has been finding online companies that provide beauty boxes. The idea is that you will be sent a box every month, and this will usually contain a selection of various make-up, skin care, fragrance products etc for you to try out. I have been trying a few from different suppliers, and received this Creamy Coconut Cleanser by Essential Care in a previous delivery from Amarya. You can find further information at www.essential-care.co.uk
The Creamy Coconut Cleanser is available in two different sizes: 150ml costing RRP £18 and 30ml costing RRP £7. It comes in a simple white tube which looks quite boring and uninspired. One of my pet hates is not being able to see how much product is left inside of the packaging, and the solid coloured plastic makes this impossible. There is a screw-off lid at the base of the tube, and the cleanser is dispensed through a small hole underneath the cap.
*An important thing to note that wasn't stated on the packaging - and is essential to know if you are new to cream cleansers - is that the product should be applied to dry skin, using dry fingertips, and then removed with a wet flannel or cotton pads soaked in toner. I personally prefer to use hot water and a flannel or muslin cloth to wash the cleanser away, and then follow up with a separate toner and moisturiser afterwards.
The cleanser itself is a plain white colour. It has a light texture that feels a bit runny and oily, and it spreads easily over the skin. I find that it almost seems to be soaked up by my skin as I am applying it, and it doesn't sit on the surface in the same way that other cleansers normally do. Because of this I do end up applying quite a large amount to cover my entire face and neck, and then use an extra bit to remove any make-up from around my eyes. I have been using this in the evenings on a daily basis. It feels very gentle and leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean afterwards, with a soft smooth finish, as well as helping to keep my combination skin type in balance. To start with I didn't think it was going to be very effective in removing my make-up as it didn't look to be doing anything as I applied it, but as soon as I wiped the cleanser away my make-up just disappeared. It even managed to lift off my eye make-up straight away, including my mascara. I felt very comfortable using this cleanser around my eye area as it did not cause any irritation at all and made it so simple and quick to get my skin fully clean again. I think my only real disappointment is that the product does not have a strong coconut scent, instead it has quite a delicate natural fragrance that is pleasant enough but not anything special in my opinion. This cleanser is intended for use on all skin types, so should be suitable for most people.
Overall I think this is a nice cleanser that gives good results. It is easy to use and keeps my skin in great condition as well as removing all of my make-up at the end of the day. I do really like it, and the only problem is that it's not the most economical option available. If you are looking for a mild but effective cleanser then I can definitely recommend this one.
I love the Original Source range and always end up buying the new 'flavours' as and when I come across them. I've had this Tea Tree and Lavender Shower Gel stashed away at the back of my cupboard for ages, and have finally got around to digging it out and using it. I have tried looking in the shops for this particular variety and been unable to find it again recently, so I'm not sure if it may have been discontinued.
It comes in a clear plastic bottle which allows the product to show through, and I like this because it allows you to see exactly how much you have left inside. The bottle has a plastic flip-top lid at the base of the bottle with a small hole underneath which the product is dispensed through. The gel itself has a bright purple colour and a nice thick consistency. It foams up well and is easy to spread over the skin leaving it feeling cleansed and refreshed.
The fragrance of this shower gel is amazing and I think it is on a par with the more high-end aromatherapy brands that I also use, but the low price of this Original Source product makes it more suitable for everyday use. The herbal earthy scent of the lavender balances out the harsh medicinal scent of the tea tree and gives an invigorating effect.
I really enjoy using this shower gel and would completely recommend it.
I don't have overly sensitive skin but I find that shaving my legs can tend to make them very dry afterwards. I used to just use shower gel when shaving and this didn't really seem to help matters! Some time ago I started making the effort to buy a proper shaving foam product, and the one I use most frequently is Gilette's Sensitive Skin Aloe Vera shaving gel. It is available in 75ml travel size or 200ml full size cans.
The can itself can seem quite heavy when using the larger version, and you have to give it a bit of a shake before using. There is a plastic removable cap on top to keep it clean, and a pump dispenser underneath. I err on the side of caution and dispense a small amount each time to spread over the skin. The gel has a greenish hue to it when it first comes out of the can, and as soon as you start rubbing it over the skin it transforms into a bright white foam with a nice thick and smooth texture to it. I can get quite good coverage out of an application and focus on small sections at a time so that the foam is not washed away in the bathwater before I have a chance to shave fully.
Using the foam is nice and easy, it really helps the razor to glide over the skin without dragging and causing any damage. It also makes it very clear to see which areas have been shaved and where you need to move on to next. The foam is quite thick and has reasonable staying power so that it does not disappear straight away or soak in to the skin, but it also does not seem to be so heavy that it gets stuck and avoids clogging up my razor. After shaving and bathing I do still apply body lotion in order to get my skin looking and feeling moisturised, but the shaving gel helps to reduce dryness and makes the shaving process a lot easier and more comfortable.
This particular shaving gel is easily available from high street retailers and supermarkets; I bought my latest can from Wilkinsons where it was half price at £1.50 instead of the usual ~£3.00 RRP.
I would recommend this shaving gel and will happily carry on using it in the future. A nice, simple product that works and does what you need it to do.
The Kong Kickeroo is a popular cat toy, and this kitten variety is a smaller size more suited to smaller cats and kittens. It has a rectangular main body which is stuffed with padding and has a crinkly layer inside. This makes a noise if you scrunch it between your hands, and my kitten goes crazy for the sound of it; she comes running to play with it as soon as she hears the scrunchy noise. The body of the Kickeroo is the perfect size for my cat to grab onto and hold in her front paws while literally kicking at it with her back legs - I assume this is why the toy is called 'Kickeroo' and my cat seems to fully understand its intended purpose. The toy also has a fluffy tail attached at one end, which is fun to sway around and dangle in front of the cat to get them chasing after it. The toy is lightweight and can be moved around easily. The Kickeroo is hard wearing, and can withstand a good deal of damage from paws, claws and teeth. The tail remains securely attached and because the toy is soft it does not cause any damage to the cat or my home if it's being flung all over the place when the cat is chasing it! My cat is very small for her age and the standard Kickeroo would be a bit too bulky for her, so this kitten size is just right. I would recommend this to any cat owner who has a small size cat or kitten, and I expect the regular Kickeroo is just as good for average or large sized cats.
I bought this book some time ago, and left it unattended on my bookshelf for some time. It wasn't until I saw the recent trailers for the film version (in cinemas now!) that I remembered about it, and thought I'd better get on and read the book before the film got released so I could enjoy it before watching the movie.
The book by Gillian Flynn features a married couple, Nick and Amy, as the main characters. A seemingly perfect couple with an idyllic life together, but is everything as good as it seems? Nick is called home from work one day to find his home in a state of disarray, and his wife is gone. Why is Amy gone, and is Nick involved in her disappearance? The story is told from two perspectives; Nick's viewpoint which is set in the current timeline, and Amy's diary entries which are set in the time leading up to her disappearance. This is cleverly done to help you piece together the events and try to figure out what is going on here. The writer casts a lot of doubt and builds a growing sense of unease as Amy's diary entries shift from funny and romantic to frightened and threatened.
The plot develops over time and there are twists and shock reveals along the way. I was definitely on Team Nick throughout the book, and wanted desperately for him to come out on top despite the way that he was digger deeper and deeper into a bad place. Once you get through the main bulk of the book there is a major point of understanding reached, and things get even more crazy from here on. I loved that it was such an exciting read and I was thoroughly gripped the whole way through. I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of thrillers and mind games.
I am really looking forward to seeing the movie tonight, I think Ben Affleck is the perfect casting choice for Nick. Apparently Gillian Flynn has rewritten the ending so I am hoping for a big surprise, and maybe even the ending that I had been wanting as I was reading. The book ending is very just and fits well, but it didn't quite satisfy me as I wanted a clear winner in the situation. Can't recommend this book enough, and on the strength of this I will certainly go on to read other works by Gillian Flynn.
Although I've managed to conquer my obsession with Lush, I still have a whole lot of their products stored away from various shopping sprees. One of my favourite Lush items is their shower jelly, as it is a unique product and has a novelty fun factor to it. This Sweetie Pie shower jelly is available to buy from the Lush high street stores, via mail order, or online at www.lush.co.uk. It costs £3.25 for a 100g tub or £6.45 for a 240g tub.
Product description: "A shower jelly with cherries, coconut and sparkles for bathtime fun. Even if it's not your birthday, treat yourself to a bit of fun with this jelly baby. Its sweet and sparkliness is the perfect way to cheer yourself up, or to encourage reluctant little ones to enjoy bathtime."
Shower jelly is a completely different cleansing product to your ordinary body wash or shower gel. It looks as the name suggests, like a big block of wobbly jelly! It has a firm but squishy texture which can get a bit slippy when it's wet. One feature of the shower jelly is that its consistency is very resistant. It comes in a plastic container to protect it from getting wet which would cause it to deteriorate. You can keep the tub of jelly in your bathroom so it stays at room temperature, or you can put it in the fridge - or even the freezer! - to make it chilled and give you a refreshing wake up call with your morning shower. Keeping it stored in the fridge does seem to help it last a bit longer as the texture stays more solid and the jelly melts less readily when you are using it on your body, so less is needed each time you use it. I prefer to keep my jelly at a warmer temperature though, as I hate the cold feeling of it against my skin when I'm in a nice warm shower or bath. This also makes it a bit softer so it is easier to lather up when you're ready to use it.
The Sweetie Pie shower jelly looks lovely as it has a deep purple colour and is packed full of sparkly bits of glitter. I particularly love this shower jelly as the smell of it is incredible. The fragrance is very rich and has a fruity berry scent to it, with a nice sharp hit of sweetness to make it really come alive. It reminds me of some of Lush's other products like The Comforter bubble bar and You Snap The Whip body butter bar.
There are several ways that you can use the shower jelly. You can rub the block directly onto your skin, but I find that this is fairly ineffective as it does not create much of a lather and the jelly becomes too wet, making it slippery and difficult to hold on to and I invariably end up dropping bits and losing them in the bath. I prefer to use this with a bath puff, breaking off a small section of the jelly by tearing it with my fingers, then rubbing it into the bath puff before washing. This helps the jelly to break down properly and creates a nice foamy effect which feels really soft and smoothes over the skin nicely. Unfortunately the glitter included in this shower jelly seems to be there purely for a fun visual effect as it has no staying power and does not stick on the skin.
Lush reckon that you can also use this to clean your hair in place of an ordinary shampoo, but I'm not so convinced. I decided to give it a try and although it lathered up nicely and seemed to clean my hair quite well, it also made my hair feel immediately dried out, and I followed up with an intensive conditioner to try and balance my hair back out. The next morning my hair was an awful sight, it was frizzy, tangled and unruly which gave my usually fine limp hair a bit of a birds nest appearance. I had to straighten it all over to get it under control and I did eventually achieve a smooth finish that had more volume than usual, but I am not encouraged to use this in my hair again.
This shower jelly is really nice to wash with as it is soft, smooth and smells great. I love using it because it's pretty and the fragrance really appeals to me, and I can recommend Lush's shower jellies as a fun addition to your usual bath time cleaning. Just keep it away from your hair!
Ingredients: Glycerine, Cherry Infusion, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coconut Infusion, Propylene Glycol, Carrageenan Extract, Perfume, Bergamot Oil, Cassis Absolute, Cypress Oil, *Limonene, *Linalool, Snowflake Lustre, Colour 17200, Colour 42090, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
*occurs naturally in essential oils
This is a vegan product and Lush are against animal testing - please keep your beauty cruelty free!
This Cooling Breeze mobile USB fan by Arctic is a nifty little gadget that I keep on my desk at work. Despite the current cold weather they can't seem to regulate the air conditioning at my office so I often end up either boiling hot or freezing cold, and this fan has proved to be quite useful. It is currently available to buy for RRP £6.95 from www.amazon.co.uk. This type of fan is intended to cool you (the human user of the computer) down, and it will certainly not assist with any overheating problems that your desktop or laptop might be experiencing.
The fan itself is relatively small, with the whole head measuring just a bit smaller than the palm of my hand. It has 7 angled blades arranged in a circular shape that provide the cooling breeze. The head is supported on a flexible wire neck, which ends with a standard USB connector. The neck is very practical as you can bend it in different directions and this allows you to position the fan so that the breeze is blowing in a comfortable direction, and you can aim it away from things such as loose papers on your desk.
I am spoilt for choice when it comes to USB ports on my office hardware, as I have two on my monitor screen and another two on my keyboard. The tower unit sits underneath my desk, and proves impractical for use with the fan, so it is important to ensure that you have a USB port available in a good location that will allow you to set up the fan properly. I find it easier to use the keyboard slot as this means I can have the fan set in a vertical position, rather than using the monitor slot which means that I have to have the fan set in a horizontal position. If I leave the fan running for too long in a horizontal position it can tend to work loose from the slot as the neck does not seem stable enough to maintain support of the head of the fan when it's used in this position for any prolonged duration.
When I plug the fan into my keyboard it stays nice and secure, and I can aim the fan so it blows towards me which provides a quick and direct cooling effect. I do have to be a bit careful when using it as if I start leaning over the desk I do worry that my long loose hair might get caught up in the fan blades. Also there is no on/off button, so as soon as you plug the fan in it starts turning, and when you want to turn it off you just have to reach in and pull it out of the slot without getting your hand caught up in the process. Even though the fan is small it is effective because I am sat quite close to it, and it has enough power to cool me down when the office is too warm. I usually only need to run the fan for a few minutes at a time until my body temperature starts to regulate itself, and I think it works really well.
I would recommend this USB fan for anyone who has the right sort of desk set-up with a conveniently located USB port on top of their desk, preferably allowing for use of the fan in a vertical position to get the most reliable results. I have found it really useful especially during the hot weather last summer, and even now when I am wearing warm clothing because it is so cold outside but the temperature in the office is too hot in comparison. A simple but very handy gadget.
Eyebrow threading is a pretty popular beauty treatment now, with lots of salons and even high street beauty stores offering the treatment. I was tempted to give it a try after a recommendation from one of my friends. Their eyebrows looked great and had a really defined shape that had definitely been enhanced by the threading, so I was looking forward to seeing the results for myself. My friend had the treatment done at a local branch of Superdrug, and you can just pop in off the high street without requiring an appointment. This seemed pretty simple, and because there was no need to book I just turned up and was seen to straight away. I hovered around for a bit first, glancing over at another woman having it done (your treatment takes place on the shop floor!), so I could see what it looked like. There were leaflets on display advertising threading, tinting and lash extensions, and while I was browsing through the information one of the other customers gave me a rave review about how good the threading was and recommended that I go for it.
It cost £7.00 and I paid at the main tills before being invited to take a seat in what looked like a dentist chair. The chair was positioned very low down and I had to slouch into it to place my head on the headrest, but this then puts you at the right level for your stylist to get to work. Threading consists of several strands of cotton thread being twisted and held tightly, then rolled over the eyebrow hairs to pull them out and create a defined brow shape. I found it a bit awkward sitting in the low chair as it wasn't very supportive or comfortable. The stylist got to work and removed hairs from underneath the arches, on the top line of my eyebrows, and above the bridge of my nose between my eyebrows. I was asked to hold the skin taut with my fingers which helped with the procedure. I kept my eyes shut the whole time which would have been relaxing were it not for the pain I was enduring! The hair is removed quickly but it causes a very sharp pain, and as the process was repeated the pain built up and it was enough to make my eyes water. I usually tend to pluck my eyebrows and find that I can tolerate this without much discomfort at all, but threading was a very different sensation and I found it very painful. The stylist commented that my skin seemed quite sensitive, which I suspected is because I am very pale and the threading had left red marks which were quite visible against my light skin tone. She gave me some aloe vera soothing gel to apply afterwards which did help to calm the stinging feeling, but my eyebrows were still sore to the touch for the whole rest of the day afterwards. Overall the process itself was fairly quick and the whole thing was over within 10 minutes.
Initially I was quite pleased with the results as my eyebrows did appear to have a nice clean shape and my skin felt really soft and smooth from where the hairs had been removed. However, upon closer inspection when I was applying my make-up the next day, I noticed that my eyebrows had a slightly different shape on each one, and one was shorter where more hairs had been removed. I like the full brow look so tried to balance this out with brow gel and powder until the hairs grew back in. Another problem that I experienced was that my sometimes sensitive skin had not reacted well to the treatment at all and I broke out with a cluster of sore and unpleasant-looking pimples which took a full week to subside. I looked it up online and apparently this is a somewhat common reaction, however I was a bit unsettled by it and it has put me off having my eyebrows threaded again.
Overall I don't think that eyebrow threading is for me. On the plus side it is reasonably priced and convenient to get done as you don't need an appointment and it takes only a few minutes of your time. But on the negative side this was far too painful for me, the shape wasn't quite right, and the breakout of blemishes have all deterred me from this method. I think I'll stick to the basic approach of plucking with tweezers as this suits me better, but I'm sure that some people will have better luck with threading and I'm still jealous of my friend's shapely eyebrows as it clearly worked well for them.
I love the Original Source range and always end up buying the new 'flavours' as and when I come across them. I've had this White Pear and Avocado Conditioner stashed away at the back of my cupboard for ages, and have finally got around to digging it out and using it. There are additional items in this particular Original Source range, and I am also using the matching shampoo and shower cream.
Product description: "We've jam-packed white pear & avocado in this damage-limitation conditioner. It contains UV inhibitors to help strengthen and protect hair against the sun and anti pollutants to actively fight against the effects of urban living. Packed with natural stuff & urban-grime fighting too!"
It comes in a clear plastic bottle which allows the product to show through, and I like this because it allows you to see exactly how much you have left inside. The bottle has a plastic flip-top lid at the base of the bottle with a small hole underneath which the product is dispensed through. The only thing I have trouble with is paying enough attention to using the correct bottle (as it looks identical to the shower cream) and I have ended up accidentally using the shower cream in my hair instead of on my body.
Recommended directions for use: Apply conditioner to wet hair. Take a minute to enjoy the full on fresh fruity fragrance and then rinse thoroughly. For best results use after Original Source shampoo.
The fragrance of this conditioner is quite unusual, and not exactly what I was expecting. I had thought that it might have a sweet scent because of the pears (admittedly I am not sure what avocados smell like, so it might be more avocado-y), but instead it has a very fresh and clean scent to it, like the type of fragrance you get with beauty products made from aloe vera or cucumber. This is nice in its own way and I think it would be suitable for both men and women to use as the fragrance is quite neutral.
The conditioner itself has a creamy white colour with just the slightest tint of green to it, which fits in with the ingredients used. It has a creamy texture that spreads easily through my hair. To use, I spread this through the lengths of my hair, from the nape of my neck down to the tips, and then apply just a very small amount near the roots. This stops it from overloading my hair which can tend to become greasy quickly. I've recently had a new haircut and got rid of my old split, damaged ends, but I still feel like this product does not provide my hair with enough moisture to keep it in good condition. My hair is very dull and lacklustre when using this conditioner, and out of curiosity I tried using two applications to see if it would help give my hair some much needed moisture. This has given me better results and leaves my hair feeling smooth and manageable, and it stays nice and sleek if I comb it through which still wet which is a bonus as I don't have to use any additional styling products. However, it's a bit of a pain to have to use two applications and I feel like it does not perform well enough in the first place. It claims to offer "damage limitation" for normal/stressed hair types, but I can't say I've noticed any results in this area and feel like I should stick with a richer conditioner that will keep my hair hydrated.
Overall I wouldn't recommend this White Pear and Avocado conditioner. In my opinion it performs the worst out of the three products I've tried in this range, and I only manage to get good results if I apply it twice, which is time-consuming and requires a larger amount of product so you have to buy it more frequently.
This is a vegan product and Original Source are against animal testing - please keep your beauty cruelty free!
I have managed to overcome my Lush addiction - oh yes, it can be done! That said, I do still receive lovely Lush gifts sometimes from friends who are aware of my past obsession. One such gift I received previously is this After 8.30 massage bar, which has been discontinued and was available for some time through the Lush retro line.
After 8.30 is a clever play on words, as this massage bar has a rich chocolate and peppermint scent, just like an After Eight chocolate mint thin. The theme of the massage bar comes together really well with the attention to detail in matching the design to the ingredients. It gives off a gorgeous strong scent that is sweet, refreshing, and very indulgent, and it also looks the part as it takes the shape of a block of chocolate with a layer of raised chunks on the top. The top layer of the massage bar is a creamy white colour and contains white chocolate, and the bottom layer of the massage bar is brown and contains dark chocolate. It looks impressive and I was really pleased to receive it as a gift, because it gives off a special feeling of being a luxurious body treat.
The idea of massage bars is to act as a solid, packaging-free product that is heat responsive and melts down to form a light oily lotion to massage with. You can use these in the place of ordinary massage oils for a Lush massage experience! To prepare, you simply hold the massage bar between your hands and rub gently to allow the heat of your skin to warm the bar. The bar will then start to melt a little and give your hands a lovely smooth coating of oils to be used for the massage. I have found that it can be quicker and easier to get started by rubbing the bar directly over the area of skin you are going to massage, and covering it to get an even distribution that you can work with. Once you get going this After 8.30 massage bar leaves a lovely rich oil behind which is deeply nourishing and makes your skin feel healthy and supple. It is really conditioning to the skin and is perfect for any time that you need pampering with a rich body product. But there are a few negatives. Firstly, the dark chocolate layer at the bottom of the bar makes brown coloured streaks over the skin and creates a lot of mess even if you are repeating motions and rubbing it into the skin. This can be very distracting and ruins the effect of the massage as you can be very conscious of the fact that chocolate is getting everywhere, and you have to be careful to keep it away from any clothing or other fabrics so it doesn't stain. Also, it does take a very long time for the oils to soak fully into the skin, and there will be an oily layer left behind even after the massage has finished. It's best to towel down afterwards before dressing, or just make sure to allow enough time for it to be absorbed and then you can really reap the benefits of the richly moisturising ingredients.
As well as using this as a massage bar, you can also use the bar as a solid body lotion. To do this, simply rub the massage bar directly onto your skin and rub the residue in with your fingertips. As my massage bars near their end I find they become harder to work with as they often break up into small fragments when rubbing between my hands or over my skin. In this case I often save the small broken chunks and use them in a hot bath in place of a bath melt, as they produce a luxurious moisturising oil which is great for the skin and leaves you smelling gorgeous. The real benefit of this is that you get an intensive skin care treatment and no need to moisturise with other body lotion products afterwards.
I do love Lush's massage bars but although this one has a yummy scent and works well on the skin, I can't stand the messy chocolatey marks that it leaves behind during and after use. I could recommend this to die-hard chocaholics, but personally I just find it too messy which ruins the overall effect of an otherwise lovely massage bar.
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate, Synthetic Musk, Peppermint oil (Mentha piperita), Perfume.
I love the Original Source range and always end up buying the new 'flavours' as and when I come across them. I've had this White Pear and Avocado Shampoo stashed away at the back of my cupboard for ages, and have finally got around to digging it out and using it. There are additional items in this particular Original Source range, and I am also using the matching shower cream and conditioner.
It comes in a clear plastic bottle which allows the product to show through, and I like this because it allows you to see exactly how much you have left inside. The bottle has a plastic flip-top lid at the top of the bottle with a small hole underneath which the product is dispensed through. The shower cream and conditioner both come in the same type of bottle with the lid at the bottom, but because this shampoo bottle has the lid at the top it is easier to tell it apart from the others.
The fragrance of this shampoo is quite unusual, and not exactly what I was expecting. I had thought that it might have a sweet scent because of the pears (admittedly I am not sure what avocados smell like, so it might be more avocado-y), but instead it has a very fresh and clean scent to it, like the type of fragrance you get with beauty products made from aloe vera or cucumber. This is nice in its own way and I think it would be suitable for both men and women to use as the fragrance is quite neutral.
The shampoo itself has a creamy white colour with just the slightest tint of green to it, which fits in with the ingredients used. It has a gooey gel texture that spreads easily through my hair and creates a really rich amount of lather that thoroughly coats all of my hair and works right down into the roots. It seems really effective at giving a deep clean and it leaves my hair feeling fresh afterwards. I have had really good results even when my hair has been greasy if I haven't washed it for a few days, or after I've been exercising and my hair is a sweaty mess, this shampoo cleanses and rebalances my hair. I've stopped dyeing my hair and have begun having regular haircuts to try and keep it healthy. I have noticed that even though this shampoo cleans really well, it does not provide my hair with enough moisture to keep it in good condition. It claims to offer "damage limitation" for normal/stressed hair types, but I can't say I've noticed any results in this area and feel like I should stick with a more moisturising shampoo that will keep my hair hydrated.
Overall this is a good shampoo that gives my hair a thorough deep clean and works well to get rid of any build-ups of oils or products. It is nice and refreshing and cleanses well, but I think I could do with something that is a bit more moisturising to really keep my hair in top condition.
I have managed to overcome my Lush addiction - oh yes, it can be done! That said, I do still receive lovely Lush gifts sometimes from friends who are aware of my past obsession. One such gift I received this xmas was the Star Light Star Bright bath melt, which was available as part of Lush's limited edition Christmas range of products.
Product description: "Catch a falling star and put it in your... bath. We have been working for a long time to make this Christmas bath melt - a shimmering bright star for an extra special bath filled with light and lustre."
This bath melt looks lovely and I was excited to spot it nestled amongst the other bath goodies in my xmas gift box. It really stands out because of its star shape and it is covered with sparkly silver glitter. It was wrapped up in a biodegradable plastic coating to keep the glitter from transferring which was important because as soon as I unwrapped it and picked it up the glitter got all over my hands.
To use, you simply put the bath melt into a hot bath and let it dissolve into the water. The glitter coating comes away and swirls throughout the bath water which looks really pretty, and then there was a surprise in store, as when the product melts down to the centre it releases a wave of blue colouring which turns the bath water into a sparkly deep blue night sky effect. I love the scent of this product as it combines lime and ginger which are refreshing and invigorating, but the overall fragrance is quite enchanting and not sharp even though the ingredients are sour and spicy. It contains both shea butter and cocoa butter which are richly moisturising natural ingredients, and this served to effectively nourish my skin including the troublesome dry areas. My skin was smooth, soft and sparkly after I had finished bathing, and it felt in great condition for some time afterwards.
Lush have several glitter products and in my experience it seems to be that glittery bubble bars are for the visual effect only, as the glitter will swirl around in the water and not stick to the skin, whereas the glittery bath bombs have the effect of coating you in glitter from head to toe! This bath melt unleashes a vast quantity of glitter and it has excellent staying power. The glitter covered over all of my skin and gives off a really pretty shimmery effect. It stayed put for well over 24 hours with glitter particles still noticeable, even though a lot had come away when I was towelling myself dry. Because of the moisturising effect of the bath melt this can leave the skin with a light layer of oils which holds the glitter on, but this also means that it does transfer onto clothing and I would be very careful or leave sufficient time for the oils to absorb before getting dressed. There was a lot of residue left in my bath afterwards which I had to rinse away, although it appears that I did not do a very thorough job of cleaning as the next time I had a bath I was once again coated in glitter!
The Star Light Star Bright bath melt is a luxurious bath treat from Lush that is perfect for anyone wanting to indulge in a pampering treat with plenty of sparkle. Just be warned that the glitter is *very* effective and it's best to save this for a time when it can be enjoyed properly, and not so good for everyday bathing unless you like going out to work covered in glitter from head to toe. I would definitely buy this again as it ticks all the boxes for me.
Ingredients: Cocoa Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Laureth 4, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Perfume, Chinese Ginger Oil, Lavender Oil, Persian Lime Oil, Cream of Tartar, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Lauryl Betaine, Titanium Dioxide, Colour 42090, Snowflake Lustre, Silver Lustre, *Citral, *Citronellol, Geraniol, *Coumarin, *Limonene, *Linalool
*occurs naturally in essential oils
This is a vegan product and Lush are against animal testing - keep your beauty cruelty free!