Posts tagged ‘Lush’

December 20, 2010

LUSH Cupcake

Valerie and I ducked into our local Lush Cosmetics store yesterday, largely because I had cleaned my bathtub and a clean tub demands a mess-creating bath. I exercised restraint and picked up two bath ballistics: The Boogg, and So White.


The Boogg is the cutest little snowman-shaped bath bomb. I haven’t tried it yet, so I can’t give a review. I will review it when I’ve popped it into my bath! It’s got little colourful balls inside that spiral out and stripe the water with coloured swirls, which is truthfully the only reason I ever buy bath bombs.

So White is a bath bomb with gratings of Lush’s bubble bars (solid bubble bath powder), so it fizzes away releasing a happy apple scent and coats the water’s surface with a little layer of bubbles. I love apple scents, both artificial and real. And this does have an apple-like accord, though the crispness of apple is softened by the inclusion of floral essential oils. Understandable, as it is a bath product, but I do love the sharp tartness of a freshly bitten apple. I won’t review this till I’ve used it, as the last So White I used was last year and I don’t want to work off last year’s memories.

I also got a free Cupcake mask, as it was expiring soon. (Yay freebies!) I haven’t used Cupcake before, though it’s been on my ‘to try’ list for a few months. At the moment, my skin is leaning towards oily with minimal breakouts (one or two pimples when I’m too lazy to wash my face at night) and some stubborn blackheads which refuse to disappear.

Apologies for the dodgy photograph; the lighting is bad everywhere at the moment and my camera is rather basic.

Like most Lush masks, these are best applied to a wet face. Having a wet face also means that you can stretch the product further than the projected four-or-so treatments per pot. (I tend to be able to pull twelve.) Keep gross bacteria at a minimum by using a new wooden spatula each time you dip, and consider freezing it in portions and defrosting what you intend to use so that you can keep it a little past its use-by date.

Cupcake is a mud-based mask that smells of chocolate and peppermint. It looks like ganache mixed with a thick cream mousse and doesn’t taste a thing like it, so take it from me: do not eat; the real stuff is better.

It also contains cocoa butter, so for those of you who suffer crazy breakouts from the stuff, tread with caution. I, too, am someone who suffers crazy breakouts from cocoa butter, but I am very bad at heeding my own advice and so! All over my face.

Cupcake feels like a very thick mousse with a rough, slightly gritty texture, although a sparse grittiness that is reminiscent of fine sand rather than giant chunks of salt. Just scrubby enough to appease my love for shower violence. (Scrub the dead skin off, the blackhead inducing little buggers! Arr.)

After five minutes, it hardens slightly but not completely. My skin felt slightly tight once I had rinsed it off, but I’m also not quite in the target group for Cupcake so I don’t think it’s really all that drying if your skin is decidedly oily, rather than my fickle ‘bored with being dry now BOOM YEAH PARTY TIME BREAK OUT THE OIL YO.’

It does leave quite the residue so I’d tone/rinse prior to applying moisturiser. It also makes a mess in your sink… or maybe I just suck at washing my face neatly; who knows. Suffice to say, WATER EVERYWHAR. On the mirror and on the taps and on the sink.

It’s a bit early to write a review as to its long-term effects, as I’ve only had one trial and bad after-effects can pop up after a few days, even if there’s a honeymoon overnight period. My blackheads are still there but I didn’t expect them to disappear after one use (after any amount of uses, really). My face feels nicely non-oily without feeling dry, so I have no complaints on that front, and the cocoa butter seems to have quit its vendetta against my pores. It leaves my skin feeling pretty clean and fresh, with an even tone (though nothing beats Catastrophe Cosmetic for evening out skintone). Cupcake seems perfect for those humid summer days when my skin feels terribly oily and sticky.

Repurchasing is definitely on the table — particularly if I happen to get it for free with the five pots trade in scheme.

December 7, 2010

LUSH Herbalism: a rambling review

Hello, Mr. Bump! He sits on my desk and watches me pretend to work. (I’m pretending to work now. Shh, don’t tell anyone.) Sometimes he gets bumped by my notes. Such trials and tribulations has he! Right now, he is beaming down at my new Lush stash; my regime for happy skin.

The weather is getting more humid, which means that my skin stops behaving. I suspect it’s trying to be nice and give me a lovely summery glow, but I just end up looking like a bad impersonation of a headlight. With blackheads.

Sadly, this means an on-and-off hiatus from part of my skincare regime for about five months. And it’s my favourite part, too: Lush’s Angels on Bare Skin, which I wrote about here. In the cooler months, I use Angels on Bare Skin almost every day, going to Aqua Marina when my skin needs a break from Angels on Bare Skin. Now that summer is here, though, Aqua Marina takes the place of Angels on Bare Skin, and I use Herbalism once or twice a week, particularly on the days I happen to wear makeup.

My, that sounded complicated, but it’s really not.

I know that quite a few people complain about the expiry dates when it comes to Lush’s cleansers (they officially last three months, but I’ve found that they’re good for a bit longer than that), but I find that the short expiry dates let me play around and tweak my skincare regime as required, without having lots of half-empty bottles lying around my bathroom. I’m on my last dribs and drabs of Angels on Bare Skin, and have just bought a fresh pot of Aqua Marina and Herbalism to last me till April. And by April, I’ll probably need Angels on Bare Skin, so it all works out terribly neatly.

I love it when things work out terribly neatly. I also like it when my lunch boxes are more or less the exact size for whatever food I’m bringing. Those moments are, in a word, awesome. It’s like efficiency in a little effortless tub; an illusion of natural precision and efficacy, like how God made bananas to fit our fingers.

So I’m now armed with my terribly neat, terribly efficient, terribly Holy Banana-like skincare.  This is what the contents look like:

…Basically like the Lush stock pictures, actually, except my Herbalism is all powdery and clumpy and theirs sticks together in a tidy little roll.

(Oh my god, it looks like I’m growing mouldy scone flour in the Herbalism tub 0.0.)

I’ve written about Aqua Marina before, so this post will focus mainly on Herbalism. Which smells really strange, by the way. I always find it difficult to switch from Angels on Bare Skin to Herbalism. Angels on Bare Skin smells… earthy, a little lavender-y, generally inoffensive.


Herbalism smells like vinegar on crack. And then the vinegar ran out of crack and attacked your herb garden with a particular vendetta against sage.

The stuff smells weird.

But it works quite well to control oil. The Lush website has this description:

When you see this you may question our claim that our new skincare products are the most beautiful we have ever made, but once you use it you will understand. Herbalism is named after the powdered herbs which give it a dark green colour and which also give it the power to keep your skin calm and free of irritation. We use cleansing nettle, which is full of vitamins, chamomile for its soothing properties and astringent rosemary to tone the skin. China clay gently cleanses away excess oil and a gentle exfoliating mix of ground almonds and rice bran keeps your skin fresh. We make this wash for more oily skin which is difficult to keep clear; use it and you’ll find that it makes a big difference. (100g lasts for ages as you only need a fingertip-full each time you wash with it.)












Darn tootin’ I’m questioning your claim re. beauty. Every summer, when I open the tub after a long holiday away from Herbalism, I wonder precisely why I think the stuff works. It looks like crumbled Hulk. (Which, okay, is kind of awesome because that would be rather amusing.)

As with most Lush cleansers, Herbalism is a bit fiddly to use. You need to grab a little pea-sized amount, mush it in a few droplets of water to create a paste, and then put the stuff on your face. It’s moderately exfoliating but not intensely so (although I am a shower-violence kind of person when it comes to scrubbies, so don’t trust my judgment completely), and zaps most of the oil from my skin — enough so that I’m not a walking glowstick, but not so much that my skin feels (worryingly) squeaky-clean.

As per usual with skincare and cosmetics, YMMV. I’ve heard of people breaking out from Herbalism; I’ve also heard of Herbalism being the Holy Grail of skincare. If you are curious, Lush is generally very good at handing out samples and doing demonstrations, so do give it a whirl. It may smell rather strange at first, but you will probably get accustomed to it after regular use.

November 25, 2010

Teddy bear baths


This is Valerie’s teddy bear, Mummy Bear. She’s had Mummy Bear since she was… oh, I’m not sure, but it’s been easily just under two decades. In this photo, she is in Valerie’s bathroom sink, which I’ve dubbed ‘the giant bear bath’. It is indeed a giant bath,  for a bear anyway.

Mummy Bear has been bathed very few times in those twenty-odd years and this fact, coupled with Sydney’s rather hot weather, prompted us to give her a bath.



This is Mummy Bear having her ears scrubbed. The soap we’re using is Lush’s Porridge soap, which is not only wonderfully apt for a bear (because we all know that bears like porridge hot, cold and ‘just right’) but a nicely scrubby soap for humans. Quite moisturising and a pretty fun soap — much more tactile than your usual soaps or shower gels.

I’m quite fond of Lush products, although I do think the majority of their products are rather gimmicky and overpriced. I am quite happy, however, to pay for their skincare line, which I’m sure pulled my normal, leaning-towards-oily-in-summer-and-dehydrated-in-winter skin through a month of all-nighters, stress, bad diet and dry indoor air.

These are the Holy Triad of Skincare Products:

From left to right: Catastrophe Cosmetic biofresh face mask; Angels on Bare Skin cleanser; Aqua Marina cleanser.

The gorgeously purple container on the left holds Catastrophe Cosmetic, a facial mask made from fresh blueberries. It also has calamine and all sorts of essential oils, which are probably more effective than blueberries but far less awesome sounding. I find that this mask really evens my skintone and seems to control breakouts really well — haven’t had one pimple in the four months I’ve been using it.  —Oh, wait, I tell a lie; I stopped using it and had a few little ones (my skin is generally well behaved), and they all disappeared once I got a new pot. Miracle in a little black pot, really.

Angels on Bare Skin is a lightly scrubby cleanser made from kaolin clay, rose and lavender essential oils, and ground almonds (that’s what makes it nicely scrubbeh). Don’t expect it to remove makeup, because it’s really very gentle. It leaves my skin looking quite dewy and fresh, like I’ve just woken up after a long sleep. I have no idea how it does it (okay, maybe an inkling: light scrubbing from the almonds and a bit of moisturising from the essential oils) but I love it very very much.

I’ve only just started using Aqua Marina, mainly because I didn’t want to use Angels on Bare Skin every day — as tempting as it is, all that exfoliation probably isn’t good for my skin. Like Catastrophe Cosmetic, Aqua Marina has calamine, which is awesome for soothing and evening skintone (remember using calamine lotion on mosquito bites?), as well as kaolin (which is what makes Angels on Bare Skin so awesome). It’s basically a win combination of Catastrophe Cosmetic and Angels on Bare Skin, except it smells Really Very Strange. I’m not quite sure what it is, either — I suspect it’s the seaweed, which is apparently very good for your skin. Would rather eat seaweed than plaster it all over my face, though!

I use Angels on Bare Skin about three or four times a week, and Aqua Marina when I haven’t used Angels on Bare Skin. Catastrophe Cosmetic gets pulled out four times a week (about every second or third day) because the expiry date demands near-constant use if you want to use it up before it goes all mouldy and gross. (Lush says that the pot has four to six applications, I think; I know I manage to get at least twenty. Maybe I have a small face?)

Just to wrap it up, this is today’s outfit. You’ve seen it before, but I’m wearing it again and now you get a chance to see it without my stupid poses. Ain’t life grand!


The dress is from Alannah Hill’s Spring/Summer 2006 collection and is called ‘Stargazer’; the cardigan is the ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ cardi from… Spring/Summer 2006 too, I think (can’t really recall and I’ve lost the receipt) and the ‘Little Picket Fences’ belt is from Autumn/Winter 2009.

I’m very fond of this outfit — I love that it combines red and pink and blue, which is a bit of  fashion no-no generally, but I think it works here. I usually pair it with this headband:


The headband (Parking Lot Love from Spring/Summer 2010) originally came with a brighter and bigger blue satin bow, but I cut it off and replaced it with a thin grosgrain ribbon. I also added a satin burgundy ribbon to the headband for this particular outfit, so that the blend of red and blue in my overall outfit looks less blocky.


I brought the red of the cardigan down to my shoes, as well, so that the red wasn’t so heavy at the top of the outfit:

I made the red bows myself — just out of a strip of bias tape (I’ve linked you to a Wikipedia description because I have no idea what it is, lol!) I took from my mother’s sewing box. At the moment they’re precariously attached with dabs of glue gun glue. I imagine I’ll reattach them with something more sturdy sometime soon.

I bought the shoes themselves from Midas Shoes. They came in an awesome array of colours — pale yellows and purples as well as the blue above, I think. I wanted them to go with a particular dress but the tone was all off — far too warm for my dusty silvery-blue Fleur Wood dress (which I haven’t posted yet, huh?). I like how the red brings out the warmth so that the bow isn’t too glaring an addition. Almost like berry sorbet ^^.

And berry sorbet is pretty perfect for this weather, I think.