Shower, Shower Bombs

Wake Up Call Shower Bomb

Lush’s new massive spa store in Liverpool features a great deal of exclusive products from perfumes to shower jellies and there’s a lot of exciting things on offer. When I went I told myself that although I was staying away from buying any bath products, I’d allow myself one shower bomb out of the ten exclusives. Being a lover of coffee, I just had to go for Wake Up Call.

Designed to look like a coffee capsule, Wake Up Call is perfect for sluggish mornings with its sweet coffee scent. Coffee doesn’t just give you energy when it’s consumed, but the aroma also has stimulating effects for the brain. The addition of Cocoa Powder means that the shower bomb’s fragrance is more like a mocha or a sweet coffee, with spicy and woody notes from Labdanum Resinoid, Guaiacwood Oil and Black Pepper Oil.

Once I got in the shower and held the little bomb under the water, I was slightly underwhelmed by the amount of foam it produced. As you can see in the picture it wasn’t actually that foamy at all and I actually had to crush it somewhat in my hands to really get it going, meaning sadly I lost some down the plughole. The lather that did reach my body however, had a beautifully soft texture. Most shower bombs contain Sodium Alginate derived from seaweed and Potato Starch, which is what makes them feel so silky. Wake Up Call goes a step further by including soothing Aloe Vera Extract too.

Alongside the Aloe Vera, the Cocoa Powder is also soothing, as well as having softening properties thanks to the residue cocoa butter it contains. Furthermore, warming Black Pepper Oil and the Ground Coffee itself both leave the skin looking brighter and healthier. Both the Cocoa Powder and the Ground Coffee give a gentle exfoliation too.

Although I love the scent of the shower bomb itself, it got lost slightly when I was using it which was a big disappointment, an even bigger disappointment being that I couldn’t detect any lingering smell at all on my skin once I was dry which was a real shame. It did however leave my skin feeling soft and looking bright, which I guess somewhat makes up for the lack of fragrance.

In conclusion, I was really excited to try this product but I felt somewhat let down. Considering the shower bombs are meant to give you a real sense of luxury in the shower, I was expecting more. If the scent had just lasted a little longer I would have been much happier! Lets hope the next one I try is a little better!

Ingredients

Sodium Bicarbonate, Cream of Tartar, Citric Acid, Potato Starch, Cocoa Powder, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Calcium Lactate Gluconate, Sodium Alginate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Perfume, Black Pepper Oil, Labdanum Resinoid, Guaiacwood Oil, Ground Coffee, Aloe Vera Extract, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Coumarin, Eugenol, Limonene

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Hair, Shampoo

Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo

Another product I was excited to get my hands on when I took a trip to see the exclusives at Lush Liverpool Spa was Wasabi Shan Kui Shampoo. This shampoo is designed to promote hair growth and thicken the hair and that’s exactly what I look for. As a big fan of New Shampoo Bar, I knew I’d love this. Wasabi Shan Kui’s name literally means ‘Wasabi Wasabi’ as shan kui is the direct translation of wasabi in Mandarin Chinese.

Wasabi isn’t usually an ingredient you’d find in a shampoo but much like the cinnamon in New Shampoo Bar, it has greatly stimulating effects on the hair follicles to promote growth. Anything that creates a warm or tingly sensation on the skin means it gets the blood flowing to the area and that encourages the hair follicles to get to work. Wasabi is no exception to that rule and if you’ve ever tasted it, you’ll understand why. Lush use both Fresh Wasabi and Wasabi Decoction in this shampoo. Wasabi belongs to the same family as Horseradish, so Lush have included it also for the same effects. Horseradish further produces a large amount of vitamin C which is beneficial to maintaining collagen production, an important protein found in the hair and skin.

Further boosting these stimulating effects, we have Caffeine Powder and Menthol Crystals. Just as caffeine is a stimulant for your brain, it’s stimulating for your hair too, whilst menthol has a unique effect on the scalp. It can disrupt the hair fall cycle, allowing the hair to be retained for longer. If all these ingredients don’t encourage your hair to grow then I don’t know what else will!

To thicken the texture and give volume, Wasabi Shan Kui contains both Sea Salt and Epsom Salts. When salt dries on the hair it swells, creating a volumised effect much like when you’ve been swimming in the sea.

Obviously a good shampoo needs cleansing ingredients too, so Wasabi Shan Kui contains Fresh Lemon Juice and Agave Syrup, both of which have cleansing and antibacterial qualities. Agave Syrup is very much like honey in the way it adds moisture and soothes whilst Fresh Lemon Juice helps to enzymically break down excess oils, whist adding shine.

Furthermore, this new shampoo also contains Aquafaba and Olive Oil. Otherwise known as chickpea water, Aquafaba is full of proteins and other nutrients that strengthen and protect the hair. Olive Oil is mostly the same, but hydrates the hair too.

Although I don’t think I’ve been using this shampoo long enough to really notice a difference in the growth of my hair, especially seeing as I use other products to help with this issue too, I will say that it leaves my hair feeling soft and silky and looking healthy and thick. It kinda has a strange texture, the salt makes it slightly gritty, but that just helps get rid of buildup on the scalp and it doesn’t bother me too much.

I know everyone’s probably concerned about the scent of Wasabi Shan Kui but honestly it doesn’t actually smell that much of wasabi. Thanks to a mix of Orange, Lemon and Rose Oils it has a fairly uplifting fruity fragrance with just a hint of warmth in the background. So don’t let that put you off!

Wasabi Shan Kui is currently available online as part of this months Lush Labs release, so now’s a great chance to try it out for yourself! I’m really enjoying using it so I definitely recommend!

Ingredients

Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Wasabi Decoction, Epsom Salt, Hand Harvested Sea Salt, Propylene Glycol, Fresh Horseradish, Agave Syrup, Aquafaba , Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Fresh Wasabi, Caffeine Powder, Sicilian Lemon Oil, Rose Oil, Organic Sweet Orange Oil, Fresh Lemon Juice, Menthol Crystals, Gardenia Extract, Water, Fair Trade Olive Oil, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citral, Limonene, Linalool, Perfume, Chlorophyllin, Colour 19140

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Hair, Hair Treatments

Willow The Wisp Thickening Serum

Arguably the best thing about Lush’s newest spa store in Liverpool is their wide range of exciting new haircare products and there were some that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on. My hair is very thin and often looks limp and lifeless so Willow The Wisp Thickening Serum sounded like it would be great for me. The name is a play on will-o’-the-wisps, which are ghostly lights in folklore though I don’t know why Lush chose this name for it.

The main ingredients of Willow The Wisp is a heavy load of Silken Tofu and Toothed Wrack Seaweed Gel. Tofu has a high protein content and heaps of vitamins which makes it fantastic for strenthening and thickening the hair. This, plus the high salt content is mainly what’s responsible for giving you that volumised feel. The seaweed gel is also full of nutrients and it also forms a protective barrier on the hair, giving it a shine and adding moisture.

This product doesn’t just contain Sea Salt, but Epsom Salt too. Epsom salts were discovered in the town of Epsom in Surrey where they’re found naturally in springs but essentially have the same benefits as regular salts, just with a different mineral content. When salt dries on the hair it swells, creating a texturised effect much like when you’ve been swimming in the sea.

As well as it’s thickening effects, Willow The Wisp is great at boosting shine and glossiness thanks to not only the seaweed, but also to Lemon and Lime Juices and Olive Oil too. As citrus juices are astringent, they add shine to the hair as their acidity causes the hair follicles to lie flat, meaning they reflect more light. Olive Oil is extremely beneficial to hair as it hydrates, protects and nourishes the hair as well as improving the tensile strength.

A couple of somewhat strange ingredients have also been included in this product and they’re Polyvinylpyrrolidone and Ethyl Macadamiate. Although they sound scary, each one is completely harmless and further benefits the hair. Polyvinylpyrrolidone or PVP is a polymer that thinly coats the hair and gives a gentle hold, to avoid you losing that volume right away. Ethyl Macadamiate is derived from macadamia nuts and also forms a thin coating over the hair that’s highly protective from heat and humidity.

To use this serum you simply work a few pumps of the product through hair before drying and it’ll get to work. Lush suggest using it on washed damp hair but I don’t see why you couldn’t use it whenever you need a boost. It’s much like Sea Spray in that way but rather than simply spraying over, you actually need to work the liquid through the hair. I love the feeling of my hair after using this product, it definitely does what it says and I really notice a difference after using it!

The other thing I’m really loving is the scent! Willow The Wisp features a sweet fruity and rosy fragrance that you can really smell when it’s in your hair thanks to a mixture of Rose, Rosewood and Benzoin Resinoid. Whatsmore, Benzoin Resinoid is very protective for the hair, preventing it from losing moisture.

Lush are really taking great steps with so many great hair care products and I’m excited to try and write about more! I’d definitely recommend this fab product so grab one while you can as they’re currently online in this month’s Lush Labs release!

Ingredients

Silken Tofu, Toothed Wrack Seaweed Gel, Water, Propylene Glycol, Epsom Salt, Fine Sea Salt, Perfume, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Ethyl Macadamiate, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Lime Juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Rose Absolute, Rose Oil, Rosewood Oil, Benzoin Resinoid, Xanthan Gum, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Cinnamal, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, Colour 42090:2

 

 

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Base & Coverage, Make Up

Slapstick Solid Foundation

A while ago, Lush really started expanding their somewhat dated make-up range. The first thing to come out of this was their innovative solid foundations, called Slapsticks. I remember seeing these for the first time and honestly being in awe of them. There’s a whopping forty shades, separated into three undertones depending whether you are cool, warm or neutral. They’re also vegan, cruelty free (of course) and also zero-waste and naked, save for the black wax you use to hold the product and the cardboard packaging it comes in! How cool is that?!

Each Slapstick is an enriching, highly buildable blend of gentle ingredients and pigment to give a medium coverage and to make your complexion glow. They’re composed of 14% pigment and 45% Indonesian Coconut Oil. The Coconut Oil base means that the Slapsticks feel so soft and make for an easy application, as well as keeping your skin hydrated underneath. Jojoba Oil allows the product to sink into the skin nicely and blends beautifully with a quadruple threat of Candelilla, Sunflower, Rose and Orange Peel Waxes to help the colour and pigment last. Each solid foundation also contains rich Argan Oil and Oat Kernel Oil to rejuvenate, lock in moisture and really nourish the skin.

All these ingredients are super gentle even for sensitive skins and frankly I’ve never felt a more nourishing foundation. I’ve seen a couple of reviews where people have said that the Slapsticks aren’t good for people with oily skin as it leaves them feeling too greasy. Personally I’ve not had that issue but I don’t have oily skin, my suggestion would be to perhaps try one in store and see how you feel first.

Although they’re foundation, I’d argue that with just one layer, the Slapsticks feel a lot more like BB Cream than anything else, which is perfect for me as that’s what I’ve been using before. The great thing is, if you want more coverage, you can continue to apply layers until you’ve got the desired outcome, without it feeling cakey or too heavy, even with all the oils it contains. I apply mine straight on my face in smallish sections and then blend in with a general buffing brush, though you can use your fingertips or a sponge to suit your needs. It leaves a fairly dewy finish but you can easily mattify with the help of a powder.

As I mentioned already, there are 40 different shades, making the range one of the most inclusive out there. There are four families of the Slapstick shades: dark, medium dark, medium-light and light and within each family are 10 different shades numbered from the darkest shade (40) to the lightest (1). Each shade then has either the letter N, C or W to indicate your skin’s undertone, standing for warm, cool and neutral. The best way to find out your undertone is to look at the underside of your wrist. If the veins there are mostly blue or purple, you’ll lean towards cooler hues, while greens indicate a warmer tone. An even mix of both suggests you’re a neutral.

If you really aren’t sure and you’re definitely interested you can pop into one of the stores that currently carries the range such as Oxford Street or Liverpool Spa and a staff member there will be happy to help you match your shade. I currently use 8N as my skin is relatively light with neutral undertones, though when I’m slightly more tan I’ll use 9W or a mixture of both for a more sun-kissed finish.

I’m super impressed with my (now second) Slapstick. I had a few issues at first with it melting slightly in the hotter temperatures and applying way too much when I was getting used to it but now I use it almost every day (or at least whenever I wear make-up). The best thing about it is just how versatile it is, you can use it to contour, to conceal or for total coverage and obviously all this comes at no cost to the environment as even the wax seal is biodegradable. You can find and purchase the range here at the Lush UK website, I’m sure you won’t regret it.

Ingredients (Slapstick)

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Candelilla Wax, Glycerine, Organic Jojoba Oil, Silica, Sunflower Wax, Oat Kernel Oil, Orange Peel Wax, Rose Wax, Argan Oil, Talc, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Cetearyl Alcohol, CI77492, CI77491, C177499, Black Wax

Ingredients (Wax Seal)

Black Wax, Perfume, Rose Absolute, Amyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellal, Geraniol, Linalool

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Body Masks, Face, Face Masks

Cup O’ Coffee Face and Body Mask

I’m one of those people who cannot survive without coffee. I have to have a cup as soon as I wake up otherwise I won’t make it through the morning, or rather everyone around me won’t. I love the taste, I love the smell, so it comes as no surprise that Cup O’ Coffee is one of my favourite products from Lush and my all-time favourite face mask.

As soon as you crack open the lid, you’re hit with a strong coffee aroma which can put you off if that’s not your cup of tea, or coffee rather. Coffee contains a high amount of caffeine, which is a stimulant to the brain, waking you up and giving you energy if you consume it. Likewise, it is also a stimulant for the skin. Cup O’ Coffee contains an infusion made from coffee beans which boosts circulation to the skin, reviving and brightening the complexion. Lush have also included Caffeine Powder to boost that effect.

Although Cup O’ Coffee is a mask, it contains Ground Coffee which acts as an effective exfoliant when you’re washing it off. It’s actually fairly scrubby on the skin which is perfect for deeply cleansing pores and removing dirt. Ground Coffee is one of the best eco-friendly alternatives to plastic microbeads. I will never understand why companies still continue to use highly damaging ingredients in their products when nature provides an alternative.

This mask actually has a fairly moist and sticky texture due to the addition of Agave Syrup. Like honey, this syrup is highly antibacterial and anti-inflammatory as well was being moisturising for the skin. This definitely makes the scrub a little less harsh and leaves the skin feeling soft and nourished once removed. Also added for their cleansing benefits are Kaolin, which draws out the impurities in the skin, and Bentone Gel which is great for absorbing excess sebum.

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Lastly a few other ingredients have been included mostly to enhance the mask’s scent, but each have their own individual properties too. Vanilla Absolute is soothing and antibacterial when applied to the skin. Vanilin, its main aromatic compound, is antioxidant and contributes to restoring skin’s brightness and softness. Coriander Oil and Vetivert Oil are warming and stimulating, contributing to the mask’s main benefits and lastly Roasted Cocoa Extract gives a rich aroma to the product whilst also being soothing.

I love the feeling after using this mask. My skin always feels so smooth and honestly looks noticeably brighter and healthier. Dull skin no more! Furthermore, I often get bored of products and I love changing up my routine but Cup O Coffee is definitely one of my desert island products that I doubt I’ll ever stop using. Do not stop making this product Lush!!

Ingredients

Organic Agave Syrup, Kaolin, Glycerine, Coffee Infusion, Talc, Ground Coffee, Bentone Gel, Perfume, Vetivert Oil, Vanilla Absolute, Roasted Cocoa Extract, Coriander Oil, Caffeine Powder, Coumarin, Limonene, Linalool

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Bath, Bath Bombs

Moon Spell Bath Bomb

Out of all the bath bombs Lush have released this year for their 30th Anniversary, a couple that really caught my eye were Moon Spell and Star Spell. These are two-in-one bath bombs that interlock with a star or a moon shape inside.

Looking at the colour scheme and the name, I originally guessed that Moon Spell would be Sleepy scented, or at least contain some form of relaxing lavender-based scent. However, it actually contains Brazilian Orange Oil and doesn’t feature much of a strong scent at all. The Orange Oil gives a somewhat fruity sweet vibe to the fragrance but that’s really all I get from it.

Moon Spell is actually half jelly bomb, with the pink half containing Carrageenan Extract. Carrageenan comes from dried and powdered Irish moss seaweed which rehydrates when it comes into contact with water and produces a jelly-like consistency. I can’t say I’m a massive fan of the jelly bombs but as this is only half, I’ve been hoping I won’t mind it!

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Once popped in the water, each half quickly begins fizzing but very differently. The blue half foamed up more, fizzing slowly and almost unnoticeably, whereas the pink half fizzed in the way a jelly bomb does, with thick clumps coming out from it. I did expect more in terms of bath art but before long each half had almost completed the fizz, leaving behind a light blue/purplish bath. Sadly the scent still hadn’t really made itself known to my nose.

The jelly wasn’t actually very prominent either, the only time I really felt it was when I was running my hands through the pinky goo that had appeared from the bath bomb. Once it had mixed into the water, it was pretty much gone and in fact it didn’t feel any different to a usual bath bomb. I did notice these adorable little pink cellulose stars floating under the water which is a nice touch.

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I will say that after my bath my skin did feel soft and hydrated so that’s a bonus but as I had guessed, the scent left no lingering reminder on my skin.

In conclusion, this bath bomb is a slight disappointment. The design is so cute but I feel as though they let it slide with everything else, but that’s just my opinion.

Ingredients

Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Carrageenan Extract, Brazilian Orange Oil, Water, Glycerine, Titanium Dioxide, Dipropylene Glycol, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Hydroxy Propyl Methyl Cellulose, Sodium Carboxymethyl Cellulose, Limonene, Perfume, Colour 45410, Colour 42090, Colour 17200

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Bath, Bath Bombs

Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds Bath Bomb

If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’d hopefully have seen my post about Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds Bubble Bar, which is one of my all time favourite bubble bars. Knowing this you’d have guessed that when I first saw the release of a bath bomb featuring the same name and scent, I was over the moon! I low key prefer a bath bomb over a bubble bar, just because of the chance to see some amazing bath art.

The scent and idea behind Blue Skies is that you’re supposed to feel like you’re as relaxed as if you were simply watching fluffy clouds serenely drift across a blue sky. With a relaxing scent comprised of Patchouli, Frankincense and Cinnamon Leaf, it does just that. I also love how the bomb looks like a fluffy cloud itself, with a light dusting of silver sparkles.

Pachouli has long been used in perfumery and aromatherapy because it’s earthy aroma is great at easing worries and allowing you to fall into a meditative state of mind. Frankincense, otherwise known as Olibanum is a very typical ‘incense’ fragrance. It’s citrusy, woody and refreshing and compliments the Patchouli well. Lastly, theres a warming hint of spiciness that comes from the addition of Cinnamon Leaf Oil. I love the Blue Skies scent because it really grounds me and is perfect for when you just want to escape reality for a moment. If you’re not a fan of the typical relaxing scent of Lavender, this might be a good alternative. Comparing both bath products, I find that the Cinnamon Leaf is more obvious in the bath bomb’s scent.

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I had originally thought that Blue Skies would be a relatively fast fizzer in the water but I was wrong! It actually fizzed away fairly slowly, sending out steady steams of light blue and white foam into the water. The blue colour of the bath bomb is a lot lighter than the bubble bar, so I didn’t get to experience the usual vivid blue colour with this format, with the bath water turning a very pale pastel blue instead. In all honestly, the bath art wasn’t anything specatular but the glimmering silver lustre  looked gorgeous when it caught the light under the water.

Sadly although upon first entry to the water, the bath bomb released a strong hit of its fragrance, it quickly disappeared into the air which was a tad disappointing. Saying that, it reappeared on my skin once I was out and lasted for quite a while, completely opposite to the bubble bar which tends to remain in the air only. I also noticed that my skin had a dusting of the silver glitter left on it, which similarly glimmered in the light.

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Furthermore, it left my skin feeling really soft, smooth and well cleansed. I didn’t even feel the need to use a body lotion! Whilst I think I’d prefer it if the bath bomb had a slightly darker or more vibrant colour, I’m very glad to have got my hands on it. I imagine I’ll be stocking up soon! Maybe we’ll start seeing more Blue Skies scented products? Let’s hope the shower gel returns.

Ingredients

Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Perfume, Patchouli Oil, Frankincense Resinoid, Cinnamon Leaf Oil, Cream of Tartar, Titanium Dioxide, Water, Sodium Coco Sulfate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Tin Oxide, Amyl Cinnamal, Eugenol, Limonene, Colour 42090

 

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