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LUSH Holiday 2013 Bath Bombs, Bubble Bars, and Gifts Reviews & Photos

Lush Holiday 2013
Lush Holiday 2013

For the holidays, Lush has plenty of offerings to tempt you. Here’s a quickie overview of some of the products I recently tried:

Melting Snowman ($5.95 for 2.1 oz.) is a bath melt, which are supposed to be used either in halves or wholes and tossed into the tub as you fill it with warm water. They’re supposed to add a hydrating element to your soak. He smells of chocolate, cinnamon, and orange. The “chocolate chip” eyes don’t fully melt and tend to float and smear on the tub (not so sexy to look at), and I did find myself needing to scrub those bits away post-bath. It’s definitely hydrating and makes the skin feel softer afterward.

Cinders ($4.95) is a bath bomb that also has “crackling vegan candies,” so you’ll actually hear it crackle and pop a bit once the majority of the bath bomb has fizzed away (about a minute). It smelled like spiced cider, not too sweet or too spicy, and it really was like splashing around in a vat of cider. You can hear the candies crackling here and there for about five to ten minutes. This was my favorite of the bath bombs I tried this season. It turned the water yellow, and I think this might have worked better if it turned the water orange or tangerine? in terms of aesthetics.

The Christmas Penguin ($7.45 for 3.5 oz.) is a bubble bar shaped like a penguin–and he’s a rather pricey bath bomb as a result! Crumble his little penguin body into a hot bath for some bubble action. When used, it will turn the bath water a light blue. It had a slightly tart, slightly sweet mix of citrus going on–a little fizzy and lemon-lime like.

Golden Wonder ($6.95 for 7.8 oz.) is a larger bath bomb that has a treat inside–if you shake it around, you’ll here something rattling inside. It’s golden and has gold glitter on the exterior, and it fizzes away in about a minute and a half. It had a very strong, somewhat synthetic, sweet orange. I didn’t love it–it didn’t give me a really fresh orange fragrance, more cloying and syrupy sweet. Spoiler alert: the portion inside is a vibrant turquoise-blue and did leave some bluish residue along my tub, so be sure to scrub and wash down accordingly.

Luxury LUSH Pud ($6.95 for 7 oz.) is supposed to be a lavender-scented bath bomb. When placed in a hot bath, it turned the water a muted, magenta pink with some foaminess. It took about two minutes for the entire bath bomb to fizzle away. It smelled like a mix of sweet vanilla and lavender.

Sandy Santa ($9.95 for 4.5 oz.) is a body buffer in the shape of Santa. It uses sand and sugar to exfoliate dead skin sells, plus it’s in solid form, so it also contains coconut oil and shea butter for softening and hydration. I wouldn’t say it hydrated all that much, and it really melts very, very quickly. I highly recommend breaking off just a small piece, going over the skin lightly, but then rubbing what you’ve melted off in with your hands, not the bar itself, as you’ll just waste most of it. It smelled primarily of orange oil with a little lemon, and for me, it read synthetic. Breaking him into pieces, I was able to get three scrubs worth of mostly legs and arms but not much else. I was surprised at the price point, given how few uses I was able to get out of him.

Let the Good Times Roll ($12.95 for 3.5 oz.) originally launched for the holidays but made it into the permanent range due to its popularity. It smells like incredibly sweet sugar cookies with a very, very subtle cinnamon spice. It contains maize flour and corn meal, so it is a gentle exofliator with fine bits that leave skin feeling soft but never raw, dry, or red. As a gentler exfoliant, I really liked it, and I’ve been feeling like there’s a void in exfoliators/scrubs in my routine lately, so this has been filling that void nicely. Of all the products I tried this holiday season, this was the only one I’d consider buying.

Celebrate ($29.95 for 7.7 oz.) smells of champagne and citrus–primarily orange–and has a slightly whipped consistency that makes it seem lighter than it is, but it is a rather rich product, because even after two hours of my legs dangling (open to the air!), my legs still felt greasy and slippery. I ended up toweling off what wasn’t absorbing so I could go to bed. I tried it again, and I used the smallest amount possible, and I still felt somewhat greasy after an hour. I would actually say it could make a nice massage lotion, since it never seems to really absorb, so there’s a lot of slip, which is great for massaging! I will also mention that my husband really didn’t like this scent–he found it overwhelming (and he can barely smell, I swear). Like his reaction is encompassed by this scenario: I take one step into his office, and then he says, “What is that smell?” with this face that says, “Please step back.” It had an almost medicinal quality to the orange/citrus in it for me.

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philosophy Raspberry Passion Fruit Dreamsicle Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath Review, Photos

philosophy Raspberry Passion Fruit Dreamsicle Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath
philosophy Raspberry Passion Fruit Dreamsicle Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath

philosophy Raspberry Passion Fruit Dreamsicle Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath ($27.00 for 32 oz.) is described as a “sheer delight of ripe berries, tropical passion fruit, and sweet creaminess.” It smells like raspberries and cream with added sweetness that I felt really came from the “passion fruit” portion–it wasn’t sugary sweet, but a rounded sweetness that was mellow but noticeable.  It’s not fresh raspberries; it’s definitely sweeter than that, but as a general fan of all things raspberry, I liked it quite a bit.

The main reason I bought this (besides being a fiend for any new scent by philosophy) was because it came with a pump, and I really wanted to test it out.  I have another larger-sized bottle, and when it’s full, it makes me nervous–heavy, slippery, and I constantly envision dropping it on my foot.  Plus, I love pump-based bottles, because then you can control the amount you use and use the same amount consistently.  The pump worked really well, and the stem seemed long enough to be able to reach the bottom–you probably will have half an inch or so of product that will remain but otherwise, it should get the majority of the product out.  The plastic used on this bottle is the softer, more squeezable type (like the travel-sized bottles, not the regularly-sized ones), which is my preference.

I’m a fan of the formula, because it lathers up quickly and well, is very aromatic in the shower (but the scent doesn’t linger throughout the day, which, while a personal preference, is my preference), and doesn’t dry out my skin.  As a shampoo, it’s just so-so; gets the job done but doesn’t feel like it does anything extra. As a bubble bath, it works well and smells great–but I so rarely take baths, I inevitably use these 95% of the time as shower gels.

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philosophy The Cookbook Collection (2012) Review & Photos

philosophy The Cookbook Collection

Cook Up Some Holiday Treats

philosophy The Cookbook Collection ($38.00 for 5 x 6 fl. oz.) includes five holiday-themed scents in philosophy’s 3-in-1 gel, which can be used as shampoo, shower gel, or bubble bath. Each year, they put out The Cookbook, and it’s a great gift to give/receive. I actually like philosophy’s smaller bottles, because they use a softer, frosted plastic, which makes it easier to squeeze out the product, compared to the larger bottles, which use a harder, clear plastic.

  • Old Fashioned Eggnog is sweet and creamy with lots of vanilla and a smidgen of spice.
  • Hot Buttered Rum is warm, buttery, and caramel-like sweetness. It was the sweetest, most powerful scent out of the five.
  • Peppermint Bark sweetened chocolate and mint–it’s exactly as described (well, all of these are!).
  • Cinnamon Buns is creamy with sugar and cinnamon. It’s not quite as potent as the smell when you walk by a Cinnabon, but it’s similar.
  • Spicy Pear Cobbler is all tart, crisp pear.  I didn’t get the cobbler part; it doesn’t smell like a baked good, just fruity with more tartness than sweetness.  It was the scent that I liked the most, actually, out of the five–very refreshing to use in the morning.

These are weakest as shampoos; they cleanse, but I feel like they’re really basic and probably won’t be a go-to shampoo for anyone with picky hair.  They definitely don’t lather as much as a shampoo as they do as a bubble bath or shower gel.  I very rarely take baths, so I tend to use these as shower gels.   It takes two of us a couple of months to get through one 16 fl. oz. bottle–about a month for these smaller ones–so the cost-per-use stretches quite a bit.  The formula lathers up well, rinses cleanly off without drying out the skin, and they really scent up the shower.  The scents do not linger on the skin once washed out, which may be something you want or don’t want.

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philosophy Boughs of Holly & Sparkling Cranberry 3-in-1 Gels Reviews & Photos

philosophy Boughs of Holly & Sparkling Cranberry 3-in-1 Gels

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly

philosophy Boughs of Holly 3-in-1 Gel and philosophy Sparkling Cranberry 3-in-1 Gel (each $22.00 for 24 fl. oz.) are super-sized, holiday-themed scents in philosophy’s 3-in-1 formula (shampoo, shower gel, and bubble bath). I am a long-time fan of philosophy’s 3-in-1, and there’s always at least one scent in our shower. We really try to finish one before opening another, but it can take months to get through a regular-sized bottle (16 fl. oz.)!  Both of these holiday scents come in decorative heavy-duty cardboard cylinders–perfect for giving.

Boughs of Holly smells like crisp berries, a little greenery, and a touch of spice. It’s lightly sweetened, and the predominantly scent is berries/fruit. Sparkling Cranberry smells exactly as it is named; there’s the fizzy, bubbly soda scent along with the sweet-and-tart scent of cranberries.  Both are red with glitter in them, though Boughs of Holly is a deeper red.  The scents do not linger beyond the shower, which you may love or you might prefer a lingering scent, but it will be aromatic while you use it and as you shower/bathe.

I like the formula best as a shower gel and bubble bath, as it does both well, and as a shampoo, it cleans, but I think if you have hair that is at all picky or particular about its products, you’ll want to stick to your regular products.  It has an excellent lather, slips and slides across the skin well, and never leaves my skin feeling dry.

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LUSH Do Knot Disturb Review & Photos

LUSH Do Knot Disturb
LUSH Do Knot Disturb

LUSH Do Knot Disturb

LUSH Do Knot Disturb ($29.95) includes four products: French Kiss bubble bar, Sex Bomb, Lust soap, and Soft Couer massage bar. Note, mine is a press sample, and it came with Dirty Toothy Tabs, whereas the ones for purchase include French Kiss–boo!hiss! since I adore lavender! The bubble bar as the fourth item is a way better pick, because those Toothy Tabs aren’t for everyone (so just ignore it in my photos!). With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I wanted to share this with you, because I think it’s absolutely adorable. Totally a cute gift to give to your special someone who loves LUSH!

French Kiss is a bubble bar, which is described as a “calming and reviving lavender, rosemary, and thyme bath.” Bubble bars are typically used to add bubbles and scent to a hot bath. While you can certainly drop the whole thing into the tub, the best way to use these is to crumble a few pieces into the bath. I normally get two to three uses out of each bubble bar.

Sex Bomb is a bath bomb, which is described as “jasmine, clary sage, and ylang ylang.” It also has soya milk to make the water milky and helps to soften your skin while you soak. It primarily adds scent and color to a bath, and this particular bath bomb turns the water pink. Not as moisturizing as a bath melt, but skin won’t feel dry after a long soak with this. It will leave a faint purple ring around the tub, which I found rinsed off once I turned the shower on, but still something to mention.

Lust soap is all about jasmine. It’s full-on, unabashedly jasmine. I’m personally not a fan of jasmine (or most floral-based scents), but if you do love jasmine-scented products, it’s nice. It’s not synthetic or like a layered perfume.

Soft Couer is a massage bar, which is described as a mix of honey and cocoa powder. If you’ve tried Honey I Washed the Kids, the scent should be familiar. Massage bars are solid forms of moisturizing butters that melt as they’re slid around the skin (assuming you’re warm-blooded, of course!). I actually picked this up a couple of years ago in a trio of massage bars. If you do any massage, these are excellent–they really melt upon contact with the skin, and you can work it in over time, because it doesn’t dry down immediately.

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LUSH Red Dragon Soap Review, Photo

LUSH Red Dragon Soap

Happy Lunar New Year with LUSH Red Dragon Soap!

LUSH Red Dragon Soap ($7.95 for 3.5 oz.) is a limited edition soap infused with Lush’s Karma fragrance to celebrate the Year of the Dragon. I made sure to suds up last night with this soap to kick off the new year myself. The top of the dragon has a dusting of “gold,” which does immediately disappear after it hits the water. Lush describes the Karma scent as a “spicy blend ot patchouli, lavender, and pine.” There is also orange oil in it, which is one of the more noticeable notes of the scent for me.

I get the citrus along with a spicy earthiness. It makes the whole shower smell just like the soap, though the scent will dissipate after you’ve finished, and it doesn’t linger for long on the skin (which may be good or bad, depending on your preferences!). The scent fits for Lunar New Year, but I could see it being a love it or hate it kind of aroma overall.

I will say that the actual shaping of the dragon could be more precise, but I’ve never made soap, so maybe it’s not the easy feat I imagine it to be.  I think it’s the head–perhaps a more distinct shape or with better detailing.  Still cute and a nice way to celebrate the beginning of the year!

Happy Lunar New Year! 🙂