Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Review: Lush Rub Rub Rub

Not another Lush review I hear you cry - but surely you can't have too much Lush in your life? 
I certainly can't. 

I do intend to do a 'best of'/recommended Lush product post in the very near future, but these will be basic summaries of my favourite products, whereas I like to go into a lot more detail in my individual reviews. 

This time it is the turn of Rub Rub Rub shower scrub, a delightful concoction which Lush say can be used on both the body and hair. Interesting.

First things first, the packaging.
As part of their 'Green Incentives', Lush try to use as little packaging as possible in their shops, and about half their product range can be taken home 'naked', such as bath bombs, massage bars, shampoo bars and so on (although they do usually give you a recycled paper bag, to save mess in transit!).

Where packaging is required - such as for Rub Rub Rub - they try to use recycled materials, with 90 per cent of packing materials being of recycled origin. The black recycled tubs which have became rather synonymous with Lush are both recycled and recyclable, and as an eco-friendly incentive Lush will give you a free face mask of your choice when you bring back 5 clean pots/tubs/tubes.

I personally like the simplicity of the packaging designs, and Rub Rub Rub's screw-top pot means it's easy to scoop out product whilst in the bath or shower without any fiddly bits!

The product itself (a fairly generous 330g, which retails for £7.95 - for comparison's sake, Soap and Glory's Sugar Crush is £8.00 for 300ml) is a bright blue, highly salt-concentrated paste, with a very unique smell that I can't quite put my finger on - Lush describe it as blossom-scented sea salt, with Orange Flower, Jasmine and Mimosa as key notes in the mix. A lovely scent nonetheless, it doesn't particularly apply itself to either men or women, making it an ideal unisex product.

When used in the shower on wet skin it is almost like a cleansing shower gel, but for real scrub effect it is best used on dry skin before stepping under running water - not for the sensitive skinned out there, but perfect if you like it rough! - to leave skin very smooth and receptive to moisturiser. 
I am not a fake tan user, therefore I can't comment on how this might affect fake tan application afterwards, but it does leave a very slight moisturising oil on the skin, which might make it better suited to post rather than pre fake tan.

A couple of other uses for this product as suggested by Lush is as a refreshing foot scrub (which I can vouch for, especially if the Volcano Foot Mask is used afterwards) and also to wash hair with, as sea salt is known to add volume to hair. 
I've not yet been brave enough to put this near my tresses (I can't get my head round how it would work - how on earth would I get all the salt out my mane?!), but I might use the last bit of product i've got left and give it a go...i'm sure you'll hear about it on Twitter if it's a disaster!

Like a large majority of Lush products, Rub Rub Rub is preservative free, which means no nasty parabens that can be absorbed by the skin, and recommended to be used 'fresh' (although it does come with a use-by date - mine is October this year). 
Disappointingly it does contain SLES (or Sodium Laureth Sulphate - not dissimilar to Sodium Lauryl Sulphate, which is used to create the 'foam' in shampoos, shower gels and so on), a chemical detergent  and foaming agent or surfactant (as it is chemically known) which can be irritating to the skin. 

In the 'Ingredients' page on their website,  you can find out how Lush justify the use of this chemical (amongst many, many other ingredients - it really is quite fascinating, especially for a would-be skincare geek like me!) in their products - in a nutshell it is to allow water and oil to become dispersed (i.e. with their bubble bars) and hence allow the mechanical removal of dirt. 

Despite this, I personally have not experienced any irritation with Rub Rub Rub (and i've got quite tempremental, psoriasis-prone skin), and they do make up for the use of chemicals and perfume with lots of other lovely ingredients:

(Black = safe synthetic, Green = natural ingredient)

I would really recommend this as a refreshing once-a-week treat for your body, and Lush are really good with their free samples, so if you fancy trying this but don't want to fork out the £7.95 at first, pop into your local store and ask for a sample. 
Tell them I sent you!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

(Post title is a Mark Twain quote for the literary lovers out there). 

This post is a bit of a momentous one: not only am I typing this on my new MacBook Pro (yes you read right, whoop whoop), is it my 200th blog post. Wowza.

I didn't think I would ever get to 200 posts (nor have 88 lovely subscribers), but I am genuinely glad to be at this point in my little blog, and thoroughly intend to keep working at it as I really enjoy developing it and writing about new things. 

My blog (and reading other people's) is also a means by which I have 'met' some wonderful, wonderful people. 
In years gone by, meeting/talking to people on the internet was considered weird (to say the least), but now it is a perfectly accepted and normal means through which people from all over the world can interact with each other, and I personally have got to talk to people through my blog, twitter and YouTube who I would actually say are kinder and more considerate that a great majority of people you will come across in the 'real world.'

One such lovely person that I have been very fortunate to get to know is Robyn Tarbox, who you've probably heard me mention on here before, or have seen me tweet about several times! 
Robyn (who has her own blog, Want, Buy, Blog) has become a bit of a confidant (via MAHOOSIVE emails on my part) for me, and I am incredibly grateful for her patiently listening to my ramblings! 
She also spoils me by sending me bits and bobs, such as skincare or makeup bits she thinks I would like, or that she's tried but doesn't get on with - waste not, want not! - and it's little things like that; little thoughtful gestures that help make me realise that there are actually genuine, kind people in the world!

She very recently sent me another fabulous box of goodies; so fabulous in fact that it would be rude not to share it with you...

Bare Minerals Naturally Classic Set - Until meeting Robyn, I had never tried mineral makeup (and have only recently forayed into mineral foundation), so I can't wait to play about with this beautiful set which contains: 
a clutch bag (although i'm more likely to use it to hold makeup)
Wild Honey natural lipgloss - the most stunning peachy-goodie-pink coloured gloss
Papaya Blush - rose-toned blusher with a slight shimmer to it
Be Grateful Eyecolour - a gorgeous nude 
Classic Eyecolour - a nutmeg shade perfect for adding depth to daytime eyes
Sure Thing liner shadow - described as a soft plumb-brandy, I can't wait to use this to line my eyes with.

Bare Minerals Foundation in Fairly Light (N10): I have to admit as a long-time liquid foundation user, I was initially quite wary/dubious of mineral foundations. However I have tried this out a couple of times, and although I think practise will make perfect (I still need to nail down covering blemishes and under-eye circles), I do like the natural, 'lightly airbrushed' effect it gives.

Bare Minerals Instant Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover - if you are a long standing reader of my blog (I salute you), you will know I have tried countless eye makeup removers in a bid to find the infamous 'holy grail' product (and let me tell you people I am still on that mission), and so i'm really excited to try out this from BM- could it be the one?!

Clarins HydraQuench Cream and HydraQuench Intensive Serum- Other than the famous Beauty Flash Balm, i've never tried any Clarins products, so i'm looking forward to giving these a go.

Weleda Wild Rose Smoothing Night Cream - I love receiving all these skincare goodies, as it's something i'm interested in - and the more natural the better!

Estee Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator and Daywear Moisturiser - EL are noted for their skincare, and like I mentioned above I'm always interested in trying out new products. New face here I come?!

The Body Shop Aloe Calming Cleanser and Toner - More skincare goodies! These are aimed towards sensitive skin, and as my skin is going through a very tempremental phase at the moment, i'm hoping these can be it's saviour!

I also have to give a mention to the Hotel Chocolat milk and white chocolate bar that was also included...but which I ate within about 5 minutes of opening the box!

An incredibly generous box of products I think you'll agree - thank you again Robyn! 

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Product Empties: December 2012

I do apologise that the vast majority of my recent posts have either been reviews or product empties - I will produce other stuff I promise!

I think i've mentioned before, but I get an odd sense of satisfaction from finishing products and being able to write about them with confidence, so here are my belated December empties...

Lip Products
Barry M Lipgloss in Toffee - I bought this after hearing so much hype about it, but to be honest it was just a bit 'meh.' It did give a nice nude gloss to my lips, but it's quite thin in consistency and so didn't last long on the lips. I apply gloss regularly, and so went through this extra quick! I'm not so fussd about buying it again - at the moment i'm using an MUA £1 gloss that I like.
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour cream (lipbalm form) - Another product I got through VERY fast, not just because I am a lip product junkie, but because this is essentially the 8 hour cream balm in a lipstick form, and as such is quite soft and easy to use up quickly. If I was going to use the 8 Hour cream again i'd just get the tube and not bother with this.
No7 Lipliner in Nude - A hand-me-down from my mum, I only very recently realised this is the lipliner that Lisa Eldridge uses frequently in her tutorials. To be honest i'm not much of a lipliner user, but I did like to use this on days I wanted to look more 'polished.'
Naked Detox Balancing Shampoo - I really like the Naked line of skincare and haircare products, and bought this as I hoped it might help with product buildup on my hair. It foams up really well despite being free of chemical nasties, and is quite nice and refreshing, but it didn't wow me sadly.

Nspa Hot Cloth Polish Cleanser - A product you might recently have read my review on, this is a really good product if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Cleanser. I really like the Nspa products i've used so far, and would consider buying this again.
The Body Shop Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash - Whilst I didn't really get on with the moisturiser from this range (given to me by lovely Robyn), and although I don't have particularly oily skin, I did quite like this facial wash. It was refreshing to use first thing in the morning and didn't dry my skin out.
Asda Skin System Eye Makeup Remover - I feel like i've had this for literally ages, and whilst I did initally like it, towards the later stages of use I was finding it stung my eyes. It's very thick in consistency and more akin to a facial cleanser than something to use on your eyes in my opinion.

Maybelline Superstay 24H Foundation - I don't get through a lot of makeup quickly, but foundation is one thing I get through faster than the rest. I'm trying to work through my stash of foundations i've somehow accumulated, and this was next to go. I love the initial look/effect of it when you first apply it: really fresh and dewy and quite natural, and it's not at all mask-like, but, as with most medium coverage foundations, it does lose the just-applied look throughout the day. I wouldn't say it wears off completely, but neither would I say that it's 24 hour as claimed.
Have you done any product empties posts recently? I'd love to read them!
Melanie x
Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Review: Treacle Moon Bath & Shower Gels

Before I go any further with this review, I just want to say 2 things:

Happy New Year (and a belated Merry Christmas)
How nice does my blog look now?! I was put in contact with the lovely Steph on Twitter and she designed it for me. Make sure you check her blog out (http://bonjourbellexo.com ) or say hello on Twitter @sbramhamxo

Anyway now that it's a new year and I have a lovely fresh layout, i've decided to make a real go of my blog. I want to work on my Youtube too, but sadly i'm computer-less (i'm typing this on my mum's little netbook, which isn't really suited to video editing!), so until I get that sorted my blog will (hopefully) be my main focus. Make sure you let me know what kind of posts you like and i'll try and do them for you.

But back to the matter in hand, i'm a bit OCD about having a shower every day, and love smelling fresh and clean. I usually just use the Imperial Leather shower gel that my mum buys, but when I was in Tesco last week, I came across these bath/shower gels by Treacle Moon:

I'm a complete sucker for anything vaguely pink and girly, and will not deny that it was the gorgeous little illustrations on these bottles that first caught my eye.
That, and the fact that these bath/shower gels are EXACTLY like the Philosophy bath and shower gels that are so popular in the blogging community, but about a quarter of the price - Philosophy shower gels are around £14 for 480ml, these are £2.99 for 500ml. Bargain!
I was actually stumped as to what 'flavour' to get as there was so many available:
That Vanilla Moment
The Raspberry Kiss
One Ginger Morning
My Coconut Island
Those Lemonade Days
The two I picked up - Iced Strawberry Dream and Warm Cinnamon Nights - are actually limited edition, although i'm not entirely sure for how long. According to the Treacle Moon website they work on Limited Edition products twice a year, and welcome ideas for new scents etc.
I'm rubbish at describing scents, but basically these two smell exactly like they say on the tin.
Iced Strawberry Dream is like having a shower in a strawberry Milkshake (in a good way) - think Lush's Snow Fairy - and Warm Cinnamon Dream is actually not too Cinnamon-y (as I can't actually stand cinnamon!) but very comforting in smell if that makes sense!
I would recommend that you give them a sniff next time you're in Tesco.
They lather up really well and fill my bathroom with the most delicious scents, but sadly the scents don't last long on my skin (then again I do apply copious amounts of body lotion and perfume afterwards so maybe that's why!). Really this doesn't bother me though as they're so inexpensive and make for a lovely shower experience (...that sounds odd).
Also unlike the Philosophy shower gels they can't be used as a shampoo, but I don't really know of anyone who uses the Philosophy products for this purpose - i'd much rather use a seperate shampoo/conditioner.

The shower gels are alcohol free, and are not tested on animals (only on those who work at Treacle Moon apparently!) which earns them an even bigger thumbs up from me.
Body scrubs, body lotions, hand washes and hand creams are also available in the same scents in the range, and are also very reasonably priced.
As far as I am aware Treacle Moon products are only available exclusively from Tesco - both instore and online -but I would definitely recommend you try them out. They would also make lovely wee presents - it's a shame christmas has passed now! 
Have you tried any of these?