About the Item:
Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar
2.4Oz. (1 bar) for $8.75
The Official Lush Website says Wiccy is a “spicy, tingly muscle-soothing bar with aduki beans for a deeper rub. . . The first time you use one of these it feels very strange, as if a very small radiator has been turned on inside the part of your body you just massaged.”
This item contains: Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Aduki Beans (Phaseolus), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii),Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis),Cinnamon Leaf Oil (Cinnamomum cassia), Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita), Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), *Cinnamyl Alcohol, *Cinnamal, Coumarin, *Eugenol, *Isoeugenol, *Benzyl Benzoate, *Limonene, *Linalool, Perfume.
Since this is technically the first massage bar we’ve reviewed on A Lush Life, I’m going to get a bit general on you before I can really get into specifics. First of all, I think the massage bar is one of the most innovative products that Lush has ever come up with. Having often entertained the possibility of a career in massage therapy and being one who enjoys both giving and receiving a good rubdown, I’ve sampled quite a variety of commercial massage condiments and on the whole, found them largely unsatisfactory. Lotion is expensive, goes on cold and usually dries too quickly and oil is pretty much out of the question for the casual masseur whose prominent work space is, let’s be honest, the bed (unless you’ve got a set-up like this). Until I tried Lush’s bars, the best things I could get my hands on were special soy-wax candles that melt from a solid into an oily kind of goop that can be poured on to the subject. They work okay and are actually pretty neat in theory, but the ramp up time, lack of portability and annoying issues with soot and occasional wax burns make them kind of a hassle.
Lush, in their infinite genius, recognized the plight of the casual masseur, and created the massage bar to address these issues. Essentially a massage bar is a solid chunk of vegetable fat and essential oils with a melting point somewhere around body temperature. That means it stays in its solid, highly portable form until you actually need it to be a liquid – pretty much the second it touches skin. This, dear readers, is probably the most convenient thing to happen to massage since they started building tables with face-holes. There’s virtually no mess and the bars provide a good amount of lubrication, some pleasant aromatherapy and moisturizers to nourish the skin. One recommendation: go for the tin. It will make traveling and storing these things exponentially easier, especially in hot climates
In case you haven’t guessed yet, I am fully on the massage bar band wagon. But what about Wiccy? Does this spicy, bean-laden bar pass muster? In a word, yes, but I’m sure you’ll want to know why.
The biggest distinguishing element that Wiccy has to offer is the layer of red, Aduki beans adorning one side. They have a nice, smooth texture (as well as a pleasantly vibrant color) and the theory is that you rub the non-bean side on your subject to get the bar nice and melty, then you use the bean side to provide that extra firmness you need to work on knots (basically in place of a massage tool). Personally, I find that the beans are better for a light surface massage — the smooth, bumpy texture exciting the skin and getting the muscles nice and warmed up. As for getting out knots, you’re better off with your thumbs; tactile response is important for distinguishing between knots, muscles, bones and tendons and you really can’t apply enough force accurately with something the size of a bar of soap.
One of Wiccy’s most desirable attributes as a massage bar is that it contains large amounts of peppermint and cinnamon essences, as well as high levels of coumarin (the spicy compound found in cinnamon that gives it its kick). The smell is sweet and slightly caustic, much like a Hot Tamale candy, but the topical affects are pleasantly reminiscent of Tiger Balm. If thinking about muscle-rub bringing back painful, traumatic memories of locker-room pranks (the old Icy-Hot-in-the-Jockstrap, for instance), don’t worry; the effects are incredibly mild. In fact if I had to think of a problem with Wiccy it would be that the tingle-factor isn’t quite as potent as perhaps I would like. On the other hand, since Wiccy uses coumarin to add a little heat, as opposed to capsicum (hot chili peppers, mace etc.) or menthol (Newports) which can be found in other, more painful balms, it’s not as likely to irritate your eyes, skin or various tender bits.
Of course, like the rest of Lush’s massage bars, Wiccy packs a lot of moisturizers along with it’s spicy goodness. Fair trade coco butter, shea butter, coconut oil and jobajoba oil are pretty much the cream of the decadent fats. They’re silky smooth and luxuriously hydrating. Lush actually says you can use their bars as moisturizers and when my hands get really dry, I do just that. Be warned though, the peppermint/cinnamon smell will stick around for a very, very long time and you’ll have to work the buttery oils in to your skin pretty throughly. This is actually one of the minor problems I have with massage bars in general. The oils tend to stay on top of the skin a little bit longer than I would like. Sure, they’re great when you’re giving the massage, but when your thumbs start cramping and the lubricant is still going strong, you’ll wish you had budgeted in some extra time to work it all in.
Although Wiccy doesn’t quite deliver as the knot-busting, stress-demolishing hammer of justice I expected, it still somehow manages to be one of my favorite Lush massage bars. The tingly sensation really is pretty cool and the spicy aroma is mysterious and exotic (also a touch Christmasy, but whatever). Lush massage bars are also pretty reasonably priced considering what else is out there, and they do tend to last a pretty long time. Wiccy – and the obligatory massages that come along with it – also happens to be a pretty great gift for the dreaded commercial holiday coming up this weekend (O, the war drums sounding in the deep, the trees falling in the distance beneath the wheels of a pink and white Juggernaut). Light some candles, warm up your thumbs and get ready to reap the rewards.
Bang for your Buck Rating: $$$
Overall Rating: 3.5