Tag Archives: bang for your buck

Cupcake Face Mask by Alex

About the Item

Cupcake Face Mask

1 Pot (4-8 uses) for 10.95

 

The official Lush website has this product listed in the Biofresh section, which means that it is too fresh to be mailed and must be purchased at a Lush retail location and refrigerated. The website says the product contains “mint, Rhassoul Mud and absorbent cocoa powder to treat spots, black heads, open pores and oil happy skin in a delicious chocolate mask.”

 

Ingredients: Rhassoul Mud, Linseed Infusion, glycerin, talc, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, fresh mint, sandalwood oil, vanilla absolute, spearmint oil, peppermint oil (mentha piperita), Limonene Perfume.


My Review:


I’ve got to say, this one was a first. I’ve always liked the idea of using mud to clean pores and using something that smells and feels just like cupcake frosting is practically Through the Looking Glass (or if you’d prefer, Bizarro World) in terms of skin care. How deliciously ironic.

 

A few logistical things before I get into the review itself. First of all, this product cannot be purchased online because of its fresh ingredients and it must be kept refrigerated. It also has a decreased shelf life of about 14 days for this reason. And before you ask, freezing the mask to increase the shelf life is out of the question. It would kill the helpful enzymes found in the fresh ingredients. I spoke to the Lush employees about this product at the store in Harvard Square, Cambridge and they suggested starting out with a face scrub (I used Herbalism), then applying the mask and leaving it on for about 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water and finish with one of their moisturizers, Enzymion, Imperialis or Gorgeous. Lush face masks are also good for spot treatments and break-outs, but should be used 2-3 times a week maximum.

 

I must admit, I hadn’t done a whole lot of research on this product before I used it, which I think ultimately gave me a better perspective on the results, as you shall see. So, having washed with Herbalism, I applied the brown, thoroughly cupcake-scented mask, popped in a frozen pizza and sat in on about 10 minutes of Angel with my boy Langer and his lady friend Amanda. I got a few laughs from the pair, mostly because I looked like a caveman with my mud-caked face and crusty beard, or Gene Wilder from that blackface scene in Silver Streak. It was tough not to smile, but I endured the ridicule with a stony face and tried desperately not to smile for fear I’d mess up the mask’s mojo. Anyway, after washing it off, I immediately noticed a difference. My skin felt tight and stretchy, which at first I thought might have just been because it had felt so coarse and brittle from the mask (felt a little like I imagine botox would), but after I put on some moisturizer I could definitely tell something had changed. My skin felt smooth and clean and… bouncy. It’s hard to describe, really. You know how your skin hurts a little sometimes when you stretch it out for a big bight of a sandwich or a huge toothy smile? After using the mask I felt like I could fit a whole horse in my mouth without much trouble. My skin was incredibly elasticy and flexible. I was surprised to find, upon doing some research, that this was more or less the intended effect. Rhassoul Mud, which makes up the base for this mask, comes from Morocco and apart from being anti-microbial, deep cleansing and full of healthy minerals like Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium (properties belonging to most types of volcanic mud) it is known to reduce aging lines and wrinkles by making the skin more elastic and pliable. So I guess there was a little truth to my original claim. The mask also has peppermint and spearmint oils, which help sooth the skin and cleanse pores.

 

Another huge benefit is that the mask left my face smelling like rich, chocolaty cupcakes. It’s remarkable to me that the people at Lush can make mud seem so appetizing.

 

I can’t really think of a lot of cons for this product apart from its limited shelf life and perhaps that its not something I would consider a necessity. I am lucky to have been blessed with a relatively acne-free face, nor do I often wish my skin was more flexible, so it’s less of a staple and more of a luxury for me (which is not necessarily a con). Cost wise, It’s about what I would expect to pay for a mask like this. It gets extra bang-for-your-buck points because the ingredients aren’t the kind of things you can easily acquire. I always have a hard time paying for something I could put together my self for the same cost, but I’m not going to go out of my way to import Rhassoul mud from Morocco when Lush can do it for [probably] cheaper. Not to mention, masks like this usually cost $30 or more for one treatment at a spa and although Lush says that you can get about 4 uses out of a pot, I think the average user could easily get 6-8. I’ve also heard that this stuff is good for softening up your whiskers before a shave. Haven’t given it a shot yet, but as a fellow who appreciates just about any product that makes the daily scrape a little more bearable, you can bet I’ll be trying it out as soon as I work up enough scruff to truly put it to the test.

 

Bang for Your Buck: $$$

 

Over-all Rating: 4

Noubar Soap by Alex

About the Item:

Noubar Soap

3.5 Oz for $5.95

Available in any size 3.5 oz and up

The Official Lush Website says that Noubar is “as delectable as it looks,” containing ”smoky vetivert oil and Turkish rose absolute to keep you sweet every time you wash…You’d be nuts to miss out on Noubar.”

This item contains: Water (Aqua), Glycerine, Rapeseed Oil, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil (Brassica napus; Helianthus annuus; Cocos nucifera), Chopped Peanuts (Arachis hypogaea), Chopped Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Chopped Walnuts (Juglans regia), Sodium Hydroxide, Perfume, Titanium Dioxide, Pistachio Nuts (Pistacia vera), Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides), Rose Absolute (Rosa damascena), Cedarwood Oil (Cupressus funebris), Sodium Chloride, Geraniol, *Citronellol, FD&C Blue No. 1.

My Review:

Peanuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios? Did someone drop an industrial-sized tin of mixed nuts into one of the soap vats? And what’s with the name? I mean, props for referencing Diran Noubar, but is an obscure French documentary filmmaker really that relevant (kidding of course. Nougat + Bar = Noubar)? Of all the Lush products I have tried thus far, I think I was most resistant to this one. The smell simply did not enliven my pallet and I found the handful of tasty morsels peppering the soap more baffling than enticing. Nonetheless, I was intrigued by Noubar’s alien texture, verdant hue and latent air of mystery/edibility. And since it was technically free along with my $17 dollar chunk of Karma under the auspices of the Clean Slate Sale, I thought I might as well suffer what slings and arrows might lie ahead in the interest of providing you, fine readers, with a comprehensive review.

Looking at the list of ingredients, Noubar seems pretty light on the soap and heavy on the fixins’. This may explain why some people have a hard time getting this soap to lather. Personally I haven’t had an issue, so I can’t really complain. It’s got the standard palm-oil free soap base, of course (good news for endangered species everywhere), along with a healthy dose of earthy, woody and floral scents. Gardenia and rose mix with cedar and vetivert to produce the subtle but unmistakable aroma of a healthy garden or a well manicured lawn. As I mentioned before, I was not initially turned on by this green-funk, but when I got the soap home and used it for a few days, I found its clean, botanical aroma had started to grow on me. It’s certainly an acquired taste however, and I actually prefer it as a hand soap to one I lather up with in the shower. I don’t really need or want my pits to smell any more like fresh cut grass than they already do. On the other hand, catching subtle hints of Noubar lingering on my palms is a nice feeling throughout the day.

Alright, but seriously, what’s up with the nuts? Granted, many of the most decadent, luxurious and moisturizing fats in the world are derived from nuts (cocoa butter, almond and coconut oils, etc.), but these are usually highly concentrated (not to mention added to the soap during the saponification process) and not confined to the cellulose prison of an indehiscent seed. As Lush suggests in their description, the nuts do indeed serve other purposes: namely olfactory and tactile appeal. As I mentioned before, this soap definitely has a natural smell and the nuts certainly lend a kind of barky, mossy richness to the whole concoction. Also, anyone who has read my other soap reviews will know that I’m a sucker for anything that exfoliates the skin; usually the rougher the better. The nice thing about using nuts to accomplish this goal is that they are rough in texture, but unlike dense seeds or coarse minerals, they have a natural flexibility that makes them relatively forgiving, and less harsh on the skin. I find that the nutty protrusions that develop over time from soap erosion can be used like the scouring side of a sponge, softening my callused, battle-worn, time-gnarled and work-hardened hands, while at the same time moisturizing them to the pliancy of a broken and well-oiled catcher’s mitt.

Lastly of course, there is the matter of the soaps peculiar appearance, which I’m actually rather smitten with. Let me paint it for you: half a dozen shades of green — from creamy, St. Patrick’s Day beer-foam and pistachio gelato, to translucent TMNT Ooze — all speckled and swirled together, with splashes and constellations of brown, chunky nuts, like rocky islands lost in an alien sea. The photo truly does not do it justice. In an odd way, I’m inclined to say this soap is actually one of the loveliest I’ve seen at Lush (which would put it high in the rankings for loveliest worldwide); a triumphant synergy of Lush’s unique aesthetic and conscientious world view. In short, a soap to unite the muddled and over-commercialized “green” movement, to inspire and lead the apathetic masses into a fertile and sustainable future with like… wheat grass just growing all over the place and… kids running around with Super Soakers full of sunshine and… huge bees everywhere and all that. Yeah….It’s going to be awesome.

Weird-hippie-tangent aside, this soap really is easy on the eyes. And, as it turns out, the wallet as well (at least by Lush standards). At $5.95 per 3.5 oz. you really can’t go wrong. Hurray for defying expectations!

Bang-For-Your-Buck Rating: $$$

Overall Rating: 4 as a hand soap. 3 as a body soap. -20000 if you’re allergic to nuts.

Humango by Sally

217615831_tp2

About the item:

Humango Bath Bomb
24.59 oz / 700 grams
$14.00 (now discontinued and not for sale)

The official Lush website no longer makes mention of Humango anywhere on their site (in fact, if you search Humango, there will be no results found!). However, I found a description of the item that was originally on the Lush website stored away on Amazon. So, the description says that “Humango bath bomb is four times the weight” of a usual bath bomb, and it is “scented with reviving, You’ve Been Mangoed fragrance of lemongrass, lime and lemon essential oils. It blasts you into wakefulness with a humongous helping of refreshing scents. Inside, you’ve got tiny pieces of You’ve Been Mangoed bath melt to moisturise your skin with nutritious mango butter.” Yum.

As the website no longer makes mention of Humango, I can’t seem to find a complete ingredient list anywhere. I emailed Lush for information on the item, but until I get it, I can only go off of the above listed description for clues as to what is in it.

My Review:

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I had never thought twice about taking a bath until I met Lush one fateful afternoon in Harvard Square, Boston. Frankly, it seemed like a grand old waste of time (and water– because I insisted on the water being piping hot). Seriously, what a pain in the ass! Walking into the bathroom, assessing the condition of the tub… peeling the long hairs or dog hairs from the sides, and then wondering how the dog hairs even got there… either bleaching or spraying mildew remover accordingly, depending on how scuzzy the tub really is…

Yeah, so my pre-bath routine might be a little different from YOUR pre-bath routine, but whatever. I’m a college student living with four other people who don’t always share the same hygiene standards that I hold myself to. Showering is easy on my OCD; only my feet touch the tub. But a bath? Too much work for not a lot of fun. Well, Humango changed all that. Actually, to be honest with you, Supernova ballistic changed all that, but Humango made me want to stay in my dog-hairy-soap-scummy tub forever.

I received this bath bomb in a group order from the UK a looong time ago, but it came all smashed up. Bummer. I told Lush customer service about it and, peaches that they are, they sent me TWO brand spankin’ new ones. I put them on my shelf on top of all my other bath bombs, perched like the kings of the mountain that they are, and let their aroma fill my room for a few weeks. I couldn’t work up the motivation to actually use one… they’re huge! About four-five times the size of normal bath bombs and weighing in at roughly 1.5 pounds, I didn’t have the heart to break them up but also couldn’t fathom using the entire thing on something as inferior as my college kid, suave infested tub. After all, how could I let something so beautiful witness the treachary of a tub filled with common bath goods from the local CVS? No, no, it just didn’t seem right. So I let it sit in my room, nice and warm, squishing all my other Lush.

And squish it did. Let me reiterate: 1.5 pounds of bath bomb. Lifting this thing to smell it was simultaneously working out my biceps. But I didn’t care, because I couldn’t stop smelling it! It carried a 10 foot aura of lemongrass and citrus everywhere it went, and although the picture correctly depicts the fact that it was colorless, it does NOT accurately demonstrate the speckles of bath bombs contained within it.

Now, if you’ve ever owned a Humango or seen a video of it, I’m curious to know: how many You’ve Been Mango’d bath melt chunks (roughly) were in your bath bomb? Even this video of Humango does NOT do it justice. If I had taken all of the chunks of you’ve been mango’d that were in my Humango and combined them, I likely would have had eight full bath melts. Was I just lucky? Did I get a Humango with an unusual amount of bath melt in it? Now, those bath melts sell for $5-6 a pop– you do the math. When I finally decided to use this, I put the entire thing in because I couldn’t bear to break it and it fizzed for over ten minutes! Huge chunks of bath melt were floating in the tub with me, so I snatched them up to rub on my skin for extra softener. This bath bomb was worth way more than $14.

The cons? Well, it was expensive, like I said. But it was so worth it. I mean, if you’re into bath goods and taking baths, this is the king of all bath bombs. It was incredible. If I lucked out and got a super charged Humango, then I’m not sure you’ll have the same experience as I did. The bath melts REALLY added to this bath bomb and made it ten times more enjoyable than I predict it would have been otherwise. The other big con for me is that it was colorless! So lame! The tub stayed a murky clear-brown weirdness that develops after taking a bath when you’re filthy from a long day of work and general wear-and-tear. I love the colors that bath bombs change the water (it is a big part of the experience for me, in fact), so not seeing beautiful bright colors really saddened me.

To anyone who loves citrus smells, I highly recommend you try to pick one of these up on ebay. I’ve seen a few auctions for them at around $15, which may be well worth it if your little heart is set on trying this. Otherwise, feel free to take a stab at our latest promotion.

Advertise this blog somewhere (on a forum, in a comment on another blog, in your blog… anywhere!) and post a comment with the link to where you advertised, as well as your email so I can contact you, and I’ll enter you in a raffle to get a piece of my shattered Humango. Alex will choose three winners at random. The drawing will occur February 19th, so get your comments posted by February 18th.

Bang-for-your-Buck Rating: $$
Overall Rating: 5

Seanik Solid Shampoo by Alex

About the Item

Seanik Solid Shampoo

1.9 Oz. for $9.95

One size only

The Official Lush Website says that “this little puck of joy buffs and shines like no liquid can. A couple of swipes worked up into a lather to moisturize the scalp, breathe life into the lifeless and shine your hair like a champ. Economical and easy to use, Seanik’s citrus and seaweed combo enriches and enlivens while its fragrance entices all who cross your path. Now proudly SLS-free.”

Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Irish Moss Gel (Chondrus crispus), Perfume, Nori Seaweed (Fucus vesiculosus), Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Mimosa Absolute (Mimosa tenuiflora), Orange Blossom Absolute (Citrus dulcis), Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum officinale), Cocamide DEA, *Limonene, FD&C Blue No.1


My Review:

Like many of my generation, I’ve oft romanticized the bourgeois vagrant lifestyle. Sleeping on couches, getting by on the kindness of others, making friends on the road and carrying everything you’ve got on your back. It’s a very early-American (in a good way) kind of yearning for simple comforts and joyous freedom. Freedom from oppressive institutions that try and keep you in the suburbs, working for the man, squeezing chemical shampoo out of gigantic bottles, happy to be chained to synthetic ultra-shine haircare products. And that’s really what Seanik Solid Shampoo bar is all about. Mobility, sustainability and limited liability (and the award for Best Segue of the Year goes to…)

First and foremost, why should you use a solid shampoo when there are plenty of excellent (debatable) bottled shampoos out there? For one thing, each little cake of this soap is equal to 3 regular sized bottles of shampoo. I’ll say that again, because honestly, it’s amazing. 3 regular bottles worth. I mean, cost effectiveness alone should make this product an instant 5 out of 5. But the hits don’t stop there. Let’s take a walk, shall we?

As I eluded to in the opening paragraph, solid shampoos are incredibly convenient for the traveler, student or anyone who sees portability as a priority. I don’t know how many of you have ever though about this, but liquid shampoos are a huge hassle when you’re trying to pack light. Most come in huge bottles, spill easily and can’t be taken in any sufficient quantity on airplanes. I’ve always just circumvented this problem by leaving shampoo out of my toiletry kit, which means I usually just make do with my regular bar of soap. Of course, this usually leads to tangled, dry, damaged hair and dandruff. I mean, it works in a pinch, but knowing I can just pop this compact little puck into a tin and not have to worry about it is pretty effing sweet.

Okay, so the ‘medium,’ so to speak, is awesome. Let me get down to why this particular solid shampoo kicks ass. The first thing I always notice on a product like this is the smell. Seanik has a rich, mossy scent, a bit floral, a little citrusy with slight smoky undertones. Definitely inspired by the ocean breeze. One of my big qualms with most shampoos is that they smell too synthetic and perfumey and after a few hours your hair just smells like, well, hair. Or at worst, wet marmot. Seanik smells fresh and organic (because it is fresh and organic) and the fragrance stays in your hair all day. Siq.

Seanik definitely makes a good lather, which is impressive because it is SLS-free. For those who don’t know, SLS is a compound normally added to soaps and shampoos to make them lather more and feel thicker and more concentrated. It’s also normally used as a de-greaser and industrial cleaning solution. In other words, not something you want in your hair. A lot of people don’t like Lush shampoos because they don’t leave your hair feeling sleek and smooth afterward, which is essentially because other shampoos leave nasty chemicals in your hair to make them feel artificially smooth. Personally I like knowing and feeling that my hair is clean when I finish washing it. Some people don’t, but they’re dorks and I don’t like them. Just saying.

As for the beauty benefits of the soap, I can’t really say I’ve noticed a huge difference. I have relatively short hair and, well, I’m a boy, so I don’t pay very close attention to the level of shine or volume. Not that gender has much to do with it, but I’m more worried about whether my hair looks stupid than whether it looks good. Nah mean? I’m not saying one way or another whether the seaweed and orange blossoms help with these things, but they definitely don’t hurt the composition of the soap. Bottom line is, it cleans well, it smells amazing and it’s incredibly long lasting. Enough said.

TIP: To make this shampoo last longer, keep it dry! Don’t leave it soaking in your shower. Take it out of your shower after every use, pat it dry with a towel and leave it to dry in a tin or a soap dish.

Bang-for-Your-Buck Rating: $$$


Overall Rating:
4.5

Silky Underwear Dusting Powder by Sally

About the Item

Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

3.5 oz $11.95

One size only

The Official Lush website lists Silky Underwear Dusting Powder asa “light jasmine fragranced powder” that “refreshes and lightly moisturizes skin.” The website also says that “Silky Underwear is refreshing anytime. Cornstarch keeps your skin silky, while tiny grains of cocoa butter lightly moisturize. Apply it as a pick-me-up during the day or after the show to slow down before bed. However you want to use it, Silky’s subtle yet sexy jasmine and vetivert scent leaves you wanting more.”

It contains: Cornstarch (Zea mays), Kaolin, Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Magnesium Carbonate, Perfume, Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum officinale), Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides) and Linalool.

My Review:

I was apprehensive about buying this in stores. I’ve never, ever used powder for anything. Ever. I know some people who dust baby powder on themselves after a shower, and I know some people who put it in their shoes in the summer. I know that some people put it in their babies’ diapers to prevent rash. I know it is odor neutralizing, and has about a million uses.

I also know that most powders are primarily made of Talc, which is terrible for your body. It is one of the causes of lung cancer, skin cancer, and ovarian cancer (it is found in 75% of ovarian tumors!), and causes tumors even in animals. That being said, the Lush Dusting Powders contain NO TALC. Umm, amazing? This is what sold me in the store, even having never used a dusting powder. I figured, well, since I’ve strayed from powders for so long due to Talc, I might as well try the first one I’ve ever seen that doesn’t contain it.

I sniffed it in stores and frankly wasn’t impressed with the smell, but the price was reasonable considering how long I figured it would last. I took it home and didn’t really touch it for about a week, and then decided to pop open the top. First problem: The top is like those Parmesan cheese cans. You have to use your finger to punch it open, then you can spin around the top so that the opening lines up with it the way you want (either to get a lot, or to get a little). Well, I couldn’t punch the bugger open! I eventually got a fork, grabbed it by the teeth, and stabbed my way to freedom– err, to lovely dusting powder. I’ll admit, it took me three or four high speed stabs until this thing finally opened (okay, okay, so I haven’t been to the gym in weeks).

Once I got it open, I turned it upside down to get a “little” out. Bad idea. I started to think, maybe this packaging isn’t brilliant? If you try to turn it on it’s side to get a little shake out, a TON comes out. But it is unfortunately your only option. I thought that was a bummer and wasn’t sure I’d use it frequently, but once I got a whiff of the stuff out of the Lush store (where I could REALLY take in the scent independent of the giant wheels of soap), I LOVED IT! I can’t place my finger on what it is… but it’s like milky coconut (this is probably the cocoa butter) mixed with some flower petals (it isn’t strong enough to remind me of one flower in particular). It is an unbelievably dreamy, soft smell.

(Note: To deal with my packaging issue, I’ve been using a huge body dusting brush from Victoria’s Secret– I press it up against the top of the container, turn it on its side, let some powder out onto the brush, and then dust the powder all over myself with the brush)

I’ve discovered, after weeks of dedicated use, that if I use Potion Lotion over Silky Underwear it locks in the scent ALL day. I’ll put it on in the morning after a shower (9am-ish) and when I go out with friends at 10pm I’ll STILL get compliments on my scent from across the table. I LOVE perfume and I LOVE being fragrant (shampoo, perfume, whatever it may be), but I have never been so noticeably delicious!

My favorite part about this dusting powder is the way it makes my skin feel– no doubt thanks to the cocoa butter. My skin feels AMAZING after. Silky and smooth. I can put it on my legs after not shaving for a week and my legs feel as smooth as if I had JUST shaved (ladies, don’t deny how amazing that is!). I will totally continue to buy a product that promotes my laziness and makes my boyfriend happy. Score!

Bang-For-Your-Buck Rating: $$$

Overall Rating: 4 (minus one point for poor packaging)

UK Forum Party Prices!

Here are the prices for all the items– half off retro AND the Christmas items! See the previous post for pictures and descriptions.

Again, this was lifted off the Lush UK Forum.

Retro

Product / Party PLU / Normal Price / Party Price / Use by Date
Absoloute Delight R20059 £3.00 £1.50 Jun-09
All That Jas R20002 £2.70 £1.35 Jun-09
Antiphilitron R20600 £11.50 £5.75 Jun-09
Bon Bain Bonnard R20025 £2.40 £1.20 Jun-09
Bon Bomb R22136 £2.50 £1.25 Jun-09
Chai R21480 £12.00 £6.00 Jun-09
Elixir R22545 £5.00 £2.50 Jun-09
Fizzy O Therapy R20022 £2.50 £1.25 Jun-09
Flying Saucers R20106 £14.00 £7.00 Jun-09
Forever in Bloom R20614 £11.00 £5.50 Jun-09
Fox in the Flowers R22135 £2.50 £1.25 Jun-09
Ginger Lotion R22214 £11.95 £5.95 Jun-09
Harvey Bunny R22157 £3.00 £1.50 Jun-09
Ibiza Party R20632 £11.00 £5.50 Jun-09
Ice Blue R22553 £10.95 £5.45 Jun-09
Kiss Me Klimpt R20029 £3.00 £1.50 Jun-09
Okra R20641 £11.00 £5.50 Jun-09
Pleasure Dough R22131 £3.50 £1.75 Jun-09
Psychodelic R20136 £2.50 £1.25 Jun-09
Rainbow Worrier R22134 £3.00 £1.50 Jun-09
Softy R20035 £2.75 £1.35 Jun-09
Washday Greens R20606 £12.00 £6.00 Jun-09
World Piece R20040 £2.50 £1.25 Jun-09
Potion R20204 £7.95 £3.95 Jul-09

Ballistics
PLU Code / Product Name / Price
1714 Jingle Spells £2.50
1739 Lush Pud £2.65
2040 Christmas Party £2.60
2041 Mr Butterball £1.95
2430 Twinkle £2.75
2825 Chocolate Santa (NEW!) £3.25
2826 Double Fast Luck – Emotibomb (NEW!) £2.25
2827 Humango (NEW!) £7.50
2828 Magic (NEW!) £3.10
2829 Snowdrop (NEW!) £2.95

Bubble Bars
PLU Code / Product Name / Price
1719 Marzibain £2.50
2046 Candy Cane £2.25
2433 Christmas Kiss £2.25
2436 Ruby Red Slippers £3.25
2831 Christmas Morning (NEW!) £2.95
2832 Frothy The Snowman (NEW!) £2.75
2833 The Gold Star (NEW!) £2.75
2834 The Witches Ball (NEW!) £2.95

Shower Jellies / Gels
PLU Code / Product Name / Price
2425 Snow Fairy Shower Gel 100g £2.95
2426 Snow Fairy Shower Gel 250g £5.95
2427 Snow Fairy Shower Gel 500g £9.95
2440 Champagne Snow Jelly 100g £2.95
2717 Gold Frankincense & Beer Jelly 100g £2.75
2836 Strawberry Santa Jelly 100g (NEW!) £2.95

Soaps (all 100g)
PLU Code / Product Name / Price
2052 Snowcake £2.50
2054 Angels Delight £2.15
2837 Christmas Cake Slice (NEW!) £2.95

Lip Balm
PLU Code / Product Name / Price
2835 Let Them Eat Cake (NEW!) £4.50

Porridge Soap by Alex

About the item:

Porridge Soap

3.5oz for $5.95

Available in any size 3.5oz and up

The Official Lush Cosmetics website lists Porridge Soap as a new item, describing it as a soap “stuffed with real oats for an exfoliating scrub and fresh orange juice to invigorate sleepy heads.” Lush goes on to compare the smell to sweet molasses and says the soap is ideal for sensitive skin.

Its safe synthetic components are Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Perfume, Sodium Palm Kernelate, and propylene Glycol. Its natural and/or organic components are Water , Pinhead Oatmeal (Avena sativa), Fresh Organic Orange Juice (Citrus Aurantium dulcis), Titanium Dioxide, Labdanum Resinoid (Cistus labdaniferus), Sweet Orange Oil (Citrus sinensis), Glycerine, Sodium Chloride, and Limonene.

My Review:

Porridge, eh? You know, I always ranked the stuff amongst slop, gruel and the other flavorless grey goops in terms of all term worst breakfast foods. So it was a bit of a shock when Sally first brought a sample of the aptly named soap home and bade me smell it. I don’t know how to adequately put this into words, but I’ll try my best: it smells like happiness. No, I don’t mean it sounds like a knock off of the Clinque fragrance Happy. I mean it smells sweet and wonderful and homey in a kind of ’round the hearth,’ old-timey way, back before modern man invented Instant Grits and cereal bars. Best of all, it leaves you feeling delicious and clean and hurts like a good exfoliating soap ought to.

So, getting past the first and most impressive attribute (for which I have nothing but praise and flowery language), we can safely move on to its other lovely characteristics. As you can see from the ingredients, it has been rendered largely from coco fat and palm oil, probably in addition to or in lieu of the normal Lush soap base. In soap making terms, these two fats will produce a result best described with adjectives like luxurious, creamy, lathery, moisturizing, mild and generally well rounded for a good skin care soap. Compositionally, orange juice was an interesting choice, given the scent combination, and at first I was a little weirded out by it. But in fact, it works remarkably well. Not to mention there are all kinds of pleasant vitamins in orange juice and although I’m a wee bit skeptical as to the degree vitamins and nutrients are absorbed into the skin via the washing process, I suppose it can’t hurt in any case.

The one thing that will make or break this soap for most people is the amount of oats they’ve thrown into the mix. Soap makers put oats in soap for three reasons: pleasant aroma, nutritional value (by which I mean acids, fats and vitamins that are healthy for the skin. See Sally’s review for more details) and last but not least, rough, exfoliating texture. Personally, nothing is better than a good exfoliating soap. Not so much because I think it’s good for the skin or because I need to get rid of dead cells or any of that junk, but simply because washing up should hurt, if at all possible. I just feel so much cleaner afterwards. And this ain’t your grandma’s oatmeal we’re talking about either. Pinhead oats have a texture more like ground walnuts or those tough brown bits you find in wild-rice than the typical dropping, flaccid lumps that stick to the side of your breakfast bowl. And did I mention there’s a hell of a lot of the stuff in here? Not for the faint of heart, but interestingly enough designed for sensitive skin (a nod more to its alchemical properties and the gentle disposition of its base that its tolerance for weak, wussy skin). Common complaints are that this soap is too rough, but in my book it’s just right. A great product for those of you who liked “Buffy” as well.

My only qualm with this soap is that it doesn’t last very long. And no, it’s not because I eat it, though I’ve thought about it on several occasions. For one thing, the soap is pretty soft due to the ratio of fats used (probably the curing time as well). If you hold it in your hand long enough, you’ll notice it’s a bit melty at room temperature. As a general rule, the softer and more fatty the soap, the better it is for your skin, but the faster it disappears. The other reason it doesn’t last long is that towards the middle of the bar, the grain-to-soap ratio is pretty strong on the grain side. In other words, because the actual soap base is ‘cut,’ in the parlance of our times, with so much other stuff, the bar itself doesn’t last that long, or hold together after continuous use. Trust us. When they cut you off a bar, it may look more soap than porridge, but the minute you get past the outer rim, it’s Goldilocks time and the family of bears is lookin’ awful hungry… ahem… yeah.

Overall, this is one of my favorite soaps from Lush. Delicious, rough and moisturizing. Best of all it’s extremely cheap for a Lush product, which should help to counteract the accelerated erosion time. Just don’t accidentally leave it on your kitchen table around breakfast.

Bang-for-Your-Buck Rating: $$$

Overall Rating: 5