Tag Archives: citrus-scent

The Big Tease Styling Gel by Alex

The Big Tease

About the Item:

The Big Tease Styling Gel

$16.35 for 3.5 oz.

The Official Lush Website describes The Big Tease as “a firm-hold styling gel you can use before or after blow drying.” “With the orange flower, mandarin and lemon scent of our Olive Branch shower gel, the ability to make your hair stand up for hours, and cocoa and cupuacu butters to soften even the coarsest hair, The Big Tease delivers on all its promises.”

This Item Contains: Bay Leaf Infusion (Pimenta Acris), Peppermint Infusion (Mentha piperita), Linseed Infusion (Linum usitatissimum), Acrylates / Lauryl Acrylate / Stearyl Acrylate / Ethylamine Oxide Methacrylate Copolymer, Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Perfume, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma Grandiflorum), Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer, Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Dulcis), Bergamot Oil (Citrus bergamia), Mandarin Oil (Citrus nobilis), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Coumarin, Benzyl Benzoate, Hydroxycitronellol, *Citral, *Geraniol, *Limonene, *Linalool, Methylparaben.

My Review

I really don’t know what compelled me to try out The Big Tease… $16.35 for only 3.5 oz. is more than I’ve ever spent on a hair product by a factor of 10 and I have to admit, I have been less than impressed with Lush’s other styling products – in particular Goth Juice which smells a little like Pinesol and Ika sushi and tends to give me more crunch than hold. None the less, I bought it on a whim and I am beyond pleased that I did. This may be one of my favorite Lush products, but it does come with some caveats…

Firstly, I love the way this smells, and even more I love that other people love the way this smells. I’ve gotten complements. Seriously. It’s slightly citrusy with a light, floral accent, but there’s something else as well… a little lagniappe, if you will, that ties it all together. Not at all overpowering – the kind of thing you forget you have on and then occasionally catch a whiff of – but the smell lasts all day, which I find simply remarkable. Typically my scalp-funk is enough to overpower even the most thickly perfumed coiffing.

I quite like the consistency of this product and the distinct type of hold that it provides. Most gels tend to give a crunchiness that I am none too appreciative of, which is why I’ve always tended towards waxes, which — though greasy and slick– allow me to run my hands through my flaxen mane without piercing the delicate epidermis. The Big Tease, however, seems to offer something of a middle ground between these extremes. It is a very light hold, and it disperses well, rather than clumping in one area, which means it keeps your hair somewhat in place, but doesn’t cement it to your head. Nor does it weigh your hair down with with emulsified lard. It’s light, airy; as though your hairs were simply meant to fall in such a way.

Possible issues with this:

1.People with curly hair: I don’t understand you, but I get the feeling you’ve got it hard in the hair department, especially where “frizz” is concerned. These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…

2.People with Anime-hair or similarly pointy coiffures: This is not Dr. Pennyworth’s Anti-Gravity Salve. Believe me when I say this stuff is LIGHT. I mean, if you slather it on I’m sure it’ll get the job done, but it’s really meant for those who want a natural, messy, ruffled or relaxed doo.

From a strictly visceral standpoint this gel is pretty legitimate, but how about conceptually? Lush boasts that The Big Tease is “actually good for your hair” (presumably others are not so). The list of ingredients is pretty daunting, but this is what I’ve managed to parse out:

-Bay Leaf Infusion, Peppermint Infusion, Linseed Infusion, Orange Flower Absolute, Bergamot Oil, Mandarin Oil and Lemon Oil are fragrances and natural herbal ingredients that have restorative or detoxifying properties. Sounds good to me.

-Fair Trade Cocoa Butter, Jojoba Oil, Glycerine and Cupuacu Butter are all natural moisturizers. Also generally good for a healthy scalp and strong, silky hair.

-Acrylates, Lauryl Acrylate, Stearyl Acrylate, Ethylamine Oxide Methacrylate Copolymer: Say what? Basically this is your bread-and-butter hair gel base. Pretty standard. I’d say it’s about neutral to hair health.

-Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Crosspolymer and Coumarin: An emulsion stabilizer and an anti-coagulant. The former is used in other flexible gels and gives it that signature non-crunchy hold. Both are considered benign for use with the human body.

So there you go. Fairly standard gel base with a ton of nutrients and natural moisturizers and one or two designer additives to give it that light, flexible hold.

But is it worth the price tag? That’s going to depend a lot on what you are personally looking for in a styling gel. Since I tend to walk the line between Appolonian and Dionysian ideals, and because I have short hair, I don’t need to use much of this at a time to get the right unkempt look (less than a dime’s worth is usually plenty). I think I’ll probably make this tub last a good long time, thusly justifying the price tag.

On the other hand, if you are the type that has to be in control of every fiber, you’ll probably end up using so much of it at once that it will no longer be worth it.

In summation, remember that styling products are a bit like cars: sometimes they’re a good fit for your needs and sometimes they’re not. If you want an understated luxury model that keeps it casual, go and pick up a tub. If you need an all-wheel-drive, rough and ready, off-road tank of a hair gel, this stuff really will be a “big tease.”

In any case, do yourself a favor and take it for a test drive before you drive it home.


Bang-for-your-buck Rating: $$ (a sting you can live with)

Over-all Rating: 5



Humango by Sally


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

Karma Soap by Alex


About the Item:

Karma Soap

3.5 oz for $7.95
Available in any size 3.5 oz and up

The Official Lush Website lists this soap as one of their best sellers. “A spicy orange and patchouli soap to calm and soothe a tired mind…Lemongrass, pine, orange and patchouli essential oils can turn a boring shower into a truly groovy experience!”

This item contains: Water (Aqua), Propylene Glycol, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Stearate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Perfume, Glycerine, Patchouli Oil (Pogostemon cablin), Orange Oil (Citrus dulcis), Lavendin Oil (Lavendula hybrida), Pine Oil (Pinus), Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogan flexuosus), Elemi Oil (Canarium commune), Sodium Chloride, EDTA, Tetrasodium Etidronate, Gardenia Extract (Gardenia jasminoides), *Citral, *Geraniol, *Citronellol, *Limonene, *Linalool, FD&C Red No. 4,.

My Review:

So, it’s a new year. Time to start things off right and get going on one of my several resolutions (next to graduate and get a job…): Update content on the regular. I know, I know, it’s been a while since I put anything up here and a damn long while since I reviewed any actual soap, but frankly, I was just getting too bogged down with school, money, the holidays and so on to even think about Lush. It just became another commitment. Every time I bought something I’d think “well… I really ought to review this… but I kinda just want to wash my face with it…”

However, with the advent of the recent holiday sale, I got a second chance (Big ups to Lauren at the Burlington Mall Lush for all of her help!). See, I got to splurge a little without having to worry too much about my mounting debt issues, and as a result I picked up a chunk of Karma, which I had previously snubbed because, well, Sally can’t stand it and I figured I probably wouldn’t dig it either. Oh how wrong I was. On first smell, I was intrigued but not blown away. But the more I let it linger, catching whiffs of it as I continued to browse, I realized how pleasant and subtle it was and how clean it made me feel. I was sold.  So much so, in fact, that I just bought another chunk of it this morning (I bought that last one the day after Christmas… less than a week ago…yeah… it’s a problem).

So, let’s get down to business. First of all, love the color and the over all design of the soap. I like how simple and chic it is. Just a big block with a giant lotus stamp in it. I mean, I do love how creative they get some times; the swirling loops and spires on Spice Curls, the crazy highlighter-soup and glitter of Angel’s Delight. But the simple, clean elegance of this soap fits very well with its M.O. Relaxed, earthy, and rich.

The smell, of course, is the major selling point of any soap (let’s face it, they’re almost all technically composed of the same melt-and-pour base). The overtones are patchouli and orange, blended with lavender, pine and lemongrass to add depth and tone. Sally says she doesn’t like this one specifically because of the patchouli, and I’ve heard this complaint from a number of people. I’ll admit, in just about every other context, I dislike the smell. I find it over-powering and way over-used by dirt-children and wannabe hippies. But I think this soap balances it well. In fact, it smells like… something else entirely. There’s definitely that rich, musky smell from the patchouli but it’s not that nose-wrinkling, pungent-inscence-stand-next-to-the-foodcourt smell I typically associate it with. It’s waaay toned down and it’s full of little subtleties that keep me coming back for another whiff. The lavender gives it a breezy, clean-laundry smell and the orange and lemon grass make it just a little bit fresh and citrusy like an open window in the spring time. The best part (and this goes for a lot of Lush products) is that it smells natural. It smells like something my body produced on its own if I stuck to a diet of flower pettles, rain water and sunshine.

A brief word on the technical side of this soap: As far as Lush soaps go, this one is more on the glycerine side of things than most, which means that it cuts easily, lathers nicely and disperses its odour very well. However, it also melts like crazy, especially in salt-treated water like we have at my house (to combat the minerals we get from our well water). Glycerine soaps absorb moisture well, so on hot, humid days this soap will be very gooey to the touch. I reccomend keeping it in a dry place and toweling it off after use if possible. Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled program…

In general, this soap is balanced and well put together. It’s not overly ambitious. It’s beautiful and charming in its simplicity. It’s Karma. I’m not going to bother getting into the actual meaning of that word, nor am I going to mix up my Asian cultures by talking about how “Zen” it is or how “Fung Shui” or “Tai Chi” or any of that crap that marketing people typically tac on to things that seem like they come from The Mysterious Orient. The truth is, it doesn’t matter why they call it that. The intoxicating smell and vivid orange-red color speak for themselves without flashy clicks and whistles.

I never want to stop smelling like this. Seriously. Ya feel me?

Bang-for-your-Buck Rating: $$$ (Or $$$$$$$$ if you happen to get it on the Holiday Sale going on until the 11th of January!)

Over-all Rating: 5
PS: I am aware that they make a Karma perfume and that it does not come from the bodies of people who ingest rainwater and sunshine exclusively. Maybe some day I’ll give it a try, but for now I’m satisfied with the soap.

Rub Rub Rub Shower Gel by Sally

Note: The “Tips” section is now up, featuring tips for making your Lush last and for the most enjoyable experience possible!

About the Item

Rub Rub Rub Shower Gel

3.3 fl. oz $8.95

8.4 fl. oz $14.95

16.9 fl. oz $23.95

The Official Lush Website lists Rub Rub Rub as a “refreshing” and “invigorating” sea salt, lemon and mimosa scrub. The website also says that it is “extra cleansing and mineral rich,” and that it can even be used as a shampoo!

The website specifies, however, that you should always shake up Rub Rub Rub before using due to the high salt content in it.

Rub Rub Rub contains the following Natural and/or Organic components: Fine Sea Salt (Sodium Chloride), Water (Aqua), Fresh Organic Lemon Juice (Citrus limonum), Jasmine Flower Infusion (Jasminum officinale), Mimosa Absolute (Mimosa tenuiflora), Orange Blossom Absolute (Citrus Aurantium dulcis), Jasmine Absolute (Jasminum officinale), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), Lactic Acid, Limonene.

Rub Rub Rub contains the following safe synthetic ingredients: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lauryl Betaine, Perfume, Blue No. 1, D&C Red 28.

My Review:

I bought this specifically to review it, having read nothing about it whatsoever and seeing it in the Newbury Street (Boston) store the day it was stocked. I bought the 8.4 fl. oz size, thinking I’d probably like it based simply on the fact that it was blue, and lush typically reserves blue for items that are “oceany” and/or “fresh” (see: big blue, seanik, world piece, ice blue, ocean salt, etc, etc).

I took it home and stuck it in the shower, happy to replace my Flying Fox shower gel I’ve been using for a few weeks (BLARGH! …but you’ll hear all about that in one of my next reviews). First thing I noticed upon my next shower/an adequate inspection was that this baby was incredibly heavy for a little bottle. Like, REALLY heavy. I am certain it is because of the high salt content, especially so because the entire bottom half of the bottle was salt that had settled to the bottom and caked into a solid form, leaving the top gooey and runny. I shook it up, thinking it would solve the problem, and it didn’t. I shook some more, squeezed the bottle, opened it to relieve some pressure, shook again, squeezed, rolled it between my hands, and after all that only a little bit of the salt had distributed. I got to work, shaking it for 10 seconds and then using my thumbs to break up the salt through the wall of the bottle (and repeat). Finally, the salt was broken up and I could see air bubbles on the bottom of the bottle. It probably took about 5 minutes in all to spread the salt through the gel, which isn’t long, but might be if you’re in a rush before work in the morning (not to mention, considering how heavy the bottle was, it was like a mini-workout!).

Once I felt good about the salt distribution and confident that I’d be using the product correctly to write an accurate review, I squirted some into my hand and marveled at how thin it was. Usually, when I turn a bottle upside down and the gel moves down to the opening, it slides down slowly and looks thick and goopy, leaving a thick residue on the edges of the bottle. That is definetly not what happened with Rub Rub Rub. It slid right down quickly– maybe I just got a thin batch and I am by no means saying it was a “bad” thing, I’m just suggesting to be prepared for a very different consistency.

I smoothed it on my arms and marveled at the little bits of salt– it is like if you took ocean salt and watered it down a bit. And it smells SOOOO YUMMY! If you liked Sakura, 17 Cherry Tree Lane, or Ocean Salt, you will love this because it is essentially the same scent as the formers with an twinge of the latter.

It exfoliated my skin in a lovely way, but I decided to put some on my louffa/loofa/pouf/whatever to see how it felt. It didn’t appear to lather much at all– I needed to use quite a bit to get some good lather, and I lost the nice feeling of the salt exfoliation because the loofa was doing that already (and I think the salt was getting “lost” in the folds of it). I think this is more of a straight-from-bottle-to-body shower gel, but that just might be me.

I know this sounds like a fairly neutral review, and I guess I don’t think Rub Rub Rub was anything SUPER special, but I LOVE the salt (despite the difficulty to mix it– maybe it would be easier if I used a popsicle stick from now on?) and I think it is 10,000 x better than the other shower gels I’ve tried so far (Chai and Flying Fox). A lot of that, though, probably has to do with the type of scents you like. If you tend to lean toward something fresh, clean, oceany, with a hint of floral, you’d probably love this.

I also think this is a better alternative to many other “sugar scrubs” or “sea salt scrubs”, etc, because it doesn’t leave you with that coated-in-grease feeling that overdoses of cocoa butter and oil give you. It leaves you feeling squeeky clean and fresh, and also doesn’t coat the bottom of the tub in slick grease. It easily washes away and the scent stays.

I’ve used this in the shower for about a week now, and will continue to do so. Will I buy it again? I’m not sure, but not because it wasn’t enjoyable. I just prefer soap. Shower gels are used so quickly, in my opinion, and soap does the exact same thing.

What are your thoughts?

Bang for Your Buck Rating: $ (much more expensive than soap and doesn’t last as long)

Overall Rating: 3

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: