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.
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