Tag Archives: moisturizing

Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar by Alex

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.

My Review:

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

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Vanishing Cream Moisturizer by Sally

About the Item:

Vanishing Cream Moisturizer

1.7 oz. $35.95

The Official Lush Website lists Vanishing Cream as a “light-as-a-feather moisturizer for acne-prone or oily skin.” It also says that “this low fat moisturizer has minimal oil, making it perfect for those with acne, oily skin or a spotty T-zone (forehead, nose and chin). Light-as-a-feather Vanishing Cream sinks into the skin quickly; we left out the cocoa butter and used shea butter and softening linseed gel, camellia, grapeseed and jojoba oils instead. You don’t have to have problem skin to use it; this comforting, balanced moisturizer keeps normal skin clear with lavender, rose and neroli. Vanishing Cream really does make skin troubles, well, vanish.”

It contains the following natural and/or organic components: Linseed Infusion (Linum usitatissimum), Water (Aqua), Rose Water (Rosa centifolia), Lavender Honey Water (Lavandula augustifolia), Organic Grapeseed Oil (Vitis vinifera), Honey (Mel), Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis), Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis virginiana), Fair Trade Organic Shea Butter (Butyrospermum Parkii),Camella Oil (Camella japonita), Lavender Oil (Lavandula augustifolia), Neroli Oil (Citrus amara), Geranium Oil (Pelargonium graveolens), Glycerine, Tincture of Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool, and Perfume.

It contains the following safe synthetic ingredients: Stearic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben.

My Review:

I have several Lush lotions, but this was the first moisturizer I bought specifically for my face. I have never been a bath & body person; I love nice smelling shampoo, but that is just about where my obsession ends (or at least, used to)– EXCEPT for my face. I have oily skin, and am really careful about cleaning it properly. My whole life I’ve relied on St. Ives products with salicylic acid in them to keep my face feeling smooth, so it was a rather large step for me to go 100% Lush. I’ve trained my brain to think that my skin can’t be clear unless I’m using medicine to make it so… it has never really occured to me that all natural products would make a difference and balance out my skin organically.

Since I’ve gone 100% Lush, I haven’t quite found the perfect combination of skin cleansers (I use Fresh Farmacy consistantly, but sometimes use Sweet Japanese Girl before bed, and use Ocean Salt probably three times a week. I also use Tea Tree Toner after my cleanser at night…) so my skin hasn’t DRAMATICALLY improved. I know this all may seem irrelevant, but I wanted to give a little background information on my skin and what products work for me.

As this is my first Lush moisturizer, I don’t have much to compare it to (but I HAVE tried samples of Imperialis and Enzymion and am happy to do a comparison review at your request, I also have Imperialis on the way from the UK!) but I am definetly loving it so far. I’ll admit I never, ever would have bought this except for the fact that Lush stores were running a promotion last week where if you spend $40, you get any of the new products for free. I chose the most expensive, figuring I’d never buy it otherwise and that it’d make a good review. It was a teeny, TEENY little pot of moisturizer for almost $40. I figured I’d probably go through this thing in about a week.

I took it home and when I took a shower later that night, I decided to throw some on. I had used Fresh Farmacy in the shower, followed by a quick swipe of Tea Tree Toner, so my skin was clean and fresh. I opened the top I frowned at how little was inside, and took a tiny little glob onto my finger just to try it (the only amount I can think to compare this to is the amount you might take out of a pot of lip gloss for your lips– a seriously small amount. I’ll upload a picture later). I rubbed it onto my face and marveled! What a pleasant surprise! First of all, this stuff lasted FOREVER. That tiny glob was enough for my entire face! It was light and airy, smooth and clean. As I rubbed it on, I felt my skin instantly softening and smoothing out, as if this airy substance was filling all the little cracks, pores and crevices with clean air. This sounds so corny, but it was seriously amazing. My face had a beautiful matte finish, as the moisturizer sunk in almost immediately, and I didn’t have to wait 20 minutes to put on makeup like I have had to with other moisturizers in the past.

I turned to Alex and said “You have to try this!” and he took a teeny bit off of the lid and marveled at the mechanics of it, as well. I have had this for over a week and I am still using the residue on the top of the lid!

Now, it feels great, but does it really work? It is definetly moisturizing my face and balancing out the oils– this is good. Normally I use St. Ives Whipped Lotion for my face, but as it isn’t really a top notch facial moisturizer, and is aimed more toward the body, my face was oily by mid day. With this moisturizer, I normally use it in the morning after my shower (9am-ish) and my face still feels excellent by 11pm. Of course, by then I am taking my makeup off and washing my face again. I definetly feel like it has helped with oil/chemical control, but as I only recently switched to Lush face cleansers about 3 weeks ago, I’m certain that has a big part of it, too. The combination of Lush facial cleansers + Vanishing Cream is to die for in terms of oil control. I can’t compare this to Gorgeous, because I would never spend that much money on one product (sorry), but every review I’ve read says that this is the next best thing in terms of lightness– it is incredibly airy and light, in case I haven’t made that clear enough.

However, this product, from what I hear, appears to be making people break out! That makes absolutely no sense to me, and I don’t know why it would, but I have to mention that while this is helping with oil control and making my pores appear much smaller (either alone or in combination with cleansers), my blemishes haven’t particularly been decreasing in frequency. I don’t have acne, or “bad skin” really, just blemishes that are probably stress-induced. Stress rules my life. 🙂

So, I know this is a fairly raving review, but I can’t say for sure whether or not this is worth the money. Sure, it has helped with the oil control, but if it isn’t really doing anything for blemishes, I have to think about how much that is worth to me. If you are dead set on going all-Lush, and have oily skin, I’d opt for this, Imperialis, or Enzymion. If you don’t care much about going all-Lush, I’d try this and if it doesn’t do much for you, just stick with a Clean & Clear Facial Moisturizer for about $30 less.

Bang-For-Your-Buck Rating: $$ (We’ll see how long this lasts)

Overall Rating: 4

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)

Porridge Soap by Sally

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:

When I walked into Lush to look around, a Lush employee enthusiastically shoved a piece of Porridge in front of my face for me to smell, asking if I had tried any yet. I was a little annoyed until I smelled the little bugger– it was the most delicious scent I could have ever imagined (think: waking up to fresh oatmeal with brown sugar and orange juice… served in bed by your significant other… while on vacation in a fancy bed and breakfast… in Vermont. Yes, that good.). I bought a chunk and was soon enthusiastically shoving it in front of other peoples faces for days, until I went into Lush a few weeks later to buy two more big chunks (I hadn’t even used all of the first one, yet!). The point I’m skirting around (not-so-subtley) is that it was love at first sniff, and after reading the ingredients and their effects, I’m not surprised I liked it so much.

First, this baby has pinhead oatmeal in it. When you pick up a chunk, it looks like smooth taffy with pieces of oatmeal in it– great for exfoliating. The oatmeal also has calcium, carbohydrates, iron, Vitamin B1, and various proteins in it, making it a super moisturizing (yet still exfoliating) soap. Even better, oatmeal is the only food that naturally contains gamma linolenic acid– a fatty acid sometimes found in vegetable oils– which is a proven anti-inflammatory weapon. If you have sunburn, a rash, or skin irritation, then this soap is for you (as long as you can tolerate the slight roughness of the oats).

On top of the oatmeal, Porridge Soap has organic orange juice in it to give you a dose of vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as to tighten pours, reduce aging, and invigorate skin. Oils inside of the soap help with dry and itchy skin, while anti-bacterial components found in Labdanum Resinoid combat germs.

All these components are mixed in with the usual Lush base of Rapeseed Oil, Sunflower Oil and Coconut Oil. These oils combine to moisturize in an unbelievable way– complete with vitamins A, D, and E, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. Not to mention, I get to bathe with something that smells like delicious oatmeal-and-orange-juice breakfast (though, many Lushies compare it so an oatmeal cookie or molasses)!

After trying Porridge Soap, my opinion didn’t change. It smelled delicious in the shower and made my bathroom smell like porridge for hours after, even though I removed the soap after using it. It created a generous lather and made my skin incredibly soft. Some reviewers feel the oatmeal was too rough for sensitive skin, but I loved it… it caused no irritation whatsoever and only exfoliated dry patches I had on my upper arms.

After a few uses, I have begun to notice that my Porridge Soap bar isn’t lasting as long as my other soaps usually do– it seems to be a bit softer in texture, though some Lush employees have told me that it was a fresh batch that needs to sit to “cure”. I get the feeling this soap is just a little softer, in general. The oats have begun to fall oat of the bar of soap as I use it. This isn’t a real surprise, as what goes in the soap must eventually come out, and I am happy to see that I’m not losing them in huge amounts that clog the drain or cling to my body… I just lose a few here and a few there each shower.

Overall I am very happy with this soap. It has probably become my favorite lush soap (perhaps even my favorite lush item!) mostly because of it’s incredible scent and exfoliating properties. I leave the shower, everytime, feeling totally moisturized and happy. Not to mention, this soap is completely affordable as it is one of the cheapest soaps that Lush offers!

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

Overall Rating: 5