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The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask 03/07/2015

Effective but harsh

The Body Shop Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask I often buy products from The Body Shop and one of my most recent purchases is the Seaweed Ionic Clay Mask. The store produces many different skin care ranges all designed for varying skin types. The Seaweed range is designed for oily/combination skin, which is my type. The mask comes in a tub which has a blue water pattern, to fit in with the rest of the Seaweed range. A 100ml tub costs £12 but Body Shop products are always on special offer so I certainly didn’t pay this! The mask lasted me a good few months, even though I used it once a week. The mask is described as a “revitalising” clay mask designed to cleanse and control excess oil. It has a fairly strong, but not unpleasant, smell and is grey, like clay. After washing my face I apply a thin layer of the mask. It is easy to apply, with a slightly sticky texture ensuring that the mask sticks. You are supposed to leave the mask on for ten minutes, but unfortunately the mask started to make my skin itch so I only left it on for about five before washing off. I noticed that if I left it on for any longer it became really hard to remove – I had to scrub and scrub to get it off, leaving my face a bit red. On the plus side, the mask seemed to do a good job at refreshing my skin and getting rid of dirt and grime. My skin seemed to have fewer spots and blackheads. However, on balance I think the mask is a bit harsh for me. It dried my skin out if left on too long, and made my skin itch. I will use the mask until it’s used ...

Lush Gorilla Perfume Kerbside Violet Eau de Parfum 02/07/2015

Great perfume, but poor staying power on me

Lush Gorilla Perfume Kerbside Violet Eau de Parfum Being a fan of Lush and their sister company Gorilla Perfume, I was interested to learn that they were bringing out a new range of perfumes. Volume 3 of the Gorilla Perfumes range contains many exciting scents, including the one I’m going to review today – Kerbside Violet. Lush explain that this fragrance was inspired by “chance encounters and fleeting moments” – the idea that you can be wandering round a concrete jungle and spot a tiny flower growing through the cracks in the pavement. Quite a sweet idea, I thought. *Packaging* The fragrance comes in glass bottles, which I like as they remind me of apothecary bottles. If you have seen some of Lush’s previous perfumes you will be familiar with the style of label, which is continued here – a pretty picture of violets. The glass bottles are different shapes depending on the size, but they all have the same basic aesthetic. The exception is the solid perfume, which comes in a round metal tin – though it still has the same picture of violets on it. *Price* Solid £9 (12g) Small Liquid £18 (10ml) Large Liquid £36 (30ml) *The Fragrance* The scent contains violet leaf absolute, jasmine absolute, ylang ylang oil and rosewood oil. I naturally expected it to smell like violets – perhaps like Lush’s other violet perfume, Tuca Tuca. *My Experience* I have tried this scent a few times in Lush stores. It definitely smells like Parma Violet sweets at first – like the Tuca Tuca fragrance – but the scent does deepen and become more ...

Lush Drummers Drumming Reusable Bubble Bar 01/07/2015

Lovely bubble bar

Lush Drummers Drumming Reusable Bubble Bar Drummers Drumming is a reusable bubble bar that was released by Lush as part of their limited edition Christmas range. Solid bubble bars are made often at Lush, but reusable ones are a newer concept – you stick them under the tap while the bath’s running until you get enough bubbles, then put them aside to dry until next time. This bar came on a stick and was a disc with one yellow half and one pink half. It had a cord with two bells hanging off it. This is what inspired the Drummers Drumming name. If you twist the stick the bells fly around and hit the “drum” of the bubble bar – ideal for kids and childish adults! The bar was made with bergamot and geranium oils for a refreshing fruity, fresh scent. The base was formed of sodium carbonate, cream of tartar and sodium laureth sulphate to create a mixture that would produce lots of bubbles. It’s worth noting that SLS, the ingredient responsible for producing loads of bubbles, can cause skin irritation in some people, though personally I have no problem with it. The bubble bar creates a good amount of bubbles and fills the bath with pink water and a lovely scent. I thoroughly enjoyed my bath and it made me very relaxed. The water felt soft and didn’t irritate my skin. After my bath I did need to apply some moisturiser, but not much. I could still smell the faint sweet scent of the product for a while. I was able to use the product again – it lasted me about four baths in all. Drummers Drumming is suitable for vegans and is ...

Lush Coal Face 30/06/2015

Superb cleanser

Lush Coal Face As I am sure you will all know by now, I am a huge fan of the brand Lush and am trying to sample all of their products. Though they are most famous for soaps and bath products, they also produce a number of cleansers. One of those I’ve tried recently is the Coal Face cleanser. Coal Face is a fresh cleanser, which means that you buy the amount you want in the store (or online), get it weighed and wrapped, and take it home. This means it is better for the environment as minimal packaging is needed. Once home, you just need to keep it in a soap dish or leave it by the shower/sink. 100g costs £4.75 and my piece lasted me for a good couple of months, so I think it’s really good value for money. I used Coal Face in the morning, as I prefer a more luxurious creamy cleanser in the evening. In addition, the cleanser is black and I prefer to use it in the shower to make sure I get it all off! Don’t worry about the black colour though, it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s dirty. A full large solid piece of cleanser, from which individual slivers are cut, looks a bit like a flower, similar to the Fresh Farmacy cleanser. The black colour comes from the charcoal, which is absorbent and helps to make this cleanser good for oily skin. Other ingredients include antiseptic rosewood and sandalwood, as well as liquorice root which softens the skin. The base of the cleanser is made up of rapeseed oil and coconut oil, and it is suitable for vegans. The cleanser lathers up well and has a ...

Lush gorilla perfumes Lush Dad's Garden Lemon Tree Body Spray 29/06/2015

Lovely smell of a lemon tree garden

Lush gorilla perfumes Lush Dad's Garden Lemon Tree Body Spray Being a fan of Lush and their sister company Gorilla Perfume, I was interested to learn that they were bringing out a new range of perfumes. Most have only been out for limited times as yet, including this new Dad's Garden - Lemon Tree fragrance, available in body spray form. The perfume was inspired by Lush’s founder Mark Constantine’s relationship with his dad. *Packaging* The body spray packaging is black plastic, with a spray nozzle and an attractive cartoon-style label. It’s a unique style of packaging and not something I’ve ever seen outside of Lush. *Price* The product costs £18 for 300ml, which is a lot but it is higher quality than most body sprays and it’s more of a perfume, really. *The Fragrance* The spray is meant to evoke South Africa, where Mark’s father lived. I’ve never been so I don’t know how accurate this is, but it contains lemon and lime oil to give it a citrusy tang, as well as bergamot to uplift and lavender to calm. The scent is meant to be like Mark’s father’s garden, hence the name. It does have a warm, fresh quality that is reminiscent of a garden, though rather more “exotic” than I’m used to. *My Experience* I have tried this scent a few times in Lush stores. It is a lovely, refreshing, citrusy body spray that is rather more complex than most body sprays I’ve tried. It lasts for an hour or two on my skin, which isn’t amazing for a perfume but pretty good as a body spray. *Conclusion* This is a very pleasant scent and very refreshing. However, ...

The Body Shop Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo 26/06/2015

Recommended for dandruff

The Body Shop Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo I do suffer from dandruff on occasion so I was pleased to find this Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo in The Body Shop. Priced at £4.50 for 250ml, it was similarly priced to other Body Shop products and I was able to get hold of some on offer. The shampoo comes in the typical Body Shop shampoo/shower gel bottle, with an easy-to-use flip-top lid and a transparent body so that it’s easy to see how much product you have left. I liked the label on the shampoo, which made it look quite modern. The Body Shop describes the shampoo as a cleansing and refreshing product with ginger extracts that is perfect for dry scalps. It definitely smells of ginger, but the scent isn’t overwhelming, and I can’t smell it on my hair after I’ve washed it. I love ginger but I know a lot of people don’t, so this might be handy information. The shampoo works just like any other: apply to wet hair, rub in and rinse. It lathers up well and cleanses the hair with no problems. As usual, I apply conditioner afterwards. It doesn’t irritate my scalp. Regular use suggests that it is reasonably effective at dealing with dandruff. I’ve noticed that I hardly seem to get it any more. It does seem to be slightly harsh on my hair, so I tend to only use it every two or three days, not every wash. One negative effect I’ve noticed is that it does seem to strip hair colour to a certain extent, so this is another reason not to use it every day. In general, though, this is an effective anti-dandruff shampoo that is ...

Puckator Fun Hand Cream in Penguin Holder 23/06/2015

Adorable penguin hand cream

Lush Ice Blue Soap 22/06/2015

I feel warm towards this ice blue soap

Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia Eau de Toilette 19/06/2015

Gorgeous scent

Acqua di Parma Mandorlo di Sicilia Eau de Toilette I got a small spray vial of perfume in a beauty box a while ago. The said perfume is called Acqua di Parma Blu Mediterraneo Mandorlo di Sicilia Eau de Toilette – a bit of a mouthful! It isn’t a fragrance I’d ever heard of before, and I was shocked when I looked it up online and found the price: £57 for 75ml and £82 for 150ml. I was very happy that I had a free sample! The packaging isn’t particularly exciting. It comes in a square dark blue bottle that looks more like aftershave than perfume. In fact when I looked it up I found that it actually IS aftershave. That explains it! Having said that, it isn’t an obvious “aftershave” smell and I think it is a unisex scent. I certainly wouldn’t wear it if I thought it made me smell like a man! The scent of the perfume is gorgeous. It contains almonds, star anise, bergamot and orange. The scent is meant to evoke Sicily and it is lovely, with a citrusy tang tempered by the sweetness of the almond. The fragrance has a base of cedar wood, vanilla, Tolu balsam and white musk. The scent lasts a good few hours on me, and I find I can’t stop sniffing my wrists when I am wearing it. It is totally unique and I can’t think of any other similar scent. The scent deepens as time wears on although it is still recognisably the same scent. The warmth of the almonds and the freshness of the citrus make it the perfect perfume for the summer, particularly summer evenings. This is very expensive but if I saw it on special offer I would certainly ...

The Body Shop Cucumber Cleansing Milk 18/06/2015

Effective cucumber cleanser

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream 17/06/2015

A lovely cream

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream A while ago I signed up for some beauty boxes and accumulated quite a few samples. One of the samples I got was a small glass pot of the Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream. Benefit is an American brand most famous for its makeup products, however, it has in the last couple of years launched a skincare line. This product normally costs £27.50 for 48.2g of product, which is quite pricey, however this is in line with their makeup range. The product does look quite classy, with pale green and white packaging, and a glass pot. It’s clear glass, so it’s easy to see how much product you’ve got left. The product is designed for normal to dry skin and is described as a “hydra-concentrated facial cream with tri-radiance complex”. That complex is meant to help reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier. It contains mango butter, a naturally moisturising ingredient. It has a faint but pleasant smell. I don’t have particularly dry skin, so I stuck to using this product in the evening, rather than during the day when I prefer a lighter moisturiser. The lotion went on easily, and was thick but not too thick. It sunk into my skin well and felt non-greasy, which I was impressed with. Despite this, I felt that it kept my skin moisturised well into the next morning, including the dry bits I sometimes get on my face. Regular use helped my skin look and feel in good condition. As my skin tends towards being oily, I couldn’t very well use this as a day cream, but as a more intensive night cream ...

Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Face Spa Masque 15/06/2015

A spa on the cheap

Montagne Jeunesse Dead Sea Face Spa Masque I really like treating my skin with a face mask every week or so and have tried several masks in the past including several from the Montagne Jeunesse range. A while ago I got an email offering a free face mask to try from the new range. Never one to pass up a freebie, I filled in my details and shortly afterwards received this Dead Sea Mud Spa masque in the post. Animal lovers will be pleased to know that the mask has been approved by the Vegetarian Society and bears the BUAV bunny logo to show that it has not been tested on animals. The masque comes in a plastic sachet and has a picture of a woman about to wear the masque, surrounded by green leaves and a sunny beach picture. The sachet design is similar to others in the range. The product is made up of mud-infused fabric containing nutrient-rich sea kelp and seaweed. You are meant to cleanse your face, then apply the masque, leave for 10-15 minutes, massage and rinse. Applying the masque, it felt very strange to be putting damp mud-infused fabric on my skin, but once I got used to it the sensation was oddly pleasant and rather calming. The masque felt cooling and I felt a slight tingling, though no irritation. As instructed, I left the masque on for about ten minutes, relaxing as I did so. It had a pleasant fresh scent that luckily wasn’t too strong. After I removed and rinsed off the masque, I found that my skin felt cleaner and looked brighter and more radiant. I could definitely tell that I had just applied a face ...

Lush Paw Soap 12/06/2015

Raise a paw in support of this soap

Lush Paw Soap A while ago I purchased a limited edition product from Lush – a piece of Paw Soap. ***What is Lush?*** Lush is a store that makes toiletries and cosmetics, using natural and organic ingredients where possible and minimising packaging where they can. It started out as a mail order company called Cosmetics to Go, but this failed and the new store, Lush, opened in Poole, Dorset. Later branches of the shop opened in London and beyond, and there are now Lush stores all over the world. As well as in store, you can also buy products from the website, There are similar websites for many different countries including the USA, Japan and Germany. Lush buy ingredients only from companies that do not test on animals. All of their products are suitable for vegetarians and many are suitable for vegans. Lush say: "We believe in happy people making happy soap, putting our faces on our products and making our mums proud. "We believe in long candlelit baths, sharing showers, massage, filling the world with perfume and in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again." ***Charity Products*** Every so often Lush release a limited edition product to make money for charity, and this soap is one of them. All proceeds from the soap (excluding VAT which by law must go to the government) go to Pup Aid. This is one of the things I really like about Lush – when they support a charity, they really DO support it – they don’t release charity products that only donate a ...

The Body Shop DeoDry Deodorant Roll-On Cool & Zesty 10/06/2015

Great idea but doesn't live up to its promise.

The Body Shop DeoDry Deodorant Roll-On Cool & Zesty I often like to browse in The Body Shop and a few months ago noticed that they were bringing out a range of new deodorants, known as DeoDry. These were to be priced at £4, but were at the time on offer for £2.50. Therefore, I decided to choose one. It is possible to get the deodorant in either a stick or a roll-on. I chose the roll-on, specifically because I noticed that you can get refills for these (priced at £3), and I decided that if I liked the deodorant, this would be a good way to save money and save the environment at the same time. The deodorant is also available in three scents: Fresh & Floral (pink), Chilled & Breezy (blue), and Cool & Zesty (green). I chose the Cool & Zesty. The unique selling point of these deodorants is that they contain no aluminium salts or parabens. This fits in with the ethos of the Body Shop as an ethical and natural retailer. I know some people try not to use products with aluminium salts or parabens as they are supposedly bad for you and have been linked to cancer. I can't say that I have ever been too concerned myself, but I was curious to see how well this deodorant would work without these ingredients. According to the Body Shop website, where there is a more detailed product description, it is explained that the deodorant works effectively as it contains a volcanic mineral that absorbs wetness, and essential oils to mask any odours. The deodorant promises 24 hour protection. ***Packaging*** The deodorant is attractively packaged ...
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