Saturday, November 22, 2014

(Review) Cinders: Snap! Crackle! Pop!

When I woke that morning, it was with a pit of dread in my stomach.  The moment my eyes opened, I knew something was amiss.  I crawled out of my massive pile of blankets and pillows and stood stock still in my pajamas.  The apartment was oddly silent.  I could hear people outside walking...the odd clang of the radiator pipes every so often.  Everything seemed as it should be.  But when I threw up the blinds in my window, I saw what was wrong.  My stomach dropped and my heart ceased to beat.  With a cry I fell to my knees in despair, gazed up at the heavens and cried:


...okay, so maybe I was a little overdramatic.  But if you lived where I live, you'd understand.  Being in a Midwestern state in winter takes a strong, rugged sort to survive.  The cold is biting, it takes forever to clear your car of the smothering white powder, and people magically forget how to drive.  But there's a certain coziness to it I guess.  On my rare days off, I like to snuggle in my blankets in my pjs with a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate, a book or video game, and just forget that winter exists.  Freshly fallen snow is also the perfect weather for a nice, hot (and I mean HOT) bath!


I will admit that I'm one of those people that's always freezing cold.  When at work, I'm constantly apologizing to customers for my cold hands, to which they laugh and say it's no problem.  I've been in hot, 80 something degree weather and have been frigid.  I might just be one of those lizard people everyone in those conspiracy theory videos rants about.  So when I take a bath in the winter, I essentially boil myself alive, to where I can see steam rising off of my flushed skin (and it's cool...makes me feel like a dragon!).  So that one fateful day of our first snowfall, I was feeling especially comfy cozy, and longed for a nice hot bath with a spicy winter scent.


Cinders to me smells exactly like winter.  With a spicy cinnamon scent, Cinders is like a down comforter for your nostrils.  First released in 2009, Cinders was inspired by Cinderella, as well as a crackling fire burning away in the warmth of your home.  Cinders is supposed to smell like hot fruit punch, but to me it just smells like straight up cinnamon.  Which makes sense because of the cinnamon leaf oil infusion, which warms you up after a chilly day shoveling snow.  I actually managed to snag one last year, but ended up swapping it away for something else, as I wasn't interested in baths at the time.  And if I could go back and kick my butt for giving it away, I'd gladly go and wear steel toed boots.

My excitement for this bath bomb was pretty high, since I positively love the scent and found it perfect for winter.  But when I dropped it into the tub, my excitement dwindled a bit.  The smell was quite strong, permeating my bathroom with that spicy warm scent of cinnamon and chai, but the visuals were less than stellar.  Now I've already used a few yellow bath bombs like Golden Egg and Honey Bee, but there was something about this one that just grossed me out.  When I think of warm crackling fires, I think of the orange gold glow of the flames, or the red orange glow of hot coals.  Not neon yellow with a red smear on the bottom from the popping candies.  And I know we're all taught to see one's inner beauty, but with this one...well, let's just say it has a "pretty face" or "nice eyes."

Still determined to take my piping hot bath, I sank in and soaked.  The smell was intoxicating!  It was a nice warm clove blanket on a cold winter's eve.  But when I opened my eyes from my meditative soak, the color snapped me out of it.  I still feel awful about not liking the color, I mean it's such a petty thing to not like about a product, but it was just something I couldn't get over.  When I explained my dilemma to Bossman, he told me the girls at his old shop described it as rust colored water, and I think they matched that description perfectly.  Another coworker of mine informed me to turn the lights off and light candles, which I suppose I could do (I call it the "brown paper bag" of bathing).  But I will admit that despite the color, my spicy cinnamon soak was nice and relaxing and put me in the winter least until I had to get up the next morning and drive through snow-ridden roads to work.  But it was nice while it lasted!

 **Cinders bath bomb is certified Vegan
Purchase Cinders at your local LUSH store or online here

Sunday, November 9, 2014

(Review) Golden Wonders: What's in the BOOOOOX?!

Wake up in the morning feeling like...going straight back to sleep.  And sleeping for forever snuggled in your fluffy comforter and your silky pjs in total bliss and silence with a perfectly fluffed pillow to cushion your head on the ride to dreamland.  If only, right?  If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know from previous entries I'm not the most...enthusiastic morning person.  And sometimes even coffee doesn't get the job done.  So one day, on one of my rare days off, I slept in as long as my body would allow, woke up, and found I was still exhausted.  Even after some highly caffeinated tea, I still couldn't shake the sleep out of my droopy lids.  On a day where I was supposed to be getting chores done, I found myself flopped in bed playing video games in my pjs.  I needed a pick me up...dirty laundry was beckoning, dishes were giving me that come hither stare...stuff needed to be done and I was too lethargic to do it.  So a quick, energizing citrus-charged bath was most definitely in order!


Golden Wonders bath bomb is a limited edition bath bomb for Lush Christmas.  Out for the 4th year in a row (!), Golden Wonders encompasses the same light, champagne-citrus smell of Celebrate lotion and First Snow dusting powder.  Every demo we did if this in the store was met with "oohs" and "aahs"...mostly from my coworkers and I.  We'd all gather around the pot as the illustrious package dissolved, whipping out our phones and snapping pictures until Bossman came around, waving his hands and clucking like a mother hen (which he kind of is to all of you Bossman!) to scatter, saying we were a dark cloud of Lush aprons.  Still, when the store was slow, we'd slowly gravitate to the pot and swirl our hands around, watching the turquoise and gold shimmer swirl around like a liquid mood ring.


Since I can never bathe in Mermaid Water (I'm sadly allergic to Big Blue), Golden Wonders is the closest I can get (and the turnout is pretty much identical).  When I dropped this guy in I dared not blink.  Golden Wonders is a fast fizzer, blink and you'll most definitely miss it!  Watching it reminded me of a fireworks finale...all that pop and sizzle in 30 seconds or less and then the silence and smoke while people applauded (or in my younger sister's case, scream bloody murder because of all the fishflies flying around that hot summer evening).  In a quick but memorable moment, the white and yellow dissolved to gold and blue, with stars shooting out in all directions accompanied by comet tails of golden shimmer dust, and then poof! it was over! 


I run my bath water notoriously hot, so I gave it time to cool and finally sunk in.  The shimmer wasn't as concentrated as it was in the store (which I expected since we demo in a cooking pot rather than a tub) but it was still just as beautiful.  But like I experienced with Dashing Santa, I couldn't smell that much!  The smell was stronger than it was with dear ol' Saint Nick, but still quite faint.  I can smell Celebrate lotion just fine on my skin, but put it in bath bomb form and apparently I become immune to its citrusy power!  I lifted up a damp arm to sniff and could smell it on my skin, which brought me some relief but still...I like a bath bomb that gets all up in my nostrils.  Like, ALL up in there.  So I sat and soaked, hoping that sweet orange and lime oil would refresh me enough and give me the energy to do the intimidating pile of dishes in the sink.  And when I got out I had plenty of plop back into bed and beat the absolute crap out of the darkspawn ogre invading the tower!  Take THAT forces of evil! 

...well it was something...wasn't it?


Overall I thoroughly enjoyed Golden Wonders.  Despite my ability to not smell it so clearly, it was visually stunning and a true holiday treat for anyone in need of some sparkle, glitz, and a reminder that winter does indeed end.  There's a reason they've been bringing it out for the past four years and I can definitely see why!  Definitely a must have bath bomb for the holiday season!

**Golden Wonders bath bomb is certified Vegan
***Pick up Golden Wonders bath bomb at your local LUSH store, or online here    

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

(Review) Shoot for the Stars: One Giant Leap for Bathkind

I still remember the first time I saw a shooting star.  I was a young'un of eight years old, and was at a campsite with my family and their friends.  My childhood friend and I were wandering back from the bathrooms, flashlights in hand hoping we didn't get lost (we did).  On our way back we heard some sort of banging and giggling.  Being the curious little tykes we were, we turned our flashlights to a couple getting all manners of handsy against a silver pickup truck.  And again, being the curious little tykes we were, we decided to help the guy along by catcalling and shrieking as high as our little voices would go.  An angry grunt and a flurry of curse words later, we were running for our little lives, laughing and cackling like the maniacal little cock blockers we were.  When we were far enough away, we slowed to a stroll, my eyes cast upwards as they always were at night.  The sky was clear and I started singing that song from Titanic, a movie I was obsessed with at the time ("come Josephine in my flying machine/and it's up she goes/up she goes!") and as my friend joined me (she was equally obsessed) that was when I saw it.  A bright streak of white that flew across the sky.  My first shooting star!  We both stopped singing and excitedly asked the other if we saw it.  We shrieked in joy and went to tell our families about it (stopping at the wrong cabin first of course, embarrassing ourselves).  Mama Llama and Papa Bear (two loving nicknames I've bestowed upon my mother and father) just smiled and said it was good luck.  I remembered going to bed that night, excited for all the good luck that was in my future.

The next morning I ended up puking all over the deck of our rented cabin.  So either good luck takes a while to show up or that was karma for ruining that guy's chance to score.  Nonetheless, that memory still resonates with me today.  Since then I've seen many shooting stars in the night sky, usually camped out at summer bonfires with a cool summer shandy in hand and drunken shenanigans on our lips.  And when I saw Shoot for the Stars bath bomb, the space nerd in my couldn't resist picking it up!


Shoot for the Stars bath bomb was out last year for Christmas, but came back this year with a mini makeover.  Instead of a yellow star on the top, it's been swapped out with a silver lustre star, but smells and looks almost exactly the same.  Scented with Honey I Washed the Kids, I was super excited to try this one out since the other HIWTK scented bath bomb (Honey Bee) left me feeling itchy and dry.  That and one of my coworker who transferred from another store (we affectionately call her Ham.  I personally call her Hamtaro) wouldn't stop raving about it.  So one dark and cloudy night, I decided to bring the night sky to my tub!

Did that last line sound cheesy?  It probably did.  I apologize for said cheese

When I dropped Shoot for the Stars into my tub, I knew I was in for a visual treat.  It immediately turned a pastel blue with dark blue freckles scattered on top of the bomb.  Yellow and pink soon joined the swirling mass and I was reminded of Van Gogh's "Starry Starry Night."  At one point I stopped snapping my camera for this blog entry and just sat and watched, entranced.  I've used quite a few bath bombs and I have to say that this was the most visually stunning of the bunch.  It was like watching twilight turn into the darkest night as the water darkened to a deep, rich blue.  And then the shimmer appeared.


I vaguely remember setting my camera down and doing my best Keanu Reeves-esque "WHOOOOOOOA" when that first touched of shimmer showed up.  If there was a bath bomb that screamed holiday, it was this guy right here.  It just poured out like a fountain of diamonds and it was absolutely stunning amongst the dark blue backdrop.  The pink slowly dissolved and disappeared into the night colored bathwater, leaving just a solid deep blue with silver shimmer.  When I sunk in, it literally felt like I was sinking into the universe butt first.  Kind of spiritual if you think about it (not really though...).  The water was nice and warm and the bomb didn't lose any of its sweet scent when it dissolved.  I immediately grabbed my phone and started plastering pictures over every social media site I had an account on.  Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, you name it, there's a picture of the bathwater and my pasty white legs on it!  By the time I got out, the water was ice cold and my teeth were literally chattering.

So overall, Shoot for the Stars was one of the most visually stunning bath bombs I've ever used.  The only complaint I had was that the glitter felt a bit itchy in the tub, but not enough to make me dislike it.  If you don't like glitter, this is definitely not for you.  The shimmer easily rinsed out of my tub, but I was still finding sparkles in my bra the next day.  Which I didn't mind.  I enjoy feeling like a disco ball sometimes.  But overall, stunning product with a great smell, and definitely a must have for this Lush Christmas season!

**This product is certified Vegan
***Pick up Shoot for the Stars at your local LUSH store or online HERE

**Questions for the People:
What Christmas bath bomb are you positively LOVING this year?  Leave your answer in the comments below!!**

Sunday, November 2, 2014

(Review) Dashing Santa: Run Fat Boy Run!

And so there it was.  Sitting in front of me.  In all of its brown, box-like glory.  A plain brown box with my name and a hashtag written below it.  A list of all included stuck to the side.  A plain thing with sharpie written all over it, but by Odin's eye it was a thing of beauty.  I'm talking about my staff box.  My Christmas gift from Lush to myself and the rest of my coworkers. 

It's no secret that Lush employees occasionally receive boxes of product from the big guys, and this would be my first Christmas at Lush as an employee and as a very dedicated Lushie.  Needless to say I was beyond ecstatic.  Bossman handed it to me after my shift and I quickly scuttled to my car, leadfooted it home, plopped it on my bed, and spent a good ten minutes just staring at it in glee.  But I finally snapped out of my stupor and opened the box, eager to see the contents inside.  Amidst a cloud of glitter and bath bomb dust, the Dashing Santa bath bomb was the first thing I saw.


Dashing Santa was inspired by the Santa Dash in Liverpool, a race where runners dressed as Santa race around town, and its design was based off of the old Cosmetics to Go logo (of which I cannot find a picture of).  Scented with mandarin oranges, bergamot, and orange flower absolute, Dashing Santa smells almost exactly like the Celebrate fragrances (which I love!) and contains snowflake lustre for a touch of sparkle.  The more I read about this in my training manual, the more I fell in love with it and the more excited I became to use it.  I love my citrus and I love my bergamot, and the bomb itself was adorable.  So I quickly decided that this would be the first bath bomb of the Christmas season that I would use!


To me, Dashing Santa smelled almost like Pez candy, a sweet that always brings me back to my childhood.  I can't remember a time where I didn't have a Pez dispenser in my back pocket, popping the sweet chalky candies like a nervous date does breath mints.  His appearance reminded me of our favorite mustachioed plumber, as he appeared back in the old days of tube TV and Mama Llama's outrageously big hair (that she didn't get rid of until the early 2000s at the behest of Papa Bear finally convincing her that the 80s were over and done with and took the economy with it).


When I plunked Jolly Ol' Saint Nick in the tub, he immediately foamed up and released a pretty pink tint into the water.  His facial features and body were slowly melted away by a layer of foam, coloring the pink atop it with a steamed milk texture and a scant shimmer I could barely make out.  Honestly, I could feel my excitement draining as the bomb dissolved.  It was a slow fizzing bath bomb so I sat and watched.  And watched.  And then turned around to watch the movie "Gladiator" playing on my TV (and yes, Russell Crowe, I wasn't entertained.  Well, by the bath bomb at least).  When it was fully dissolved my bath water was the color of pink champagne with nary a bit of shimmer in sight.  I reluctantly sank in and realized something strange.  I couldn't smell a thing!  I sniffed and sniffed like my dog does when I hide her treats (which is frantic and panicked until she sneezes on your face and you're forced to give her the treat because she'll do it again in five seconds...) but nothing!  That slightly tart citrusy scent was gone!  It was the strangest thing, and very disappointing.  My Dashing Santa bath was quite short.


Overall I wasn't too pleased with this bath bomb, and it was a bit of a disappointing kickoff to my first holiday season at Lush.  Many of my coworkers loved it, so perhaps I got a bad one or my nose is becoming immune to citrus (oh god that'd be awful!  I love citrus!).  This though would be perfect for kids, since it's a smaller bomb and kids don't use much water in the tub.  But overall, great design, not so fantastic execution.  But there's plenty more bath bombs where that came from, so stay tuned for more Christmas reviews!

**Dashing Santa is certified Vegan
***Purchase Dashing Santa at your local LUSH store or online here