Sunday, December 20, 2015

(Review) So White: Seven Dwarves Optional

As I mentioned in my review of Stardust, I'm a big fan of occasional simplicity.  Most of the time I enjoy the bells and whistles that come with bath bombs and bubble bars, but sometimes I just want something plan.  No muss, no fuss, no thrills, no frills.  Maximum satisfaction with minimal effect and effort.  Sometimes I don't want to wash down my tub from a turbo glittery bath bomb, and sometimes I don't want to bathe in brightly colored water.  Sometimes I just want something nice and simple.  But there's always a fine line.

I feel like there's a fine line between simplicity and boredom.  For me, there always has to be a little something special to keep me interested.  Like if I'm curled up on the couch reading a book.  For one thing, that couch better be really damn comfortable, as there's nothing worse than a rock hard couch or a busted spring poking your buttcheek.  And that book had better being entertaining as well.  Full of plot twists and romance, with just the right amount of action to keep me teetering on the edge of that oh so comfy couch.  Believe it or not, a lot of work goes into something being considered "simple."

With its simplistic, white as snow appearance, So White from what I'd heard in years past was a simple treasure.  Blindingly white and hard as a rock, So White hides within a petal pink core that supposedly melts down into a rose colored bath.  When demoing this at my shop, myself and my coworkers would eagerly gather around and take in a deep breath of the crisp apple fragrance.  Ironic that it would smell so much like the fruit, when not a trace of apple is in So White at all!  Bergamot, rose absolute, neroli, and orange flower absolute are the oils that make up this refreshing fragrance.

I have to say, I'm not one for apple fragrances.  After smelling the same synthetic, sickeningly sweet apple fragrances in everything from lotions to candles to potpourri, I had had enough of anything apple scented (however, apples...granny smiths to be exact, are one of my favorite fruits!).  So White was a breath of fresh air for my nostrils, and smelled just like the joy I feel when I take that first crunchy bite (okay...sounds a little cheesy, but I really like apples, okay?).

The night I chose to use So White was a night smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, where my eyes were so tired they burned and I could hear my body screaming for pillows and blankets.  But I desperately wanted a bath and So White was the closest within reach.

I've heard of people smashing this lovely bomb on the bathtub bottom, much like a snowball, but I chose to just drop it in and watch it fizz.  It didn't take long to get to the baking soda packed, pastel pink center, but my goodness did it take forever to fully dissolve.  I actually timed it and this bath bomb clocked in at a full 20 minutes before the last of it fizzled away!

After peering into my tub after it dissolved, I was surprised and a little disappointed to find that the promised rose colored bath was nothing than a slight rosy tint to my water.  In the bowls at work it was a vibrant pink, and while I knew it was more concentrated in bowls than in tubs, I didn't realize the color difference would be so drastic.  Nonetheless, my bath was nice and cozy warm, and the intoxicating apple scent filled my bathroom for hours afterward.

Overall, my feelings on So White are mixed.  While So White smells absolutely beautiful, the final turnout was something I found to be a bit underwhelming.  To me, So White toed and fell over the line between simplicity and boredom, into boredom.  Even last year I wish they kicked up the color in the middle a bit, and this year I was still disappointed to find it was still such a dull color.  Still, So White is a Christmas favorite and has been coming out every Christmas for the past few years.  While the bath bomb wasn't one of my absolute favorites, it could be that minimal amount of simplicity you've been craving for your bath!

***So White is certified Vegan

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

(Review) American Cream: Get the Red Out of Your Hair

It occurred to me the other day that in the almost two years I've had this blog, I've yet to do a haircare review.  So let me break up the holiday monotony to write up a quickie on one of the first Lush haircare products I tried: the heaven-scented American Cream conditioner.

Before I get started, let me tell you a few quick facts about my hair.  It's thick, there's a ton of it (to the point where I get it thinned out regularly), it's more coarse than it looks (400°F straightening iron to so much as make a kink in it), yes it's naturally that dark, and I found my first traumatizing gray hair at the tender age of 16, plucking it out of my ponytail with horror and too much black eyeliner under my eyes.  In my morning meditation I always remember to thank my dear Papa Bear for bestowing his god-like hair genes unto me, and curse him for my premature grayness.  But mostly it's all about love (my dad's an awesome dude with a Swanson-esque 'stache).  And because of my (almost literal) horse mane, I need a conditioner that quenches my thirsty thirsty locks.

Enter American Cream.  One of the first products I bought after I was hired by Lush, I was initially attracted to the promise of some serious hydration as well as the scent.  In my personal opinion, the sage and vanilla scented conditioner is one of the best smelling products Lush has to offer.  Not only do these ingredients offer fantastic benefits like hydration, detangling, and shine, but they scent your locks all day!

I was so excited to use this that I nearly threw my silicone-laden conditioner bottles at my laid back roommate and pranced into the shower to luxuriate my hair in vanilla milkshake goodness.  I wasn't used to the feeling of non-silicone conditioners on my hair (side note: since working at Lush I've abandoned all silicone-laden products as they drive my hair crazy and are bad for the environment) so I was a bit shocked at how not silky my hair felt the first time around.  No biggie, I thought to myself.  I just need to adjust to it!

And so I waited.

...and waited

...and waited some more.

And after I few weeks of using American Cream, I found it did almost nothing for my hair besides make it smell pretty.  Honestly I was quite shocked.  While the consistency was a bit runnier than most conditioners I've used, I thought the ingredients would be enough to balance it out.  Unfortunately it barely hydrated my poor tresses, and my hair became a dry and frizzy poofball as a result.  However, that poofball was the nicest smelling poofball!  I will definitely admit that American Cream's scent really sticks to your hair, and every time I turned my head I would catch a whiff as a result.  I did also noticed that I shed a lot less hair when I used it as well, so I'm guessing American Cream also helped strengthen my hair.  Sadly, the moisture quality just wasn't there.

Overall I was disappointed with my trial of American Cream.  However I still have no problem recommending it to others.  I've seen products that don't work for me work wonders for others, and vise versa.  In my experience as a brand ambassador for Lush, I've found American Cream works well for people with thicker hair, but hair that isn't as coarse as mine.  But again, it all depends on your hair's wants and needs!  So if you think it might work for you, definitely pick up a sample or a bottle and try it out for yourself!  Didn't work for me, but it could very well be what you were looking for!

***American Cream is certified Vegetarian

Sunday, December 6, 2015

(Review) Yog Nog: Sugar & Spice

Whenever I wake up and see the sun shining through my blinds, I always smile and snug a little bit closer to my blankets and pillow.  There's something about a nice, cloudless sunny day that just puts me in a good mood.  My apartment is bright and cheery, I can hear kids outside playing...there's just something about sunshine that makes the days a little bit better.  And then I go outside and am met with the sharp wind at my cheek, the cold air numbing my nose, and the sudden chill creeping through my clothes down to my bones.  And then I remember it's December.  And I live in the midwest.  And winter sucks.

Cold weather is all well and good when you're inside with your blankets, a hot mug of cocoa, and a good book or Netflix marathon to keep you warm, but when you're running around outside and actually have to leave the house, the minutes become hours and the thought of a warm fire and your PJs will never leave your mind.  That, and the sharp, biting cold and wreak havoc on your skin.  I know for sure it's wreaking havoc on mine!

Where I live in the summer is always sticky with humidity and sweat, but a complete 180 happens when the weather turns cold.  From dry skin to chapped lips to nosebleeds on the regular, I dry out from head to toe.  So one lone night when my skin felt as dry and tight as a finely tuned violin string, I decided my nightly post-work bath needed to help remedy this problem.

I wasn't surprised in the slightest to see Yog Nog make a return in a different form.  I recall the buttery, cinnamon sprinkled blocks of soap practically vanishing before my eyes last Christmas.  This year I've noticed it's been selling a little more slowly, but I've been seeing the bath bomb of the same name being sold in droves.

Yog Nog bath bomb is essentially a triple threat.  The standard bath bomb formula also contains grated bubble bar mix, which makes for a slower, frothier fizz, and a bath melt tucked in the middle makes this creamy, spicy bath bomb a much needed moisturizing treat!

Watching Yog Nog fizz away in the tub was like watching a cadbury cream egg dissolve.  Even though the Golden Egg bath bomb from Easters past is more inspired by the treat than this one, it looked a lot more like the actual chocolate candy that makes my teeth sting.  The foam was yellow and white, and the bath melt in the middle looked like a pat of butter on toast.

I'm always wary of yellow bath bombs since they tend to look know, but I feel like Lush is getting their yellow pigments down so that won't be a problem!  The yellow was more neon rather than earthy toned, and looked bright and vibrant.  Sinking into the tub was a definite being wrapped in a spicy knit blanket!  And when I popped out, the water beading on my skin was a good indication that I was well moisturized and soft to the touch.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised with Yog Nog and its turnout.  I'm not one for food smells, and spicy cinnamon and clove scents remind me of any and every baked good at Christmas, but this one really took the cake (yes that was a pun and yes I'm very proud of it).  The scent was warming and comforting, and it really moisturized my all over dry, scaly winter-lizard skin.  If you're a fan of the bar soap, you definitely need to get the bath bomb!

***Yog Nog bath bomb is certified Vegan

Sunday, November 29, 2015

(Review) Stardust: (née) Ziggy

 It's three days past Thanksgiving in the United States and already Christmas is in full swing!  Walking into work I'm blinded by cascades of twinkling Christmas lights, gigantic Christmas trees, and classic holiday carols assaulting my ears over the loudspeakers.  Shoppers have emerged from their turkey comas and have now begun scouring every store in sight for a sale or discount (because nothing says "I love you and Merry Christmas" like half off last season's merchandise!).  And of course for me, that means long hours working at my store, cough drops from near constant talking, and literal metric tons of caffeine.  While being a retail worker during the holidays pretty much kicks my ass up, down, and side to side, I have to say it's one of my favorite times of the year.

That being said, the ass kicking can take its toll, and when I come home all I want is something hot to eat, a bath, my bed, and Netflix before I drift off to dreamland.  I just recently moved into a new apartment and needed something special to "christen" my new tub so to speak.  Lucky for me, Christmas and holiday products had just been released, so I chose something simple and sweet!

I have to say, I really don't like vanilla scented things.  But something about Lush has gotten me hooked on their vanilla scented products!  There's no synthetic, sugary sweet undertone that other vanilla scented lotions and creams have, but it's just a nice true vanilla that is so hard to find in cosmetics.  Stardust has plenty of fair trade Ugandan vanilla and plenty of rosewood from Lush's own Peruvian rainforest concession.  Bergamot is also present, as is a pale blue mix of sea salt and cornflour to soften your water!  

Sometimes I just want my bath to be nice and simple.  No outrageous glitter or popping candies, no whirling lights and fireworks.  This particular night I was craving simplicity, so I popped Stardust into my awaiting tub and watched the magic happen!

Unlike most of the fairer colored bath bombs Lush offers (Ickle Baby Bot & Butterball for instance) this small guy made my tub look like I had just filled it with a rich heavy cream.  The opaque whiteness had a bit of a blue tint, which makes it look icy and cool toned.  I love my whites bright, and this was a beautiful clean, milky white!

My bath with Stardust was extremely relaxing even though there were no glittery bells and whistles to be had.  I always get customers coming into my store asking for simplicity, and this Christmas season, I'll definitely be steering them in this direction.  My skin felt soft and the vanilla fragrance was subtle on my skin afterwards.  And that true vanilla scent didn't make me feel sick, as if I had just eaten an entire cake by myself.

Overall Stardust was a great success and I will definitely be stocking up on this one when I have those no frills baths!  If sweeter scents and a low key turnout are what you enjoy in your bath, this is definitely for you!

What bath bombs are you loving so far this Christmas?  And if you've tried Stardust, how did you like it?  Let me know in the comments below!

 **Stardust bath bomb is certified Vegan

Thursday, October 29, 2015

(Review) Gumback Express: Mind the Gap!

I find certain things...sounds, tastes, be absolutely grating.  Like the smell and taste of celery.  Most find it crisp, refreshing, and a perfect companion to a full set of buffalo wings.  To me, it smells and tastes like I'm eating glue covered paper and to be quite honest, makes me want to vomit.  That also counts for the sound of styrofoam squeaking together, strobe lights, and this bizarre fear of puppetronics (I puked once while watching an episode of Pee Wee's Playhouse as a kid and haven't really been able to stomach them since).  All of these things drive me absolutely insane!  We all have those little quirks, and I have quite a few.  Those weird things that make us tick and those weird things that people find interesting or downright annoying.

Sometimes while at work, I'll find some customers staring down the lotions as if they were sprouting mushrooms right out of the pots.  "Looking for a new lotion?" I'll say, casually strolling over to them with a smile on my face.  "Oh no," they'll say, shaking their head and smiling.  "I never use lotion!"  And it's during that interaction where I'll feel my smile get a little tighter and the right corner of my eye seize up in a minuscule twitch.  Another one of my pet peeves.  I, for the life of me, absolutely CAN'T understand how people don't use lotion after a shower.  That tight, itchy feeling my skin gets after a shower has me scrambling for my Charity Pot once I've toweled myself dry.  And with the cold weather on the way, it's only going to get worse.  That's why I always find myself upping the moisture game when it comes to my shower wash to help!

A now discontinued item, Bossman managed to snag one of these and after deciding it wasn't for him, gave it to me instead.  Such a generous man that Bossman is.  I believe his exact words were "do you want this?  I think it smells like dog food."  And to clarify, it doesn't smell like dog food.  However I did have my reservations, as this shower smoothie was banana scented, and I'm not too hot on bananas.

But after one whiff, I decided I enjoyed the scent, smelling more like the sweet almond bread my dear Mama Llama will sometimes make for me when I go home for a visit.  A lot more liquidy than the normal shower smoothies like Turkish Delight and Dreamwash, Gumback Express not only smelled like almond bread, but looked exactly like it (in batter form at least).  And due to the liquid form, I was a bit confused as to the best way to use it.  Should I put it on a loofah?  Dump it on the parts that need a good scrubbing?  Put it in a bread pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes?  Well I tried the first bit at least and found the ground almond shells got stuck in the netting, so that ended quite quick.  The best way for me to use this interesting product was to scoop a bit in my hand and rub it on, giving myself the benefits of a great moisturizing scrub and a wash as well!

While this shower smoothie made me feel super luxurious and soft, I found that sweet almond bread scent had a bit of an after scent as well (like after taste, you know?  Is after scent even a thing?  Because if it isn't I'm making it a thing as of  I noticed the scent on my skin soon went a bit off, as if it went a bit sour.  That could've been what Bossman had been talking about, and I could definitely see where it would deter him.  But as someone who soon butters themself up with lotion after a shower, I didn't think too much of it.

And overall, Gumback Express definitely made me feel soft and clean, and that itchy, dry and tight feeling I get after getting out of the shower and patting dry was nowhere near as intense as it had been in the past.  However, that afterscent is still something that deters me a bit, so I'm a bit conflicted as to whether I would use it again.  But if this smoothie ever makes a return via the Kitchen, I suggest picking up a pot (and resisting the urge to bake it in an oven!)

**Gumback Express is certified Vegan

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

(Review) Rose Jam: Goes on Toast

There are many things that I associate with the colder months.  Warm fuzzy boots, steaming hot mugs of tea or cocoa, and of course, the gradually increasing blood pressure of the stress that is trying to drive in the snow.  Even though it's still autumn and even though there's a (hopefully) long way off before any of the devil's fluff touches the ground, there are some good things about those cold, barren months.  The tea and cocoa for instance, and any and every excuse to stay inside and watch as much Netflix as I can cuddled under as many blankets as possible without crushing me to death.  Oh yes, winter definitely has its perks!

With Lush's early launch of holiday items, I seem to be gearing up for winter far ahead of time.  The shop definitely smells of Christmas, and it really makes my head spin that it's already THAT time of year.  Where everything will soon be holly jolly and barely an inch of breathing room will be had in my small little shop.  But it definitely warms my heart to see some old favorites return, Rose Jam being one of them

Rose Jam is definitely one of those fragrances I always associate with wintertime, mainly since this shower gel is usually only for sale during Christmas.  Last year, my first Christmas working for Lush, I was shocked to see these bottles practically fly off the shelves.  Hands down it had to be the best selling shower gel of the season, even outselling the ever popular Snow Fairy (at least from what I saw).

I don't know how to really describe the scent of Rose Jam.  For one thing I do know that rose jam is an actual food, usually eaten during the end of the harvesting of roses in Turkey (where we get our rose oil from, and have been for years!).  As one who isn't keen on florals, I was a bit skeptical to sniff this at first, but when I first inhaled this delicious scent, I really didn't know what to think.  And to be honest, I still don't!  Rose Jam is unlike any perfume I've ever smelled before.  For one thing let me just point out that I do enjoy it, but the blend of rose, lemon, and vanilla is something truly unique!  And when I wash with this in the shower, I feel I get a bit of everything.  A dash of floral rose, a bite of citrusy lemon, and a smattering of sweet sweet vanilla that lingers oh so nicely on my skin in a creamy floral froth.

The shower gel and overall scent are definitely a crowd favorite, and it was a smart move for Lush to bring it back for the holidays this year.  It's something I recommend if you really want to experience one of those cult scents that only rears its head during the holidays, and to me just smells of Christmas.  Year round, the scent can also be found in the bubbleroon of the same name, Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar, Ro's Argan body conditioner, and Pearl massage bar.  However, if this is your first holiday season with Lush or if you've never tried out Rose Jam before, I highly recommend you pick this baby up.  It just isn't a Lush Christmas without Rose Jam!

  **Rose Jam shower gel is certified Vegan

Thursday, September 10, 2015

(Review) Dirty Springwash: More Refreshing Than A Popsicle!

It's hard to believe summer's already at an end.  It seems like it was only five minutes ago my thighs were sticking to all the leather furniture and frantically trying to tame the steel wool-esque shrubbery that was my hair.  Usually the hair taming and sticking to things a la Spiderman would've had me clamoring for cooler weather.  But now that the time is here, where the leaves are starting to change, everything is coated in a fine layer of pumpkin spice, and nary an even can be found, I'm finding that my body is so not ready for the cool weather.

Sensing this disturbance, Mother Nature must've granted me a little more time, as the past few weeks have been nice and toasty.  I would happily peel myself from whatever furniture I was stuck to, tie my shrub of hair into a ponytail as to not trap any small woodland creatures (or entice them to build nests) and skip off to work with a smile on my face while my coworkers baked in the heat and humidity.  Even though my apartment doesn't have air conditioning, I still managed to keep cool with a fan, ice cold drinks, and a certain shower gel.

Dirty Springwash is part of the Dirty range at Lush (obviously) which was originally designed with men in mind.  Obviously women and all of those in between can use it as well, hence why I decided to give it a shot!  Since my dearly departed Freeze shower gel, I've been looking for a tingly and refreshing replacement to get me through the hot and sticky weather, and I had high hopes that Dirty Springwash would do that.  Even the name sounds refreshing!

Dirty Springwash contains a hefty dose of spearmint, mentholated crystals, a touch of fine sea salt, and believe it or not, thyme.  Dirty's signature scent has always been spearmint and thyme, giving an odd savory twist to the refreshing kick of spearmint.  Lush fragrances have been anything but ordinary, and Dirty is no exception.  So when I squirted that first blue blob onto my shower poof, I was expecting a minty, tingly kick when I actually got a hefty dose of spice filling the air.  All I could pick up was the thyme, with a few base notes of spearmint and nary a bit of minty tingle on my skin!  Mind you the scent wasn't offensive or something I deemed bad, but it was a lot different than what I thought it was going to be.  Honestly it reminded me a lot of tabbouleh, which is great to eat, but not so great to shower with.  Once I lathered a bit on my skin, I found the spearmint notes became stronger, but not as strong as I would like.  Nonetheless, by the end of my shower, I felt clean and refreshed and ready to take on that midwestern humidity.

Overall, Dirty Springwash was an interesting one to use.  The savory notes were something I found quite strong, but if working at Lush has taught me anything, it's that a person's scent is almost as unique as their fingerprint.  While I mainly smelled thyme in Dirty Springwash, someone else could come along and smell nothing but spearmint.  It's funny how scent works that way.  I ended up using the entire bottle, and while I liked the clean and fresh feeling it gave me, I don't think the scent worked for me.  And that's okay!  Because what doesn't work for myself works well for someone else, and I will give Dirty credit for being a totally unique scent...something I never would've seen someone put together.  And who could be that bottle you reach for when you need some cooling down on those hot, sticky nights!

***Dirty Springwash is certified Vegan

Sunday, August 30, 2015

(Review) Amandopondo: Player One Defeated

There are many things I picture when I hear the word "luxury."  Most of the time it's over-exuberant things like solid gold toilets and diamond encrusted napkin rings.  You know, absolutely useless things that probably cost more than half a years rent that the upper crust of society deems something they absolutely need.  Luxury these days (to me at least) has gotten pretty obnoxious, bordering on delusional.  While I'm not a champagne sucking, yacht toting, more tiny dogs than I can count la dee dah member of the rich and famous (yet), I like to keep my luxuries simple.  Hell, even keeping a roof over my head that I pay for out of my own pocket is a luxury in itself.  At this point in my life, luxury is having the time and ingredients to make a home cooked meal, keeping my apartment clean, and actually going out and socializing with people where my mouth does the talking and not my fingers flying across a keyboard.  My luxuries are simple, but at the end leave you feeling like a million bucks.  Cue segue into bubble bar review.

Ironically being a Lush employee, I'm not too big on bubble baths.  I wasn't big on baths in general before I started working at Lush either.  But once in a while, I'll get this mad hankering for a movie starlet-esque bath, overflowing with bubbles and candles in every corner of my bathroom.  So when one of these cravings set in, I found it a good time to bust out the soon to be discontinued Amandopondo.

Amandopondo has an interesting backstory, and is arguably one of the favorite product stories of my staff at my shop.  Meaning "forgiveness" or "defeat" in a language I believe is spoken in Africa (I'm not sure what exact language it is though), Amandopondo was inspired after a lawsuit against Lush accusing them of plagiarism by a rival company.  Well that rival company lost, and when asked what Lush wanted in return, co-founder Mark Constantine (ever a total BAMF in my eyes) requested a dozen of the finest red roses money could buy, and a simple apology, or admission of defeat.  The company obliged, and Amandopondo was born. 

Described as floral yet citrusy, Amandopondo packs lemon, orange, and rose oils into a tiny ivory bar.  A tiny pink rosebud is all that decorates this simple but effective bar!

I'll admit, due to its simple appearance, I wasn't necessarily drawn to Amandopondo.  As someone who loves color and dramatics, I felt like Amandopondo didn't really jive with my "bath personality."  But when I heard it was on the discontinued list, I decided to give it a shot. 

The floral yet citrusy scent is super subtle, but pleasant.  I'm not one for floral scents, but this one was light enough to where I didn't mind it, and I do enjoy citrus so the pair went together nicely!  And I have to say, for a bubble bar with a simple appearance, it' a prime example of why you should never judge a book by its covered.  When I held this baby under the running tap, the bubbles produced were huge!  Instead of being clear, the bath water underneath all that foam turned a milky white, and the scent was slightly amplified.  I sank into my bubble bath feeling like a Hollywood starlet, except replace the red lipstick with a face mask and the champagne with an ice cold water and an iPhone.

I'm both happy and sad to say that Amandopondo exceeded all of my expectations in the bubble bar department, and I'm quite sad to see it go.  The bubbles it produced was voluminous and over the top, while the scent was subtle and as soft as my skin felt after I was done soaking.  It's perfect for those moments where you want to indulge in a little luxury, and forget that the dinner you're about to eat afterwards is a bowl of ramen.

 **Amandopondo is certified Vegan

Sunday, August 16, 2015

(Review) Don't Look At Me: Da Ba Dee Da Ba Die

If there's one part of my life that I'm glad is over, it's the ravages of puberty.  Once in a while I'll reflect on my teen years and remember the frizzy hair, the braces, the odd paunch of baby fat here and there, but most importantly, I remember the acne.  While my skin wasn't nearly as bad as some of my friends, it was still bad enough for me to be embarrassed by it.  I remember gazing in the mirror after washing my face in the morning, seeing what new hellish red abominations had popped up onto my face as I slept.  My mom, ever vigilant on my skincare routine (I largely credit her with my obsession with it, as well as my good skin!) had me try everything, from products high end to end of the line, antibiotics, prescription creams, even the vile smelling Proactiv line.  While some products worked temporarily, nothing was ever a permanent fix.  Only when I was out of high school and a year or two older did my skin start to clear up.

Now that high school is a distant memory covered in scene kid hair extensions. old Hot Topic t-shirts, and more regrets than I care to count, my skin for the most part is clear and pristine.  Every so often I'll get a few breakouts here and there, but nothing too terrible.  But this past week, when I woke up bright and early for work, I took one look in the mirror and was shocked to find breakouts everywhere!

Don't Look at Me is one of two new fresh face masks available from Lush (in-store only!).  Inspired by the (really really bizarre) song of the same name by the band The Lovely Eggs (eggs are quite lovely, aren't they?), Don't Look At Me is an obscenely bright blue mask that smells remarkably like tomato salsa (a good thing, because who in their right mind doesn't like salsa!?).  Described as "Cupcake mask for grown ups," Don't Look At Me has tons of lemon juice in it to brighten, cleanse, and soak up oil, kaolin to clean out what ails your skin, and ground rice for some awesome scrubby action.

I couldn't believe my skin's timing with the release of these once Oxford Street exclusives, so I snagged five black pots from my garbage bag full of empties (no I'm not joking) and snagged one after my shift.  During a long luxurious bath, I cracked open the pot, scooped out the refreshingly blue goop, and slathered my skin with a good coat of it.  Being in a hot bath, this cooled me right down and I sunk back with my book and let the mask do its task. 

Apologies for the derp face
Now, a little prior history about my skin.  It's mainly combo-dry, but in the humid climate where I dwell during summer, it gets much more oily, especially on my forehead.  My breakouts are usually hormonal and are centered around my nose and cheeks, but every so often I'll get a painful cystic bump on my chin (you know...for fun).  When I'm talking about how I had a massive breakout, I'm talking all of the above seemed to have hit me overnight (again...for fun!).  When the mask was about 75% dry, I splashed my face with water and massaged the ground rice into my skin before finally rinsing my skin clean and patting it dry.  When I wiped the remaining bits of blue away, I actually remember stepping back from the mirror a bit and letting out a Fonz-esque " 'eyyyyyyyyy" when looking at my skin!  While Don't Look at Me didn't make everything disappear, I could tell a HUGE difference when it came to my red, broken out skin!  The tone and texture of my skin was more even and bright, and the red areas were a tad more dulled down.  This made me extremely happy, as red breakouts on my pale skin stick out like crazy, and cause me quite a bit of embarrassment, even when makeup or color correcting can't cover it.  

Pretty sure if you threw compounder Dan in a pit with my coworkers, they'd all be fighting over him.  We have a thing for beards at my shop ;)
Overall, Don't Look at Me after one use became my all time favorite fresh mask.  I've used it twice more since that first time and each time I've been blown away with my skin after I wash it away.  While I do love the bright blue color, the only downside to it I feel is that if you have any dried skin on your face, the pigment kind of gets absorbed by it so you have some dull blue looking flecks of skin.  I feel as though it's good for any skin type, although you might want to be careful if you're sensitive, since the lemon oil might be a bit much.  The ground rice made for a gentle but effective scrub and the fresh scent was an added bonus to the near miraculous power of this mask.  After using this mask, I think you'll all be saying...DO...look at me!  Am I RIGHT?!

...terrible jokes are awesome!

 *** Don't Look At Me is certified Vegan