Thursday, February 19, 2015

(Review) Lonely Hearts: They All Beat the Same

Valentine's Day.  Single Awareness Day.  Or my personal favorite, Robyntine's Day (because self love is important children!).  Whatever you decide to call today, whether you look forward to flowers, chocolates, possibly a little nookie from your sweetheart, or spend a night curled up on the couch with your dog, Netflix, and a bowl of cereal as a companion, it's hard to ignore that today is the one day of the year where a sickening amount of romance fills the air.  Now me?  I worked a 9 hour shift today.

I've always been indifferent towards Valentine's Day, mainly because my love life has been dead in the water since my last relationship ended in 2009 and I've never kept a relationship around long enough for Valentine's Day anyways.  But this year I've been strangely reflective, especially with all of the pink and red products donning the refurnished wooden tables at my Lush shop.  As I stood behind the register, ringing up customers buying last minute gifts for their sweeties, hunger gnawing at my belly (I treated myself to a romantic breakfast of potato chips from yesterday's Panera Bread lunch), I noticed a lot of couples in line, smiling, kissing, snuggling each other close on what was arguably one of the coldest days of the year, and instead of wrinkling my nose and being the bitter pill that I am, it got me thinking about my own dead love life...and my own loneliness.


I don't really consider myself a lonely person by any means.  I have a loving family, great friends and coworkers, and am a very social, talkative person.  If you watch my Youtube videos, you know I never shut up.  But I guess sometimes, when I come home after working an 8 hour shift, my apartment complex is quiet, and it's dark and still outside, that I feel some loneliness stealthily gnawing away at my consciousness. 

There have only been two times in my life where I've felt crippling, depressing loneliness.  Once when I was a stupid teenager, hormonal and angry and taking it out on the person I cared about the most, driving him and most of my friends away, and when I first moved away from home.  I remember during that time thinking that if someone hugged me, I would probably burst into tears.  Talking to your friends and family on the phone isn't the same as seeing them in person, and being able to hug them.  I remember my limbs feeling heavy, and just wanting someone, anyone to look at me and pay attention to me.  Now, a few years later and a few years wiser (and a lot more gray hair and student loan debt), I've sworn to never let myself feel that horrible again.  Because I don't deserve that.  So one night, when I felt myself inching closer to that edge and feeling like I was in a crowded room screaming bloody murder without nary a glance, I decided to take a nice, soothing soak.

I almost had to laugh at the irony of Lonely Heart bubble bar being my favorite product in the Valentine's Day range.  It was inspired by the song "Lonely Hearts Still Beat the Same" by a band called The Research, which I think is an absolutely beautiful song title.  The fragrance is from the B-Side rarities of the Gorilla Perfume range, scented with the Love perfume.  Its notes are composed of Bergamot, Lemongrass, Jasmine, and Rose, which made for a refreshing and slightly floral scent.  It's a scent I immediately fell for!  So after a contemplative day about a side of my life I like to ignore, a 60 hour work week (oye!) and a roommate who is out of town for the weekend, I filled up my tub and crumbled this baby in.  It took a lot of work (this bubble bar is surprisingly sturdy!) to crumble it under the tepid tap water.

...wait...tepid?  That's not right...baths are supposed to be hot!  So to my annoyance, my apartment's water heater was crapping out, so back and forth from the kitchen to the bathroom I scuttled with a boiling kettle of water to further heat my lukewarm soak.  After four kettlefuls, my water was nice and pleasantly warm without being scalding hot, and I sank into my fruit punch colored, gold flecked bath, and forgot all of my troubles with a box of truffles and a good book.  The scent was HEAVENLY.  The combination is something I would've never thought of, and I can only hope that Lush releases the Love perfume one day again (well, one can only hope!).


Overall, Lonely Heart bubble bar was fantastic.  My only gripe lies with my building's water heater, which crapped out and left me working hard for a relaxing bath.  But taking that moment to myself was nice, and it helped me relax and remember that I have many loving people in my life, and that I should be thankful for them, and maybe talk to them a little more.  But I guess we can all get a little lonely now and again, even surrounded by those we love.  I like to think loneliness like that is a journey to discovering what and who we have in our lives.  If you're lonely right now, that's okay!  We've all been there, and most likely we'll all be there again!  But there's one thing I like to keep in mind, especially with this bubble bar's name.

When he left me heartbroken and crying in the driveway of that house almost ten years ago, my heart beat the same.  When I moved away from home for the first time and cried on the elevator ride all the way up to my first apartment, my heart beat the same.  In moments of doubt, sadness, and stress, my heart beat the same.  And now, surrounded by loved ones, friends, coworkers, and over 2500 blog followers, my heart beat the same as it did all those years ago.  Even in rare moments of loneliness and insecurity, it beats the same.  Every heart, lonely or lovestricken beats the same.  It's what keeps us connected, it's what makes us human, and it's what makes us wonder if we're ever truly alone in the way we feel in the first place.  And that, my darlings, is a very reassuring thought.

**Lonely Hearts bubble bar is certified Vegan

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

(Review) Buche de Noel: Have Your Cake and Wash Your Face With it Too

Ever since I can remember, my mother has been nuts about skincare.  I remember I would sit in her bathroom on the edge of her tub, watching her apply her washes and creams, massaging them gently into her skin.  Every so often if I were home sick or feeling mischievous, I'd root through her cosmetics, opening jars and flinging powders, and the only telltale sign that I had been there would be tiny terra cotta handprints on the lavender-gray countertop.  Of course she would tell me not to go into her things again...and of course I never listened.  I was a precocious little scamp ;)

As I grew older, my mom taught my younger sister and I all about good hygiene, skincare being one of her main focuses.  When I was nine she bought me a gentle, drugstore face wash and a light, mild moisturizer and explained to me the benefits of good skincare.  At first I fought her.  Washing my face in the morning cut WAY too far into my pre-school cartoon time, and my bangs always got wet.  But again, with age, experience, and the discovery of headbands, I grew to love washing my face.  Not only skincare, but showering and bathing in general are like a morning meditation for me.  It helps me wake up and prepare for the big bad world outside.  And a nice hot bath at the end of my day helps me re-center, wind down, and have my stresses melt away.  Skincare does the same for me as well, and ever since I started working at Lush, I've fallen head over heels for their skincare.  While bath bombs and bubble bars from Lush are all well and good, I feel like the hair and skincare products don't get the recognition they deserve

Buche de Noel is a limited edition cleansing roll that only comes out for Christmas.  Described as a more moisturizing form of Angels on Bare Skin, Buche de Noel was inspired by and named after the holiday cake of the same name, and is meant to look like a yule log.  Buche packs in dried cranberries, ground almonds, and brandy, which sounds good enough to eat!  But there's also kaolin for deep cleansing, cocoa butter and soy glycerine for supreme hydration!  Like all cleansing rolls, these can also be used on the body.  Most cleansing rolls have ground almonds included for a nice scrub!  These babies come to the store wrapped in recycled cardboard and recyclable wrappings.  When unrolled from their packaging, they look like uncut swiss rolls, one big log of face cleansing goodness.  Then we as Lush employees weigh, cut, and pot these babies so everyone can enjoy them!

When my Let the Good Times Roll ran out, I quickly snagged a pot of this stuff, curious about it since Bossman hates it with a passion ("it just doesn't make sense!" he says, emphasizing his point with a dramatic wave of arms.  "Why bring out a cleanser JUST for Christmas?!").  I can definitely see his point of view, but that's one thing I love about Lush.  I'm a very non-commitable person when it comes to anything and everything (my romantic history is a travesty and clear example of such).  I like to switch things up lest I get bored, and I found a great opportunity with Buche! 

To me, Buche de Noel smells like the delicious almond bread my mom will sometimes bake (which she hasn't done in a while...I should ask her to bake me a loaf the next time I'm home!) with a slight seaweed scent that doesn't spoil the overall scent.  The texture and even appearance are very similar to Angels on Bare Skin, and the ability to mix it into a paste was similar as well.  Since Buche has a very crumbly consistency, one needs to pack the cleansing roll quite tightly as to not have chunks fly everywhere when you mix it into a paste.  I enjoy it though.  I'm one of those people that savors a shower, staying in as long as time and hot water will allow, and this only adds to my experience.  So I took a chunk the size of a chickpea, added water, vigorously mixed it into a face, and washed my face.  The ground almonds were soft, but still scrubby enough to leave me feeling invigorated, and the smell was intoxicating and made me hungry.  When I rinsed my skin felt very soft and supple, but not like there was a layer of something making it feeling that way.  My skin looked bright and fresh and felt pillowy soft. 

With time and continued use, I found Buche de Noel made my skin soft, bright, even, and lessened the impact of my monthly hormonal breakouts (I enjoy being a girl).  While I am bummed this only comes out once a year, it gives me another reason to look forward to Christmas at Lush!  I highly recommend anyone who needs a bit of extra moisture and care in the dry winter months pick up a pot of this.  It's very much worth it!

**Buche de Noel is certified Vegan

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