Treating Myself: A Bathing Garden Haul

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I’ve noted in the past that despite all indications to the contrary here on this nail and beauty blog where I talk about such things all the ding dang time, I’m not much of a product person. I never use intensive hair treatments, I rarely slap on a mask and body moisturizer is an only-if-I-remember-I-actually-own-any kind of thing.  Come to think of it, I’ve been using the same brand and make of face wash for the past 22 years (Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser, in case you were wondering.)

But with an upcoming milestone birthday (the one accompanied by all those obnoxious black balloons) and the gentle nudging of some dear blogger friends (lovely people, but terrible enablers with their gorgeously photographed blog posts!) and a completely bare beauty cupboard, I thought it was high time to treat myself to some beautiful bath and body care, Bathing Garden-style.

The Bathing Garden, an indie bath, body care and home fragrance vendor popular with the waxie set, does steady, year-round business turning out rotating themed collections of beautifully crafted scented wax and other bath and beauty products.  I have ogled their hoard-worthy wares for years.  Alas, with shipping restricted to the United States, this Canuck has been crap out of luck.  No Bathing Garden for me, eh?

No Bathing Garden, that is, until one of those dear blogger enfriendablers (rolls right off the tongue, don’t it?) allowed me to piggyback on her order, a random enough act of kindness before she also picked up the outrageous shipping as a sweet little pre-birthday treat.  I was so touched.  There are some truly lovely people online.  If your Internet activity centres around Twitter or Reddit or YouTube comment boards, that statement will absolutely not compute, but kindness on the Internet can occasionally happen!

Anyway, enough with feeling all hashtag-blessed. 😉  Onward haul, right?!  Let’s do this thing.

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Starting off with the body care, you might be asking yourself what a not-a-product person is going to do with so much, uh, product.  Well, I’m going to use it!  Because I’m also one of those “if you’ve got it, use it” kind of people – it irks me when beauty products sit unused in drawers for years.  That’s not going to be a problem with these goodies, though – I’ve already used up nice handfuls of both the sugar scrub and the lotion, and I’ve only had these items in my possession for a few days!  Thank goodness reinforcements are now on the way. 😉

TBG Sugar Scrub Collage

The scrubs I chose were both from the soon-to-be-rotated-out Circus Collection, Poppet’s Coaster Ride (actually a scrub/soap hybrid), a blend of strawberry peach jam, raspberry cake bites and lemon curd (ugh, I want to eat that, it sounds so delicious; it also helps not one bit that the lemon curd side actually looks like lemon curd!) and Clowning Around, a carny-approved blend of toffee apples, cotton candy, popcorn and layer cake.

I’m so in love with these scrubs, they’re beyond gorgeous.  And that’s just the labels!  The scrubs themselves feature a beautifully plush texture – like slightly damp Magic Sand – buff on gently and rinse away cleanly, leaving behind no oily residue.  Best of all, despite sporting such lush, vibrant hues, they don’t stain your hide 12 different shades of turquoise!  Victory!  Clowning Around, the sugar scrub, was $8.00 US for an 8 oz. jar and Poppet’s Coaster Ride, the split parfait, was $12.50 for an 8 oz. jar.

TBG Soap and Lotion Collage

Suds and saturation came in the form of two more picks from the Circus Collection and one from the recently-retired Valentine’s Day Collection, Candy Carousel lotion, a sugary sweet blend of candy floss, apples and cake, Fried Candy Donut whipped soap, a lip-smackingly delectable wildberry bakery blend, and Coconut Crystal Cake whipped soap, which, to paraphrase my friend Julie, smells like a coconut if it didn’t know whether to be dessert or suntan lotion.

I haven’t cracked into the whipped soaps just yet, so I can’t speak to their sudsing power or their scrubbing bubbles, but the texture, which you can see in the above photos, is just divine – thick and rich, like buttercream frosting whipped into stiff peaks (there we go with that “do I eat it or wash with it?” thing again!) Coconut Crystal Cake’s delicate fragrance is unfortunately somewhat obscured by the soap blend used here; Fried Candy Donut’s robust berry bakery holds up much better.  I really wouldn’t kick either out of bed, though.  Each soap was $8.00 per 4 oz. jar.

The light lotion, here in Candy Carousel, looks deceptively thin and maybe even a bit watery.  Looks aren’t everything, though, as beneath the surface lies a powerhouse moisturizer that soaks in quickly and dries down to a soft, touchable finish.  This lotion was $8.50 for a 4 oz. container.

TBG Clamshells Collage

Ah, but did you really think I was going to stop with body care and 799 words? 😉 Not when there’s wax to be had, and certainly not when it’s this beautiful!  Because this, this is what lured me in to The Bathing Garden in the first place – the gorgeous little details on these clamshells, to say nothing of the deliciously complex scent blends.  These feel like such sweet little luxuries, I love them.

From left to right we once again have Poppet’s Coaster Ride, the wax version of the lemonberry curd scent featured in the parfait, Fried Candy Donut, also once again, which smells even more scrumptious in a scented wax, and Raspberry Hearts, a soft raspberry-vanilla that smells exactly like this skate shop I used to frequent as a teenager because that’s where all the cute and floppy boys hung out.  Each clamshell was $3.75.  And worth every penny when they’re as gorgeous as this:

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In addition to their fantastic clamshells, The Bathing Garden also offers a number of their scents in adorable little shapes.  Many of these shapes are pressed into service as super generous samples (more on that shortly) but a number are available for purchase. And in my world, if there’s something donut-shaped on offer, you just don’t say no!

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From left to right we have two frosted donuts in Fried Candy Donut ($1.25 per .8 oz. tart), a glitter-embedded bundt in one of Julie’s favourite scents, Victorian Midway, a sweet, pumpkin-apple cake blend ($2.00 per 1.5 – 2 oz. tart) and a wee little dipped caramel apple in Nights at the Circus, a dupe of one of my mother’s favourite scents, Bath & Body Works’ Winter Candy Apple ($2.50 per 1.8 oz. tart.)  I will never be able to melt any of these because they are just too darn cute.

TBG Samples Collage

Finally, let’s close this beast of a bathing beauty bonanza out with what we all came here to see – the free stuff! Of which, I don’t believe it can be denied, The Bathing Garden goes way, way above and beyond in providing. They are crazy generous, often providing dozens of samples, in addition to full size products.  And this bounty – save one or two extras my friend snuck into the package – represents just my choice of items!  We split the freebies (and the three full size samples) roughly 50/50.  Perhaps I should upgrade that to wicked generous.  So what freebies did I score?

In the top left-hand corner we have a beautiful little bunny tart studded with glittery hearts in Tea with the Queen of Hearts and a wee chocolate gateau in Eat Me.

In the top right-hand corner we have a pair of bedazzled and undoubtedly surgically enhanced lips in Kiss Me Silly and two swirly, twirly hard candies in Big Top Lemonade (top) and Tunnel of Love (bottom.)

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In the bottom left-hand corner we have, from left to right, a microbead-embedded Peep in Looking Glass, a speckled robin’s egg in Blackberry Fudge (actually a little gift from Julie), a pale-and-pastel Peep in Keep Your Temper, a grape-hued Easter egg in Lavender Vanilla Custard, an absolutely delectable little mica-dusted egg in Caterpillar Mischief (it came in that cute little chick cup!) and a ruby red Easter egg in Strawberry Nonsense.

Finally, in the bottom right-hand corner we have the body care items I chose, a full size body lotion in Cranberry Fig (I’m hoping the scent on this one blooms a bit, because right now all I smell is lotion) and a sample size scrub in Lemon Cheesecake (another one of those scents and consistencies that is seriously testing my “is this food?” boundaries.)

Phew!  So there we have it, my first Bathing Garden order.  Also, as of this afternoon, not my last – I went back for seconds on a few new favourites, and stocked up on a sweet stack of those wonderfully scrubby scrubs.  I’ll be sure to share that gorgeous bounty with you when it arrives, though hopefully this time in fewer than 1450 words!  And I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my conspicuous consumerism! 😉

Over and Over: A Mini Lush Review

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So I dropped this Over and Over bath bomb into my tub the other day, and immediately began composing mildly snarky puns in my head about how over and over, Lush has been disappointing me with the longevity – or lack thereof – of their bath bombs.  Of the four or five I’ve tried so far this year, all have been ultra fast fizzers, petering away to nothing in well under a minute.  This bath bomb initially seemed to suffer from the completely opposite problem – after dropping it into my tub, it just kind of floated there, occasionally emitting a weak stream of pale yellow honeycomb bubbles.  For the next two minutes.  I seriously thought the thing was broken.  Or maybe that was just my back as I crouched over the tub with my camera (like a beauty blogging moron, guys!)

Then the orange shell covering the top half of the bath bomb melted away, and the Over and Over ballistic erupted into a cheery, frothy mess of hot pink and sunshine yellow bubbles.  For the next two minutes. Seriously, this bath bomb just kept going and going and going…it was the Energizer Bunny of bath products! Definitely enough to get me to eat my words on the subject of lasting power.  Don’t discount your bath bomb before it’s fizzed, and all that jazz.  It also made for some very, very pretty bath art.

Over and Over Collage 2

Ah, but the smell…it was terrible!  Lush says lime and fennel, I say that closet at your grandparents’ house that smells like expired medicine, old Sears catalogs and unidentifiable cleaning products.  It was pretty nasty.  I actually climbed out of the tub and stepped straight beneath the shower in an attempt to wash off the ick. And given that the Over and Over bath bomb also stained the ever living crap out of the sides of my tub, necessitating a post-soak scrub-down of all ceramic surfaces – and all for the low, low price of $8.95 Canadian – I can’t imagine that this is a bath product I’ll be reaching for again, pretty though it was.

Over and Over Collage 1

Plum Rain: A Mini Lush Review

Plum Rain Collage

With a matchy matchy mani.  But first the suds!  Which would be Lush’s delicious new shower gel, Plum Rain.

I’ve griped on this blog multiple times about the discord I think there is between Lush’s scent descriptions and the actual fragrances themselves.  Nine times out of 10 everything comes out smelling like powdery orange “drink.”  Or a musty floral I uncharitably describe as “granny’s unmentionables drawer.”

Plum Rain blessedly succumbs to neither issue, smelling precisely like its blend of vibrantly-scented ingredients – tart, juicy plums and a zesty, lime-leaning mandarin. Fans of Lush’s Layer Cake soap – I very much was one – will love Plum Rain; they smell quite similar, like cold, clear, freshly-squeezed glasses of juice.

Being a clear shower gel as opposed to one of Lush’s more colour-saturated shower creams, Plum Rain also doesn’t fall prey to the very real problem of staining the crap out of your tub and/or shower and/or skin, despite its deep and dark indigo hue.  It also made my hide feel a little more scrubbed-down than when I use a shower cream, a sensation I actually prefer – all evidence to the contrary, I’m not much of a product person, and I dislike the feeling of slippery, overly-moisturized skin.

Plum Rain Bottle

Ah, but that colour!  Great enough to mimic in this manicure featuring one of Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquers from January 2015, which is the exact shade of Plum Rain (glittery bits excepted – none of those in here, you glitterphobes.)

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Plum Rain is available online and in Lush shops right now.  This 100 ml bottle, which will last me the better part of the year (told you I’m not much of a product person!) retails for $10.95 Canadian.

Metamorphosis: A Mini Lush Review

Metamorphosis Collage

This bath bomb totally looks like the Death Star, right?  Actually, wait, before any big time Star Wars fans start nerding at me about the placement of the exhaust port amidst all of those little concave notches, I’ll amend my statement to say this bath bomb totally looks like Spaceship Earth, right?!  For those who don’t speak Disney-ese, that’s the name of the attraction that resides within the giant geodesic dome at the front gates of Epcot. The ride is basically a journey through the history of human communications – a very, very slow journey.  It also features some of the most disturbingly lifelike – and just plain disturbing – animatronics in any Disney park (and there really are so very many to choose from.)  But it’s essentially 20 minutes of darkened, seated, gently moving air conditioning, which means there will always be a place for it in Florida.

Anyhow, with its little speckled dimples, I think this Metamorphosis bath bomb from Lush looks like Spaceship Earth.  The ride is sometimes affectionately referred to as The Big Ball of Boring, which is also apt when describing this bath bomb – cool outward appearances aside, this one didn’t have much zing.  Again. This is kind of becoming a trend with my bath bombs, and a highly regrettable one at that – I don’t like it when the insides don’t match up with the super cool outsides.

Metamorphosis Pic

While I didn’t love the scent of Metamorphosis, fans of the Lord of Misrule line (a black pepper, vanilla and patchouli fragrance) will find its spicy scent quite pleasant.  And while I also didn’t love that this bath bomb puttered out in a little under a minute – again – I did appreciate the deeply unusual colour combination, an odd assortment of charcoal grey, mustard yellow, baby pink and, right at the very end, a tiny puff of grass green.

At the moment the Metamorphosis bath bomb is an online-only purchase.  It retails for $8.95 Canadian.

I *Heart* Baths!

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Actually, I like baths at best.  I don’t have a bathtub large enough to accommodate love.  I think if I had one of those Jacuzzi monstrosities, I’d be all over bath time, but as it is, I just kind of sit there like a large frog in a small, rainbow-coloured puddle.

But I DO *heart* trying out fun bath products, like this assortment of loved-up goodies that made my Valentine’s extra bubbly and sweet.  Solo, however.  Valentine’s Day or no, if there’s not enough space for me in the tub, there definitely ain’t space enough for both Mr. Finger Candy and I!  The comedic possibilities are actually pretty outstanding. 🙂

But back to bath time!  Which included some cute soap petal roses I always bust out for my romantically-themed baths, the last of a bottle of Lush’s Prince Charming shower cream, my favourite candle from Bath & Body Works, Pink Apple Punch, a sweet, Pink Sands-infused apple fragrance that smells like heaven in a three-wick, and two new bath bombs from Lush’s Valentine’s Day collection, heart-shaped Cupid, and heart-studded Lover Lamp.

I have no cool photos of bath art to share with you, though, because neither one of these bath bombs produced anything other than creamy white bubbles.  Even Cupid, the pale pink heart pierced with a hot pink arrow, produced nothing but white fizzy after the hot pink bits broke off.  But speaking of, the one remaining heart clinging to the edge of the Lover Lamp bath bomb was so super cool – definitely not edible, but it looked exactly like a perfect little heart-shaped gumdrop.  I probably wouldn’t purchase either again, because both were really kind of boring!  And I like a lot of pizzazz in my bath bombs.  But as a fun Valentine’s Day treat, these were nice.

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Sex Bomb: A Mini Lush Review

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This bath bomb, part of Lush’s all-the-time regular collection, is one of those popular ones I see dupes or imitations of all the dang time.  It’s easy to see why on looks alone – the Sex Bomb is a beautiful little bath ballistic, perfect for a special Valentine’s Day bath, all lush pinks and purples, with a tiny rosebud centre.

Except the second I let go of this bath bomb, it dropped straight to the bottom of the tub, where it fizzed out into soft rose bathwater in about 30 seconds flat, no pink and purple bath art whatsoever.  I also did not care for the Sex Bomb’s fragrance, a super strong jasmine that has lingered in my bathroom for the past three days. And I really didn’t care for THIS, the sweet little rosebud centre, which is made of soap paper, which is neither soap, nor paper, but rather some sort of horrid gelatinous substance in between.  It’s disgusting and only partially breaks down, floating about your tub like bits of wet tissue.

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Ah, but it did make for some pretty swell nail art inspiration, even if I completely whiffed the colours.  I think I was just looking for an excuse to use this beautiful purple holo from Enchanted Polish – one of their monthly picks from 2015 – and it’s been an eternity since I’ve done some floral nail art, so I won’t complain too, too much over spilled sexy bomb water. 😉

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Ballistics and Sparkling Red Slippers: A Mini Lush Review

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Combating a dreary start to the week with a couple of cheer-inducing bathtime goodies from Lush, Sparkling Red Slippers bubble bar and a Never Mind the Ballistics bath bomb. Released as part of Lush’s 2016 holiday collection, I think both were brand new creations this season, at least for North American consumers.

For this super sunny bath, I crumbled up half of a Sparkling Red Slipper, a mica-dusted bubble bar the exact same shape and colour as one of Dorothy’s iconic ruby pumps, and ran it under the tap until I had a fluffy mound of bubbles.  If you like to spice up your bath with coloured bubbles and water, but you’re looking for something a little softer than Lush’s usual high intensity palette of neon pinks and blues, I’d suggest a Sparkling Red Slipper bubble bar – my bathwater was a beautiful, plush rose red, and scented like a bouquet of slightly peppery carnations.  Very nice!

Then, being quite careful not to drop my phone into the carnation-scented water, I lowered a Never Mind the Ballistics bath bomb into the cloud of bubbles and watched as it erupted into a delightful mess of banana split-hued bends and twirls.  And then I took pictures of it!

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I quite helpfully took no note whatsoever of Never Mind the Ballistics’ scent, but I do remember giving the simple yellow orb (partially dipped in a hot pink, bath melt-type shell) a curious sniff and thinking that it wasn’t unpleasant, and vaguely reminiscent of tart, powdery candies.

Aw, dude, I *heart* you, too!  So nice when your bath products show you a little love in return. 😉

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