Twilight Bubbles: A Mini Lush Review

Twilight Collage Again

In yesterday’s bath-themed post I called this Twilight bath bomb from Lush Cosmetics the best one I’ve tried yet, a statement I continue to stand by today.  Twenty-four hours later my skin remains super soft and smooth, to say nothing of the herbal lavender scent that continues to sweetly perfume the air.  A lovely bath time treat. And an adorable one as well!  How cute is this little star-embossed guy?  Can’t go wrong with glittery pink galaxies.

Twilight Bath Bomb

Inside, the Twilight bath bomb is a beautiful mess of turquoise and purple, the overall bath art effect mimicking the sky at sundown.  So pretty, and I can’t deny how much fun it is to swirl the dissolving bomb around, creating all sorts of fun shapes and colours, like a fabulous, beauty-oriented bath toy.

Bonus: Twilight is not as highly pigmented as some of Lush’s other bath bombs.  This doesn’t diminish the effect in the least – I love the cotton candy-hued bubbles – but it DOES mean that Twilight won’t (temporarily) dye your tub (or skin) neon turquoise, a nice touch indeed.

Twilight Collage

The MOST fun to be had with a bath bomb, though – and particularly this one, with its ultra fluffy candy floss hues – is to smush the nearly-dissolved bomb in your hand once it’s cracked open.  It sounds odd, but it’s a particularly delightful sensation, and a bit of a naughty one at that – hastening a bath bomb’s demise seems like something you shouldn’t do, right, given its already pretty limited lifespan?  Nope, just me?  Alrighty then.

Smushed Twilight Collage

The Twilight bath bomb is part of Lush’s regular assortment of bath time goodies – no limited edition nonsense here.  Retailing for $6.55, it’s at the lower end of the bath bomb price scale, another nice touch, as $12 bombs aren’t always in the offering.  Lush, of course, has online and physical outposts all over the world, although I purchased mine here in Canada through Lush.ca.  Happy soaking!

Hello Skincare!

Another Kitty Collage

Years ago a friend gave me these Hello Kitty skincare products she picked up on her travels with the exact same instructions she gave me when she once gifted me with a bottle of bacon-flavoured soda – “DO NOT actually use this!  Just look at it!”  Sage advice on the soda AND the skincare products – the wash/toner/lotion trio is of the whitening variety, and if there’s anything this Celtic hide don’t need, it’s additional whitening (seriously, please stop bleaching yourselves, folks, and I say that as a girl who once rubbed lemon juice all over her arms and then sat out in the sun to bleach her freckles.  Know what happened?  Citric acid burns on top of a sunburn, that’s what.)

So I most likely will not use these products (maybe the sheet masks, although I note that the expiration dates on both have already passed) but, per my friend’s advice, we can all still certainly take a peek AT them, right? Right we are!

Kitty Mask Collage.jpg

The sheet masks are adorable, but what else do you expect from something branded to Hello Kitty?  I’m fairly certain that cat doesn’t know how to do anything BUT adorable. I’ve never used a sheet mask before – I’m an old school, mud-in-a-pot masker.  I’m curious to see how they will perform (and yes, looks like I’ve decided I am going to be using those masks after all, expiration dates be damned!)  I really sort of hope the results are as depicted on the back of the larger of the two masks, because it looks like Kitty got her paws into the REAL good stuff!

Strung Out Kitty Instructions

I like to think the four-part instructions, which I of course cannot decipher but for their pictograms, go as follows:

  1. Look like a bag of cat ass?
  2. Feel like a bag of cat ass?
  3. Put on this mask and join the Purge!
  4. Then you will be totally strung-out.

For real, this cat looks like she’s an extra in the next Purge movie, The Purge: Say Hello to My Little Kitty.

The whitening trio is super cute – love the iridescent sheen on the little tubes – and I’m already getting great use out of the zip-top makeup bag, but I think the contents are going to stay right where they are.  I have no desire to suffer a chemical burn from past-due bleaching products.  Safety first, cuteness second. 😉

White Kitty Collage

 

Bendy Bomb: A Mini Lush Review

Yoga Bomb Collage

Actually called a Yoga Bomb, but to yoga (that’s a verb, right?) means to be bendy, plus the coloured bubbles that erupt out of this bath bomb bend and swirl throughout your tub.  I’ll ask for your forgiveness of that rather laboured analogy – I’ve spent all day putting together a number of the Devil’s Swedish pressboard insanity-making devices (Ikea furniture) and I’m unbelievably knackered.  I actually wish I had saved this bath bomb for a soothing post-pressboarding soak as opposed to using it up last night – I’m quite in need of a hot bath to un-knot my furious forearm and back muscles, and it might as well be pretty while I’m in there.

Well, initially pretty.  Or actually, initially quite plain – this Yoga Bomb bath ballistic from Lush Cosmetics is not much to look at on first glance, just a pretty, peachy little sphere that smells like your third grade teacher (the hippy-ish one who wore Birkenstocks and always had a bit of cat fur on her nubbily knit sweaters.)  Then you drop it in your tub and it erupts into a gorgeous mess of purples, pinks and blues.  Intermingled with the warm orange of the outer shell, it looks like twilight and dawn meeting up at the same time – just gorgeous.

Bath Bomb

But not particularly long-lasting.  Perhaps owing to the fact that my Yoga Bomb came delivered with a small fissure running along its horizontal fault line, it cracked open quickly, putting on a mad, sunset-hued display before petering out in less than three minutes.  That’s not the best value for an already dubiously-valued, single use item that retails for $8.95.

More Bombs

Also, not that you needed a picture of this, but the resulting bathwater was the colour of bong water.  Bong water dusted with gently glimmering mica, yes, but bong water all the same.  And we all know the rules about bong water – don’t drink it, and cripes, don’t bathe in it either!

Yoga Bomb 2

I’m not sure this one would be a repeat for me, but you may wish to check it out – perhaps hippy teacher bong water sunset bomb is totally your bag (come to think of it, all of those things kind of go together!)  I purchased my Yoga Bomb from Lush.ca, and you can, too. Happy bathing!

Pink(berry) Bath

Pink(berry) Bath

While my American friends are off observing Memorial Day in all the usual fashions (I hear beer, beaches and BBQ factor prominently) it’s just another hot and sweaty start to the week everywhere else.  So what better time to highlight the berrylicious bath I took last night; add some more hot and sweaty to this Monday afternoon, whether you’re hanging with friends and family or just trying to make it through the workday without collapsing. Both groups sound like they could use a relaxing bath at the end of the day regardless – here’s some fun suggestions for making it a sweet one.

Pink and fruity was the name of this bath game, with two Comforting Lush products taking centre stage, The Comforter shower cream, a silky, black currant-scented body wash, and its complimentary bubble bar.  This plump bubble bar retails for a whopping $11.95 on Lush.ca; like many of Lush’s products, that’s quite enough to give the average shopper a bit of pause.  But as noted, this bubble bar is a bruiser, weighing in at a solid 200 grams.  I’ll get four to six generously bubble’d baths out of this guy, particularly if I continue to cut off the pieces as I use them and run them under the tap in a strainer, comme ca (far less waste this way; also, I find whole bars don’t hold up well to repeated direct use, taking on an odd, grainy kind of texture):

Comforter Collage

Ambiance and additional fruity smells were provided by a new-to-me wax vendor, Sassy Girl Aroma, and their – wait for this word (fruit) salad – Mango Pomegranate Strawberry Raspberry Guava wax chunks.  This is pretty much the best smelling stuff on earth, crazy name notwithstanding – sweet and tart and super, deliciously fruity.  So good.

The final touch was another Lush product, this time another new-to-me item, a Razzle Dazzle bath oil…bomb?  I’m actually not sure how to categorize this super emollient, neon pink butterball except to say it’s exactly like holding a super emollient, neon pink butterball.  A melt!  It’s a bath melt.  Which means when you drop it into your tub, it floats around, melting down into a little puddle of berry pink oils and other moisturizing stuff.

I can’t say this is an item I’d purchase again.  Retailing for $3.50 a piece, I found this bath melt to be pretty pointless, providing little of the moisturization you’d expect from a 20 gram ball of essential oils (on the plus side, it was delightful to scoop it out of the water and let it run down my hands and arms.)  It also smelled nothing like a raspberry, and was incredibly messy to handle.  Like trying to hold a pat of pink mica-dusted butter.  I’ll also note here that some months back a young woman got into trouble with this exact bath melt after she mistook it for something other than what it was and rubbed it all over her face and body.  You may remember her skin turned an angry neon pink – I believe it, because today I see that in between my fingers, there’s lots of hot pink smudgy bits, and that was with very little direct contact.  So a bit more effort than payoff on this one, unfortunately.

Razzle Dazzle Collage

So there you have it, a fruity refresher fit for the workday warrior seeking relaxation, or the happy holiday-er washing the last bits of sand off the long weekend.  I hope you enjoy it, no matter the day’s activities. 🙂

Fairytale Bath

Fairytale Bath Group

It was late last night when, feeling kind of chilly from the day’s unrelentingly damp weather, I decided to warm myself up with a well-deserved bath.  But not just any bath! No, a bath I’ve been planning for a bit (if that’s even a thing, which it totally is in the age of blogging and Instagramming) – a nearly mythic bath time combo featuring a handful of fun, fairytale-themed products.  It was a sudsy little pick-me-up (and warm-me-up) and I emerged relaxed, refreshed and smelling like a princess.  If you’d like to follow along at home, here’s how you, too, can add a touch of fairy dust to your standard bath time routine.

Straight off the bat, you need to set the mood with both a lighting scheme AND a scentscape (if “tablescape” is a word, by hell, I’m making “scentscape” one as well.) Tealight wax burners come in handy for this part – bathe by the glow of your tealight as it warms the scented wax from beneath.  Here I melted a chunk of Rosegirls‘ Pink Sugar, Grape Cow (grape milkshake) and Whipped Cream, a gentle sort of bubblegummy scent that I freely admit aligns more with the colours of this bath than the actual theme (although I suppose a Grape Cow absolutely fits into the realm of a fairytale.  Or an acid trip.)

For the bath itself, I used a simple combination of Lush’s Unicorn Horn bubble bar tossed in a small strainer and topped with a smoosh of Prince Charming shower cream.  Run the strainer under very hot water until the bubble bar dissolves (the hotter the water, the fluffier the bubbles, for reasons I’d have to be a scientist to understand.)  This will tint your bathwater the loveliest shade of mica-dusted pink.  Prince Charming, a mild, pomegranate-infused shower cream, is actually quite floral and not too heavily scented – as such, it doesn’t have a terrific load of presence beyond its colour, particularly when it’s running up against the Horn’s heady lavender fragrance.  It’s a very nice combination, though – fresh, fruity and a touch herbal.

HornCharming Collage

Then, as the finishing touch, I plucked the petals from two soap roses from this set my mother brought back for me from a trip to World Market in Florida (which I understand is a beauty and home goods and lifestyle scrounger’s shopping paradise) and sprinkled them across the top of the shimmery suds.

Fairytale Bath Roses.jpg

Fairytale Bath Single Rose

The soap rose petals, while so gorgeous, were a bit of an odd consistency – a little gummy and a whole lot sticky.  When I use them again, I’ll be sure to add them to the running hot water first so they have time to break down before I get into the tub.  All the same, when they did finally dissolve, they left my skin soft and nicely moisturized.  Plus, bathing among rose petals?  ‘Tis no better way to get in touch with your inner princess.

Fairytale Bath Rose Petals

So there you have it, the punchline to what happens when you get into a rose petal-dusted bath with Prince Charming, a unicorn and a Grape Cow.  Or something like that. 😉

Bath Time Experimentin’: A Mini Lush Review

Experimenter Collage.jpg

Ooh, sounds dirty!  Or possibly like I’m trying to create cold fusion in my tub.  But actually, I’m testing out another fun, super colourful bath bomb from Lush, this time the vibrantly-hued (and popping candy-filled!) Experimenter.

The Experimenter, another vegan, baking soda-and-essential oils-infused bath ballistic (that’s what folks from the UK sometimes call bath bombs; badass, right?) is a relatively new addition to Lush’s line of bath bombs.  At $8.95 (Canadian) a piece, these single use bath bombs are one of Lush’s pricier products, although the expense is offset somewhat by the sheer size of these colourful buggers.  As in they’re gigantic, and weighty.  I actually wish there was a way to break this bomb in two without destroying the cool rainbow effect that results from the fuchsia, turquoise, white and gold bits blending together.

Bath Bomb Collage

But as it went, this entire bomb hit the tub and began merrily zipping about, shooting off bubbly, mica-dusted rainbows with every zig and zag.  And it did that for a full seven minutes. When I finally said enough was enough and climbed into the tub, there was still a little chunk of pink and blue bomb crackling away contentedly behind me.  So I guess in this case size really does matter?

Experimenter Core

But before that, the Experimenter put on quite the impressive show, dancing merrily about my tub, swirling in and in and in on itself until the resulting bath art looked a lot like tubby time with Monet.

Bath time with Monet

In terms of function separate and apart from its big, colourful show, the Experimenter does a terrific job.  My skin was nicely moisturized and so soft after my bath, with nary a hint of lingering greasiness.  In fact, while I was soaking and floating, I took the opportunity to see if, with the benefit of lots of slippery oils, I could wrench my wedding and engagement rings off my left hand, and I could!  And that’s something I haven’t been able to do in years (in case you’re wondering, there’s nothing funny going on here between Mr. Finger Candy and I.  Rather, I’d like to take advantage of my building’s indoor pool this summer, and I’d prefer it if I could NOT destroy two of my most cherished possessions with chlorine while I’m at it.)

Two small drawbacks to this bath bomb are its smell (an earthy, unidentifiably woodsy scent other users either love or hate; I was mostly indifferent towards it) and the colour of the resulting bathwater, a brackish, putty brown that looks like you’ve been mudding tiles instead of taking a bath.  It’s pretty unpleasant, even shimmering prettily with golden mica dust.

Experimenter Bath 1

All told, though, this was a fun little bath time experiment (wah wah) that I could – and will! – justify again as a nice treat.  All in the name of scientific advancement, right?! 😉

Scratch So Good: A Mini Lush Review

Salt Scrub 1

Looks like a fungus, behaves like a peppermint-scented dream about warm, scratchy things. 🙂

This evening I’m bringing you another tiny review of a Lush product, this time Salt and Peppermint Bark, a solid, bar-form salt scrub scented with sweet peppermint.  A new release from their holiday line, Salt and Peppermint Bark is deliciously, delightfully scratchy – I have a small, perpetually itchy patch of skin on my knee that seems impervious to anti-itch products, and I could have gladly worried away the entire bar on that one spot alone.  Oh, it scratched so good!  But my arms and legs also demanded attention, and this salt scrub really proved its worth there, too, buffing, softening and lightly scenting my skin with sea salt, cocoa butter and crisp peppermint.

The one drawback I can see to this product is that if you go too hard on the scrub-a-dub-dub motion, the salt part of this particular peppermint bark will be right there to remind you to use a lighter touch next time. Buff carefully.

Available in stores and via Lush’s website (I’m providing you with the Canadian link) Salt and Peppermint Bark retails for $9.95 a bar and is, like so many of Lush’s products, vegan-friendly.

Get Comfy: A Mini Lush Review

The Electric Comforter Collage

I was staring down at this newly acquired bottle of The Comforter shower cream from Lush yesterday when I realized that it is the exact (and exactly perfect) gilded raspberry shade as one of my all time favourite nail polishes, Picture Polish’s Electric Dream. Seemed as good a time as any to co-ordinate my mani to my bath, and take a closer look at both of these fantastic beauty products in the process.

I’ve gone on record as to my abhorrence of that Lush smell, a too, too TOO much combo of every single one of their scents, that wafts out of their stores and kicks you in the face like Ronda Rousey if she were made entirely of patchouli, star anise and tonka bean. It’s what kept me from even entering a Lush store for nearly two decades, that godforsaken smell.

But over on Instagram, a bunch of the nails-and-Lush-and-makeup-and-cats-and-Disney people I follow were going wild for Lush’s recently released holiday items, including some adorable, multi-coloured bath bombs called Luxury Puds that I’m told will make me mistake my bath for a glittery, rainbow-swirled hot spring fit for a unicorn. So I gave in to the non-existent peer pressure and placed a small, safe, experimental order for a handful of bath bombs, tossing in a 100 ml bottle of The Comforter shower cream almost as an afterthought.

And I’m so very glad I did, because The Comforter, one of Lush’s marquis, always-on-offer products, is WONDERFUL. In danger of becoming one of those things I obsess about, even. A rich, golden shimmer-packed shower cream, The Comforter is described on its label as “a cuddle in a bottle with cassis absolute and bergamot oil.” I actually think its name, which evokes cuddly snuggles, is ill-suited to its fresh, almost vegetable-y scent. It’s a mild, softly sweet, gently spiced (but not spicy) fragrance that could not be further from all the usual, super cloying berry scents (makes sense, as currants don’t really have much of a fragrance, do they?) I love it, I love it, I love it, and not just because it smells divine – it also lathered up beautifully and left my sensitive Celtic hide soft and smooth. Plus, like many (but not all) of Lush’s products, The Comforter is vegan – ethical beauty and relaxation at its finest.

Comfy Bottle

And what of the rich, raspberry red colour? Perfection, and a nearly perfect dupe of Picture Polish’s Electric Dream, an all time Finger Candy favourite. Unlike The Comforter, Electric Dream really lives up to its name, applying like a polished dream and drying down to a beautiful eggshell finish – all the better to admire that rich, golden-tinged hue. One of only a handful of polishes in my collection that I’d wear simply as a polish, straight up, no chaser.

The Comforter Fingers

Price-wise, Lush (and indeed, Picture Polish) will always be on the higher end of the spectrum. I was rather shocked at the price of a few items ($9 for a single use bath bomb that I guarantee you will dye the bottom of my tub – and quite possibly my own bottom – bright turquoise?) And this 100 ml bottle of The Comforter (that’s a little less than 3.5 ounces)? $10. Making this one Comforter I’ll only be covering myself in every so often, on special occasions…like Tuesday.

Depending on where you are in the world, Lush’s products are available either in-store or online. Seek out the sage advice of Google, and whether you’re in the States, the UK, Japan or Canada, there will be a Lush to suit your needs. I purchased my goodies via Lush.ca. My package arrived four days after I placed my order (it would have been three, save for some postal silliness on my end), nicely packed and bearing very little of that Lush smell (I let my items air out on the diningroom table for a bit regardless, which took care of any lingering smell.) All around, this was a great experience with Lush, and I look forward to remaining Comforted, at least, for many, many more baths to come.

Sunny Side Up: A Sniff Test

SunnysLineUp

A couple of weeks ago I received a lovely, small haul of roll-on cuticle oils from Sunny’s Body Products, an indie manufacturer and retailer I’ve mentioned numerous times before on this blog. Sunny’s gets all my nail care love (her cuticle oils are the only product I actually use; we are the next best thing to hand care Luddites here at Finger Candy HQ) first and foremost because her oil blends are soothing, smoothing and nourishing, secondly because her roll-on applicators (my preferred method of oil distribution) are well-made and blessedly leak-free, but mostly because she offers very nearly all of her products in over 500 different scents, 20 or so of which I’ve tried and find absolutely delightful.

So given that I’ve said just about all the good things I can on the subject of the base products, I thought it would be a fun little exercise to do a sniff test on some of the scents themselves that I think take Sunny’s products from great, to absolute must-haves.

SunnysMiniLineup

First up on the docket is Blueberry Cheesecake, which I purchased as part of a trio of sampler roll-on cuticle oils. On Sunny’s list of scent descriptions (an extensive, fun-to-peruse document) Blueberry Cheesecake is described as “Fresh from the dessert menu, creamy cheesecake with plump sweet blueberries in sauce, spilling over.” This one is Mr. Finger Candy’s favourite, and it’s heavenly (it’s not a totally uncommon occurrence around here to see me sniffing my fingers, Mary Katherine Gallagher-style.) I love blueberry scents, and this one is extra lovely, with an almost tea-type note amidst all that berry goodness. And while cheesecake scents can often err on the side of sour, this one is sweet and unobtrusive – just a sweet little something to round off the juiciness of the berries.

Next up is Donut Shop, a scent I used as the inspiration for a manicure during the recent Oh Mon Dieu Nail Art Challenge. Sunny describes the scent on her site as “The scent of fresh baked donuts when you walk into your favorite donut shop.” I mentioned then – and the scent-iment remains – that Donut Shop smells nothing like any donut shop I’ve ever been in (which to me always smell like yeast, frosting, coffee and a vague hint of middle-of-the-night, fluorescent-lit loneliness.) To me, it smells like the perfume my best friend wore in high school, Parfum d’Été by Kenzo, offset by a hint of something sweet and rich and delicious. Donut Shop is actually quite complex, and one of those scents that will smell different on every person it touches (clearly, if I think it smells like my friend’s fresh floral perfume crossed with a muffin.) Confusion over nomenclature aside, Donut Shop is a gorgeous, unique scent that will please bakery lovers and scent traditionalists alike.

The third scent, which closes out my trio of mini samplers, is Blackberry Scone, a relatively recent addition to Sunny’s scented line-up. In the description document Blackberry Scone is described as “Notes of freshly picked blackberries are complemented by hints of boysenberries & raspberries and nuances of buttery, warm crust.” This is another one of those scents that maybe should have been given a second pass through the name generator, because the scone element is totally missing. I will concede that taste in scents is a highly subjective and personal thing, but this isn’t a matter of preference – I actually quite like the scent of Blackberry Scone. It just smells nothing like a baked good. Instead, Blackberry Scone smells fresh and green and crisp – like a summer salad sprinkled with blackberries. That I like it very much has turned out to be a big surprise – I’m typically not one for fresh-type smells, and Blackberry Scone definitely errs on the side of veggie. Still, a lovely scent that marries well with its more bakery-minded order mates.

SunnysPoisonPie

The final scent I chose was Poison Pie, which I purchased in a full size roll-on after burning through my mini bottle earlier this year. Poison Pie, a seasonal scent from last year’s Halloween-themed beauty box, is described as “The aroma of freshly picked blueberries, fresh cut granny smith apples, smothered in butter, cream, and cinnamon, with a background of fresh baked crust.” Sounds delicious, smells even better – exactly like my mom’s kitchen after she’s tossed apples, sugar, flour and cinnamon together for pies. It’s quite uncanny how that memory (not much of a memory, actually, as she makes me pies every couple of weeks) comes to mind when I smell Poison Pie. It’s so delicious and I love it. And look at that adorable little label!

In the final analysis, though, scent is a highly subjective sense, and what smells amazing to me may cause your nostrils to turn tail and run, and vice versa. My advice is to get out there and play the field – order a mixed bag of scents, ones both in and a little bit out of your wheelhouse, and see what strikes your fancy. As always, you can purchase Sunny’s products through her website here.