Makeup and Beauty

I may have tasted my skincare products.

Just FYI: This post is going to be extremely long, as I’ve taken a bunch of pictures and I wanted to include how to use the products as well as review them.

A long time ago, I was turned on to the whole natural skincare products by Burt’s Bees, starting with the Citrus Facial Scrub. I really loved it because it exfoliated my skin without drying it out, unlike every other product I’d used.

Unfortunately, while it did make my skin very smooth (and smelled like something you could eat), it didn’t really help much. Because, unbeknownst to me at the time, I was allergic to sugar, which is one of the main exfoliant ingredients in the scrub. I also tried their other exfoliating scrub, before I knew my allergies… loved the smell, loved the scrubby properties… and then realized that I was, in fact, allergic to sugar, and both scrubs-while very nice- have sugar in them.

In fact, all three exfoliants that Burt’s Bees sells- Citrus Facial Scrub, Peach and Willowbark Deep Pore Scrub, and the Natural Acne Solutions Pore Refining Scrub (which, by the way, isn’t really very scrub-like at all) all have sugar in them. Which means I’m unable to use any kind of exfoliator from Burt’s Bees, and that makes me very sad.

Anyway.

So a friend of mine, who is a vegetarian and very into natural skincare, randomly asked if I wanted something from Lush for Christmas.

At the time, I had no idea what Lush was, excepting what I ascertained from her text, which was that they sold bubbly bath thingies. (Yes. Actual term.) After quickly looking them up, I found that they were a skincare/cosmetic company that handmade 100% natural products, and they had several scrubs, none of which had sugar as an ingredient.

And after browsing for a very long time through all of the products, I told my friend that I have been needing an exfoliant that doesn’t have sugar in it, since I’d been using a washcloth to scrub my face… and I don’t really think that’s very good for the skin.

So she got me Ocean Salt, and thus my slight obsession with Lush began.

Now, before I get carried away and start to gush about the products I bought on Monday, I want to give you some advice about Lush.

Firstly, don’t ever buy a product based on what a friend has and loves. Don’t read through this and automatically buy the stuff that I have, because chances are my skin is very different from yours, and the products I have may  not work for you.

Secondly, if it’s at all possible, go to the store  first before you order online. There are two reasons I very strongly recommend going to the store to buy your first Lush products.

  • One, you’ll be able to tell the employees what your skin is like, and they’ll know best which products you should use. You can order online based on the description of the products, but… going and seeing it firsthand is better. Plus, if you’re not sure about a product, you can acquire a sample and use it for a while to see whether you really want it.
  • Two… since they’re all natural and don’t use artificial fragrances to overcome anything that smells strange, some of the products smell kind of funky. So you’ll want to scent-test the stuff before you buy it. Example: my vegan friend’s cleanser, Herbalism, smells like soy sauce.

Thirdly, if you go to the store, don’t get overwhelmed. There’s a lot of product around, a lot of smells going on, but there are testers for everything, and the employees are there to help you. They’re not paid commission, which means they’re not going to try to sell you the most expensive stuff to get their commission for that day. They are there to help you figure out what’s best for you, and they’ve got a wealth of information about their products. Ask for help.

And ask about the history behind the product. There are some cool stories about how they were made- like the $80 moisturizer that was custom-designed for Princess Diana (which is why it’s so spendy), or their most popular cleanser (which I have and will gush about in a minute) that is actually a medieval recipe they found in a book.

And lastly, don’t get too intimidated by the prices. Not all of the products are expensive, but some of the moisturizers can be up there. You can always ask for a sample to try and make up your mind from there. But even if you’re paying $30 for a moisturizer, it’s going to last you four to six months, and I think that it’s worth the money. A little bit goes a long way.

Besides that, the salesperson recommended several items to me, all of which were reasonably priced. So there should be an option for any price range.

On to my personal little product reviews.

My skin is: always flaky and never oily… probably on the dry side. But I do get breakouts on my cheeks and chin.

First up, Angels On Bare Skin.

  • What it is: a sort of solid facial cleanser with a gentle exfoliant (ground almonds), for everyday use.
  • It smells like: almonds and lavender
  • Price: online, $10.95 for 3.5 oz. In-store, depends on how much you want.
  • It is listed for: all skin types.
  • It makes my skin feel: clean, soft, not overprocessed or stripped, and I didn’t feel like I needed a ton (or any) moisturizer afterwards.
  • Product Overview: it’s very milky and very gentle, and at first I thought that it left behind a slight film, but I realized that I just hadn’t rinsed well enough. I really like the way it feels, and that a little bit goes a long way, and that instead of selling me a ton of it, the salesperson cut me off a smaller $6 piece so that I could test whether it was good for me or not, and the piece I have will actually probably take me about a month to use up.
  • Fun Fact: Angels on Bare Skin isn’t new. Lush found it in an old book, and the recipe dates back to medieval times.

How To Use:

(and either rinse, or do as I did and exfoliate with your main exfoliant and THEN rinse.)

Product Number Two: Ocean Salt

  • What it is: a thorough exfoliant for those days when your skin needs  a good scrub.
  • It smells like: grapefruit, lime, salt, and- just barely- vodka.
  • Price: $34.95 for 8.8 oz. But for me, free. Because it was a gift.
  • It is listed for: … a glowing complexion? ideal for exterminating blackheads and pimples, smoothing off the bumps, and removing dead skin cells.
  • It makes my skin feel: kinda tingly at first, well-scrubbed, smooth, clean.
  • Product overview: the first thing I really loved about Ocean Salt was the color. When you first open it, there’s a bunch of blue salt on top that you have to mix in, and then it’s that lovely blue-green hue that is really, really appealing to me. I wouldn’t recommend this for sensitive skin, because it is a rougher exfoliant and they do use vodka to extract all the good stuff from the limes. Also, if you’re too heavy handed with it, you might end up with really irritated skin. So be gentle, and don’t use it every day.
  • Fun fact: I tasted it. It’s very salty and limey, and it has the aftertaste of dish soap. (I know, I’m weird.)

How To Use:

(and rinse.)

Product Number Three: Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask


  • What it is: a mask. For your face. Don’t try to rob any stores with it, though, cuz it’ll eventually flake off.
  • It smells like: blueberries, roses, and something else that I can’t identify. We’ll just call it yummy.
  • Price: $5.95 for a 2.1oz tub. Only available in stores as it must be kept refrigerated.
  • It is for: blemished skin that needs evening out.
  • It makes my skin feel: smooth and clean.
  • Product overview: Catastrophe Cosmetic is really, really soothing. Since it’s a fresh mask without preservatives and has to be refrigerated, it’s going to be cold and nice if you’ve got irritated skin. The sad thing about it is that you have to use it up within three weeks of buying it, but it’s recommended that you use it 2-3 times a week. And I’m not lying when I say that the face mask makes the pores on my cheeks disappear completely.
  • Fun fact: I tasted this one, too. It’s sweet.

How to use:

1. Since it’s all fresh, it will have separated in the tub. Don’t freak out if you open it up and find that there’s a ton of liquid. Stir it up, and you’re good to go.

Product Number Four: Skin Drink

  • What it is: a very creamy, soft, smooth… brown… moisturizer.
  • It smells like: roses, for the most part, but the sesame oil gives it an undertone of bitterness. It’s all very subtly scented, though.
  • Price: $19.95 for 1.5 oz. That will last me four to six months.
  • It is listed for: dry skin.
  • It makes my skin feel: so very soft.
  • Product overview: before, I was using Burt’s Bee’s Radiance Day Creme, which was nice and moisturizing(and smells amazing!) but took forEVER to soak in… and I have really weird skin that loves to flake as soon as I start putting on foundation, and the Day Creme didn’t do anything to rectify that. Skin Drink, however, sinks in really nicely AND takes care of the whole flakiness problem. The first day of using and putting makeup on over the top, I had no flakiness and my foundation went on smoother than it ever has.
  • Fun fact: It’s got a ton of moisturizing stuff for dry skin- avocados, almond oil, sesame oil, aloe vera, and cocoa butter, as well as lots of rose goodness for a nice smelling product.

How To Use:

Products number five and six: Big Shampoo and American Cream Conditioner

I’m reviewing these together, as they were free samples given to me by Lush for shopping.

  • What they are: ehrm.. shampoo and conditioner. 😉
  • They smell like: Well… the shampoo (top) smells like fish and old lady perfume (to me). Not particularly horrible, but kind of weird. The conditioner, on the other hand, smells AMAZING! It’s very soft, feminine, vanilla-honey… beautiful. I love it.
  • Prices: Shampoo, $22.95 for 11.6oz; Conditioner,  $28.95 for 16.9oz.
  • Listed for: N/A. But the shampoo is probably better for straight hair or hair that needs volume. The conditioner… I’d say straight hair that is pretty healthy, as it’s a light conditioner and people with curly or unmaneageable locks might find it not moisturizing enough.
  • It made my hair feel: Really smooth and easy to work with. Also, it made it very shiny, and added some volume to the roots.
  • Product overview: I would definitely use both products, even though the shampoo has the faint odor of fish- that doesn’t stick around. Online reviews do warn against using the shampoo all the time, since it’s got sea-salt in it and that can damage the hair if you use it too much. The conditioner, I love. I may have to give in, save up, and buy some. Mostly for the scent, because it both smells amazing and sticks in my hair. I’m always disappointed with great-smelling shampoos or conditioners don’t actually leave any scents in my hair. And although it felt really thin and watery in the bath- I’m used to thick conditioners that leave my wet hair feeling very slick, and this one isn’t thick or slickery- it left my hair SO soft and smooth and detangled.
  • Fun fact: The shampoo is vegan. It doesn’t eat cows.

Product Number Seven: Ultra Bland

I forgot to take a picture.

  • What it is: creamy cleanser to take makeup off of sensitive or dry skin.
  • It smells like: honey and almonds. (I don’t particularly like this smell. Not sure why.)
  • Price: $29.95 for 3.5oz. I only have a sample, as I wasn’t sure whether it would be a little too thick for my skin, and I haven’t yet found out whether I’m allergic to honey or not. But the small sample I have will probably last me a long time.
  • It is listed for: sensitive skin
  • It makes my skin feel: kinda greasy.
  • Product overview: I would definitely only use this for eye makeup. It’s very thick and very moisture-filled. Good for sensitive or extra dry skin, but you do have to take care and get it all off or you’ll be left with a slightly oily film on your skin. It does take off eye makeup really, really well, and I would probably buy it for that alone. If I had the money.

How To Use:

  • Rub a small amount over your skin.
  • Spritz or splash some water onto it- it’ll act like a water repellent due to the almond oil… but don’t worry, the oils in it aren’t going to clog up your pores.
  • Wipe off with a cotton ball or a warm, damp rag.

Product Number Eight: Big Tease

  • What it is: styling gel for catching those flyaway strands, holding a curl, or… whatever else you use hair gel for.
  • It smells like: musky, awesome, and a little weird. I don’t really know what the smell is.
  • Price: $16.95 for 3.5oz
  • It is listed for: any hair type
  • It made my hair feel: not crunchy!
  • Product Overview: this was included in my little free sample kit along with the shampoo and conditioner. It’s quite nice- I just used it to smooth my bangs back into my ponytail, and it’s doing its job very well. No flyaways, and it’s not all crunchy like normal hair gel would be. Plus, you don’ thave to use a lot. Although I do wish that it would keep the wave my hair only has when it’s wet:

  • But nothing has ever been able to keep my hair wavy. Darn straight hair.

How To Use:

  • … like any other hair gel. Only use less of it.

Well, that’s it! I would be reviewing two other products- a bubble bar and a soap- but I forgot and left them with my friend in Seattle. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to give Lush a try, even if all you do is buy a bath bomb or something fun and not as scary as skincare. If the results of my skincare products continue to be this good, I’ll definitely be doing a before and after skin post.

And I’ll try not to eat it all in the meantime.

Mara