First up are the glorious little bundle of bath bombs we were given - Shoot For The Stars, Bombardino, Secret Santa, and (technically a bubble bar) Candy Mountain.
|They're still in their bags for this group shot because my lightbox has a black velvet backdrop at the moment|
and I was NOT interested in trying to clean it after putting bath bombs on it.
Bombardino is an absolutely adorable ball, that's purported to smell like lemon cheesecake. This ballistic was apparently inspired by a drink some of the Lush product inventors had while on a "research" trip to the Alps - which makes being a Lush product inventor sound like one hell of a job. The drink is made from Zabov (an Italian liquer involving egg yolks, milk, and brandy) mixed with rum, heated up, then covered with cream.
The namesake ballistic manages to capture the look of this drink really well, I think - although I'm not 100 per cent on how I feel about throwing something with a face into my bath to dissolve.
He smells remarkably creamy for something without any actual cream or milk products in it, and there is a slight tang to it that reminds me more of lemon lollies than actual lemon. If you pick one of these up, be careful with it because his little "cream" hat is quite fragile.
Secret Santa is surprisingly big - I do wonder how it will go in the bath, because I often find half a regular size ballistic is quite enough for my bathtub, and this is significantly bigger than most Lush ballistics. The design is apparently inspired by the shape of the first Lush store in the UK.
The scent is surprisingly easy to describe. Just summon to mind the trademark smell of a Lush store - you know, that whaft of mingled sweet smells that drifts out of every Lush store, everywhere. That's what this ballistic smells like. Technically the scent is largely ylang ylang and jasmine, with some extra florals to round it out, but it just smells quintessentially Lush to me.
Shoot For The Stars is scented with the same recipe as the ever-popular honey based soap Honey, I Washed The Kids. I think I'm possibly the only person in the whole world to not get excited by this fragrance - everyone else I know adores it, so if you're one of those people, you're going to want to pick up this ballistic.
Candy Mountain is actually my favourite out of this lot of products in terms of fragrance. The scent is just plain, straight up vanilla - but not cheap, sticky smelling vanilla. It smells like a freshly opened bottle of real vanilla extract, or a handful of vanilla bean pods; that clean, fresh, warm vanilla smells that only comes from natural sources. While I appreciate complicated scents as much as the next person, I really like that this bubble bar is just one scent done really, really well.
We also got two shower gels in our boundless bags of loot - the old favourite Snow Fairy, and a new product called Ponche.
Snow Fairy has been released as a limited edition every Christmas for the last couple of years, so I imagine most people familiar with Lush will know all about it, but if you've never tried it the best way I can describe it is like liquid fairy floss. The actual gel has little blue iridescent flakes in it, which gives the bottle a lovely sparkle, but hardly any of them actually make it on to your skin. The smell however...oh man. It will fill up your whole bathroom, and linger on your skin all day. While it's very, very sweet, it's not cloyingly so, which is a neat trick. Because people who love the smell of this shower gel really, REALLY love it, Lush has also released a massage bar and a perfume using the same fragrance. While I believe the perfume has more or less sold out everywhere, I will definitely be heading back for one of the massage bars, just to add an extra layer of candy smell to my day.
Ponche is a new addition to the Lush scent profile, and one I'm rather fond of. Like Bombardino, this is also inspired by a traditional hot beverage - in this case, Ponche Navideno. (After reading that recipe, I really want to attempt this recipe myself, because it sounds absolutely delicious) The shower gel it inspired has quite a bit of sediment in the bottle, but comes together quite easily with a firm shake, and the smell is absolutely delightful. It's citrussy, but not as sharp as some of their other citrus based scents - more of a sweeter, gentler, sort of citrus. The shower smelt rather like orange wine gums after I used this, which I thought was great, but it was still a "fresh" enough smell that Mr. Reluctant Femme liked it too. (I strongly suspect the lack of glitter in this one might also have had something to do with his preference for this over Snow Fairy)
Just in case I didn't already have enough ways to wash myself included in the loot bag, they also threw in a packet of their fascinating new product Fun - because we bloggers are super special, we got the shiny gold limited edition one, but it also comes in four other colours. Fun is touted as a four in one product - soap, bubble bar, shampoo, and playdough! It's a soft, pliable soapy kind of dough, and the idea is that you pull off a chunk to wash yourself with, or shape into something fun and THEN wash yourself with, as you feel like.
It certainly works as advertised - it's actually surprisingly easy to mould, and doesn't make your hands all soapy or sticky like I thought it might. Once you run it under water, it does start frothing like a wild thing, and it's absolutely soapy enough to use as a bubble bar or shampoo as well as soap.
Unfortunately however, I have the same problem with Fun as I do the jellies from Lush. I love the idea of them, and it's super interesting and inventive, but I find them kind of impractical to actually use. As with the jellies, you can't really do anything with the chunks of Fun once you've gotten them wet, apart from use them up. Which means you only want to use small chunks at a time to save wasting them, but it's pretty awkward trying to wash yourself with a tiny, slippery blob. However, if you have kids who are totally resistant to washing without some kind of distraction, I can see that this would be pretty darn effective.
The loot bag also included the new Christmas themed lip products Santa Baby lip tint and Santa's Lip Scrub, both bright red unsurprisingly.
Lush Lip Scrubs are one of those things that I know perfectly well I COULD just make for myself if I really wanted to - they are essentially just castor sugar and coconut oil. However, the Lush ones are so deliciously flavoured and scented I occasionally splash out and get one. Santa's Lip Scrub is fizzy cola flavoured, and oh my lord it's SO TASTY. I don't even care if it's any good for my lips or not, it smells and tastes like a bagful of gummy coke bottles, and if I didn't think the coconut oil would make me sick I would eat this stuff with a spoon.
I'm still trying to decide where I stand on Santa Baby however. I have a couple of Lush's other lip tints, because they feel good on the lips and the little tins are sturdy enough to throw in my bag. This one however is really, REALLY pigmented. It's almost more of a lipstick than a lip tint, and after a disastrous attempt trying to apply it with my fingers like my other lip tints, I used a cotton bud (in lieu of a lip brush) to have another bash.
It's neat that it's so pigmented, because it really does only need the tiniest amount to get full coverage. However, it unfortunately has about the same staying power as the other lip tints - which is to say virtually none. This is a comparison of my bare lips, to how this application of Santa Baby looked after one meal and a coffee.
With the more sheer lip tints, the lack of staying power doesn't matter because it isn't particularly obvious when it wears off, but I have a strong suspicion I would be reapplying this one approximately every ten minutes. I might wear it in the future over a good solid coat of lip liner or lip stain, but even then I would have to be careful to avoid leaving smeary reddish pink prints on everything.
And last but definitely not least, we have Sikkim Girls body lotion, scented with the Gorilla perfume of the same name.
I am absolutely in love with the Sikkim Girls fragrance - it's the lovely balance between sweet and bitter that I just love, and reminds me a lot of my Mr. Nancy BPAL oil. Instead of the sugar cookies in Mr. Nancy Sikkim Girls uses jasmine as it's central, sweet theme, with a little vanilla and Darjeeling tea to sharpen up the sweetness of the jasmine and vanilla. This lotion is also so strongly perfumed that if you put it on at night before bed, you'll still be sniffing your own skin delightedly at lunch the next day, so while it's an expensive product it's pretty darn good value. However, just a note if you have very sensitive skin - you might want to go easy on this lotion. While there are lots of oils and butters in this that make it feel super creamy and moisturising, I could also feel a little dryness and ever so slight itching once the butters had sunk in, presumably from the perfume. I imagine it would be a bit more likely to cause a reaction in very sensitive skin than most of the other Lush creams. But oh my, it just smells SO, so good.
Phew! So that's my thoughts on this huge slab of delicious smelling goodness. What do you think of the Lush Christmas range? Anything screaming out at you to be bought?