nanaya: Dragon cuddling car (wuv)
[personal profile] nanaya
Yes, it's what you've all been waiting for! The latest limited edition specials are here, and they're better than I expected. So, without further ado:

The Ex-Factor ballistic
– lots of vanilla in this year's Valentine's range. TEF, in keeping with what seems to be this year's theme (sweet, light, a bit floral) is also a fairly airy proposition, and of course it makes sure the Lush factory can use their gingerbread person moulds again! This effervesces delighfully and leaves the whole bath a brilliant turquoise barely two shades away from the ballistic itself, while the scent itself is excellently set off by the synthetic musk, which gives it something of an energising prod. It seems to have had a positive effect on my mood, certainly, so I have to give it a thumbs up for that. Incidentally, while Lush Times doesn't appear to mark this as vegan, the website does, so I think that was just a printing oversight. 6.5/10

Would I buy this again? I think so.

The Frog Prince ballistic
[personal profile] alextiefling – cute shape! Bright red lips contrast with the slightly lurid green body of the frog, which is otherwise similar to Avobath in appearance. In terms of fragrance, it is both more citrus and more herbal in fragrance, but has a similarly balanced quality in terms of its scent blend. The cocoa butter is barely noticeable except in the composition of the red lips; it had little noticeable effect on my skin, which felt nice afterwards but not particularly buttery. The two components of the ballistics (lips and body) dissolve at different speeds, meaning the bright red lips remain visible after the frog's features have dissolved, and then themselves dissolve into an oily red residue which dissipates rapidly and fortunately doesn't leave red marks. The final surprise comes when the frog's body discloses a paper portrait of a 'handsome prince' (actually a Lush employee wearing what looks like a Burger King crown); in my case, the bore the motto, “Prince Brahim was made to kiss you”. Very amusing. A pleasant and relaxing bath, 8/10, would kiss the Frog Prince again!

- the bag label describes the little frog as “verdant”, and that's a good word to use, because my immediate thought on smelling it was “green”. Not the green of Grass or Tramp, which are unreservedly wild scents, but more of a cottage flower garden. Stronger than Love Birds but still a relatively gentle fragrance, the jasmine and ylang ylang made for a charmingly fresh floral combination which actually, shock, makes one think of live flowers rather than a vase-bound bouquet. The ballistic is fast-acting and fizzes vigorously to give a bright green bath; its little lips (like those from the Fever massage bar) are fatty and dissolve in a thin stream of red (slightly worrying, but it dissipates), presumably being where much of the cocoa butter from the ballistic is concentrated. It's not too greasy a bath, though, nothing like a Butterball.

Would I buy this again? Probably, but not obsessively. A cute gift.

It's Raining Men shower gel
– OK, I'm impressed. I enjoyed this far more than I expected. IRM is described as having the Honey I Washed The Kids fragrance, but honestly, quite a few Lush products have said that, and they're all subtly different. The medium matters (on which point I should say the gel itself is moderately thick and opaque while lathering well). This does indeed have the honey-toffee quality, but again, like all this season's products, it's light, and it's also got a really juicy balance of florals and citrus which makes the overall smell positively edible. The lotus and tiger lily elements give prominence to the flower-honey base, while the sweet orange is really noticeable; it might be that or it might be the bergamot, but something pushes the scent into overdrive. Positively wakeful without being sharp. I'm so going to be stocking up on this one. 9/10

Would I buy this again? HELL YES. Not vegan though, obv, although the rest of the range is.

Love Birds soap
– really, really creamy. That's the first thing I noticed about Love Birds. White and fairly soft (with a little decorative coloured motif, ever so slightly reminiscent of the borders around Russian folk art), this has only the slightest lathering effect and mostly produces a luscious white coating which smoothes onto the skin. If this were old-school Lush, it would probably have been a buttercream and, indeed, like the new soap versions of buttercreams, one obvious downside of it is that it gets used up relatively quickly, although I still got a lot out of my little testing sliver. As to the smell, it's very light, gentle enough that it's hard to dislike. I initially worried that a combination of vanilla and jasmine could be unpleasantly oppressive (not helped by Lush's own description of it as “fluffy, girly and exceedingly sweet (but not sickly)), but it was actually Keep It Fluffy, a fragrance I found dull in ballistics (see elsewhere) yet think is a great idea here. It's not a strong smell at all, and is sometimes barely noticeable (remember of course that my sense of smell sucks!); I get a bit of not-too-sugary vanilla and only the tiniest touch of jasmine, so fear not if you're a jasmine-hater. Love Birds should be tried by people with delicate skins and sensibilities; people who dislike perfumed cosmetics may find this to be helpfully unobtrusive, and after fairly extensive washing with it I find my skin not dry but soft and ever-so-slightly fragrant. Mm. 7.5/10

Would I buy this again? Yes, definitely.

Magic Mushroom bubble bar – it's Super Mario bath time! Makes total sense to me as a Valentine's product, because we know Mario & Princess Peach were aaaaaall about the romance. These came out last year and, like an idiot, I failed to pick any up, so this is my first time as well (ooer), and yes, the terrible puns are back again. The overall fragrance is strawberries & cream (ie strawberry milkshake), but it's not spread evenly throughout the mushroom; the cap contains the strawberry scent while the stalk is vanilla, so you can choose how much you want in the bath at once. That said, you will need at least half for a properly deep and foamy bath. It produces a fair amount of large, semi-stiff bubbles which will very slowly collapse over the course of a long soak. The water turns a flamboyant pinky-red shade but the aroma overall is fairly gentle and sweet, not sharp. This would be good for children's baths as it's cute and fun and smells like sweets. It's not at all chic or sophisticated, but it's nonetheless enjoyable for all that. Doesn't leave much scent on the skin. 6.5/10

Would I buy this again? I might, in the right mood. It's not going to be one of my favourites, but I did enjoy it, and I like edible-smelling baths.

Lush has also released 2 new gifts for VD, the smaller P.S. I Love You and the moderately-priced hatbox Be Mine. Both are a mix of existing and new limited edition products themed towards sex & romance. I'm not going to buy and review them individually because there's nothing they contain that I now haven't tried and I'm not made of money, sadly, but I will say that the smaller gift is vegan and is more shower-orientated, while Be Mine contains a bath melt and It's Raining Men and is therefore a bit less versatile. Pretty box though.

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