Crazy For Handmade Cosmetics
I love the feeling that the weather is starting to make a change, yes it’s a little sad that summer is fading out, but you know what that sharp bite to the air, the cool early morning dog walks have a new invigorating feel to them.
I’ve squeezed the last gloopy blob out of my tubes of factor 50 (yup, the trials of being fair skinned and freckly) and, as is becoming common, when I finish up with one product I figure it is time to look around and see if what I can do to change up my routine.
I love make up, I love to try out heaps of new and looks and styles. And, when the seasons change it is the perfect time to try something new.
Well, my friends, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing! For the last four weeks I’ve switched up my beauty routine and boy and I happy that I made the change.
Lush is one of my favourite high street stores. I adore the heady perfumed air, the magical atmosphere that is the perfect hybrid between a sweet shop and an sorcerer’s workshop (do sorcerer’s have workshop?) So, when the lovely folks over at Lush sent me over a package fit to bursting with handmade cosmetics to give my beauty regime a bit of a shake up, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
As a firm fan of the ethics and philosophy behind the company I was super excited to get stuck in and give these little items a try, and to be fair to them and myself, I’ve been using these products, and these alone for the last month to see if these really could give my facial routine the wake up call it so desperately needed.
As we are all unique, Lush understands that not all products will be The One for everyone, that the ‘one size fits all’ mentality isn’t always the best approach. So, it probably wont come as much of a surprise when I tell you that the guys that take the time to hand make all the cosmetics, make up, bath and shower ranges over at Lush will be happy to take the time to talk about your skin, and find just the right product to suit you.
Let’s talk about me. Or rather, let’s talk about my skin. Alongside being pale with freckles, I have combinations skin and (desite trying to deny it) a few wrinkles (let’s call these laughter lines for the sake of argument). What’s more, I’m a sensitive soul, of course I am, so stingy, super heaviy fragrances or highly coloured beauty products are a big no no for me. So, let’s see what we got!
Angels On Bare Skin, £6.35 per 100g pot
This is a lavender scented cleanser that is mixed up with a bit of water to create a paste to apply to your face and then rinsed away with clean water.
The Promise On The Pot: Reduced redness, improves health and appearance of the skin creates a glowing complexion.
The Daily Routine: This cleanser looks a little odd when you first open it. It’s a yellow-grey colour peppered with dried lavender. The directions are that you mix a pea sized-blob with warm water to from a paste. The mixture straight away turns milky with the water and needs to be blended well to create an even consistency. The paste is rubbed over your face to cleanse the skin before being washed away with fresh warm water.
My Lush Beauty Hack: Did I follow the directions? For the most part, yes, I did also customise the products to suit my needs – which I thought was a super benefit of theis style of cleanser. In the mornings, I used this product in the shower, to I used slightly more than the recommended pea-size (think more like a gobstopper size) and made the paste to the suggested consistency, but I applied it to my face, neck and decolletage. Sounds a little excessive I know, but this is the area that has seen the most of this year’s think gloopy factor 50 sunscreen and it certainly gave my skin a bit of a boost. In the evenings, I wanted to take full advantage of the rich lavender scent, and made the paste much thicker, not so that that it’s cakey, but thick enough that once smeared on the skin it wouldn’t drip milky liquid into my eyes. I left this on a type of face mask while I got busy with all my other pre-bedtime prep, the lavender scent is so soothing it make the best pre-sleep chill out I’ve ever known. It did leave my skin feeling heavenly when I washed it away, perhaps this much also be a great pre-party make up trick, when you want your skin to look tip-top!
The Verdict: All of the material, on the website and in store, suggests that you will need to give the products a fair trial before noticing the full results. I would have to disagree. As I said, from the first use I was sold on this product, the way that you apply it and cleanse, the rich lavender scent, the consistency. But, within a week I was already starting to feel a difference to my skin, my skin tone is fairly even – with the exception of freckles – but I my pores were less visible and the surface of my skin felt much smoother and more supple. After 10 days, I started to get complements on my complexion! Now when other folk notice you know your ding something right – let’s remember though, I’m using a combination of products here, so this could be the magic of all of them combined to some extent or another. I love the way that I could tailor the consistency of the mixture, particularly making it thicker for a more face pack effect for soothing evenings, but, if you’re a disposable, make-up remover wipe kind of gal, you might find that this is all a little too much fuss for you, you might want to try out a tester size pot to see if you’re happy with the making mud-pies addition to your routine!
Ultrabland, £6.96 per 45g pot
Ultra gentle, thick oil based cleanser – designed to be suitable on all skin types, even the most sensitive.
The Promise on the Pot: A rich thick oil based cleanser that softens the skin whilst removing dirt, grime and make up.
The Daily Routine: A small dab of this thick oil based cleanser is smoothed over the skin and removed with a damp cotton pad.
My Lush Beauty Hack: The rich thick oily nature of this cleanser makes this a great for taking off make up with staying power. As a fan of long wear gel eyeliner, I’ve never found a product that removes it full – often cleansing in the evening and waking up to find dark residue in my eyelashes the next day – yuk. I found that, working on one eye at a time, slathering the lashes with a coating of Ultrabland, leaving to do it’s work for a few minutes, then sweeping away removed all the sticky gloppy end-of-the-evening mascara and eyeliner mess with out the slightest problem. Rather than using cotton pads – I used eco-friendly make up remover pads.
Love The Planet, Washable Cleansing Pads, £ 6.50 for set of five, with mesh storage and wash bag.
These terry cloth pads are perfect for dampening to wipe off the cleanser and the grime and are washable and reusable so they make the perfect partner to this cleanser. Having not tried to clean the cleanser off with plain old cotton pads (as we don’t have any in the house) I wonder whether you may need to use quite a few as the cleanser is super rich and can take a couple of wipes to fully remove.
The Verdict: This is described as one of the Lush Desert Island products and I guess they are band on with that – whilst I used it as part of a regime with other Lush Products I can see that it would make a great stand alone product
Lush also recommends that if you have problem skin to ditch all other products and simply use Ultrabland alone for a month until your skin clears up and corrects itself. Now, I can’t vouch for this, because during my time trialing the range of products my skin didn’t break out – not once, not even a single pimple…coincidence? I think not! But, it’s good to know that this could be just the zit zapper we need in emergencies! The fragrance isn’t as delicious as some of the other products, so I found that I did like to follow up with a moisturiser or a little splash of Angles – just because they smell so damn fine!
Imperialis, £12.75 per 45g pot
A lotion-feel moisturiser that is suitable for both day and evening application.
The Promise on the Pot: A light emulsion that allows the combination of plant infusions to be effectively delivered to the skin.
The Daily Routine: After cleansing a few dabs of this light lotion is applied to the surface of the skin, to soothe and moisturise the surface.
My Lush Beauty Hack: This most important thing to remember when using this product is that it is, as described, an emulsion, meaning that it has a silky, light lotion feel that is great on the skin. But, it does meant that it’s very easy to apply too much, or to spill it. Over applying will leave your skin super shiny and feeling heavy – but I guess that’s a given, right? Getting the right amount isn’t as tricky as you might think. Dipping your finger tips into the pot and applying in small dabs is the best easy to get the right amount of the product onto your skin. It also means that you can work back over any super dry areas and give them a little boost too.
The Verdict: Once I got to grips with my ‘portion control’ I found this to be a dreamy face cream perfect for day and evening use. The scent is delicious and not too strong that it is off putting if you do need to slather more on to those dry patches. This also helped to account for the price – I had originally thought that this was quite steep for a relatively small amount – but, when you consider that a little of this really does go a long way, the cost makes a whole heap more sense! I found that this left my skin feeling smooth and fresh, allowing it to fully absorb into the skin before applying make up is a must – but, I find this to be true with most moisturisers. I did notice that this sat better under standard moisturisers – which I pick for ‘special occasion’ make up when I’m looking for more coverage. but found that when used with a BB Creme or tinted moisturiser – my daily staples in my make up purse – that it did leave the surface of my skin shiny – perhaps this is best teamed with a Foundation from the Lush Cosmetics range?!
Love Lettuce, £5.95 per 75g pot
A fresh face mask to cleanse, exfoliate and soften the skin.
The Promise on the Pot: Recommended for clearing away the dead skin, with ingredients selected to brighten and soften the skin.
The Daily Routine: Smooth over cleansed skin, avoiding delicate eye areas, and relax while the potion does it’s work. Add a small amount of water and rub in circular motions to activate the exfoliant properties and then fully rinse away with fresh water.
My Lush Beauty Hack: It seems that there are six applications in the pot, either I have a small face or wasn’t slathering on as much as suggested, as I managed to get another few applications from the pot. This has to be stored in the fridge, and when it’s tucked in there and not it the bathroom, out of sight out of mind, it is all too easy to forget that you have it. As this is a fresh mask, it really needs to be used with in the recommended timeframe – now I don’t know what will happen as I managed to use my sample pot up in the allotted time, but I assume that it just wont be as lovely as it previously was. In order to ensure that none of mine went to waste – I again used this on my neck and decolletage – I know that does sound like the kind of thing a princess might do! But, it did give my
The Verdict: The exfoliation was just the right balance of gritty, but not too gritty, no one wants to have sore skin after the experience. It does leave your skin tingly fresh, although dry areas can feel a little tight – but, that’s nothing a dab of moisturiser can’t solve. My daily lifestyle doesn’t allow me the time to have a face mask every day – and with the exfoliant properties here, it might be best to keep this to a once or twice a week pick me up for your skin.
Switching up your beauty routine, especially if you have problem or sensitive skin, can feel like a bit of a gamble- is it worth risking a breakout or irritation just to try something new? I say, if you can get expert advice, which the teams over at the Lush store are super happy to offer – then you can find something new – and handmade – to shake up your beauty routine, without any nasty side effects!
If you need me, I’ll be continuing to pamper myself with these heavenly handmade cosmetics, and when these are finished up, I’ll be hitting my local store to stock up on more and find out what other treats I should try – do you have any recommendations? What’s your favourite Lush product or what are you dying to try out?