I have been using Lush Caca products for several years now. After using the Caca Noir and the Caca Marron I have pretty much switched over permanently to the Caca Rouge for a number of reasons. Mostly because I find the indigo gets very drippy and really doesn't have that much effect. Here's some of my expert pointers on use: 1) Don't grind or cut it up! Put the squares you want to use in a zip lock bag. Then stick that in another bag. Then get out a rubber mallet and pound away on it (or if you have weak little tyranosaurus rex arms like me, have your hubby or brother or whatever do it). Powders it within 5 minutes. If you don't have a rubber mallet, stick the bags between two layers of cardboard and use a hammer. 2) I mix mine with cinnamon/cardamom tea (for scent and the tannins) and add lemon juice and clove powder. If it ends up too thin, I add a little extra loose henna from the local indian grocery. I do this the night before and then heat it up in a double boiler the next day. 3) Summer is the best time to henna. The sun keeps the henna warm and helps the color set for one. For two? RINSE THE HENNA OUT OUTSIDE WITH A HOSE. This will save you hours of clean up and frustration! Hours. I also have my husband apply the henna outside, as this cuts down on mess. Seriously, take it outside. You will be 1000% happier. 4) If I get a bug to henna during the winter or other inclement weather, I rinse out in the laundry sink or the kitchen sink. JUST NOT THE BATHTUB FOR GODS SAKE. Again, saves on a huge amount of clean up time. Do the final rinse in the shower, but to get most of it out, either do it outside or in a non porcelain (or already messy) sink. 5) Hold off on shampooing as much as possible. The longer you wait, the longer your henna will last, at least in my experience. 6) Get someone to help with the application. My husband loves to put it in because, as he points out, how often do you get to slop mud in your wife's hair with her permission? 7) Seriously, leave it in 4 hours MINIMUM and preferably longer. And make sure you get some heat into the mix. It should be just as hot as you can stand it going on, and then either sit in the sun for a good portion of the time or get your hairdryer out and blow hot air on it occasionally.
I have to admit that I'm doing this on short use (three days) but I was looking forward to this product for a long time and for me it's just in time as I prefer to use tinted moisturizers in summer and already own a plethora of Lush moisturizers. I was a little worried when I read the descriptions of the four shades that I wouldn't find one that would work for me. Light Pink sounded as if it would definitely be too dark, and my skin is not particularly yellow toned. The two darker shades I knew for a fact would not work. However, after trying them out at the store it turned out that light yellow is pretty much perfect for me. I have applied so far only with moisturizers (ultralight and paradise regained) and have found that this product mixes smoothly, goes on smoothly, and has not been breaking down on my skin as some other foundations to on me. It was a bit shiny (those are both heavier moisturizers) but loose powder fixed that up in a jiffy. I may try it with one of the 'lighter' moisturizers like Enzymion or Gorgeous in the near future to see if that has an effect. I used the un-mixed product as a light concealer and then applied the mixed with either fingers or a beautyblender sponge. Both ways worked satisfactorily. I took off the lippy mainly due to the severe lack of shades, which I hope that Lush as an international and diverse company will fix sooner rather than later. Also, if you are using this product straight it will be prohibitively expensive, but if you're mixing it with your moisturizer that you'd buy anyway? A great deal.
Skincare - Face -NADS - No-Heat Hair Removal Gel Facial Wand
Oblinsa 1/7/2010 9:51:00 PM
This is the best facial hair removal product I have tried. I use this once every month or so, to shape my eyebrows and remove stray hairs on my upper lip. The process is very simple and easy to do, though you do have to keep some things in mind. Use the cleansing wipes provided, or a toner that has alcohol in it. If the product you use says moisturizing, Put It Down. There can't be any oils on your skin or hair or this product simply will not stick. For this reason, especially if you have dry skin, only use the pads on the areas you plan to be using this on. Warm the wand beforehand. Some people have mentioned putting it in hot water, but that's too much trouble for me. I generally stick it in the crook of my bent knee while I shine my toenails or under my arm while I wash my face. Body heat is warm enough. Make sure you put the cap back on tightly. Anything less than a perfect seal and the gel will start to dehydrate and get gummy. I find it's also helpful to draw the shape of brow I want on with white pencil before applying the Nads to make sure I get the right hairs. Rub those strips (by the way, they are reusable. you don't even have to 'wash' them, just swish them for a minute or two in hot water and then dry them on a towel.) down good and solid when you put them on top of the gel, then hold your skin taut and pull fast. I love that it just washes off with water from my skin. You do have to take care for the next few days to gently exfoliate and/or use toner to make sure that you don't get ingrown hairs that cause those pimples and red bumps. They need to lower the price or develop a wand that can use refill cartridges though. That would make this about a perfect product. I hate paying so much to get the same tool over and over again.
I'm really enjoying the Lush sugar scrubs. I used to use Ocean Salt quite often, but was worried about what that salt might do to my skin (very drying, and it's already very dry here!). I needed an alternative especially for Winter and these are it. Fairy Tale is a specifically Christmas only promotion, though now that the season is over it's pretty easy to find it cheap in the discount wrapped gifts. I've got three of these little puppies waiting, and have used two. My suggestion is to get a knife and using it as a chisel break it in half. One is far too large for a single use, and they don't keep well because the sugar on the outside solidifies together and turns hard and sharp. Also, it's expensive for one use, but not too bad for two uses. You needn't break it up further. Hold the chunk in your hand and rub onto warm wet skin in the shower. That will work just fine and it's not meant to lather. As you use it, it will dissolve and leave a lovely smell and moisturizing oils on your skin. Watch for the string. The eyes are soft chocolates, and will dissolve along with the sugar mouse. I find this smells especially delicious with I Love Juicy shampoo and American Cream conditioner. It is more on the creamy candy side, I wish they'd come out with a spicy version.
My lippies might not show it, but I absolutely love this lipstick. I am realistic though about the drawbacks of the product. First the good: Most of the colors are absolutely wonderful. I never used to wear dark lipsticks because they always seemed to look 'off' on me, but with these? I wear red to work and feel gorgeous rather than like I'm making a scene. The shades and tones are very sophisticated and adult. Special favorites of mine are Chocolate Kiss, Champagne, Merlot, and Cherry Red. Then the 'meh': They are small (though I find that cute, and they fit v. well in my dressy purse) so you will go through them fast if you use them like a regular lipstick. Remember that they're highly pigmented and use a brush and you should get much more use. The 'ugh': 1) Gold Lame as a color is unattractive, at least to me, but on top of that it's grainy.. the texture is not pleasant whatsoever. 2) The lipsticks are not always well seated in the tube. I've had two Chocolate Kiss come loose in the tube, one I could re-seat, but the other one I had to put into another container. 3) At least one color is gone forever, and of course, it's going to be hard to find the rest soon. Do so while you can, especially with the reds. They're worth it.
Powder -Make Up For Ever - Duo Mat Powder foundation
Oblinsa 9/26/2009 3:49:00 PM
I don't generally wear powder foundation, this is one of only two that I have used in over twenty years after a round of them in the 80's when I was a teen. The ones back then were horrible, and that caused me to walk a wide berth around powder and wet/dry foundations since then. A couple of years ago, I tried Besame powder foundation (after all, it was in the little vanity case I so adored) and found that it was absolutely wonderful for my complexion and for 'light days' when I didn't want to go with full foundation but still wanted to somewhat even and mattify my skin tone. And then.. they sold out. Horrors! Sorrow! Wailing and gnashing of teeth! *ahem* So I went about trying to find a replacement. I can't stand the mineral foundations because I find that they give my skin a sickly sheen, so I wanted something matte and easy to carry around. After working with several in Sephora (and have you ever gone into Sephora with no makeup on whatsoever? One feels positively naked!) I narrowed it down to MUFE and Dior. Hard choice, as I have fairly good experiences with Dior's liquid foundations, and absolutely horrible experience with MUFE's liquid foundations. But the cost and color match won me over. I haven't tried this wet, as the whole point is something to use when I'm not using my liquid foundations. Dry, it goes on smoothly and blends well. I tend to either put it on really simply with just a medium sized powder brush all over if I'm just running errands, or if I'm going to work I apply it with a small cover up brush under the eyes, around the nose, on little red bits, then a sponge to the nose and forehead (T-zone!) and finally the powder brush all over with extra blending. I find it stays fairly matte for hours and evens things out without looking at all unnatural. It's not quite as good as the unattainable Besame foundation, and I took a lippy off the packaging because it's absolutely gorgeous and sleek and stable, but.. a chip came off the plastic on the back on the second day. So I've had to be careful of it ever since.
Treatments -LUSH - Jasmine & Henna Fluff Eaze Hair Treatment
Oblinsa 9/26/2009 3:35:00 PM
I use this product about once a month, more if I can get away with it. My hair is fine and straight, but there's a lot of it, and it comes down to my shoulderblades in back. I find that I use about 1/4 of the tub with each use. I don't so much use the product to 'ease fluff' as I do to cut down on split/damaged ends and hold static at bay, and because of the amazing scent. Unfortunately, it's due to the scent that I can't wear it often. Not that I mind it or find it's too strong, I don't at all. However it's noticeable and longish lasting (through at least two shampoos) and I have a job where we can't wear perfume or noticeably scented products, so I can only use this on three day weekends and the like. Application is easy. I start with dry hair and section into three parts (front, sides) and then start at the roots and work my way down, adding extra dabs to the ends. Then I put the whole thing up in a bun and go about my business for a half hour or so, waxing or doing nails or whatever other pre-shower chores there might be. Once in the shower I let it heat up a bit in the steam and then take it down and rinse it out. When using this I generally use the Godiva solid shampoo, as the scents layer well. I find that I don't need another conditioner except in the very driest of dry winter. It also layers well with Flying Fox shower gel, silky underwear powder, etc, which I appreciate quite a lot. Took off a lippy because it is not, and cannot ever be, as good as the sadly demised Arabian Bright hair treatment. *sigh*
I am a big fan of the Guerlain loose kohls, but I already owned the three easily attainable colors that I was going to actually use (black, brun, and oriental metal) and I wanted some more variety, especially lighter. I decided to give this product a try. The packaging is nice, not as luxe as Guerlains but with a modern/streamlined elegance. I'd still like a flat bottom on these, as I can't juggle the stick, jar, and application at the same time, but that's a small quibble. I use the eastern method to apply the Guerlains, but the stick on the HIP kohl has a soft spongy tip and that makes fully closing the lid around it difficult. However, the softness makes a bottom waterline only application very easy, and I can see it being a much less intimidating applicator for newbies or those who can't stomach the eastern method. I have fairly sensitive eyes (after two surgeries) and have found that this product is fine for long term wear though it is slightly more irritating than the Guerlain version right after application. You can feel it like a dryness if you get the powder in your eye, but it is not painful and goes away quickly. I found that this liner had fairly good staying power, and very little fallout. The slightly yellow tone made my whites look somewhat whiter, but the effect was pretty subtle. You can wear this look during the day. It's certainly more expensive than pencil liners, but once you get used to it, much easier to work with, and no sharpening, no breaking, etc. This product is not as good as the Guerlain loose kohl, but for the price it's an amazingly affordable substitute. I say, go for it.
Boy, this stuff was hard to find and impossible to get any to test. In the end I had to buy it sight unseen. But I'm glad I did so. I watched the Youtube videos on Eastern application before I even got it, and was able to get perfect application with just three tries. It goes on smoothly, is not irritating to my eyes at all (very important to me as I have had eye surgeries). Be aware that if applying Eastern style (by pinching the wand between your lids with your eyes closed) you will get some into your eye. If you are squeamish about this, think twice. It simply washes into the corner, where you can smudge it out with a q-tip or if it's not too bad, leave it there to make eyes look a bit more dramatically tilted. Staying power is very good on me, and I still look a bit dramatic the next day. Applying this in the more usual outside lashline manner would probably be difficult and messy, but do-able. My only negative issues with this product are the difficulty to attain it, the cost (yay FF2008 on Sephora, lemme tell you) and the design of the bottle. Don't get me wrong. I think the bottles are gorgeous. They have pride of place on top of my vanity table. But actual application takes two hands, and the bottles naturally lie on their side... think about that and you can see how it might be a problem when applying. I have to carefully lean them against something else to hold them while I apply. A little stand would be a lovely thing. I haven't had any troubles with pigment falling off the wand onto my cheek during application. I tap it firmly before using. But I generally just take precaution by applying loose powder thickly under my eyes before applying this, then brushing it off after.
I absolutely love Jungle, especially during the summer months. The smell is incredible, and it does wonders for my hair (shoulderblade length, very straight, fine but lots of it with dry ends and tendency to oily near the scalp). I'm not sure what all this talk is about the necessary extra step of turning it into a creme or melting it? I follow the instructions as written. In the shower, with hair hot from rinsing, run the bar down the hair shaft. I let it sit for a few minutes while I shave or use a gel, then rinse out under hot water. It feels a little tangly and weird right after rinsing, but just hold off until your hair has dried a little! My comb goes right through my usually tangle-prone hair after it's dried a bit. The scent on this is absolutely lovely, especially if you like green and herbal. It can be strong though, so beware if you have a low-fragance workplace. Another great thing? Perfect for travel, no worries about one ounce bottles or checking. Toss it in your bag with a solid shampoo and you're good to go!
I was very tentative about buying this product. I'm generally not one for spending a large amount on one piece, and I don't generally wear concealer at all. I have to say that I am simply blown away by the quality of this palette. I received the Light palette, and will break down my review into parts. Concelear: Until now, I rarely used concealer. This one has changed my mind. Goes on very smooth, blends perfectly, doesn't crease or sink into my pores. Disappears under the powder. Powder: Though it's not listed as such, this seems to be the same as the Cashmere powder foundation. I got very good coverage out of this, such that I used it as my only foundation on skin (I have ruddy cheeks and always wear foundation). Stays matte for hours, no caking/sinking into pores in my experience. Blush: I thought this color too pale for me, it looks very, very pale pink in the palette. But it perked up my cheeks just enough. Went on and blended very easily. Eyeshadows: Shimmer Beige, Socialite Brown, and Black. All of these colors worked very well together, with the Beige lovely as either a highlight or full lid application. These colors go on very, very smoothely, feeling almost creamy, and have great lasting power. Case: Beautiful gold-tone metal case with burgundy trim. Even the palette on the inside has the burgundy, making it look that little touch more classy. Feels very sturdy in the hand. My only complaint is that the mirror is very small for the case. I also would have wished for a little less of the eye shadows and more of the concealer and powder. I have the feeling I'll run out of those long before iz even really dent the eye shadow. I highly suggest getting this while you still can. Add a lipstick, mascara and some small brushes, and you'd be set for travel.