On the 5th day of LUSHmas….

…my LUSHIE gave to me…

THE CHRISTMAS PENGUIN!!!!!

**I am incredibly excited and proud to present this guest blog post by my best friend Laurie, who blogs over at http://hengilasinn.wordpress.com/   **

When your best friend works at a Lush store, it’s amazing how you are magically inundated with Lush paraphernalia. Constantly. It’s also incredible how often you hear the word “Lush” or “product” or “OMG REVOLUTIONARY”. It’s approximately 356,983 times.

Sooner or later, this inundation of information becomes something else.

JEDI MIND TRICKS.

And slowly you begin to think you truly cannot LIVE without Lush products.

One day, about 2 weeks before your college graduation, you find yourself and your cracked-out-from-studying-brain walking into a place filled with infinite goodness, light, and warmth. Yes. A Lush store with all its magical beauty. Your best friend has been programming your mind with suggestions of bergamot oil for the last few days. So the first thing you find yourself saying to the sales person is, “I NEED SOMETHING WITH BERGAMOT IN IT!!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD I NEED TO RELAXXXXXXX!!!!! SAVE ME!!!!!!!”

Oh wait. I mean… “Um… what bath bombs have bergamot oil in them??”

After a thorough tour of bath bombs, something else attracts your eye. Something with a shiny orange beak that is like a flame in the night.

THE CHRISTMAS PENGUIN.

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This is not a bath bomb, ladies and gentlemen. No. It is far more… refined… than that. This is an animal filled with bubbly bliss that will transform your bathtub to a serene float above the clouds.

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I’m not kidding.

Soon after my visit to the magical store, I decide it’s time for the penguin to show me its lovely Christmas tricks. The Lush website promises it will deliver relaxation after a long, stressful day.

Boy, did it ever.

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The scent of bergamot oil and orange flower is not overwhelming. In looking at the lovely blue water and fluffy white bubbles, I felt as if I was sitting in the middle of a cloud, and that’s exactly how it smelled. Light, sweet, and divine. Like I was going to float right up to heaven.

Technically, The Christmas Penguin is a bubble bar, so unlike bath bombs, it creates bubbles. But it also contains sodium bicarbonate, which means it still softens your bath water. My skin felt like Cupid’s bottom afterwards, if that tells you anything about how effective THAT was.

In order to use it, you hold it under the flowing water…

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Bye bye, penguin. 😦

HELLO AWESOME!!!

This thing created mounds of bubbles that had some great staying power. They were still sticking around 20 minutes later.
Also, I warn you… don’t put the penguin down on the side of your tub, or you will cry from seeing this…

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Poor baby penguin! 😦 THANK YOU FOR SACRIFICING YOUR LIFE FOR MY RELAXATION!!!!!! 😦 😦 😦

Needless to say, after I gathered up the melted remains of the penguin, scattered them in my bath, then sank into the soft blue water…well, I was on cloud 9. Almost literally. All my stress and worry melted away. School? What did school matter in this heavenly realm? I was above that. I was ENLIGHTENED. I was… a GODDESS. Which is exactly how I always feel after I get out of a Lush bath. Like a goddess. My body feels absolutely beautiful.

All joking aside, this is why I have to recommend Lush.

Every woman deserves to feel completely happy about her body.

Every woman deserves to look at her body and feel like a goddess.

That’s why I am telling you all to go out and invest in this, in yourself. With a Christmas Penguin or otherwise.  So that you, too, can forget for a moment all the things you hate about your body and remember what you love.

We are guided by imagery, so I leave you with this last picture:

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Everyone deserves to be this blissed out. And I promise you, being Jedi Mind Tricked into this beauty madness was totally worth it.

CARLY’S TURN!!!!!

I don’t know about ya’ll, but that guest post totally just transported me into…desperately wanting a soak in the tubbie! 🙂

I’m not here to steal Laurie’s thunder – I just have a couple of notes to add!

#1: Unfortunately, since Christmastime is now past, the Christmas Penguin is sold out until next year. But now since you’ve read this blog, you’re totally gonna save up your moolah so you can Speedy Gonzales your butt over to the nearest LUSH store next Christmas, aren’t ya? AREN’T YA?!?!

#2: Laurie was desperate for bergamot oil. Whether or not you realize it, you are probably desperate for bergamot oil too. FOR GOOD REASON. Bergamot is this fantastic essential oil derived from an orange fruit of the same name. It’s also God’s way of reminding you that he loves you and wants you to be happy. BECAUSE. When your sniffer takes in that bergamot essential oil, it travels all the way up to your brain and RELEASES THE SERATONIN! Otherwise known as your body’s depression fighter. Remember that movie Happy Feet, featuring the happiest little damn penguin in the entire world? That’s how YOU’RE going to feel, and all because of a penguin.

#3: The Christmas Penguin is even more wonderful when paired up with the bath bomb Sakura. I felt surrounded by cherry blossoms and happiness.

#4: These bubbles DO have a crazy staying power. I cheated a little, in the best way possible. When the water started getting colder, I was not ready to leave. So I emptied the bath out a bit, and turned on the hot water again. That hot action brought forth even MOAR BUBBLES.

Things that my family did while I bathed:

My husband built an entire lego set.

My mother-in-law knitted an entire baby hat for a doll.

My sister-in-law made almost an entire gingerbread house village.

And my father-in-law watched all of Die Hard 4.

Yeah.

Thank you, Christmas Penguin. You will not soon be forgotten.

xo Carly & Laurie xo

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On the 4th day of LUSHmas, the sequel!

Okay, The Voice, you did it. You got my fears, my cheers and my happy tears. Now let’s get this story DONE!

Just a quick recap:

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turned into…

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with a little help from my friends.

The Curly Wurly.

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This is my shampoo. And believe it or not, I’ve already used it 8 times over the past 2 weeks. It’s crazy how full this pot still looks. A little bit goes a long way! Chock full of actual coconut, eggs, lemon juice and avocado oil, Curly Wurly is a rich hair spa of moisture and shine. What I do is scoop about a tablespoon out into my wet palm and then work it into a lather before I even put it into my hair. The first time I tried Curly Wurly, I just put it straight on, and then had the unpleasant task of trying to rinse out bits of coconut that was stuck in my hair. Working it into a lather first actually breaks the coconut down a lot and makes it way easier to enjoy and run through the hair with your fingers.

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Here I have a demonstration of the amounts I use each time, and the middle picture shows Curly Wurly after it’s been broken down.

American Cream.

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So that 3rd picture in the collage is my conditioner. You can’t really tell here, but I’ve used American Cream approximately 8 times as well, and the level of conditioner remaining is still above the label. That’s what I love about these products – yes, they are pricier than your average Wal-Mart purchase, but the ingredients are super fresh, super good for you, super qualified to be the most valuable ingredients in the world that AREN’T tested on animals, and they last a long time.
I like American Cream a lot, one reason being that it gives me a slightly patriotic feeling that I didn’t even know I had left. My brain automatically thinks “American Dream” when I read it, and yes, it’s always been a dream of mine to have beautiful hair. You’ll know that if you read my previous post! Heheheh.
Another reason I love AC is for how light and fruity it is. Full of fresh strawberries, lavender and honey, it’s a perfect match with Curly Wurly for moisturizing softness. My curls have gone from heavy-laden, coarse and frizzy,  to structured, soft, and a little sassy!

R&B.

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But this life-changing triple threat wouldn’t be complete without the happy ending!If I depended on only my shower time to get the hair I wanted, all it would take is 5 minutes outside, and we’d be back to square one. (Again, this pot has been taken from 8 times, and it looks brand new.)

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After I’ve dried my hair a little bit, all I need is this much finishing cream, spread all over my hands and scrunched through my curls, to give them staying power. The “transformation” photo I revealed today was taken after I’d been outside for over an hour, and I STILL had no frizz. Oh, and it was pretty rainy today, so yeah. There’s that.
With R&B, it’s all about the essential oils. Avocado, olive, coconut and jojoba, to be exact. Add some oats, candelilla wax and jasmine – and you’ve got a concoction worth celebrating!

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Just in case you need further proof, here is a Before & After to mark the first time I EVER used R&B. (This is before I’d invested in the CW & AC!) This photo was taken 3 weeks ago. My hair is significantly longer, stronger and oh-so-happier already!!!

So after all of this, I’m feeling the slight need to apologize. I have been…*gasp*…a curlist. If you’re a reader with straight hair, then you’re probably feeling pretty left out right now, aren’t you? I have provided nothing that relates to you, nothing that makes you pump your fist and go “YEAH! THAT’S FOR ME!! FINALLY!!!”
For that, I’ll make an appeal to anyone out there with straight hair: if you’re a LUSHIE, and you want your voice to be heard about how your hair went from blah to beautiful, LET ME KNOW! I’m really good at sharing, despite the fact that I was an only child! You can has a blog post too!

Also, I hope that these blog posts aren’t presenting the concept that beauty is all that matters. That’s not where I’m coming from at all. I just want to be healthy, guilt-free, low maintenance and in better charge of my time management. If learning these life lessons brings out natural beauty at the same time, then YAY!!! Just know that you are beautiful no matter which products you have in your bathroom. Like my girl Audrey says, “Happy girls are the prettiest.”

xo Carly

On the 4th day of LUSHmas…

…my LUSHIE gave to me:

A KICK-ASS HAIR DAY!!!!

But, first things first.

It has been a whole week since I posted anything for you.

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As you can see, punishment has been administered (without harming my brand new manicure in any way) and I am truly sorry.

Ironically, in my week-long absence from writing about LUSH, I have been — you guessed it: working at LUSH!

And Christmas shopping. And being “sick.” And just…a lot of driving. To drive somewhere in the lower mainland takes awhile on a good day. To drive somewhere in the lower mainland in the middle of December when your defrost randomly decides that this would be an ideal time to stop working, rain is coming down with such force you’d think the angels are having a spitting contest, and EVERYONE ELSE is unconsciously entered into a do-or-die race to the nearest Target. And THEN, I get out of my car and enter the skytrain! Depending on the time of day, it might be fairly empty OR it might be time to start playing Human Tetris with Strangers. It’s a little scary at times…in fact, well, it’s like being a police officer in a shoot-out or a soldier fighting a war. I’m just putting my life on the line every day so I can sell people soap.

What? Kanye started it. Too soon?

I’m totally kidding, guys. Caaaaalm.

I’m becoming aware of the reality of my schedule over the next few weeks, therefore I am going to make a couple of minor amendments to this blog series.

I know it’s called The 12 Days of LUSHmas, and my original intention was to write about 12 favourite things BEFORE Christmas Day. But this little series has potential to become something a little more. My best friend now wants to write a guest post about some of her LUSH experiences, and I’m thrilled! (If any of you want to add a story, contact me!) And recently I learned that the ACTUAL 12 Day of Christmas START on Christmas Day and run until January 6th. Which is funny, because that’s the day that my holiday contract ends with LUSH. After that, it’ll be up to me to decide whether I will re-apply to become a regular, and up to them to decide whether they will re-hire me.

So how about January 6th becomes the last day for all the LUSH-ous glory? And then, if the journey continues, I will add a “featured product” post every once in awhile. That helps me breathe a little easier. 🙂

And now! For the actual reason I started the 4th day of LUSHmas!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve started getting some really lovely, heart-warming and genuine compliments on my hair.

It’s been really weird.

Words like that…just don’t happen to me.

I understand that you may be new to the enigma that IS my hair. Both of my genetic benefactors (read: parents) have somewhat curly hair, but what I have been given can only be described as a piece of work. And because I have literally next to no knowledge about my relatives on either side, I have no idea where the frack it came from. One day, if I decide to sign up for Ancestry.com, I would not at all be surprised to discover that I had a great-great-great-great grandmother from Africa.

To really get this picture clearly, I need to delve back into the past. Hang on, it’s going to be a ripply (ha!) ride.

THE HAIRYEST TIMELINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This is a terrible picture. It is a camera photo of an actual terrible picture. And yet, despite this, you can still see that I was a 3 year old cutie pie living with an afro.

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Here I am in grade 2. The curls were still apparent, although wispy. I hated them. All the time, older people were commenting that they “paid richly for hair like mine,” and meanwhile, all I dreamed about was having straight-as-a-board black hair all the way down to my bum.

The next phase came at age 14. I decided I wanted blonde streaks in my dark tendrils. Apparently I had no idea that I was a Mexican. To match blonde hair with dark skin and dark eyebrows is a little jarring; to decide last minute that I DON’T want streaks — I want my ENTIRE head transformed into beautiful blondness — is nothing short of a disaster. It took two whole years for that orange puppy to grow out and it, my friends, was skunktastic.  And yet there are no pictures to prove that it actually happened. So I’m willing to believe it didn’t actually happen.

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“I am 17, going on 18, I know that I’m so sad…”

Ohhhh I wish I could go back to my teenage self and just give her a big hug. When I was about 16, I tried to grow my hair long. It lasted a little while, but one day as I got out of the shower, I was sick of trying to comb out the thousand tangles that had accumulated. I expected to find a bird or two. Instead, I just gathered it all into a bun on top of my head and chopped it off.

All I can say is that Mulan lied to me. You cannot do this to yourself and expect to still look like a Disney princess. In fact, I achieved Mulan’s ACTUAL GOAL OF WANTING TO LOOK LIKE A MAN.

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And now we arrive to my grade 12 year! To the nerdiest display I have almost-ever made! My hair was now RED and growing out! On pajama day, I pretended I was a queen, and the flash of the camera became the perfectly arranged scepter of my divinity!

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Now, this is pretty crazy for a pretty good reason. In grade 12, I was involved in theatre for the very first time (yay homeschooling!) and when our class performed a parody of MacBeth, I was cast as one of the 3 witches. Hence the green face and the ridiculously awesome hair. Wanna know a secret? It only took about 5 minutes for the stylist to back-comb my hair into what it was for the entire play, whereas the other witches took almost an hour. Eh, there were some perks.

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Sigh. By this point, I am at least a good 21 years old with no self-respect. I put a lightning-streak of blonde hair at the top of my head going all the way down, and then from the nape of my neck up, so that when I gathered it all into a bun, it would look like the two opposing stripes were connected. Yeah. This picture was taken the day I met my future husband. So at least he knew what he was getting into.

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Fast-forward a couple of years. All of the blonde has been dealt with, and it appears I have learned my lesson. THIS was actually one of those days where all the stars align and your hair looks perfect for an entire 24 hour period. I still don’t know what I did, but I’m in luuuuurve with that hair right thur. This was taken a couple weeks after I’d started emailing Steve again, and a couple weeks BEFORE we actually became a couple. Hmmm…I’m starting to wonder if he has had some cosmic hand in making me better looking…

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Now we come to last spring. I am gloriously married and there’s nothing he can do about it. At that point in the relationship, I felt as though I hadn’t made nearly enough hair mistakes lately, so one day while I was alone (mistake #1), I located the mini-scissors (mistake #2), and chopped my bangs really short. Without telling Steve. (mistake #3) When he came home, I had my hair tied back (mistake #4) and jumped out from behind the staircase to surprise him (mistake #5). Poor man screamed, thinking that I had chopped everything off because he couldn’t see my hair that was tied back. I thought he knew what he was getting into. (mistake #6) So did he. (mistake #7)

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Now it’s starting to grow out…and frizz out…and act out. Moving to the lower mainland has completely changed the texture and nature of my hair. The air I’m hanging out in, the water I’m bathing in, is somehow completely different. After growing my hair out for almost 2 years, I have seriously contemplated chopping it all off again and throwing it down the drain.

Then…I met the Curly Wurly-American Cream-R&B combo.

And here I am today. Literally, this day.

Daaaaayummmm. Ya’ll know I deserve to appreciate this moment, after all we’ve just been through together!

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Wow, that was a long, hairy timeline. I’m just making up for the 7 days that I missed. So if you’re still with me, now we’re gonna dig into the details of what this combo is all about.

Oh wait. The Voice finale just started.

So what I’m actually gonna do is walk away, find out the fate of my Jamaican soul sister, and come back with a part 2. And it is going to kick all the ass. I promise.

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xo Carly

On the 3rd day of LUSHmas…

…my LUSHIE gave to me…

A RUDOLPH!!!!

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But first…our cold snap has broken! HALLELUJAH!!! THERE IS SNOOOOOOWWWW IN MY YARD!!!!! And my cat still seems to gain life by cuddling with me; even MOAR HALLELUJAHS!!!

Yet amidst this rejoicing, I have been very reflective upon this season of death that December seems to be bringing us.

Paul Walker, doing what he loved, maybe a little too well.

Nelson Mandela – a man that I know not nearly enough about – fighting with his voice and spirit, even until the very end. He saw almost an entire century of our world, can you believe it?

Eleanor Parker, another well-ripened beauty. For me, she will always be the Baroness Schrader from The Sound of Music. She is timeless to me, as well as Julie Andrews + Christopher Plummer. God knows I’ll be adrift at sea when they finally depart.

And yesterday, I spent the entire day remembering my childhood friends Stephanie and Rachel. Six years ago, they left. Already six years and one day. If not for the cruelty of another poor soul’s anger, these sisters could be married now. Publishing stories, chasing after little windmill feet, laughing by the Christmas tree. I’d like to hope that we’d still be friends. But more than hope, I know that I will see them again, and they will teach me everything I couldn’t quite grasp here on this frail earth. I anxiously await that day.

Perhaps that’s why I love this season so much, and cherish the snow on the rare moments it falls. Without it, all we have is the dead ground and naked trees, reminding us of what once was here. A covering, a protection, is laid upon the dirt and wood, giving us something new to look at, all the while preparing its inhabitants for the time when they come back to life. They don’t know it yet, but they won’t be dead forever. The rain will wash away, the sun will demand the trees and grass to reach out their arms to him as far as they can go. We may be lost in the dark season now, but we WILL BE – dare I say it – lush and green once again.

Much like the earth, our own bodies need a protective covering every once in awhile. A thick coat of healing, and a thunderous act of washing away. Starting over. This concept is written into the very fiber of what LUSH stands for.

“We believe…in the right to make mistakes, lose everything, and start again.”

I don’t know about you, but that statement gives me such a feeling of freedom. Freedom from the label of “failure”, freedom to be myself, freedom to live and move and have my being even if I trip on my own clumsy feet and break a precious vase or two. Freedom to be beautiful in a way that goes beyond the standard of the dreaded 36-24-36.

And the other day, Rudolph gave me the freedom to love my face and have some fun while I was at it!

When I finished my shift on Saturday, my blogging brain got totally turned on. I’ve already talked about 2 bath bombs…I’m not ready to talk about my hair experiment yet…what can I do to shake things up?

The best thing I could have done was talk to a co-worker. We’ll call her Avery. I explained that I was very new to LUSH still and hadn’t tried everything, but I wanted to keep my readers invested, yo!

“Oh! Have you tried any of our face masks? I think Rudolph would be the best one, he’s great for winter!”

So into my basket, I plopped that little container of the reindeer.

I didn’t have any downtime until Sunday evening. Steve and I were at his parent’s place for our eat-dinner-and-watch-Once-Upon-a-Time tradition, and I told my sister-in-law Sarah about my new purchase. What she did next took this whole thing to an unbelievable level, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

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Behold, my face! Freshly washed, and looking just okay under this glaring bathroom light. For the integrity of the experiment’s sake, I took all of my “after” pictures underneath the same bathroom light. And can I just say that I HATE when all the magazine’s models with “before” pictures look like they’re heavily medicated, and then suddenly they’re beaming in the “after” pictures? Come on. We all know that a smile is an instant pretty-maker, so of course they’re going to look better if they only smile AFTER you’ve given them their makeover. Hence, why I am smiling NOW, so ya’ll will actually be able to TELL the difference.

Here’s where this gets awesome. You may have noticed in my picture of the face mask that Rudolph contains a precious little red jelly plop. That is not for show. That belongs on your nose, son. To feel the full effects of the Rudolph face mask, you must BECOME THE RUDOLPH!!!

So when Sarah saw what was going on, I could see an idea come over her face, and she took off down the stairs. After rummaging around in the basement for a couple of minutes, she came back with a gift and bestowed it upon my head.

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Transformation: complete. And, not surprisingly, Mr. Fox didn’t have a whole lot to say about it either.

10 minutes. That’s all you need for Rudolph to work his magic. So if you’re one to say that you don’t really have time for a face mask, IIIIIIIIIIII’m gonna have to disagree with you. Look at how much fun you can have in 10 minutes.

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Needless to say, I was invited to join ALL THE REINDEER GAMES RIGHT AWAY, BECAUSE HONESTLY, WHO WOULDN’T WANT ME THERE.

My favourite things about this face mask:

– After 10 minutes, it had somewhat dried, but it didn’t “freeze” my features (obviously) or make me feel like I was going to crack in half if I moved.
– So refreshingly tingly! It’s bursting with fresh ingredients, including a cucumber-oatmeal-coconut oil combo for moisturizing, kaolin clay and tofu for exfoliation, and lavender oil-organic aloe vera powder-calamine powder for soothing the sad, redness-inducing irritations that winter brings. Topped off with fresh peppermint and green tea to make me smell oh-so-nice.
– LUSH obviously wants you to have a lot of fun with this product. I’m not sure if the jelly nose has any special healing properties for your nose other than seaweed, but it sure makes you smile and that’s good enough for me.
– This mask is part of our passion for the environment! On the lid, it says, “Bring back 5 clean pots with this logo and we’ll give you a free face mask!” Not every pot says this yet, but it’s a great motivator to not throw away your black pots once you’re done with them. We send boxes full of black pots back to headquarters and they are then recycled into other things. Hooray!
– Rudolph is easy to keep in the fridge, and stays fresh for about 3 weeks. I think there’s enough in there for me to have 3 once-a-week applications!
– It’s been almost two days and my face still feels so soft. I didn’t apply any lotion or moisturizers afterwards either! After only 10 minutes of this amazing winter-fighter: dead skin was buh-bye, fresh new skin had been born, husband was not able to stop touching my face, and I was feeling pretty fiiiiiine (even under that lovely bathroom light!)

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See what I mean? I think this is my most vain entry ever! Heheheh.

So, dear reader, I can now 100% recommend the power of the reindeer to coat and soothe and heal your face. (But if you’re looking for something a little different, we also have at least 6 other face masks plus a hair mask that may be the answer to what you’re searching for.)
Rudolph is a limited edition product, only provided in the winter, so the time is now! Go forth and BE RUDOLPHED! And take pictures! And show them to me! Be freeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!

Take heart, the dark season is half over, with no lack of glorious rests of light along the way.

xo Carly

On the 2nd day of LUSHmas…

…my LUSHIE gave to me:: a SECRET SANTA!!!!

So I need to start this off by saying that ya’ll should feel extremely special and loved because I am choosing to expose my face and fingers to the elements just so I can bring you the next installment to the LUSHmas blog! (Is the next Ice Age approaching North America or what?)
If you’re reading this from somewhere in Canada or the States, you should comment below on how cold it is where you are, and we’ll see who wins! Today in Langley BC, it’s only -5 thus far, but this is the rainforest, people. There’s an ocean nearby and that wind + moisture combo means that there’s a blanket now hanging over my front door, and a hot water bottle is permanently attached to my body. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal showed up today to say, “Come with us if you want to live!”
On the plus side, my cat has never been friendlier. He is giving me cuddles for days and it warms my heart that he’s finally found a use for me.

On that note, who wants a hot bath? MEEEEEE!!!!!  The other day, I was at my in-laws so I was fully able to access their bathtub and it was glorious! Secret Santa brought me new life and so much more! Here we go…

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Isn’t he so cute? Granted, he was hiding out in a brown bag for a couple weeks, so part of his writing wore off; the bottom right picture should say “29 1/2.”

Hmmm, that’s curious. Why would a bath bomb say 29 1/2? Did 29 1/2 people work hard towards making it? Are there only 29 1/2 of these existing in the entire world?!

It’s actually an address.

The very first LUSH location was opened in Poole, England, at 29 High Street. And because the English are weird, right next door was called 29 1/2 High Street, and that’s where the very first kitchen of LUSH was located. That’s where the magic happened, that’s why people went there because they knew the product they were buying was the very definition of fresh.

AND. I don’t know if you’ve ever been inside of a LUSH store, but if you have, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say this: the scent of LUSH itself is very unique. You walk in that door, take a deep breath, and there’s just this essence you smell that lets you know immediately, yes, this is LUSH. Heck, you can probably smell it when you’re still half a block away from the store! Some people are overwhelmed by it, and some people live for it. They can’t buy anything that day, but they step in for a moment just to take a deep breath and get their fix. And when people pick up Secret Santa to smell it, they often ask, “What is that smell?”

We respond, “It’s everything. The scent is everything.”

And while we are known for our poetic thoughts and inspired innovations, in this case, we’re being quite literal. When you smell Secret Santa, that is the everything that you smell walking into the store. They have made a special perfume that is a beautiful motley crew of everything LUSH has ever made. It’s called 29 High Street. Because that’s its origin story, where the magic came from, where the smell you may or may not live for was born. And get this: 29 High Street the perfume can only be purchased at 29 High Street in Poole, England. Talk about exclusive.

So if you’re in love with that unique smell, and you’ve got to get it into your house, you need to save up your airmiles and take a trip, OR you need to get your little bum to the nearest LUSH location/online website before the Christmas season ends so you can make that happen. It’s just that simple.

Now, it’s called Secret Santa because, well, it carries a few secrets! I’m going to share them with you, as well as admit a confession.

So, Secret Santa can actually be used 3 times, if you want it that way.

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“You are…my bath bomb…”

Oh! *ahem* And we’re back to 2013. Sorry.

The Secret Santa can be cracked in half for the pleasure of two soaking experiences, and once you’ve cracked him, you may notice something…

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Whoa! It’s literally a SECRET SANTA!!!!! Everything is literal today.

And this Santa, if you hold and dissolve its half correctly, can be saved for yet a THIRD bathing encounter. Hooray!

Here’s my confession: that picture of the Secret Santa…is not mine. I was so.fricken.excited. to get into that hot water, that I completely forgot about cracking it in half and embracing its literal delight. I just dropped the whole darn thing in there.

I killed Santa and I regret (almost) nothing.

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Again, we have a heavenly experience of shimmer, sparkle and feet.

As I was soaking in the Santa, I couldn’t help but realize that if Peeta Mellark were to choose a bath bomb, this would probably be it.

After all, his favourite colour is orange. Not bright, but soft, like a sunset. Which is totally what you’re gonna feel like you’re bathing in.

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Needless to say, I enjoyed it very much. The mix of jasmine and citrus oils was very relaxing – and although I mentioned that the scent IS modeled after the store itself, the water is very gentle and subtle. I didn’t even have to rinse off the sparkles this time; as you saw, they’re only slightly noticeable in the tub itself. I smelled as fresh as a newborn babe!

To close out this highly informative, secretly scandalous entry, I wanted to share a couple of youtube demos of this bath bomb that I found, that both made me LOL quite literally. (<— and there it is for the third time!!) Mainly because  first one features no talking at all. You are watching a silent film of a dying bath bomb. And the second one because this charming young lady will not close her mouth for one second.

Silently Dying 
(In this video, you will see the bath bomb fizzing and making a graffiti of speckles on the sides of the bath tub. Fear not! I experienced this as well, and was able to wash it off with no problem whatsoever. Relaaaaaax.)

Chatty Kathy Bath Bomb
(Are you not entertained?!)

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May your weekend be filled with joy, deep breaths, and peace.

xo Carly

On the 1st day of LUSHmas…(or, what the heck is LUSHmas?)

Before I answer that question, I have to say, this past month has been pretty…weird. I’ve wanted to blog so badly about everything that exists in my life, but for some reason, I can’t. I’ve been like Jim Halpert (from The Office) when he tries to play Call of Duty, and he gets stuck in a corner and he jumps up and down so charmingly but he can’t turn left or right to get out, and then Karen blows his head off.

You know, if blogging was like a violent video game that required a good sense of direction.
I guess most people call it writer’s block.

Even now, I’m a little nervous. I really wanna talk about my new job and how much I love it and what are a few of my favourite things! But we’re living in a world full of natural disasters, drugged-out politicians – a world where Brian the Dog and Paul Walker unexpectedly died in the same week, and I want to talk about bath bombs?

Yep.

Because there is beauty and softness and therapy and colour and relaxation and escape and happy thoughts and bubbles in the midst of chaos and darkness. There always will be. My heart breaks and cries out for the loss of life and integrity and nature, but it’s making the approaching Christmas season that much more beautiful and precious.

So, my friends, welcome to LUSHmas. This is my first time creating a blog series (yay!) and I’m going to pick my 12 favourite things from LUSH (so far) that have made me feel like a queen, Christmas-related or otherwise.
Because, if I’m honest, it’s not easy for me to believe that I’m beautiful. The stars have to align, the outfit’s gotta be perfect, the hair needs to calm the eff down. It’s stupid and it’s hurtfully unnecessary.

To quote a recent Tumblr post:

i feel sooooo confused about what i look like? am i fat am i skinny am i pretty or ugly i literally CAN’T TELL AT ALL. how i feel about my looks changes on a min to min basis and is mostly affected by my mood i am so confused what the HECK do i actually look like to u people. i feel like an alien in my body

This post had more than 64,000 notes attached to it, so obviously there’s a sad epidemic of this feeling going around.

And yet, whenever I put on something that LUSH made – it doesn’t matter which thing – I always feel amazing. I have confidence that I look beautiful, I smell beautiful, and it makes me smile bigger AND it makes me want to pass it on to everyone I meet. (Which, I think can be argued, is the most important part.)

So! On the 1st day of LUSHmas, my LUSHIE gave to me….

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…a GOLDEN WONDER!!!!!!!!!

Oh, the Golden Wonder. If a LUSHIE gives this to you, you can know you’re really loved. This is luxury, this is decadence, this is the streets of gold from Heaven above come down to your bathtub.

Each GW takes 3 days to make, from beginning to end. Right now, you can only see the outside, which features a fluffy marshmallow of a bow on top of a glittery 3D box of delight. On the inside, however, is a rainbow layer of blue and pink and green before it finally dissolves to the very heart, which is actually another mini bath bomb itself. If you gently shake the GW, you can hear baby GW crackling away inside, just dying to get out. I personally think that baby GW is fashioned into a butterfly, but maybe that’s just because I’m obsessed with butterflies and I like to see them wherever I go.

When I tried Golden Wonder for the first time, I did not have access to a bathtub, much to my everlasting regret. But since I know I’m not the only one out there that has to face the First World Problem that IS the stand-up shower, I will share my secret with you.

I bought a white plastic tub at Wal-Mart or something like that, in the kitchen section where they sell them as another dish-soaking option for those poor unfortunate souls who have only a single sink for that sort of thing. (Oh Lord, another First World Problem I am acquainted with all too well.)

I filled said white plastic tub with warm water, plopped GW right in, took off my socks, rolled up my pant legs, and took my feet to the spa.

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It. Was. Ridonkulous. Warm, silky froth. The rest of my body was mad with jealousy.

As time passed, the colours and the foam continually changed and blessed my soul. The dreamy combination of citrus and cognac oils filled my sniffer and lifted my spirits.

And then something happened that I did NOT expect:

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The froth cleared, and fricken STARS came out to say hello. My feet went to outer space and they never wanted to come back.
And then even more froth cleared, until all that was left was water. Emerald green water swirling with a lusty golden shimmer.

So I became a kid again. I was playing with the water, watching it twirl and dance with the flecks of light, never tiring of its enchantment.

But, as it always happens, eventually the water got cold and I had to leave this tiny Heaven. I really should have saved the water in a bottle, to be swirled at later date whenever I feel sad. Parents, saving this magical water in a bottle would probably make a great DIY distraction-maker for your kid. You get the spa time, they get the entertainment, everybody wins.

Now what happened next depends ENTIRELY on what kind of person you are. If you love glitter on your skin, you’ll be thrilled. If you hate glitter on your skin, you’ll be rinsin’.

**You’re about to see feet. Scroll down fast if you hate feet.**

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As you can see on my right foot, it comes off easily. =)

So far, this is clearly my favourite bath bomb. My tootsies wouldn’t stop talking about it for, like, a week. I can’t imagine how amazing the rest of me will feel once I try it again!

Score: 10/10 **********

Pair it Up!: with Celebrate, a moisturizing lotion made with the same citrus and cognac oils as the Golden Wonder. Your skin will thank you, and then head out to party.

May you believe you are beautiful today.

xo Carly