Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lush Bubble Bars

As a college student on a budget, I have to choose my indulgences wisely. Most of the time I try to be as frugal as possible: frozen vegetables instead of fresh, trips to the dollar store for cleaning supplies and other household needs, passing by any clothing item on the rack with a price tag of more than twenty bucks. But I know that a place needs to be made for the occasional splurge, that beautiful, scandalous, “I am fully aware that this is silly and overpriced but I don’t care” purchase. Otherwise life as a consumer can be really boring and monotonous.

That’s where Lush comes in. Lush offers “fresh, handmade cosmetics” with a focus on natural ingredients and creative concepts. As written in their credo, the people at Lush believe in “making effective products from fresh organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils and safe synthetics.” Lush is all about indulgence and making bath time fun. They have variety of products, ranging from body butters, lotions, shampoos, to perfumes, soaps and face masks. But the things that I’m really a sucker for are their bath products, specifically the bubble bars.

Lush’s bubble bar comes in solid form and adds bubbles to the bath when crumbled under running water. The bars I tried were called “Amandopondo” and “Flosty Gritter.” Lush loves giving their products signature monikers. These range from silly to clever to baffling (I still don’t know what Amandopondo means). A bar of Amandopondo is $5.95 for a 3.5 oz bar and Flosty Gritter is $5.65 for the same amount. Lush suggests using one bar per one bath for maximum bubble capacity. For my first bath I figured I would test the waters and chose to crumble only a portion of the Amandopondo. This portion was more than enough to generate the kind of bubble bath wonderland I always dreamed of as a child, with mounds of wonderful scented bubbles. So, sorry Lush, I refuse to pay you six bucks per bath when in actuality I can get it down to more like a dollar and fifty cents and ease my spending conscience a little.

As for fragrance, the Amandopondo is made with a combination of rose, lemon and orange oils that create a wonderful, light, floral citrus scent that lingers as long as the bubbles are around, present but never overpowering. And because it’s made using primarily natural ingredients there is no harsh chemical note or artificial weirdness to the smell, as sometimes occurs with other products in the same genre. The bubbles themselves, however, could linger longer; they dissipate a little too quickly.

After the last crumbles of Amandopondo dissolved into my tub, I tried out the Flosty Gritter. Flosty Gritter is made with vanilla, lavender, and clary sage oils, resulting in a relaxing, pleasant scent that perfectly compliments the soothing heat of warm bathwater. Flosty Gritter also does a few tricks Amandopondo does not; it turns bathwater a soft pink shade and fills the tub with flecks of gold glitter (Frosty Glitter equals Flosty Gritter…I cringed when I figured that out). Again, I didn’t use the entire bar for one bath. If so I assume the pink tint would be a lot stronger. Some of the reviews on the website even had complaints from users unable to clean the glitter/color from their tubs, but I had no such problems. This is most likely because I used a smaller portion of the bar and I rinsed the tub out immediately after. A few flecks of glitter stuck stubbornly for a while, but nothing I would complain about.

All in all I was beyond satisfied with my Lush bubble bar experiences. I highly recommend it to anyone that is sick of spending their money on practical things, like college tuition, or rent, or textbooks. Treat yourself to something scented and sparkling.

www.lushusa.com. Boston area locations: 166 Newbury Street and 30 JFK Street in Harvard Square, open Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm and Sundays 11am-6pm.

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