Thursday, 30 December 2010

Lush Cace Rouge Review

This is a review of Lush's Henna hair dye in Caca Rouge. They can be purchased at a Lush store or online and cost £7.10/$22.95. It weighs 11.4oz/approx 330g

I thought I'd already posted this, but I seem to just have saved it and not posted. :( So I figured I'd post it now. The first bit of the review was written the day I dyed my hair, the next part the day after and the final part today, three weeks after dyeing. So You'll be getting my first impressions and my thoughts after three weeks. :)

29/12 '10
I got my sister to buy this product before she came back home for Christmas. For years now I have wished that I had red hair, and have been contemplating dyeing it. I tried once about four years ago using a non-permanent dye from L'oreal (the shade was called chestnut something) but it looked a little purpley to me. This summer I began toying with the idea of dyeing my hair again, but my mum managed (as only mothers can :) to scare me with stories of chemical burns and stuff so I didn't want to try my luck dyeing it at home. I also didn't want to have it dyed professionally as I didn't really feel like spending the money. Also, I have very dark brown hair and I know (deep down) that my hair won't go lighter unless I bleach it (which I don't want to do), so I was pretty much at a standstill with the whole red hair dream.
That's where the henna came in.
Whilst browsing the Lush site (as you do) I came across their Henna hair dyes. The Caca Rouge in particular caught my attention. Could this product give me the red locks I so desired?
I don't know yet as I still haven't taken the product out, but as I am bored waiting I thought I'd begin this review and finish it when I know the results.
Before I start rambling I'd better tell you a little about this product and what it claims to do.

So, the Lush henna cacas are blocks of henna (which is normally sold as a powder) mixed with cocoa butter and lemon juice and other ingredients. Each block is split into six squares and you can use as much, or as little as you like, according to the length/thickness of your hair. I ground my block up, so I'm not sure how many blocks I used, but I think about four (I have a lot of hair) and I put the rest in an old jam jar to use later.
There are four cacas to choose from: Rouge (for red hair), Marron (for chestnut hair), Brun (for brown hair) and Noir (for black hair).
The Caca Rouge is meant to turn your hair vibrant red if you have light coloured hair, or a warm red tinge which catches in the sun, if you have dark hair like mine.
There are instructions on the website and you should also get them if you buy these in a shop, but my sister forgot to take them with her. I highly recommend reading plenty of reviews before you use this product (or any product for that matter) so that you can learn more about the product and get tips from others. MakeupAlley has some good ones. These are the instructions, a mixture from the website and from other sources and my personal experience.

1. Cut or the henna up into small pieces, or grate it into a powder and put in a heatproof bowl. I used a glass jug and had no problems cleaning it.

2. Add hot water and mix to a thick custard/yoghurt like consistency. I used a metal spoon, but the UK Lush website recommends a wooden spoon, personally I think it would just turn green.

3. Lay old newspapers over your bathroom floor (or wherever you're doing this) and over any surfaces that might get splashed (around the sink for instance.) Put on gloves (Very important! You don't want orange hands) and apply to hair. I separated my hair and did the lower section first and then the upper, but in the end I was just smearing it all over. The website says to do it from back to front.

4. Cover in cling film for a more vibrant red. Leave on for one to six hours (depending on how red you want your hair). I found while doing my strand test that heat is really an important factor, I think it activates the henna somehow. So I wrapped my hair in cling film, put on a big old hat I had lying around and then put a hot water bottle on top of my head and secured it with an old towel. You could axe the hot water bottle and blast your hair with a blow dried ever hour or something, but I thought this would be easier. It does make your head feel very heavy though, so try to stay sitting down as much as you can, and be careful your neck doesn't get too sore.

5. Rinse, shampoo, and condition hair. You may have to repeat a couple of times to get all the henna bits out, use a comb to get the bits out.

Some tips and warnings

* This all takes a long time. The first three steps took me less than an hour, but then you have to wait ages for it to work, and you can't really leave the house with a towel and a hot water bottle on your head! So I recommend doing this when you have nothing else planned and just sit around and read, or watch a film, or read blogs or something. :)

! Beware of the smell. I smelled the block of henna and thought it was fine, but as soon as I'd mixed in the water and was doing my strand test I smell was overwhelming. Each nose is different however, case in point both my mother and my sister thought it was fine, but I hated the smell. I seriously thought I was going to throw up and one point. When I did the actual thing though I played music to distract me and that worked splendidly. Music seems to sooth me any time I feel nauseous, I used to get carsick a lot but music really helped stop it. I digress. My point is, if the smell bothers you, play some music or have a friend with you to talk to you and distract you. Also keep the window open. :)

* I would recommend wearing an old shirt while you do this, as you'll most likely need to get into the shower with your hair wrapped up in clingfilm, hat, (hot water bottle) and a towel and there's no way you can get a t-shirt over that mess! I didn't have a shirt handy, but I had an old top that I never wear which has a very wide neckline so getting it over my head was no problem. Also wear some unloved piece of clothing on your bottom half, as it may get splashed, and wear old socks that you can take off as soon as you've applied the henna to your hair so that your don't leave henna prints on the floor :)

! If you live with someone (parents, spouse, roommate for example) let them know what you are doing. Especially if you don't own the house as you might make a bit of a mess during the rinsing step. My mother is a bit worried the grouting between the tiles will be stained, but I'll try and be careful. :)

Here are some pictures of my dyeing process:

The henna mixture

Applied on my head

Closer look

Cling filmed head

A hat to keep warm!

Towel, holding the hot water bottle in place

It's now been four hours since I put the mixture in, I had only planned to leave it in for four, but since dinner's in half an hour and I need to keep an eye on it I think I'll leave it for a bit longer, probably fiveish. To be honest I'm a bit worried to see how it washs out. The strand test was fine, but that was only a small strand of hair...this is my whole head and I'm reminded of the whole banana+egg mixture horror of this summer. I'd just been to the Blue Lagoon which is a geothermal spa and it left my hair horribly dry so I figured I'd just mix an egg, a banana (I think I may also have put honey in there) and put it in my hair. Bad idea! It was an absolute nightmare to get out, I think it took over half an hour and I still had banana bits left in there! I obviously forgot that my hair is very coarse and will grab onto anything you put in it, which is good in a way as it means it holds curls very well, but bad in this instance. Also, it didn't make my hair any softer. :( Oh well, live and learn.
Just a note, my scalp started itching a bit during the last hour or so, nothing horrible, but just something to be aware of if you have a sensitive scalp.

30/12 '10
I rinsed the henna mixture out last night and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it came out. I used my trusted Tangle Teezer to comb all the bits out and shampooed and conditioned once. I recommend that you start by rinsing as much of the henna out as you can and then wash your hair. Although I think I'll have to was it again as it feels a bit dirty, like there's still some of the mixture left in my hair.
As for the colour, it came out a lot redder than I expected, and to be honest I'm not quite sure what I think. It's a sort of dark auburn shade now, and it gleams when you shine light on it. I think I just need a couple of days to get used to the change and play with it a bit.
All I'm worried about now is how long the colour will last. It says on the website that it should last a couple of months, but my hair holds colour in really well, so it will probably last a lot longer, and I'm a bit concerned with my roots showing as that will probably make my hair look greasy. So I think I'll pick up a block of the Caca Brun when I'm in London in February, just so that I can dye my hair brown again if I want to.

20/1 '11
It's now been three weeks since I dyed my hair, and I'm very happy with it. The colour faded a bit the first couple of times I washed it, so it's not as red as it was, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. It shines prettily in the sunlight (when there is any that is!) but apart from that it's not a huge change. As I still have about half of the henna left I might redye it in March, and I think I'll buy another block in London, I probably won't buy a brown block, as I think the colour will just fade, I don't think my roots will show very much.
One thing though, I think the colour is washing out a bit when I wash my hair, as my towels seem to turn a bit yellow, but it doesn't stain. I'm not sure if it's the henna, or the henna shampoo I'm using (from Boots).
I find it really hard to photograph my hair so that the red shows up, it hasn't shown up at all in the pictures I've posted here recently. but this might be because I usually take the pictures in the morning or evenings, when there isn't much natural light, and my room has really bad lighting. But here are a couple of pictures where you can see a bit of the colour.

So that's it for my review, let me know if you have any questions!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Lush Cinders Bath Ballistic

**Before I start this post I just wanted to let you know about an amazing giveaway that's being hosted by FunnyFaceBeauty. Click the picture to see it!**

I received a Lush goodie from my brother and sister as part of my Christmas present (the other part was a snood from River Island, in case you were wondering). I had asked for a couple of things from Lush as my sister is studying in London and would be buying my present there (and there is no Lush in Iceland) and I was thrilled that she picked the Matryoshka.

This little Russian doll is made from two pieces of apple scented soap and inside are Cinders bath ballistic and So White bath ballistic.
I decided that I would use Cinders first, as I have heard so many good things about it and was eager to try it out.

Basic Information

I got the Cinders Ballistic the Matryoshka as I have already mentioned. The Matryoshka is no longer on the UK Lush website, but it was on the US one and costs £9.95/$19.95. In it you get about 60g of Cinders, the full size is 90g. The fact that it was smaller may have had some influence on it's performance and my opinion.
This ballistic contains pop rocks which are meant to crackle like a fireplace.

This ballistic is meant to make you feel warm and cozy, just as if you were sitting in front of a warm fireplace, or, in the words of the Lush website:
Bathing with Cinders is like falling asleep in front of a log fire and hearing the crackling embers as the snow falls down.

Cinders is a cinnamon scented bath ballistic and is supposed to have traces of orange and almond. I could only smell the cinnamon personally, but it should be noted that I have a cold, so my nose is not to be trusted. As it was in close contact with both the So White ballistic and the So White scented soaps, I couldn't really distinguish between the two when I smelled them at first, but the So White scent did not interfere with Cinders once it had dissolved in the bath. I couldn't really smell the product much in the bath, but it did linger on my skin and I can still smell it now, two hours after the bath.

It's been a couple of years since I've used a ballistic, I personally prefer bubble bars, so my expectations may have been wrong for this product. I was expecting it to fizz around in my bath and turn it a nice orange colour. Instead it sank to the bottom of my bath and just lay there, dissolving slowly. I didn't have the tap running when I put it in, as I wanted to hear the cracking noise of the pop rocks. In hindsight maybe I should have left the tap running as that might have affected how it dissolved and distributed. I got bored of waiting for it to dissolve so I just crumbled it up myself. And as for the crackling sounds, I didn't hear any but this might by due to the fact that I got a smaller version of the ballistic and the full sized one has a lot of pop rocks on the top, which mine didn't. But I think this shouldn't have an effect on the performance of the ballistic. Just because mine was smaller doesn't mean it shouldn't perform as well, otherwise it's a bit silly to be selling them. The bath didn't turn a nice orange colour either, it turned a sort of yellowy colour, but then again my bath is pink, so that might have changed the colour a bit.

As I mentioned before the scent did linger on my skin, which is quite nice and it did soften it slightly but not noticeably.

Overall thoughts
I'm sad to say that Cinders was a huge let down for me. I am aware that I got a miniature version of it, but I don't think that should affect its performance. Although the scent left on my skin is nice I did not really feel like I had anything in my bath once I'd crumbled it up. It didn't make me feel as cozy as I thought it would. I would not repurchase this product and would not recommend it to a friend.

However, if you have tried this product in its full size and had a better experience, please comment below and tell me about it, as I do think its size was a factor in it's (bad) performance.

Catch up time

I'm currently sat on my bed slightly tangled up in my camera cable and laptop charger with Kate Morton's most recent book next to me (I recommend her books, I really enjoyed The Forgotten Garden). I've just had a bath using Lush's Cinders bath bomb (or is it a ballistic and what is the difference?) and I will be writing a review of that product after this post. I've just had a lovely Christmas Eve with my family.
Here in Iceland we open our presents on Christmas Eve and that's when we have a big dinner. Most families then spend Christmas Day and Boxing Day visiting family members and eating with them, but as Mum is from England we also celebrate Christmas the British way by opening the presents from our English friends and family on Christmas morning and then eating a turkey dinner. This year however we opened all our presents tonight as there weren't many from England. This year's Christmas was a little different for me as well since I stopped eating meat in the spring (I still eat fish though) so I didn't have the traditional "Hamborgarhryggur" which is a smoked rack of pork, but I did have some lovely monkfish along with caramel potatoes (so yummy!) Tomorrow I'm going to make a nut roast (which I made a few weeks ago to test it and I liked it).
But enough about Christmas, I just thought I'd tell you a couple of things that have been going on in my life, just in case you're interested (personally I'm just glad that I feel like writing anything again, so I'm just going with it!)

* I've really been enjoying dancing. I'm doing Lindy Hop (which is a 20's dance, think Charleston) and Swing & Rock'n'Roll (50's dance) and it's really fun. It's very social and I've met some new people.

* I'm going to take the plunge and dye my hair red! I plan to do it on the 30th so expect a blog post soon after. I'm going to be using Lush's Caca Rouge henna hair dye and I've already done a test strip and like the results. I've wanted red hair for years now but haven't been to keen to use such harsh chemicals on my hair (and Mum was panicking that I'd have an allergic reaction) but then I came across Lush's dyes and thought it would be perfect! I will be sure to take pictures and write a review when I've used it, as I haven't seen that many on the internet.

* My father just got back from a business trip to America. I didn't ask him to get me anything since he usually ends up getting the wrong things (he does try though), but he got me a few things anyway. Among them where a one shoulder leopard print dress, leopard print leggings and a (faux) leather mini skirt. Now, I'm not saying that any of these are horrible things, but they are just not my style. I am going to try and find a good top to wear with the skirt though, maybe I can make that one work, but I'm not really too fond of animal prints, at least not on me.

* I'm really excited to be going to London in February. My sister is studying there and I'm going to visit her and do a bit of shopping (I say that with hope and optimism but I probably won't buy much in the way of clothes, I'm rubbish at finding things that suit me). I do plan to raid a Lush store and both Boots and Superdrug (I must start compiling a list).

* I've been thinking about what I want to study at university. I really want to study ancient religions (like Central American and Mediterranean) but you can't do that here, so I think I might do Classics and Anthropology and then do a year in England.

* I've really been into the Buffy series lately. I started watching it from the beginning a couple of months ago and have just finished the fourth series. I used to watch them when I was younger, but could hardly remember them.

* My skin has been aweful these past few months, I don't know what happened but I'm not happy about it. I got loads of spots, which have mostly gone away but I'm left with redness that won't fade.

* I've been really wanting to buy a scented candle lately. Fleur (FleurdeForce) has been raving about Yankee Candles and I found a store that sells them, but it's not really close by and I can't justify driving to buy one. I did buy a scented candle in Ikea the other day, but I didn't really like the smell of it once I got it home. :(

* My mother's friend came for a visit a couple of months ago (she lived in Norway) and she (very kindly) gave me a bottle of Chanel's Paradoxal nail polish. I really like it and have worn in quite a lot, it's on my nails right now. It looks almost black in some lighting but can also look muddy and grey or purple. I'll just pop in a picture so you can see what it's like.

I have now run out of things to say, so I'm going to end this rambly post and write a little review of Lush's Cinders bath bomb.

FotN: Christmas Eve

Why, hello there!
It's been a long time since you've seen one of my posts pop up on your Blogger Dashboard, now hasn't it?
Truth be told I haven't been writing anything this past few months. I can't explain why, it's not that I've been too busy, it's just that I haven't wanted to write anything. I don't just mean beauty related things, just anything. I like to write a bit of fiction in my spare time and I haven't written a single word in months. Recently though I have felt a slight urge to write something non-school related and I let that urge grow a little, until now. I thought that Christmas would be a perfect opportunity to pick up the pen again (or so to speak) and write something that (I hope) you might find interesting.
I thought I would include a couple of pictures of my hair and makeup (and perhaps a picture of my dress if my mother allows me to steal her pictures off her camera).
I apologise for the fact that these are all a little blurry, they looked like they were in focus on my camera screen, but obviously they were not. I really want a new camera, the one I have is a bit rubbish, but I can't afford a good one at the moment. I'll try using my laptop next time, maybe those pictures will turn out better.

I wore Mac's Girl About Town lipstick, which was a Christmas present from my grandparents (well they always give my mother money to buy presents since they live out in the country where there aren't many shops and this year she gave me the money so that I could chose something for myself. I also bought a skincare kit from Shiseido). I really like it, it's a magenta colour (the website describes it as a "fabulous fushia") and it's really bright, but not too scary. I've included a picture of the lipstick and a swatch below in case you're interested, although the colour doesn't show up true to life.

What I wore
* Gosh touch up concealer no. 2
*L'oreal true match foundation, rose ivory mixed with Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid ivory
* Maybelline mineral concealer no. 2
* L'oreal true match powder rose beige
* Mac eyeshadow Kid to contour
* Mac powder blush Well Dressed

* Urban Decay Primer Potion
* Mac eyeshadow Sable on the lids and a bit of Kid to blend
* L'oreal Super liner carbon gloss
* Gosh Let's twist eye liner Carbon black

* Mac lipstick Girl About Town

I think I need to buy a lip liner to use with the lipstick, to boost it's staying power. I think I'll take a trip to a pharmacy/drugstore and swatch it and find a lip liner to match. Let me know if you have any recommendations. :)

That's all for this post, I am going to write a couple of more posts now, but I won't post them till later, don't want to bombard you with posts just yet!

I hope you all have a lovely holiday, whatever it may be and spend some time with those closest to you.