01 June 2011

making faces :: product review [lush "dirty" collection]

although everyone is releasing new products for the summer season, this is a big one, since it represents a whole new [and apparently permanent] line and a set of products that are geared towards men. that's not to say, of course, that women can't use them, but there's definitely an emphasis on elements that will draw in men who are looking for ways to look, feel and smell clean. so, in the interests of giving these products a fair shake, i enlisted dom's help in testing them out.
the dirty "party pack"

the product line has several components- a body spray, hair styling cream, bath/ shower gel and shaving cream, but i highlight recommend doing what i did and grabbing the convenient little introductory box that has all the components in miniature size for you to try. [the box is $20 canadian and contains generous enough sizes of all the products to give you a good idea of whether or not they'll work for you. it also contains one product that's exclusive to the set, which i'll get to shortly.]

"dirty" is an ironic moniker, because the scents of each of the products are selected for their association with cleanliness- really squeaky, freshly washed and disinfected cleanliness. all the products are made to be worn together- so that they layer to create their own com
plex aroma replete with mint and other herbs, as well as other summery ocean-side notes. here's a breakdown of our findings.

FIND OUT OUR CHOICES FOR HITS AND MISSES...



bath/ shower gel :: this is obviously going to be the stalwart item of the collection, since it having something that smells nice during daily scrub-down is a priority for both men and women. perhaps it's because other lush products set the bar so high that dom and i were both initially a little disappointed with this one. we understood that the different scents are supposed to be layered for full effect, but this one is really one-note and that note is mint. it's incredibly bright and in your face, which is kind of nice when you're in the shower first thing in the morning, but- although you may not think that your nose can appreciate a complex scent more than a simple one- you'll be surprised at how the aroma fades almost immediately from invigorating to dull.  to be fair, spearmint isn't one of my favourite scents to begin with [although this one is natural-sourced, which makes it bearable], but dom had much the same experience. being more of a bath guy, he also tried it there and noted that having some time seems to allow the bouquet to open a little and become both less harsh and more complex. yes folks, we really put this stuff to the test in order to give you the best information possible.

as foamy as it gets
shaving cream :: in a line targeting men, this product is key and, good news for lush, it is [apparently] the hands-down super-star of the collection. being a true-to-name cream product, it doesn't lather much, which makes it problematic for those of us who do our shaving in the shower. you can't tell if it's there or not. even on the face [see photo], it's kind of difficult to tell at first how much coverage you have. however, once he got the hang of it, dom was super-impressed. it's extremely moisturising, which, for those "men's men" who don't care much how their skin feels, means that you're going to be less prone to razor burn whether or not you put something else on afterward. although hard to detect visually, the formula is quite viscous, which means that you're unlikely to cut yourself up, even when moving quickly. best of all, it was very gentle on dom's skin, which is very sensitive. it has a much more subtle scent that lingers a little on your skin if you're really trying to catch it [or if someone else is nuzzling you neck, you lucky sod], but they wisely kept the perfume toned down on this one.

perfume/ body spray :: ahem, lush, if you are trying to market a line of products to men, don't call one of them "perfume". i'm lumping these together since the perfume is really just a more concentrated version of the body spray and the end results are pretty similar. the "cleaning product" packaging is adorable on the body spray and it encourages you to use it liberally. the scent is light enough that you can douse yourself without coming off as a pimp and it does feel very refreshing. although spearmint oil is used here again, it isn't as pronounced as with the shower gel, because it's mixed with tarragon, lavender, sandalwood and other scents. as you might expect, your body's chemistry will determine which notes dominate on you. on dom, the leafy herbaceous elements really came forward and lingered. on me, the touches of salt and sandalwood came to the fore. of the two, i personally preferred how it smelled on dom, because i felt it was a little more distinctive, but either way, it's a nice, subtle scent. both of us found that the scent didn't last terribly long on either of our skins.

my un-fatigued curly-wurlies after a full day
hair cream :: if you've seen my recent photos of dom, you'll realise why he couldn't participate in testing on this one... this was actually my favourite product in terms of scent, because the cocoa butter base brought out the richness of some of the other elements. the mint smell is almost absent here and instead, my hair smelled [for several hours] like a fresh herb garden next to the sea. as a styling aide, it's marketed as a strong-hold product, which kind of befuddles me. granted, my hair is seriously thick, so it takes a lot to really hold it, but i think that, even on shorter and sparser hair, it would remain pretty flexible. that said, as a more flexible product, it's very nice to work with. i used it to separate my hair and work my natural waves into tendrils and it held for hours. i found it gave my hair that strangely coveted "day after" feel, in that the hair stayed a bit tacky and malleable, like hair that's been left unwashed for a day. i did have to use a fair amount of product to get the result you see [photo was taken after approximately eight hours split between indoors and outdoors] and, while it didn't give my hair that awful "crunchy" feeling, i was definitely aware that there was something in there. i'd place the texture as being like a very soft wax. i tried using a smaller amount just on the ends of my hair to give them a nice curl and found that it worked just fine. i was able to reshape my curls throughout the day, as well, which is always a bonus.


toothy tabs :: what the sam hell are "toothy tabs"? well, they're like an old-fashioned tooth polish and, while i don't see them replacing crest or colgate anytime soon, i salute lush for being open to trying something innovative. or retro-innovative as the case may be. essentially, these are little pills that function as toothpaste. you grind one up [don't swallow] with your front teeth and then brush as usual. i use a battery-powered toothbrush, which works pretty well at spreading the love around. i think that using these with a manual brush would be both irritating and pointless. take note :: these do not foam up at all. although they're strongly flavoured with spearmint, the star ingredient here is good old baking soda. its cleaning and polishing properties are well-established and let me tell you that after a couple of minutes using one of these, your teeth will feel like they've been sand blasted. you only need one per brushing. you can use a couple, but unless you've got some serious sabre-tooth action happening, i can't imagine why you'd need to. plus, if you use more than one, the flavour of the baking soda quickly overwhelms the flavour of the spearmint. [you'll get a hint of soda even using a single one. i actually don't mind this at all, but i can't imagine it being a selling point for most.] keep in mind that while these will make your mouth feel clean, they do not have any ingredients that will help protect against cavities, gingivitis or plaque the way a lot of commercial toothpastes do, so you might want to follow up with a more medicinal mouthwash if you want to cover your bases. some people are going to find these a bit finicky to use, but suspect they're the kind of product that will develop its own cult following. the latest in dental care from the land of britannia. 


both dom and i found things that we'd go back for- the shaving cream and the hair cream were our favourites and the body spray will definitely be re-purchased. unless you really love mint, the shower gel is a safe pass. for $20cad a pop, it's highly worth getting the gift box so that you can try everything out yourself. [note- at the moment, the toothy tabs are only available for individual purchase on line, so if you want to try them, you either have to order there or get the gift box.]

1 comment:

J-37 said...

THis bit about the shaving cream is good to know. I love this headblade stuff that is chemical free and minimal in packaging but it is very hard to find retail and last time I had to order it by mail. Nothing worse then these canisters of chemical that are more suitable for dispensing mustard gas than skin care!

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