eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The LUSH Life: Gorilla at LUSH Dear John and Superworld Unknown, plus 2 major skin treats

My recent obsession with LUSH continues with two more Gorilla Perfumes: Dear John and Superworld Unknown. My interest was also piqued when I read about and had the opportunity to try some of LUSH's  skin care products. The way that fragrance is weaved into these products is of importance to a scent-obsessive like myself, so I had to add in reviews for those as well. Leave it to LUSH to show me exactly what utterly delicious things I've been missing yet never had a clue existed until now. But first, the perfumes!

Dear John notes list: lime, pine, coffee, coriander, clove, cedarwood, vetiver

Dear John ($15.95- $39.95) is a gingery zinger of a fragrance and is thoroughly unisex. It's particularly wonderful for warm weather because its freshness is so intense and the drydown offers very soft, edible spices. It goes from fresh ginger to a not-too-sweet gingerbread in about 45 minutes, and it's pleasing to the senses for the entire journey. It reminds me of the course the sun takes-- from high noon until dusk, different shades of warmth are revealed as time goes on. As Dear John settles into the skin during the drydown, the clove and coriander ease their way up to the forefront, and the sharp ginger and lemon from the beginning is practically just a memory. In my opinion, this fragrance is well worth the price of admission to own a bottle. Dear John is something I can see myself wearing once in awhile, until the end of time.

Superworld Unknown notes list: cocoa, vanilla, tonka, cassie, juniper, petitgrain, neroli, lime, lemon, bergamot, rose, ylang ylang, benzoin, sandalwood

Superworld Unknown ($3.00- $49.95) seems to me like the more leathery, sex-bomb sibling to the beautiful Tuca Tuca, It's a rubbery sort of sweet, supple leather, exactly the type that made me fall hard for the avant-garde synthetics of Comme des Garcons and Le Labo. The name refers to a pop song by Norwegian singer Karin Park, but me? I think of Soundgarden of course. This is the kind of fragrance that I  might tell the world is "very me" (Hey, I just did!). Here, I think the notes list betrays what the scent actually smells like to me. There is a fleeting gourmand sweetness that really just plays into the leather. I must admit I cannot pick out about half of the listed notes. This is why I write my impressions down before I've had a chance to read the official notes list. All that aside, this is one of the most attractive, thoroughly urban, tarry, rubbery leather fragrances I've had the pleasure to wear. And yes, I have many, many others. Superworld Unknown is a must-have for me. Plus, if  it makes me think of Chris Cornell, that can only be beneficial to my mood.

Viva La 1990s!

RO'S ARGAN ingredients include: glycerine, almond oil, cypress leaf infusion, brazil nut oil, vanilla pod, fair trade shea butter, argan oil, cupuacu butter, cocoa butter, goji berry decoction, rose absolute, geranium oil, lemon oil

Ro's Argan Body Conditioner ($29.95) is a thick, rich, berry-rose scented cream that comes in a tub. At first I thought it was a body butter-type product, and then, that thing happened that always happens with LUSH products. I read the label, and it tells me to use what I'm holding in my hand in a very non-traditional way. As per the directions, after showering, I slathered Ro's Argan all over (happily, a little goes a long way), and then rinsed it off in the shower and gently blotted my skin dry with a towel. Wacky? Yeah, I know! But it's wonderful. My skin was probably softer than it's ever been in my life, AND (we've covered the wacky, now here's the crazy part)-- I absolutely love the honeyed rose scent. Is this backwards day or what? Un-rose-able me has found a rose to love in an unlikely spot. It's got a gorgeous but subtle tartness to it, and the rose is not overbearing at all, and there is a slight musky, woody depth. This is exactly how I want to smell and feel when I get out of the shower: with my skin criminally smooth, smelling clean and fresh-- not in an Irish Spring kind of way, but in the way that suits my personality. Even at my very cleanest, there will always be a bit of growl underneath.

The website recommends using their Turkish Delight Shower Smoothie before using Ro's Argan Body Conditioner. Major "don't mind if I do" moment. The scent, texture, richness and straight-up effectiveness makes Ro's Argan Body Conditioner THE essential post-shower product suitable for anyone with a heart which is still currently beating. It's just gorgeous.

ULTRABLAND ingredients include: beeswax, rosewater, almond oil, honey, fresh iris extract, glycerine, rose absolute, tincture of benzoin

Ultrabland facial cleanser ($15.95- $29.95) is exactly the kind of cleanser I'm really into lately-- the kind that is less a cleanser and more of an event. Take a little bit less than a teaspoon (that's what works for me), and take your time massaging it into dry skin. It removes makeup (eye makeup will take two rounds) and sunscreen in a flash. I use my trusty muslin face cloth and warm water to remove the cleanser, and what is revealed is the same kind of freakishly soft and smooth skin that Ro's Argan Body Conditioner gave me. It's soothing, hydrating, simple and natural, and a boon for those of us with sensitive skin, dry skin, even blemish-prone. These ingredients will take care of most of us.

There are balm cleansers out there in the market that are similar (but completely inferior, and not natural) that sell for three or four times what Ultrabland costs, and it's loaded with petrolatum/ mineral oil. It's crystal clear what the majority of beauty industry execs think of the intelligence of their target consumers. I'm just going to say this here, to make it official where I stand on this issue:
It is no longer a good idea to use petroleum-based products on your skin. It is toxic! 
There are gorgeous natural alternatives, even other synthetic alternatives, that will not hurt you. Think of petroleum-based products as the Smoke Monster from Lost. You may forget about it because it's not in your face 24/7, but it will sneak up on you and basically vaporize you one day. Was that a dramatic enough analogy? Gosh, I really miss Lost. And I really, really love LUSH.

[Samples provided by LUSH for my consideration. I am in no way affiliated with LUSH or any other company. My opinions are strictly my own.]


  1. Totally agree! Petroleum products - yuck!

    1. Erica, I will fully admit that I never used to think about that stuff, but over the past couple of years, I've learned a TON. Not only are my skin allergies literally gone since switching to naturals/organics, but my skin looks better than ever. Hat tip to you for helping me achieve that!

  2. As a recovering Lush addict, this post made me smile. Glad you've been enjoying the body conditioner. I've currently got a pot of their Turkish Delight, which I've been loving. I'm thinking about using it as a face wash, too, so I finish it while it's still fresh.

    Both of those perfumes sound great, too. Have you tried The Smell of Freedom? I finished my sample ridiculously quickly, and only later realized that it was probably the oud in it that I liked so well. Now I'm working the more traditional, but still beautiful, Imogen Rose and Orange Blossom samples.

    And ditto on petroleum products. I recently found out that Clinique's Dramatically Different lotion uses primarily mineral oil. I can't believe it's still so popular in the online beauty community.

    As usual, rediscovering your blog inspires me to be more adventurous with my perfume-wearing habits. Keep up the great writing!


    1. Thank you so much cle0tara! I'm so happy you stopped by. :)