LUSH: Briny Banquet

lush-briny-banquet

While lazy days on the beach may be coming to an end as visions of candy corn and spooky decorations dance in our head, LUSH makes it possible to capture the essences of your favorite Summer memories so that you can revisit them any time of the year.  Each product has been selected for their sensational scents and promised performance to pamper your body from head to toe!  The aromas that will fill your shower or tub are specially designed to take you away on an exotic adventure without where relaxation is permanently on the menu.

1 – Submerge yourself in the soothing waters of Big Blue, a bath bomb that releases lavendar and lemon oil to ease your sensibilities as sea salt rids the body of toxin and seaweed softens the skin.

2 – Tinted a color reminiscent of centrally located oceans, Sea Vegetable combines the invigorating texture of sea salt with the cooling abilities of seaweed, its herbaceous fragrance mingling into lavender and lime to leave you feeling revived.

3 – Benefiting nearly all skin types, Ocean Salt is a cleanser I can stand behind and say it does what it is advertised to, exfoliating skin in a cocktail of avocado, coconut, lime, vodka and two types of sea salt.

4 – More than half of Big Shampoo is a base of sea salt infused with seaweed extract and blended with extra virgin coconut oil, avocado butter and fresh citrus juices that clean and nourish hair then give it plenty of shine.

5 – Ingredients gathered from far eastern continents come together in Seanik, a solid shampoo that has rich ingredients to make hair silky as the floral perfume of lemon, jasmine and mimosa oils stay with you all day.

6 – As a child I could not get enough of having hair styled by the sea, and now I have that option in the convenience of Sea Spray – sea salt, sea water and seaweed offers textured volume while orange flower, grapefruit, neroli and rosewood makes hair smell as though it was dried in a balmy breeze.

7 – Improving faces that have been damaged by Summer elements through a Breath of Fresh Air, casting nutrients from fresh sea water and seaweed extract onto skin to provide essential vitamins and soothing dry areas with rose absolute and aloe vera.

8 – Cover yourself in a tropical cocktail of Coconut, a deodorant powder made with four different types of coconut extract mixed into other natural ingredients and calming essential oils that will have you feeling like you are on a seafaring safari.

9 – Moisturize and cleanse using Enzymion, where astringent pineapple, papaya and lemon juices get rid of excess oil while avocado and evening primrose oils replenish vitamin and minerals; it can also be used as a primer and works best when paired with Ocean Salt.

Aesthetic Autopsy: Strongman

Historically just about every circus employed a strongman to astonish audiences through physical feats.  The image that has become synonymous with the term is that of a muscled man with a curled moustache clad in a leotard made of leopard skin, lips curled into a smile as he elevates a pliable barbell high into the air.  While the displays these men offered fluctuated between marginally humdrum to vastly remarkable, at the pinnacle of competition from numerous colleagues there was a challenge for one to push further in order to garner the most fame.  Such an innovative individual was born October 29, 1845, though John Holtum had a rather unexciting life until enlisting as a sailor when he was 15, where working on deck and in the shipyards formed the brawny body he would be known for in due course.  He held a job as a professional strongman in San Francisco, where he studied and rehearsed the rudimentary feats, but it was upon his return to Europe in 1870 that he developed the plan to catch a cannonball.  Following two years of intense preparation, Holtum refined the act and went on to build both a successful fortune and reputation.  Standing on stage, he would use a pair of gloves and chest pad to cradle the deadly projectile after it was shot out of a cannon.  Though a reward of 3000 francs would be given to anyone who could duplicate his efforts, none accepted the challenge and it was clear the death-defying feat was one only he could perform and fearlessly pioneered.

Friederich Wilhelm Mueller, more commonly known as Eugen Sandow, was presenting strongman stunts in sideshows at age 19, recognized for extraordinary barbell routines as well as the ability to split a chain that had been fastened around his chest.  The allure of his protruding muscles overshadowed the large quantities of weight he could lift, which led to Sandow established a display of poses that are a precursor to what is seen in bodybuilding competitions today.  The combination of his physique and these routines rapidly made Sandow a popular marvel often likened to a Roman god.  Inspired by the sculptures he had viewed in Greece and Rome as a child, his passion to mold his body into these same forms was sparked.  When he finally fostered his body to the precise proportions, Sandow also became one of the first athletes to deliberately remodel musculature to pre-determined dimensions and is regarded as “The Father of Bodybuilding.  Sandow went on to perform all across Europe and came to America in 1893, where his exhibition at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago involved being displayed in a black velvet lined box with white powder covering his body to convey the appearance of a marble statue.  A cultured appearance, high intelligence and well-mannered disposition coupled with dressing well, a charming European accent and hearty laugh were all traits that only increased his popularity.  Reported to be perceptive businessman, Sandow authored five books, owned a mail-order physical instruction/exercise equipment, invented a unique spring-loaded dumbbell and weighted resistance band training system, produced and promoted Sandow Cigars, Sandow Health & Strength Cocoa and a magazine dedicated to physical culture, and opened a Physical Culture Studio in London which was one of the first health clubs which starkly contrasted the ‘sweaty’ gyms at the time.  He also organized the first ever bodybuilding competition in 1901, and in recognition of his contribution to the sport, a bronze statue of Sandow has been presented to winners of Mr. Olympia since 1977.

the-mighty-atom-joseph-greensteinThe man revered as ‘The Greatest Strongman’, Yosselle Greenstein was three months premature when he was born to the poorest family in Suvalk, Poland in 1893 and lucky to have endured such an early hardship.  Though he was small in stature as a teenager, he retained an enormous amount of resolution, heart and purpose.  Drawn to the depiction of chiseled Russian strongman Champion Volanko who was in town with the Issakoff Brothers’ Circus, Greenstein attempted to sneak into the show because he had no money, but was caught, beaten and left for dead.  It was then he encountered Volanko in the flesh who helped him overcome physical limitations and two years later, had a body as firm as his determination.  The beginning of his career as a strongman began in 1914, when he was shot in the head in Galveston, Texas yet was able to leave the hospital the same day, citing his physical conditioning for saving his life.  He became The Mighty Atom and was able to: snap apart chains with his hands or by expanding his chest, bend iron bars or horseshoes with his teeth, curve half inch rolled steel rods into heart shapes, and drive nails through wood with his bare hands.  The Mighty Atom was also a true superhero, known for fighting intolerance which resulted in the hospitalization of six longshoremen after a dramatic fight in 1936.  During another incident that occurred after he tore down a sign that said “No Dogs or Jews Allowed”, it is reported that defeated twenty men, and while he was arrested, he was subsequently released without charge due to the court refusing to believe he acted alone.  During World War II Greenstein volunteered his time and demonstrated his strength which in turn sold hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of war bonds, and also assisted in the recruitment of New York City’s Police Force without asking for compensation.  The Mighty Atom continued to perform well into his eighties, with a final appearance at Madison Square Garden in 1977, but remains as the “mightiest little man to have ever walked the earth.

Though the choice to be tattooed or a strongman was not a rare sight by the time Rasmus Nielsen accumulated his own collection of ink, he still managed to concoct an act that was virtually unheard of in order to set himself apart.  His septum, tongue and nipples were subsequently pierced, and was able to lift anvils from these piercings through strengthening elasticity and pain tolerance.  It is believed that he also had a surface piercing in his chest, though there is not much information to confirm how, when or where it was done.  An image of him hanging his anvil from this piercing was one he became well known for and was used as a pitch card that Nielsen often signed the back of.  These feats were an instant sensation and his fame quickly rocketed as people came to see the “Tattooed Wonderman”, who went from lifting anvils that weighed 50 pounds to those that weighed up to 250 pounds, allegedly able to lift 115 pounds with one nipple and a 25 pound hammer with his tongue.  He also had a piercing in the back of his neck that was used to pull a cart loaded with spectators or sledgehammers.  Sadly this amazing pioneer who certainly set records few have been able to beat dwindled into oblivion following his retirement in the 1950’s, though he has certainly earned a place in both body modification and sideshow history a memorable and remarkable figure.

+++

ATOMIC ADONIS

strongman-atomic-adonis

Filling the proverbial shoes of such extraordinary figures is no easy feat, but as always I strongly urge to use inspiration as a jumping off point when it comes to translating it into wearable fashion while maintaining a prominent sense of self that allows your inner confidence to come forth.  The result combines vintage and retro designs with prevailing trends among alternative fashion to provide a comfortable base that one can add their personality to.  Since the strongman is all about showing off those hard earned muscles, that can be accomplished with a Nat Nast Shaken Not Stirred Camp Shirt, a long name for a short sleeved button down in a classic corvette red that has a unique all over dash pattern which compliments the vertical stripes on each side of the button line.  The high performance technology inside these ClimaLite Classic Plaid Shorts wicks moisture away from skin for quick evaporation to keep the athlete dry, and the colors reflect those of the shirt for a relaxed resort vibe.  No need for socks when you are wearing the Iron Fist Lounge Leopard Oxford, a closed toe brogue that has a tan background covered in orange leopard spots along with pieces of red flowers and blue wings, as it is flamboyant enough on its own.

Moving on to accessories, it was rather difficult to find ones that were quality and not something found on the discount rack for those who want to be categorized as ‘punk’ or ‘metal’ or that were too ridiculous even for my taste.  Minimalism and urbanity are reflected in the Ben Sherman Woven Belt, which is made from black cotton cord with leather trim that makes it both smart and efficient.  These days the strongman can be known for hoisting large amounts of weight with various pierced parts, most commonly stretched ear lobes, and I cannot think of anything better to showcase these anatomical anomalies than with a pair of Anatometal Bullet Eyelets, seen here in ASTMF-138 stainless steel with bronze bullet inserts and a crown of black princess cut CZ gemstones.  Continue to flatter body parts with severe jewelry such as a Black Onyx Ring in sterling silver carved with scrolling vine work, and a Twister Ring that is distinguished by a spiral of silver that cuts through the polished black titanium.  The stainless steel front plate of this Wide Leather Buckle Bracelet merges naturally with soft black leather to form a sleek, novel piece which is easily balanced by kitschy and colorful watch you can use to time workouts.  In fact, you can store your keys on a ring attached to anvil that actually has a bit of weight to it, while your ID, cash and various cards are tucked safely inside of Circus Strongman Case, the brilliant illustration on the outside serving as motivation.

+++

REVAMP RUCKUS

strongman_revamp_ruckus

 

If one is going to spend any amount of time working on the body, it is always important to treat your parts right to maintain health and happiness both inside and out!  Get on the right track with these amazing products from LUSH, hand selected for their fragrances and promised performance.

 

1 – Exotic essential oils inside the Ultimate Shine shampoo bar effectively balances the hair and scalp, while aromatic scents such as ylang ylang, violet leaf and elmi oil will soften locks, and a touch of golden glitter add a boost of shimmer.

2 – Rich and moisturizing without weighing hair down, Happy Happy Joy Joy is a vegan conditioner that has a base of almond mild with a mix of rose and orange water to make hair more pliable, leaving behind a cheerful perfume thanks to orange flower absolute, rosewood and grapefruit oils.

3 – While in the shower, revive skin with an invigorating scrub using Rub Rub Rub, an extra cleansing and exfoliating shower gel that uses mineral-rich sea salt, lemon juice and mimosa blossoms to leave you feeling refreshed.

4 – Afterwards reach for Angels on Bare Skin, one of the best-selling cleansers LUSH has to offer that removes all sorts of debris that has been built up in your skin.  Kaolin clay reaches deep to purify pores, ground almonds gently clear dead skin away, then rose and lavender kick in for a soothing finish.

5 – Suitable for all skin types, Gorgeous is an aptly named moisturizer made with quality ingredients like orange blossom honey, fresh pineapple juice, and extra virgin olive and wheat germ oils.  They melt together on your skin wonderfully, and you are sure to see an improvement within four to six weeks.

6 – For a strong hold to your hair style without that stiff, sticky feeling, The Big Tease offers versatility while keeping your mane moisturized and happy with cupuacu and cocoa butters, as orange flower, bergamot, lemon and jojoba oils naturally uplift both your roots.

7 – Combat bacteria that causes stinky sweat by using T’eo, a zesty deodorant that is packed with powders that absorb perspiration and essential oils which neutralize odors.  The fresh scent is powered by juniper berry, tea tree and lemon grass oils, with a touch of green grapes as a natural antibacterial defense system.

8 – Inspired by the mythology behind the Agglestone, the Devil’s Night Cap is part of LUSH’s new Gorilla Perfume line and invokes imagery of wandering through dark oak woods.  This is captured by bitter oakwood andoakmoss, with clary sage to sharpen perceptions and ylang ylang to befuddle the senses.

9 – Before getting dressed, dust with Silky Underwear, a luxurious powder that has been crafted from grated cocoa butter to keep skin supple and kaolin to absorb excess moisture; jasmine and vetivert surrounding you in an aphrodisiac fragrance.

Resources: John Holtum, Eugen Sandow, The Mighty Atom, Rasmus Neilsen

Reading & Research: Oldtime  Strongman, Tattoo Archive, Sideshow World

Photo Credit: 1 – the Adrenalist, 2 – Fine Art America

So In Lush

Inevitably this time of year is marked with merchandise that is supposed to lure us in and somehow reflect the feelings we have towards someone special in our lives, whether you have known each other for a few months or recently celebrated your 30th wedding anniversary.  Being an advocate of Ant-Valentine’s Day, where one totally ignores all the pleas from corporations to use material things as displays of love and affection in favor of spoiling themselves.  For those who are single, do not subscribe to conventional relationships or simply just have no desire to celebrate such a ridiculous ‘holiday’, there is an immense amount of social pressure to feel guilty that someone is not lavishing them with gifts and I find it to be unacceptable.  There is nothing wrong with having the confidence to love yourself before trusting the emotion to a complete stranger who may as well be lying just to get what they want.

The point is that love comes in many forms and can be in expressed in some of the most beautiful and creative ways among all the species in the world, and are we really going to do that with items that are mass produced with little to no thought or emotion behind them?

Alternatives to spending February 14th doing anything but moping or avoiding all the annoying couples who put on elaborate shows of public affection so we all just how loving they are include:

  • Going to the beach with your friends and having a picnic/bonfire, responsibly of course.
  • Make a collage of things that inspire you and hang it in a visible place for daily affirmations.
  • Change one aspect of your appearance – it can be as minor/major as you desire.
  • Read a book or watch a movie you really enjoy with someone who never has to create a new experience for you both.
  • Hike through nature, take pictures and stop somewhere to just enjoy what you see around you.
  • Spend time with people who generally make you feel good about yourself.

If none of those sound appealing then perhaps some quiet time in the bath would assist in escaping the chaos of cupids and chocolates, which can be achieved by using these fresh products from LUSH.

+++

Ease cynical celebrations with The Ex-Factor, a fun bath bomb that quenches your thirst for revenge without having to face that heartless bastard one last time.  As this pseudo voodoo doll dissolves it will calm nerves with soothing blue water while vanilla scented musk helps you forget they even existed as the tiny heart gets washed down the drain.

+

Hailed as a “world famous sphere of sex appeal”, Sex Bomb certainly lives up to its name by way of an intoxicating mixture of jasmine, clary sage and ylang ylang that act as powerful aphrodisiacs.  Your body will also relish the softening powers of soya milk that will leave skin feeling as smooth as silk.

+

Part of the LUSH We Believe statement which appears on their bags and website states the company’s belief “in the right to make mistakes, lose everything and start again”, and Phoenix Rising is certainly a tribute to that.  Sinking to the bottom of the tub, it slowly rises up and fizzes while releasing a cinnamon and spicy apple scent with a twist of orange meant to lift spirits and fill you with inspiration.

+

Combining the fragrances of rose and orris root, Tisty Tosty is meant to relieve tension as it warms you with positive vibes.  The added touch of jasmine to this love potion improves rough or dry skin, which is ideal if you are spending time under the sheets with someone.

+

A very limited edition bubble bar, Magic Mushroom is full of fruity smells and plenty of soft bubbles.  The red cap contains creamy Vanillary perfume while the white stem has captured the aroma of fresh strawberries, both of which offer relaxation for an enchanting bath.

+

If love has you down The Comforter is there to supply your with plenty of purple water and creamy bubbles to console your soul.  The welcoming rich bouquet of blackcurrant and cassis absolute wraps you up in feelings of warm cotton that you are welcome to snuggle in until ready to deal with the world again.

+

With a name that is rumored to have been influenced by a former LUSH staff member who had to be relocated from once office to another after “using up all the single ladies”, Two Timing Tart has plenty of coconut cream that makes skin soft in a milky bath scented with soothing geranium and sensual jasmine.

+

No longer will you have ‘one of those days’ when Happy Bubble is around!  Cheery aquamarine waters greet you with the fragrances of tangerine and orange blossom that rise and surround you with clouds of reassuring steam.  The aromatherapy of neroli oil is said to curb anxiety, while sandalwood alleviates and tones to skin to leave you feeling refreshed.

+

Often the Winter weather can wreak havoc on the skin, so if you find yourself suffering from dryness or irritation, perhaps it’s time to try In The Nude.  This tranquil bath melt contains lavender, rose, and chamomile oils that treat dry patches while you soak up the cocoa butter infused waters.

+

Inspired by a traditional Chinese tale of love conquering all, Willow Pattern is made from creamy rose, Sicilian lemon and rosewood soap; a limited edition that is only available through the end of the month.

+

Advertised to be “sexy, sultry and sensual”, Lust Soap is infused with jasmine absolute that is known to come with Lust perfume, so that you can layer on both for the ultimate weapon of seduction.

+

Though it may look and smell good enough to eat, The Godmother is meant for your hands though can be used on any part of the body.  Fans of Snow Fairly will recognize the intoxicating aroma of bubblegum and candy floss that comes in a vibrant pink and red package.

+

Touted as the world’s first soft-centered massage bar, Tender Is The Night has a shell composed of light shea and murmuru butter that is easily crushed in your hands.  The center reveals a bounty of almond oil, glycerine, cupuaçu and agave syrup scented with jasmine, ylang ylang and vanilla perfume that you cannot resist massaging all over.

+

Decadence is personified with Chocolala, a rich massage bar infused with the sweet scent of violets and containing what is said to be “shameful quantities” of dark chocolate that is certain to melt into your skin.

+

Speaking of products inspired by tempting confections, Chocolate Whipstick has ingredients such as oats, almond and wheatgerm oils to reduce dryness, while beeswax adds waterproofing to protect sensitive skin.  Then there is a dose of vanilla absolute and orange oil, not to mention real chocolate, all of which melds together to tone lips.

+

Another first from the LUSH lab, The Kiss is a vegan lip gloss that is free from preservatives yet protects your lips and gives them a slight glossy pink sheen.  Shea and cupuaçu butters blend together to moisturize, while a hint of almond and mandarin flavors might make for an irresistible pout.

+

Prior to applying either lip balm, scrub with Bubble Gum, which contains Fair Trade sugar to exfoliate and castor oil to moisturize.  It also has the same sweet fragrance that Snow Fairy does, while jojoba oil effectively softens the skin.

+

Though it has become an increasingly popular color among alternative models, pinups and fetish icons, there are so many shades of red that if the idea of processing your locks with harsh chemicals is unappealing, then you might want to try out Caca Rouge Mama.   This dye is made with the reddest dye and using the finest Persian henna where the leaves are dried, ground into powder and then mixed with conditioning cocoa butter.  Hair will also be left shiny and lustrous thanks to organic lemon juice, rosemary and clove bud oil.

Always do a strand test before taking the plunge in case you are not ready for hair that might stop traffic, and be sure to protect your neck, ears and hairline.

How To Use

  1. Cut henna into small pieces and place in heatproof bowl.
  2. Add hot water and let steep.  Mix to yogurt-like consistency.
  3. Put on gloves and apply from back to front, thoroughly coating hair.
  4. Cover in cling wrap for more vibrant color.  Leave on for one to six hours.
  5. Rinse, shampoo and condition hair.
  6. Dry, style and enjoy!

 

LUSH Holiday Gift Guide

This might only be my second Gift Guide filled to the brim with LUSH products, but I certainly recognize some items from last year and am going to do my best to avoid repeating suggestions.  Since the fun fragrances speak volumes for themselves, I figured it would not make much sense to provide a prologue littered with alliterations when there are so many great things to talk about.  Though I would like to note that the majority of these retail for $20 or under and also send a reminder to readers that there are only twelve shopping days left!

+++

Make bath time a cause for celebration with Golden Wonder, a present shaped Bath Bomb with a bright citrus scent which comes from orange, lime and cognac oils reminiscent of fizzy champagne.  Speaking of which, once this is in the tub it will reveal vibrant gifts that put on a show just for you.

+


Inspired by Japanese bathing traditions, Winter Bath is loaded with spicy ginger and clove bud oils which combine to give your skin a herbal hint of warmth.  Bath melt mix and soya milk have also been added to moisturuize seasonally dry skin so that it is soft and smooth all season.

+


Banish the dreaded Holiday Hangover with Jingle Spells, a restorative potion crafted from juniper berries, fennel, tangerine and ylang ylang oils.  Infused with an enchanting galaxy of gold, silver and black stars that appear as the Bath Bomb dissolves while your tub is tinted a lovely shade of lavender to help you relax.

+


A present to yourself that is chock-full of surprises, Crackersnap can be pulled apart or tossed in the tub to inhale the zesty fragrance of rosewood, lemongrass and bergamot.  As it continues to snap, crackle and pop, you will soon find that it is has been stuffed with treats and can be used for up to three baths.

+


To indulge in a holiday treat without counting calories, crumble Gingerbread House into the bath water to generate delicious cinnamon bubbles.  Ginger root oil and powder create a warming sensation while an uplifting dash of lemon oil helps cleanse and tone your skin.

+


Get the most of your money with this three-in-one bubble bar, and one will not be disappointed in the items stuffed into Santa’s Sack.  Remove the presents to save them for later and then dissolve the sack in the bath, slipping under mounds of spicy bubbles generated by tonka absolute and neroli oil as fresh tagetes oil benefits skin that is dry, sore or cracked.

+


Lather up with lemon, grapefruit and lemongrass oils to refresh your mind, body and soul after a long day of frolicking with Snow Globe.  It will also help keep you calm during moments of festive frenetic energy by way of ylang ylang oil and turquoise color, both of which are going to turn up the relaxation.

+


Though the aromatic properties of Snowcake may seem good enough to eat, this almond icing and marzipan confection is loaded with benzoin and rose absolute.  A slice of this holiday treat generates a rich and creamy lather that will leave skin feeling soft and smooth as a dewy petal.

+


Sweet and fruity, Angel’s Delight is influenced by the English custard of the same name and is just as decadent as the desert.  Saturated with tangerine and orange essence, the colorful chunks suspended in this fresh handmade soap makes it as unique as a snowflake!

+


Marketed as a spectacular seasonal soap that is a brilliant balance of stimulating, refreshing lathers with a hint of luxurious, indulgent sweetness, North Pole offers two different scents and colors for you to choose from.  On the pink side is cocoa absolute  and peppermint, while cedarwood and cypress oils reside in the white.

+

Exfoliate skin for a toned, glowing complexion with Sandy Santa, a Shower Scrub made from sand and sugar.  Orange, rosewood and sandalwood oils blend together for an extra dose of softness while making you smell marvelous!

+

This classic holiday treat is ideal for those with constant candy cravings and adds some fun to your shower with irridescent glitter that disappears when you rinse.  Snow Fairy has been infused with the delicious fragrance of candyfloss and vanilla that will have visions of Summer carnivals dancing in your head.

+


Reap the benefits of your favorite libation on your own skin with Glögg, which has a generous nip of real organic red wine to assist with getting the party started on bleak mornings.  Cinnamon and clove bud have been mixed with a shot of brandy to perk you up, while orange juice cleanses your skin and keeps it glowing.

+


A bewitching brew of delightful ingredients, Potion Lotion is a concoction of cocoa butter and almond oil to nourish skin, while a rose petal infusion makes it incredibly soft.  Tangerine tones and carnation absolute lends a distinctive floral note which can be applied any time of the year.

+


Named for the log-shaped French desert, Bûche de Noël has fresh ingredients for glowing holiday skin.  Scrub away dead skin with ground almonds, cleanse with kaolin clay and then nourish with almond oil and seaweed.  There’s also a splash of brandy and overall you will be able to get rid of winter-induced roughness, leaving skin feeling softer than snow that has freshly fallen.

+


Though the components of Let the Good Times Roll may read more like a recipe for a tasty snack than elements of a fresh facial cleanser, the maize, flour, and polenta with popcorn topping all serve a purpose.  Together they leave your skin clean, smooth and bright while a dash of cinnamon powder invigorates; it is gentle enough to use on your entire body though available for a limited time.

+


Skip the cookies and candies to engorge yourself on Sweet Christmas, one of many LUSH gift sets that have been put together to help customers who may be shopping for someone special and may be unsure of what to get.  The cotton candy scented sweets in this one are the Candy Mountain bubble bar and Rockstar soap, both of which are tasty bath time bonbons that can be enjoyed by everyone.

+


An archetype for Secret Santa gifts, Festive Cheer is said to make unsuspecting friends, neighbors and coworkers smile with sunny, citrus aromas.  It contains the Sandy Santa from the list above as well as Ponche shower gel, suitable for those who favor showers over baths.

+


Make spirits bright no matter what the forecast is with Cool Christmas, the duo of icy fresh soaps sure to put a bit of zing in your morning.  The set contains Snow Globe [see above] and Whoosh, a shower jelly that can be frozen then applied during a steamy shower for a stimulating treat.

+

/
Christmas Party stands out among the other sets because it is contains a pair of treats that can be enjoyed by a party of one [or more].  Party Popper spins around the tub detonating pink and blue color bombs, crackling and popping candy exploding beside dried honeydew flakes, while Northern Lights provides the perfect neon glow.

+

Made from 100% recycled materials, Santa’s Hat can be used to wrap up stocking stuffers and small gifts.  Tie it around your head or face [depending on whether you want to ‘wear’ the hat or beard] for an instant Christmas party costume!  If your locks look less than lustrous first thing in the morning when you are ready to reek havoc on pristine packages and someone is shoving a camera in your sleepy face, this scarf also comes in handy as a funny disguise.

Topaz Pizazz

Who first comes to this world below

In dreary November’s fog and snow,

Should prize the topaz amber hue,

Emblem of friends and lovers true

The poem above echoes a few assets with which topaz is associated: dependability, fidelity and devoted friendship.  This stone is found in Brazil, China, Pakistan and Shri Lanka, though the name itself is derived from Topazos, a tiny island in the Red Sea where Romans acquired a stone they entitled with the same name.  It is generally colorless but has also been found in light to medium blue, violet, yellow, pink, gold, green and brown.  For the sake of this guide, however, I will be focusing on the orange-red shades, as they happen to be the most valuable topaz.  Legend dictates that gifting a piece of jewelry which includes November’s birthstone will grant good luck and protection to the wearer.

If gold chains and glittering gems are not your thing, you can still wear topaz and otherwise embrace the mystical properties associated with it.  Whether sweeping shadow across the eyes, sculpting ombre tones on nails or trying something totally new and bringing the coveted amber color into your current hairstyle, the products presented here certainly do not fall short of fantastic.  Use these tips when putting together a look for the office, a dinner date or a night on the town celebrating your Scorpio birthday!

+++

It is no secret that Illamasqua has superb colors which create a proclamation as distinctive as you are, and their Powder Eye Shadows offers intense, extremely long-lasting pigments that urge you to be bold and experiment with makeup.  Here I have selected three shade which can be used separately or together with a few golden highlights that can have your eyes making a statement as soon as you enter a room.  From left to right is Apex – red-orange with matte finish, Vulgar – bright flame orange with matte finish, and Vapour – tangerine with matte  finish.

+

 

 

Bright orange lipstick might seem intimidating, but Flare has an iridescent finish that keeps it soft and sophisticated as opposed to overly obnoxious.  With a highly pigmented formula that glides on smoothly and is long-lasting, you might find yourself hard pressed to resist trying it at least once.

+

 

 

Now is the time to emerge from being a wallflower and exude confidence as people take notice, especially if you are wearing Temper Intense Lipgloss.  This bright tangerine high shine gloss can be used over Flare or by itself; either way ensures that you will be captivating.

+

 

 

Though a much cooler shade than the other products, this is still high quality Nail Varnish that is extremely chip resistant so you can enjoy the effort put into your manicure.  Take the vivid tangerine tones of Whack, blend carefully with a bit of Gamma [neon orange] and Faithful [coppered metal, metallic finish] for a powerful look.

+

 

Don’ let your face have all the fun!   Bold color will always be a prominent trend in hair as far as I am concerned, but if you are not into neon bright enough to burn out retinas, there is a semi-permanent dye intended to deliver brilliantly fierce results.  Ion Color Brilliance Brights can be applied to natural, pre-bleached or color treated hair, though it should be noted the lighter or more pale the hair is, the more intense the resulting color will be.  Carefully blend Red, Orange and Magenta to create your custom topaz shade, and remember to do a strand test before taking the plunge to be sure you like what you see.  Select precise strips, random chunks or go for an all over coverage to transform your locks into strands of spun topaz.

+

 

Once you have made your selections and are ready to flaunt your new look, there will certainly be a desire to sink in a tub full of refreshing fragrances that can assist you in starting the day feeling refreshed.  These delicious products from LUSH never fails to deliver when it comes to lavishing yourself with things that smell good, and when Bon Bomb hits the water you’ll know why.  The Bath Bomb contains avocado and mango butters that will make dry skin soft, while the fresh scents of orange oil and lime are sure to give you that extra boost in the morning.

+

If topaz had a smell, for some reason I can imagine it being heavy on the citrus to coordinate with its tropical tones and that is the inspiration behind the selection of these products as opposed to just their color.  After your bath, treat yourself to the fruity fragrance of You’ve Been Mangoed, a delicious Bath Melt filled with mango and avocado butters that will condition your skin much like the Bath Bomb did, while citrus oils brighten it.  The added touch of lemongrass not only acts as a toner, but it can also lift your mood and get you ready to face your day.

+

If heaps of frothy white bubbles  that soften skin while you sit in them soaking up the citrus and chocolate scent is your idea of heaven, then the Yuzu and Coca Bubble Bar is for you!  This unique ‘Bubbleroon’ is filled with Extra Virgin coconut oil, Fair Trade Shea Butter and just the right dose of cocoa absolute that gives it that decadent fragrance.

+

Take care of you newly dyed hair with Godiva, a vegan 2 in one Solid Shampoo Bar that will assist in conditioning and moisturizing, both of which you will need if you decide to bleach for more vibrant hues.  Cocoa and Shea butters have been combined with camellia oil for manageability, while jasmine leaves an empowering and lasting aroma.

+

 

 

If you have a bit of trouble getting yourself motivated in the morning, then perhaps it is time to try Back to Breakfast.  Stimulating lemon, lime and grapefruit oils in this Shower Gel cleanse and tone, gently waking up your mind and body.  There is also an added touch of honey that is great for treating dry or sensitive skin, both of which easily occur with the colder weather.

+

Soap is exciting again, especially when it has been made from the peels of organic oranges, limes and lemons that give Sexy Peel the exfoliating texture of fresh marmalade.  The revitalizing orange juice and oil delivers nutritious Vitamin C to help keep skin clear, and overall it is certain to give you a reason to roll out of bed in the morning.

+

 

When you are ready to wind down for the day and embark on a spiritual journey, Cosmic Dreamcatcher is the Massage Bar that will help you refocus energy with a specific blend of oils, while frankincense, sage and thyme help you relax.  Fresh mango has also been blended in to rehydrate and brighten skin, leaving it smooth while you lay in bed and fall into your dreams.

ResourceNovember Birthstone

Zesty Treats

Before you embark on hours of makeup and costume application for an evening of festive fun, pamper your body with limited edition holiday themed products.  Embrace the spirit of Halloween with six delightfully decadent items full of Fall fragrances that will have you swimming in waves of relaxation, plus six other equally sinful specialty beauty brews which should effectively trick onlookers into believing that you are whatever character you have chosen to portray for the evening.  Or just treat yourself to something special in lieu of costumed parties and get lost in a classic Universal monster film or other appropriate zombie/horror/gore movie fest with one of these great items from Lush!

+++

 

For some, drinking a warm glass of milk before bed aides in better sleep, but I am not really keen on the idea of consuming that much liquid and then burrowing into blankets.  Instead I can turn to Twilight, soothing stress with lavender, a natural melatonin, while tonka absolute combats sleeplessness.  Printed with the moon and stars, this pretty Bath Bomb surrounds you in waters that change from pinks to purples and get darker still, much like the sky as the sun sets.

+

 

Wrap your skin in the aphrodisiac scents of ginger and jasmine while soaking in the moisturizing properties of coca butter and almond oil.  Something Wicked This Way Comes as your skin will beg to be touched, and the lucky person doing so will sure to remember you when the sensual scent lingers on their skin the following day.

+

 

Spicy clove bud and cardamom oils are trapped inside this fragrant grinning pumpkin, and Jacko even has an extra surprise in the form of spearmint oil.  Chase away those Autumn chills and carve out some much-needed alone time in your otherwise busy schedule to enjoy this warm and fizzy Bath Bomb.

+

 

Speaking of spicy suds, Pumpkin contains cinnamon, clove, cardamom and a touch of spearmint, though don’t let the handmade appearance fool you, as it is for washing and not eating.  Bring it in the bath with you after dissolving Jacko for an experience that will make you feel as though you are swimming in a pumpkin pie!

+

 

 

For a stunning citrus sun set in your tub, the Enchanter throws shades of tangerine across the bath water, which is then swallowed by a pink light show.  A powerful potion of lime oil cleans up congested skin while delicate notes of neroli oil helps tone it.

+

 

If you feel like the walking dead after an evening of haunting your local streets, lift your spirits with Ghost, a refreshing shower jelly that can give you an extra boost if put in the fridge or freezer.  An infusion of orchid, jasmine absolute and ylang ylang oil makes it more floral than frightful, while carrageenan seaweed gel nourishes and softens and dry patches you may have.

+

Suitable for all skin types, Emotional Brilliance Translucent is mattifying powder that can be used to set foundation in place with a shine-free finish, or by itself to even out skin tone when going for a natural look.  The talk base absorbs oil to give skin a smooth appearance while jojoba oil keeps it happy and healthy.  You can even swipe some over your eye lid to keep liner from smudging!

+

It is important to exfoliate as we slowly wander into the colder weather, and believe it or not Popcorn can leave your lips smooth all season long!  This sweet and salty lips scrub may be simple, but it is also quite scrumptiously flavored just like the satisfying snack from which its name originates.  Don’t be shy about licking it off and be sure to put it on your wish list so that you can enjoy it through all the upcoming holidays.

+

 

 

Firmly establish that you are always physically powerful, able to withstand pressure and are Strong competition by way of a stunning blood orange Liquid Lipstick.   The super softening base moisturizes lips, and remember to apply a lip balm first for a flawless finish.

+

 

To create an irresistible pout, paint your lips ruby-red and get ready to have the most life-changing smooch ever.  Inspired by a certain apple-biting princess, It Started With A Kiss blends a warm apple infusion into warming cinnamon and is sprinkled with a hint of white chocolate.  This can also be used as a cheek stain by simply dabbing on a small amount and blending it in!

+

The best part of Mange Too might be the fact that it is an edible Massage Bar, but who could resist the sweet scent of chocolate combined with honey and banana?  Soften skin with Shea and cocoa butter, which moisturizes and leaves you feeling pliable.

+

 

Encourage a healthy dose of physical affection with Bewitched, a love potion turned Massage Bar that is infused with lime and violet leaf fragrance for an uplifting and stimulating experience.  Chamomile will help the object of your lust to forget about past lovers, and extra virgin coconut oil will improve your skin’s tone.

Immaculate Inspirations

It is universally known that one simply does not wear white after Labor Day, though if you inquire why that is to the average etiquette expert there is a good chance they have no explanation.  Since white is of a lighter weight, it tends to be an easy way to keep cool during the Summer.  Combine this with the fact that people favored clothes that were fairly formal over cutoff jeans or T-shirts and a vague answer begins to develop.  The fashion magazines of the early and mid-20th century held headquarters in big cities littered among the Norther climate region that experienced seasons.  While white would certainly be sensible for hot Summer months, but those who wore such ensembles dared not to risk sullying them in mud following a heavy Autumn rain.

Though this may sound sensible, it is quite rare that a rule of fashion serves a functional reason, and some historians speculate that the no-white-after-Labor-Day could be symbolic.  Photographs of American cities in the 1930s  depict denizens in dark clothing, many of which were on their way to jobs.  In contrast, those who were well-to-do could escape such congestion to lounge at resorts in white linen suits and Panama hats that created a “look of leisure”.  The traditional end of Summer is celebrated on the first Monday of September, and upon returning to the city these vacationers transitioned to heavier, darker clothing for Autumn.  The custom solidified into a concrete criterion by the 1950s as the middle class expanded, providing the old-money elite with leverage over social-climbers, though some increased their odds of gaining entrance into polite society by being savvy to all the rules.

Whatever the origin may be,  the rule was met with contention from Coco Chanel, who is known for making white a year-round staple in the 1920s, and stirred skepticism among the 1960s counterculture.  Today, more people than ever are brazenly rebelling against the out-dated dictum and I for one support such behavior.  Bronwyn Cosgrove notes in The Complete History of Costume & Fashion: From Ancient Egypt to Present Day that “fashion rules are meant to be broken by those who can pull it off”, and that “white looks really fresh when people are not expecting it”.  The unexpected is what this blog is all about, and that is why I put together this collection of items that can be utilized in post-Summer fashion.

+++

 

 

This 1940s style short sleeve dress by Trashy Diva is part of their Bridal Collection and is a contemporary version of a classic silhouette.  There are many features that create a sleek and flattering fit, from the low-cut front and back neckline to gathering at the shoulders, upper bust and upper back.  Though intended for wedding wear, bright blue pumps and silver accessories can give it a Winter flavor.

+

 

 

Halterneck dresses should be a wardrobe staple, and this white sateen pencil dress by Vivien of Halloway can be worn anywhere from the office to a fancy soiree.  A boned and lined bodice that lifts the bust and nips the waist, eliminating the need for extra shapewear, while the curvy cut of the skirt yields a beautiful vintage hourglass figure.

+

 

 

Black lace, buttons and ribbon accents of this Punk Rave white ruffle shirt from Restyle prevent it from falling into the peril of being a puffy pirate shirt.  Though it has corset lacing in the back, one can always get a bit of extra accentuation from a wide belt or satin corset.

+

 

 

Lip Service‘s Industrial Vice category is full of delicious Vinyl Classics, such as the Hardcore Racer Back Cami Top that has a zip front, lace up back and is accented with buckled shoulder straps and D-rings.  Though the top also comes in red, the white has an almost angelic quality to it and could easily be part of a costume or club wear.

+

 

 

One of the many vinyl items slated for release this fall is the Zip Front Underbust Top that has a mesh girdle contrast and chunky front zipper.  Closer inspection reveals diagonal sections along the sides that are dotted with metallic studs to create some visual interest.

+

 

 

The ideal way to accentuate a vintage figure – that means having a waist that measures ten inches [or more] smaller than the hips – is with a steel boned corset such as Mortica from What Katie Did.  This ivory silk corset is a long-line underbust which pulls in the waist as tightly as desired, showing off shapely assets and recommended for those who have experience in tight-lacing.

+

 

 

Out of any item one could wear that is white, I feel shoes would be the hardest to keep clean and maintain the snowy shade.  However, that does not mean they should never be worn, just take caution in doing so.  Having said that, it is not so secret that I am a fan of Jeffrey Campbell shoes even if I dream about having what I most likely would not buy.  The scaly silver armor and white leather peep toe upper are what make Tick the talk of the town.

+

 

 

There does not have to be a special occasion to pamper yourself with a fancy new manicure, and whether you prefer natural or fake nails, consider coating them with Illamasqua’s Scorch.  This pure white polish has a glossy finish and it would be great as a background for some custom nail art.

+

 

 

For the right amount of luminous sheen try Urban Decay’s Zephyr, a natural pearl eyeshadow that has no glitter but still manages to give your that perfect holiday glow.

+

 

 

When in need of quiet contemplation or enlightenment, drift away with sandalwood, rosewood and gulacwood oils courtesy of Lush’s Temple of Truth, currently one of their top rated bubble bars.

+

 

 

Jasmine, lavender, chamomile and sandalwood will help you melt into luxury, allowing you to relax as your worries fade.  Drop this into the bath right before you hit the sack and then get ready for Dreamtime.

+

 

 

Give your hair a healthy dose of glorious glamour with Ultimate Shine, a shampoo bar that contains exotic essential oils that balance your mood and your tresses.  It also has the right amount of gold glitter for a literal boost of shine!

ResourceTime U.S.