Blog reader gift – trying out Lush products

So a couple of weeks ago something happened that has never happened before on Unseen Beauty. I received a parcel from one of my readers! It was such a lovely and kind thing to do. It’s one thing when a brand is kind enough to send you something to try out, but when it’s someone who does it because they read your blog and want to do something nice for you, that’s something else and I was really touched.

So Becky has been supporting Unseen Beauty for ages now by commenting or sharing my posts. She asked me on Facebook whether I had tried any products from Lush, and I said that I hadn’t. She then asked for my address because she wanted to send me something.

When the box arrived, there were actually four things inside! I was really surprised and the box smelled amazing. Becky had clearly been paying attention to my posts as well because she chose things that include my favourite fruity scents – mango and grapefruit!

To be honest, I hadn’t really tried that much from Lush before. It’s partly because I didn’t realise the full range of products that they do, partly because I thought everything would leave the bath really messy, and partly because some bath products I’ve used in the past haven’t dissolved fully and there were gritty bits all over the bottom of the bath, which were a problem for me. More about sensory sensitivity in another post.

So what was in the box from Becky?

Bright side bubble bar

I didn’t know that bubble bars were even a thing. They are flat, like a bar of soap, and you can snap them in half because when dissolved, even half of one will give you a lot of bubbles.

The bright side bubble bar smells amazingly citrusy and contains Bergamotte mandarin and tangerine. You get a thick layer of bubbles on top of the water and they are proper bubbles, not ones that dissolve into nothing if you touch them. It’s like a carpet of bubbles floating on your water and it makes the room smell wonderful! I was definitely a fan of this!

Happy hippy shower gel – grapefruit

I think Becky chose this grapefruit shower gel because she knows I’m a fan of grapefruit! This is the really zingy kind of grapefruit, not the sweeter scent that you sometimes get when it’s pink grapefruit or mixed with other things. The shower gel was moisturising, and the scent stayed around on my skin throughout the rest of the day. I would definitely get this again!

The comforter bubble bar

This is another bubble bar, like the first one, but the Comforter bubble bar contains blackcurrant and bergamotte. I liked this bar too, although not quite as much as the orange one because I liked the citrus scent more. There weren’t quite as many bubbles either, but there were still more than you get with a lot of bubble baths that are more expensive than the bar.

You’ve been mangoed – bath oil

This cute little mango bath oil dissolves away into your bath water. I love the design because it looks like a mini mango, and the mango scent is also one of my favourites. When you get out of the bath, your skin is really soft, and although I always use moisturisers afterwards, this is a good option for people who forget or who don’t like body lotion. The bath water did apparently look a bit cloudy afterwards and there was an oily mark round the bath. Obviously I clean the bath anyway, but this took a bit more to remove, and I would advise anyone using these to watch out because they can make the bath a bit slippery as well. I’d say I’m more a fan of the bars, but I enjoyed testing this bath oil out.

Final thoughts

So, overall I was really glad to get the chance to try out these products because I learned a bit more about the range of things on offer at Lush, I got some grapefruity and mango goodness, and I discovered bubble bars. It was only really the bath oil that made a bit of a mess. In terms of the debris, I put my bars, bath salts, or bath bombs in a small material bag that floats and keeps all the bits inside. The oils come out through the holes, and anything else stays inside. Of course most people don’t do this, but my doing it means I can enjoy these products too – and that has to be a good thing!

Thanks again to Becky for her generous gift. Since I received it, I have made a trip to lush and got a couple more bars and bath bombs – more reviews to come soon!

What is your favourite product from Lush? Let me know in the comments!

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Postboxed – gifts that will fit through the letter box so you don’t have to worry

My review of Postboxed – gifts that slide through the letter box so the recipient doesn’t need to be at home to get them.

We’ve all been there – you are expecting the postman to bring you something nice, only to find one of those “sorry you weren’t at home” cards which means you’ll either have to go and collect it, arrange a redelivery, or hunt around for where it might have been slung.

One of the benefits of working from home is the ability to indulge in my online shopping habit and know that I’ll be in most of the time to take in the delivery. In fact, our usual postman knows me quite well by now! He even waits for me while I make a mad dash for it down the stairs, whereas some of the other delivery drivers are already halfway back to the gate by the time I open the door.

Of course even I get caught out sometimes. It’s usually the parcel delivery companies. I had a note to say that the parcel was either on my property or with one of the neighbours – massively helpful, particularly when you’re blind! In the end I enlisted the help of my sighted partner, but even he didn’t see it straight away because it had been chucked behind the wheelie bin. I guess I should count myself lucky it wasn’t in the bin – my Nan once had that happen to her new jacket.

Anyway – enough moaning – the reason I’m telling you this is because I recently discovered Postboxed, a new gift service that takes away the problem of the recipient needing to be in, because all of their gift packages fit through the letter box.

I think this is a great idea for 3 reasons:

  1. You don’t need to worry about your friend being in (I’ve had cryptic conversations about whether I’d be in on a certain date because flowers were coming)
  2. The gifts are packaged for you – so there are no trips to the post office (really handy for my business now that Christmas is coming up – I believe they even ship internationally)
  3. you can either put your own box together or choose from one of the themed boxes that have been put together with specific types of people in mind (coffee lovers, cyclists, women, gin lovers etc).

I decided to order two boxes to try them out.

Firstly, S and I enjoy cooking spicy food, so I got the foodie matchboxes for us to try some serious chilli! You get 3 match boxes. The first contains a bottle of the 2014 chilli world champion, Carolina Reaper chilli powder and some very, very spicy chocolate! In the second matchbox, there are four of the world’s most expensive spices: 1 jar of sargol Persian Saffron, 1 jar of premium Madagascan Vanilla, 1 jar of true Ceylon Cinnamon, and 1 jar of fragrant Indian Cardamom. I haven’t used all of them yet, but I put the cinnamon into a meat dish and it was very good. The 3rd box contains 1 jar of Scorpion Moruga (2,000,000 SHU) chilli powder (the current World Champion), 1 jar of Scorpion Butch T (1,500,000 SHU) chilli powder, 1 jar of 7 Pot (1,300,000 SHU) chilli powder, and 1 jar of Ghost powder (1,000,000 SHU) (Naga Bhut Jolokia) chilli powder. No, I hadn’t heard of them either, apart from the ghost chilli, but they are some of the hottest chilli powders in the world. Yes, the bottles are tiny to fit in the matchbox, but believe me, you really don’t need much! I used just one of them to make a batch of spicy meatballs, which we really enjoyed, but I wouldn’t have needed any more. Tip – the little jars are well-packed with cute little corks, so if the powder doesn’t all come out when you open it, get something thin and pointy like a bamboo skewer to make sure you don’t waste any.

If you have food lovers in your life who like it hot, I think this makes a really interesting and original gift.

The other box I got was one that I put together myself. There was a box for chocolate lovers, but I am not a fan of salt and chocolate together. This box was slightly larger because I ordered four bars of chocolate, but I read that if you put too much in your box, the order will be sent in two letterbox-friendly boxes. My boxes didn’t come through the letter box because the postman had a bunch of other stuff for me, but I measured them afterwards and they would have fit.

Anyway back to the chocolate! I got things that I’d never heard of before because I was intrigued and wanted to try them. So there was some roast espresso chocolate, honey milk chocolate, lavender chocolate, and orange, geranium and lemon chocolate.

The bars work out at around £5 per bar, but you are getting good quality chocolate, and the bar is a fair size too.

I learned by this that you should never judge a bar by its name. I fully expected the coffee to be my favourite, as I’m a lover of all things coffee, but actually it was the lavender that I liked most. I was really surprised by this. I mean, lavender is something you put in the bath or you use lavender oil before going to bed, but I never knew that you could put it in chocolate too and that it would taste so good! The coffee bar was good too, although I think I would have preferred a bit more coffee in it. I’d never had honey chocolate before and I would definitely get it, and the orange and lemon one, again. I was a bit worried about the geranium in the latter, but it tasted more citrusy, and not as though I were eating flowers!

From an accessibility point of view, I could browse products and place my order myself, without getting frustrated or needing to ask for sighted assistance because of inaccessible design, something which access technology users can’t take for granted. This good user experience is another reason why I would return.

So, if you’re looking for an unusual gift now that Christmas is coming up, or maybe you’d like to treat a special someone, you’ll find plenty of variety on Postboxed. I went for the foodie options, but there are also books, tea towels with information about particular topics of interest, alcohol, tea, socks, and jewellery to name a few other options.

The boxes were not PR samples, which means I paid for the products myself, but as I was so happy with the service and the quality of the products, I have become an affiliate, so the links are affiliate links.

So, have you heard of or used this service before? What do you think of this idea? Let me know in the comments!

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The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping information that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links, but I only promote things that I’ve tried and tested.