Two great DIY books: Stunning Braids and Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

For someone who loves playing with makeup, I am not much of a do-it-yourselfer. I can’t get into scrapbooking, I’d rather buy a jar of tomato sauce than make my own and my Pinterest boards are full of projects I know I will never undertake. But I was sent two books that inspire me every day to do something with my hands, and my little projects always turn out great.

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids:  Gorgeous Hairstyles for Any Occassion from Work to Weddings ($17.95) was written by Monae Everett, a fabulous hairstylist/blogger who has worked on lots of celebrities and has been featured in major publications like the Huffington Post and Redbook. Her book is fantastic for those just experimenting with braiding, although seasoned braiders will find lots of great styles to try as well.

Stunning Braids

Stunning Braids

The book starts with the basics, including specific product recommendations for everything from hair spray and serums to flat irons and hair dryers. Monae starts with braiding prep, and includes tips for creating styles like loose romantic waves and flat iron curls. Then she gets down to braiding business.

Each style has a large photo of the finished product, step by step photo instruction, plus additional tips and tricks. It starts with the basic three strand braid, ‘the mother of all braids’, and goes all the way through complicated knotted updos. It also has a great section for African-American hair.

This is one of the best braiding books I own. It’s amazing for working on someone else – my poor daughter is my guinea pig way more often than she would like – and it’s clear and simple enough for working on your own hair.  Stunning Braids is a great staple book to keep right on your vanity.

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Another super fun book that I don’t use daily but that makes for some awesome weekend fun is Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs ($14.95) by Kate Bello. This book has 300 recipes for luxurious soaks. While you might have some ingredients around the house like baking soda, coconut oil, and cornstarch, there are other ingredients to plan for like essential oils, Himalayan sea salt, rhassoul clay and flower petals.

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

Bath Bombs, Salts, and Scrubs

There aren’t pretty pictures inside, but there are tons of easy to make recipes that address ailments like fevers, asthma, and cystic fibrosis. There is a section of recipes for skin and beauty concerns like acne, oily skin, and sensitive skin; plus recipes to use for meditation, chakra cleansing, and aphrodisiac baths. There are even recipes for men and for pregnancy, plus a cool section with recipes for baths from ‘around the world’. Here is one that I have made several times that I just love:

Clary Sage Uplifting Salt Soak

2 cups Himalayan salts

1 cup of coarse sea salts

1/2 cup of baking soda

1 cup rhassoul clay

5 drops of clary sage essential oil

5 drops lemongrass essential oil

2 drops of benzoin essential oil

I get a lot of my ingredients, including essential oils, from Whole Foods. Another great online source is Mountain Rose Herbs. I tend to go for the bath salt mixtures, but there are also great recipes for bath bombs and scrubs in this book as well. All of the creations make terrific gifts and Kate has suggestions for packaging and storing your creations as well.

Both of these books are terrific fun and I highly recommend them! They are published by Ulysses Press and can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Pick them up for some DIY that you will actually enjoy!   – Lisa

*received for editorial consideration

Your mum says hi. Lush Mum Gift Set for Mother’s Day

http://keeliesheridan.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-mom-is-superwoman.html

image from keeliesheridan.blogspot.com

Yes, your mom does even more than a superhero, yet there’s only one official day of the year to recognize her for it.  You might as well go big and get her a bunch of treats that will help her finally relax: the Lush Mum Gift Set (54.95).  This gift set comes in a beautiful floral reusable tin.  If your mom is like mine, she will love how practical and pretty this gift is.

Lush Mum...just right for mom!

Lush Mum…just right for mom!

Lush Mum

Lush Mum

The Mum Gift Set has seven different floral-scented products, including two bath bombs, three bubble bars, a body lotion and a face moisturizer.  It’s everything your mom needs to smell amazing after a bit of pampering.

all the goodies!

all the goodies!

The Mum is a gift a bathing beauty will use for a long time as there are five different bath options, each of which can be used for multiple baths.  There are two bath bombs, the first being the Secret Garden Bath Bomb.

Secret Garden Bath Bomb

Secret Garden Bath Bomb

a little flower power for your mum

a little flower power for your mum

What is so secret about this bath bomb? The inside is stuffed with flower petals. Drop this in the tub for a garden scented volcanic eruption as rose absolute, sweet wild orange, and rosewood oils waft about the room. The top of the water is covered with foamy goodness, while the rose petals, marigold petals, and blue mallow flowers swirl underneath to soften the skin. This one requires some tub cleaning afterward, but your mom will think it’s no problem while she is in the zen state of bliss after a Secret Garden bath.

 The second bath bomb is the wonderfully meditative Inhale Exhale Bath Bomb.
Inhale Exhale Bath Bomb

Inhale Exhale Bath Bomb

first inhale...

first inhale…

exhale!

then exhale!

The pink inhale part fizzes up quickly, the scent of neroli making for a perfectly bright and fruity inhale.  The blue exhale part takes its time, and infuses the bath with a more contemplative scent of warm amber and sandlewood.   This unique bath bomb is one of Lush’s most popular items, so you can be sure your mom will love it.

The other bathing goodies include three very different bubble bars.  The first is the Rose Bubble Bar – could this be any sweeter?

Rose Bubble Bar

Rose Bubble Bar

Definitely enough for several baths, this bubble bar has a creamy, delicate rose scent that morphs into frothy bubbles.  It is actually the scent of the classic Amandopondo Bubble Bar, but with a beautiful pink color and some sexy shimmer.

The next bubble bar is the one named specifically for moms – The Mum Reusable Bubble Bar.

The Mum Reusable Bubble Bar

The Mum Reusable Bubble Bar

more flower power!

more flower power!

I just love The Mum , a reusable bubble bar on a stick. It’s a never-ending bubble bath with the best sort of packaging ever. I don’t know why, but everything always seems better when it’s on a stick!  Draw your mom a nice warm bath, then swirl this pretty yellow and orange flower around to create tons of bubbles that smell amazing.  This year The Mum has the sweet Honey, I Washed the Kids toffee scent that will put a huge smile on her face.

Mumkin Bubble Bar

Mumkin Bubble Bar

The Mumkin is so cute it deserves another photo!

The Mumkin is so cute it deserves another photo!

The Mumkin is Lush’s hybrid of a pumpkin and your mom.  The Mumkin, just like your mom, is very special – it’s only available around Mother’s Day. Crumble up the Mumkin and hold the pieces under running water to create mounds of velvety bubbles. It smells like raspberry, bergamot, lemon, and violets – pretty amazing. The eyes are chocolate drops, and the stick is a candy stalk. It’s tempting to try to eat this one, but it makes a much better bubble bath than a candy treat!

After bathing it’s time to slather on some body lotion, and Lush has included a nice big tub of Dream Cream just perfect for the job.

Dream Cream

Dream Cream

inside the Dream Cream pot

inside the Dream Cream pot

Dream Cream is a thick but not greasy body lotion that works for even the most sensitive skin.  In fact, it’s terrific for rashy, inflamed skin and chapped hands from too much gardening.  It has a lovely lavendar scent that isn’t overpowering.

Finally, faces need moisture too…and Lush Gorgeous will make sure your mom always looks stunning.

Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer

Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer

moisturizer to get gorgeous

moisturizer to get gorgeous

Gorgeous has cold pressed and organic oils that make it a mega-moisturizer for your face.  It is especially fantastic for those with very dry skin.  Ingredients include orange blossom honey, extra virgin olive and wheat germ oils for baby soft skin.  This is a deluxe sample size so your mom can try before she buys.

Your mom wants this.

Your mom wants this.

The Mum Gift Set from Lush is the supreme gift for bath-loving moms.  Hurry and get one before they are sold out!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Here comes the Easter Bunny! Lush Funny Bunny Gift

Spring has officially sprung and Easter is right around the corner. Instead of candy, do something different with the Lush Funny Bunny Gift ($45.95). Funny Bunny is a super cute way to keep the kids both clean and happy (and you will want to steal some things for yourself!).

Everyone will love to find this funny bunny in their Easter basket!

Everyone will love to find this funny bunny in their Easter basket!

Funny Bunny comes with six super fun spring treats. It all starts with the Funny Bunny himself – one of Lush’s fabulous Knot-Wraps made with organic cotton from a women’s co-operative in India. He makes for a great first look into the basket, and comes in handy later for all kinds of things from wrapping a gift to holding your hair back as a headband.

Lush Funny Bunny

Lush Funny Bunny

It doesn't get much cuter than this.

It doesn’t get much cuter than this.

Here he is again!

Here he is again!

Kids and adults will smile and giggle at all the funny bunny items found inside the Knot-Wrapped egg.

All the goodies inside the egg

All the goodies inside the egg…

...which went straight into an Easter basket!

…which went straight into an Easter basket!

As with all Lush gift sets, it comes with a handy-dandy explanation of each item, thoughtfully illustrated with a picture so it’s easy to pick out each goodie.

descriptions of everything

descriptions of everything

Honey I Washed the Kids Soap

Honey I Washed the Kids Soap

One of my favorite Lush items of all time is included – Honey I Washed the Kids Soap. This heavenly soap smells like buttery caramel, and it is full of honey water and aloe to leave skin deliciously soft. I don’t care if this gift came from the Easter Bunny for the kids…Honey I Washed the Kids Soap is MINE.

How about some FUN?

How about some FUN?

Bet you didn't know that FUN was made of this.

Bet you didn’t know that FUN was made of this.

FUN is awesome, a huge favorite of my daughter, so it was great to find a mini version inside Funny Bunny. FUN is soap, shampoo, bubble bath, and modeling clay all in one. Talk about the perfect bath time treat. The cellophane wrap is actually biodegradable. Just peel back the wrapper but keep it, and it creates the perfect storage for FUN until the next play time. Funny Bunny comes with Green FUN,  which has a beautifully springy lemon/lime scent.

Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb

Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

And color me happy! The Funny Bunny Gift includes the limited edition Fluffy Egg Bath Bomb, which is only found at Easter time!! I love the bright pink bubbles this makes in the tub and the scent is a rich and yummy vanilla.

Bunch of Carrots Reusable Bubble Bars

Bunch of Carrots Reusable Bubble Bars

I have been buying the Carrot Reusable Bubble Bars for years, and let me tell you these veggies are the perfect persuasion to get my kids to take a bath. Typically they aren’t thrilled with vegetables but everyone seems to want some of this carrot. This is a collection of smaller bubble bars than the normal big Carrot and it takes about half a small carrot to make a bath. You hold the carrot by the top and swish it around the tub for frothy, lemony scented bubbles.

Two beyond cute Bunny Bubble Bars

Two beyond cute Bunny Bubble Bars

Bunny Bubble Bars bottom

Bunny Bubble Bars bottom

So sweet!

So sweet!

My favorites in the Funny Bunny Gift are the Bunny Bubble Bars. I mean, come on! These are so sweet they almost make my teeth ache. One bunny is good for about two baths. They make some serious foam that is full of coconut oil and shea butter. They smell a lot like another of my favorites, Rock Star Soap. And inside each bunny’s tummy are teeny blue cornflower petals that makes for a cute surprise as they float around in the water. These two little bunnies are simply adorable.

Skip the Easter candy this year and go with fun, sweet-smelling treats that will satisfy the sweet tooth. Get yourself a Funny Bunny Gift or two before they run out!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Lush Funny Bunny 5

Lush holiday is out of this world: Shooting Stars Holiday Gift Set

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, the bath and body store that keeps bath-time fanatics up at night with visions of thick foamy bubbles and magical color-changing bath water, has some amazing holiday gift sets this year. They sent the BIZ the Shooting Stars Holiday Set ($37.95), which is absolutely perfect to gift your bath-loving friends or to add to your own holiday wish list.  Every treat inside is totally out of this world.

Shooting

Shooting Stars Holiday Set

You want this hanging from your tree!

You want this hanging from your tree!

inside the big ornament

inside the big ornament

Shooting Stars is a great way to tell someone you think he/she is a star. The huge ornament holds five awesome Lush treats, including a lip balm, a body soap, two bath bombs, and a bath melt.

Honey Trap

Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm

Honey

mmm, smells and tastes like honey, vanilla, and white chocolate!

 Honey Trap Lip Balm is a cult favorite which is no surprise as this little dynamo is mixed by hand so it has a softer texture and smells and tastes delicious. This is a wonderful little gift to find inside that great big ornament because it is ALWAYS sold out at my local Lush store!! It smells like honey, vanilla, and white chocolate, it tastes great on the lips, and it makes lips kissably soft.  

Lush

Lush Rock Star Soap

How cute is this star-shaped Rock Star Soap? This is bubble gum rock, with pink and sweet and vanilla suds that leave you singing in the shower, putting Britney Spears to shame. Rock Star is a soft soap, so keep it in a covered soap dish or out of the shower to get the most from it. It really is lots of fun and smells better than a candy store.

Lush

Lush Shoot for the Stars Bath Bomb

Shooting Stars includes the brand new for the season Shoot for the Stars Bath Bomb. A bath with this beauty is truly an otherworldly experience. It has the iconic caramel Honey I Washed the Kids scent and it turns bath water into ribbons of purple, blue, yellow and pink, with tiny white moisturizing stars floating about. It’s so cool, people have even put up YouTube videos showing what it does! Watching this bath bomb spin wildly as it shoots out different colors will have you thinking aliens have invaded your tub time…but in a good way.

Lush

Lush Twilight Bath Bomb

The Twilight Bath Bomb is awesome for a night-time bath. The vanilla and lavender scent is relaxing, a perfect usher into dream time. Bubbly bath water turns from pink to purple and then there’s pretty glitter to really brighten up your mood. In the end the bath water does look like a starry night and you are totally ready for some sweet dreams.

Lush

Lush Star Light Star Bright Luxury Bath Melt

The limited edition Star Light Star Bright Luxury Bath Melt is a beautiful, sparkly holiday treat with mega-moisturizing organic shea butter and extra virgin coconut oil. It smells clean and happy with notes of ginger and lime. The shea butter makes bath water very silky and creamy, and it’s like magic for dry skin. Like many Lush treats, this has a hidden treat inside that I won’t spoil for you, but it does turn bath water blue shot through with silver glitter. Be prepared to be a sparkly version of yourself afterward!

best ornament ever!!

best ornament ever!!

While Lush has many fabulous gift options this season, I vote for Shooting Stars.  Everything inside has something extra to really brighten your mood and make you feel like a star. Be sure to grab this before it sells out!  – Lisa

 *pr sample

Celebrating all moms! Lush for Mother’s Day

mothersdayvintage

That’s right. Your mom was right about EVERYTHING. So make her feel special on Mother’s Day with something really cool from Lush. The BIZ was sent some of the best Lush options to honor Mom for all she does.

The Mum

The Mum

How about The Mum ($9.95), the reusable bubble bar on a stick? It’s a never-ending bubble bath with the best sort of packaging ever. I don’t know why, but everything always seems better when it’s on a stick!

gorgeous

gorgeous

Draw her a nice warm bath, then swirl this pretty yellow and orange flower around to create tons of bubbles that smell amazing. The Mum is full of lime, bergamot, and juniper berry oils, resulting in a fresh, springy, citrusy scent that will put a huge smile on her face.

Moms come in all shapes and sizes

Moms come in all shapes and sizes, like this non-traditional family

Or check out the Mumkin ($6.95) – Lush’s hybrid of a pumpkin and your mom.

Mumkin

My Mumkin is staring at you…

top of the Mumkin

top of the Mumkin

The Mumkin, just like your mom, is very special – it’s only available around Mother’s Day. Crumble up the Mumkin and hold the pieces under running water to create mounds of velvety bubbles. It smells like raspberry, bergamot, lemon, and violets – pretty amazing. The eyes are chocolate drops, and the stick is a candy stalk. It’s tempting to try to eat this one, but it makes a much better bubble bath than a candy treat!

There are many definitons of 'Mom' - don't forget the ones who didn't give birth to you, but still took care of you.

There are many definitons of ‘Mom’ – don’t forget the ones who didn’t give birth to you, but still took care of you.

Or perhaps a bath bomb is more her style. If so, The Secret Garden ($5.25) may be the perfect option for her.

Secret Garden

The Secret Garden

What is so secret about this bath bomb? The inside is stuffed with flower petals. Drop this in the tub for a garden scented volcanic eruption, as rose absolute, sweet wild orange, and rosewood oils waft about the room. The top of the water is covered with foamy goodness, as the flower petals swirl underneath to soften the skin. This one requires some tub cleaning afterward, but your mom will think it’s no problem while she is in the zen state of bliss after a Secret Garden bath.

there is nothing better than love from your mom

there is nothing better than love from your mom

If your mom is a hard-working, practical sort, go for The Dish Fairy ($7.95).

The Dish Fairy

The Dish Fairy

What could be better than giving your mom clean dishes?? This cute little fairy is a wand for dirty dishes. Fill the sink with water, then cast on a spell on it by swirling the wand about, creating cleaning water full of lemon and gardenia oils.

promise on a stick

promise on a stick

Even better when the Dish Fairy is gone, the stick is a free pass out of doing dishes!!

up close she really does look like mom!

up close she really does look like mom!

I love how this is a bubble bar but for dirty dishes. I got one of these last year and it actually lasted about 7 months. I kept this cute little angel in a cup next to the sink and anytime dishes needed to be washed, I just swirled this in the water and my dishes – not to mention my hands – got squeaky clean.

There are so many great, unique options for moms at Lush this year. Get some for your mom, for your adoptive moms, and then for yourself.  We all deserve a little Lush!  – Lisa

*pr samples