Smells so good! Nubian Heritage Coconut and Papaya body products

samples

Nubian Heritage Coconut and Papaya body products

Smelling fantastic from head to toe thanks to products that are environmentally responsible, animal-friendly, and free of all the bad stuff like synthetics and sulfates is as easy as taking a quick trip to Whole Foods or the Vitamin Shoppe (or even just surfing the web). Your quick trip will bring you to this amazing line, Nubian Heritage. I was initially intrigued because they have a full line of Coconut & Papaya products and when it comes to coconut…well, I’m kind of easy. Actually, Nubian Heritage has 15 different collections, from Abyssinian Oil & Chia Seed to Ivorian Cocoa & Hazelnut. Their body products take care of you from head to toe, but before I tell you about those here’s a little more background on the company.

Nubian Heritage first started in Harlem 25 years ago. Richelieu Dennis and Nyema Tubman were college roommates and they wanted to make products using traditional African recipes with fair trade, organic ingredients. In fact, “they were inspired by the legacy of ancient Nubia, which was once a center of cultural trade – a place where goods, ideas, and customs from across Africa, Asia, the Mediterranean and the Middle East were exchanged and spread across the world. The street vendors brought together global healing practices, cultural wisdom and indigenous ingredients to create modern wellness solutions that were highly sought after.”

The product range available at Nubian Heritage is incredible and I am just blown away at the quality of every product I tested. Everything is wonderful, and the prices are fabulously affordable.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Body Lotion

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Body Lotion

Coconut & Papaya Body Lotion ($13): Wow, this smells sooo good!! The Body Lotion is a light, creamy lotion packed full of great ingredients:  coconut oil, papaya extract, shea butter, aloe vera, and vitamin E. The papaya extract has papain enzymes, which act as a gentle exfoliator, making skin even smoother and softer. Skin is super hydrated and feels fabulous. The bottle is big and $13 is a great price – a little goes a long way so it’s a nice value, especially for an environmentally conscious company.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Body Wash

Coconut & Papaya Body Wash ($13): The Body Wash smells just as delicious as the Body Lotion and I love showering up with it. It’s a very gentle cleanser but I definitely feel clean afterward, even after a grueling, sweaty workout. Ingredients include lots of hydration for skin, including coconut oil, shea butter, aloe vera, and papaya.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Deodorant

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Deodorant

Coconut & Papaya 24 Hour Deodorant ($9):  This is a glycerin/silica/cornstarch based deodorant that stands out for me because it smells so darn good. I am really crazy about this scent! The fact that it also has coconut oil and doesn’t flake or give underarms a white cast is a plus, too.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Hand Cream

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Hand Cream

Coconut & Papaya Hand Cream ($10): The Hand Cream is much thicker than the Body Lotion, so thick it takes some effort to squeeze it out of the tube. The scent, again, is to die for…juicy papaya and deep, rich coconut. This is what you want to slather on dry elbows, scaly knees, and frayed cuticles.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Hand & Body Scrub

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Hand & Body Scrub

Coconut & Papaya Body Cleansing Smoothie (formerly Hand & Body Scrub – $12): Nubian Heritage recently went through some repackaging and I believe they changed the name of this skin exfoliator. Ingredients include coconut oil, papaya, organic shea butter, and vanilla extract. You can use this on your body in the shower to soften rough areas or for an all-over exfoliation. I like to leave it right by the sink and use it on my hands and cuticles. My hands feel totally incredible afterward.

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Bath Bombs

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Bath Bombs

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Bath Bombs

Coconut & Papaya Bath Bombs ($15): These effervescent bath bombs really are the bomb! They are made with coconut oil and papaya extract, so like the other products in this line they subtly exfoliate and create glowy skin while also hydrating like crazy. Why not get that lovely skin treatment while relaxing in warm bath water? Aaahhhh….sounds great to me!!

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Bar Soap

Nubian Heritage Coconut & Papaya Bar Soap

Coconut & Papaya Bar Soap ($5)  This lovely big bar of soap is just wonderful – it has that great coconut and papaya scent, and the soap is full of vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It’s exactly what you want next to the sink so you can relax for that one moment when washing your hands, transported to somewhere tropical and fabulous.

Nubian Heritage has literally hundreds of culturally authentic natural products that are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, paraffin, gluten, propylene glycol, DEA, silicones, mineral oil, petroleum, synthetic fragrance and artificial color, and never tested on animals.  You can find them online at NubianHeritage.com or at the Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods and other fine retailers.  – Lisa

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

Have yourself a ‘Lush’ious holiday with these limited edition treats!

I look forward to many things in the holiday season, like decorating and eating frosted sugar cookies and the amazing scent of a real pine tree inside the house.  Also on my list every year?  The fabulous limited edition Lush holiday treats!  Here are some favorites that Lush sent us.  They make fantastic gifts and each one always puts me right into the holiday spirit.

Lush Star Light, Star Bright and Golden Wonder

Lush Star Light, Star Bright and Golden Wonder

How could the Star Light Star Bright Luxury Bath Melt ($6.95) be more holiday perfect?  It makes for an extremely festive bath, so definitely be prepared for a sparkly version of yourself afterward.  Star Light Star Bright is mega-moisturizing with organic shea butter and extra virgin coconut oil, and it smells clean and happy with notes of ginger and lime. The shea butter is magical for dry skin and makes bath water silky and creamy. There is a hidden treat inside that I won’t spoil for you, but it does turn bath water blue shot through with silver glitter.

The Golden Wonder Bath Bomb (6.95) is one of Lush’s most beautiful bath bombs.  It looks just like a perfectly wrapped gift begging to be opened.  The sweet orange, lime, and cognac oils in it soften skin, and there is a special surprise inside – a little gift just for you!  This is a perfect treat for a special bath on Christmas Day.

Lush Rosy Christmas

Lush Rosy Christmas

A wonderful pre-wrapped gift is the Rosy Christmas ($16.95) duo.  Already ensconced in pretty paper, it’s totally gift-ready and with two great bath products – Rose Jam Shower Gel and Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner.  Rose Jam Shower Gel is limited edition and I am not sure why, since I would buy this any month of the year.  It smells amazing, sort of like strawberry jam tempered with lemon, a truly gorgeous scent that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner is a wonderful mixture of cocoa butter, cupuacu butter, almond oil and Argan oils.  It’s meant to do for your body what conditioner does for your hair.  This is slathered on then rinsed off in the shower, and it makes skin ultra smooth and baby soft. It is particularly great for leg shaving day!

Santa Baby Lip Tint

Santa Baby Lip Tint

The perfect stocking stuffer or Secret Santa gift is the limited edition Santa Baby Lip Tint ($8.95).  The little tin is darling, and the red tint makes lips mistletoe ready.  This is a blue-toned red, and WOW is it pigmented!  It’s not like a lip balm.  Santa Baby Lip Tint is so pigmented that a tiny amount is all that is needed for a party-perfect pucker. Plus it tastes like a cherry Coke.

There are many more fabulous limited edition lovelies available at Lush, and they don’t last long.  Make sure a trip to your local Lush store – or the online store – is on your to-do list for the holidays!   – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Fill those Easter baskets with Lush!

My Lush filled Easter basket

Lush continues to amaze me.  I’ll bet being on the creation team is the most fun job in the world, wiling away the hours coming up with super cute and wonderful bath and body items for each holiday.  Easter at Lush is just as fun as the winter holidays – there are so many fabulous products I almost don’t know where to begin.

I haven’t tried the Hippie Chick bath bomb, but it sure is adorable!

Hippy Chick
Hippy Chick ($4.95) is scented with grapefruit, bergamot and frankincense, and it fizzes like Alka Seltzer when you drop it in the tub.  I would LOVE to find this in my Easter basket!!
Inside the Immaculate Eggception

I have tried the Immaculate Eggception ($12.95) and it is over the top in its cuteness.  The outer shell is a fizzy bath bomb, and inside is a secret surprise!!  You can crack open the egg to get the prize, or you can drop the egg into the bath and wait for it to dissolve to get the extra treat.  Either way, it’s tons of fun, and the ylang ylang, grapefruit, and vanilla scent is gorgeous.

Donkey Oaty: best name for a bath bomb EVER

I haven’t tried Donkey Oaty ($4.95) but the story behind it is fascinating.  Lush was trying to create a bath bomb that was like a pinata, hence the donkey shape.  But they couldn’t decide what the heck would be inside a donkey – a bunch of eggs?  A tiny little donkey???  So they just made the shape a bit smaller and called it a donkey bath bomb.  It gets my vote for best product name of the season.  And the scent is their Charity Pot fragrance, which is a fresh floral.

Carrot Top

I have totally flipped over the new Carrot Top ($7.95), which is a reusable bubble bar.  I love bubble bars, but one is way too much bubble for one bath.  Carrot Top helps get around this problem by being reusable – just hold the carrot by the top and swish around the tub for lots of bubbles.  Then, take it out and save the rest for future baths!  You get between 7 and 10 lemon and buchu scented, super bubbly baths with this.  Genius!!

Fluffy Egg

And don’t forget Fluffy Egg ($6.95), a Lush Easter favorite.  Talk about candy, this smells so sweet it will almost give you a cavity.  Do you remember Candy Fluff Dusting Powder?  That’s what this smells like, all vanilla and cotton candy.  A bath with this bomb makes you feel like you are surrounded by Peeps.   It’s limited edition, so stock up now.

Chicken Knot Wrap

And to wrap it all up, check out the super cute Knot Wraps.  The Chicken Knot Wrap ($4.95, pictured above) is big enough for one Lush Easter treat, and the Bunny Knot Wrap ($5.95, pictured below) is big enough for two.  Both are made from recycled plastic bottles, so you can be an eco-chick as well as the best Easter Bunny of all time.

Bunny Knot Wrap

Here is my version of an Easter basket with some of my favorite Lush items and few candy treats.

You get both the bubble bath and the bon bons with this Easter basket!

Here's Fluffy Egg, surrounded by more sweetness.

 

Just the edge of Immaculate Eggception and Carrot Top (the Lush bubble bar, NOT the comedian!)

This year’s Lush Easter collection is way too cute to pass up.  Order online or get to your nearest Lush store to stock up on some fantastic Easter themed goodness!  – Lisa

*some items were pr samples sent for consideration for review

Christmas Bathtime Favourites: a great holiday gift for the bath bomb lover from Lush

I love the holidays, and I am always hoping that I find some moisturizing bath products under the Christmas tree.  Winter can be pretty hard on the skin, drying it out and making life miserable.  Luckily, Lush has lots of ways to remedy that – and even better, they have put together loads of best-selling moisturizing products in some great holiday collections. 

The Lush Christmas Bathtime Favourites set ($49.95) is a reusable holiday tin stuffed to the gills with truly wonderous bath bombs.  This holiday set includes three year-round and six limited edition bath bombs, which are fabulous for softening the skin and infusing your bath water – and bathroom – with delicious scents.  (Side note:  for the ultimate bathing experience, pair a bath bomb with a bubble bar.  Talk about luxury and decadence!!)

Who wouldn’t want to find this festive reusable tin under the tree?

Lush Christmas Bathtime Favourites tin

And just take a look at all the goodies inside.

A peek at what's inside...

A quick primer on bath bombs:  except for the smallest ones, you can use bath bombs for more than just one bath.  The larger size bath bombs can be used for two, three, sometimes four baths! They fizz and foam, it’s a treat to watch them dissolve in the bath water.  Bath bombs aren’t for cleansing the skin like soaps, they are for hydrating the skin and for breathing in a fabulous scent while luxuriously soaking and relaxing in warm water.

Avobath Bath Bomb

One of the year-round bath bombs included in the set is the very popular AvobathAvobath has a lemon-lime scent that is beautifully fresh.  This bath bomb has avocado in it, which really softens the skin.

Cinders Bath Bomb

Cinders, a limited-edition hot little number perfect for the holiday season, smells like gingerbread.  The ‘cinders’ on top crackle and pop as the bath bomb dissolves, creating your own little fireplace in the tub.  The water turns a bright yellow (my kids think that’s hysterical), and a word of warning:  be prepared to wash the tub out after taking a bath with this one.  The yellow color tends to stick around.

Big Blue Bath Bomb

Big Blue, one of Lush’s most popular year-round bath bombs, turns the bath water a true ocean blue.  This has sea salt and seaweed in it for a unique bathing experience.  The scent is definitely fresh, like the air at the beach on a beautiful day.

Golden Wonder Bath Bomb

Arguably the most beautiful bath bomb of the bunch, Golden Wonder looks like a perfectly wrapped gift just waiting to be opened.  It has sweet orange, lime, and cognac oils in it to soften skin, and there is a special surprise inside – a little gift just for you!

Honey Bee Bath Bomb

This HUGE bath bomb named Honey Bee smells deliciously caramel and toffee-like, it’s a warm scent that makes you feel like you’ve just gotten a big hug.  It does a great job of moisturizing the skin.

Li'l Lush Pud Bath Bomb

This beautiful bath bomb with a sweet mistletoe on top is the limited edition Li’l Lush Pud.  It’s one of the more moisturizing bath bombs, although it’s also one of the smaller ones.  Snowcake lovers rejoice – the scent is the same, a sort of spicy clove smell.

So White Bath Bomb

Another of the absolutely HUGE bath bombs, So White smells of apples and roses.  It leaves a white froth on top of the bath water, and is nicely moisturizing.

Rocketeer Bath Bomb

Oh my gosh, how fun is this???  Shaped like a super cool rocket, this limited edition bath bomb named Rocketeer is huge and worth at least three baths.  While it’s supposed to rocket around the tub once you drop it in, mine just fizzed, but the water color did change from green to blue.  It smells sweet like candy, but not in a cloying way.   This one is perfect for your ‘inner child’!

Satsumo Santa

And of course, the holiday tin had to include Santa – Satsumo Santa, that is.  I love how this bath bomb turns the water a very holiday-ish red.  To my nose, it smells of bergamot with a slight hint of orange. It’s a beautiful scent, and a perfect bath bomb for a Christmas Day soak.

Lush has all kinds of different holiday sets that fit all different budgets.  If one of your tasks is finding a gift for a bath lover, I highly recommend this set – chances are it will become the favorite present of the season.  – Lisa

It’s the bomb!! Lush LE Bathtime Favourites Tin

My theory is there are three kinds of people:  those who love baths, those who love showers, and those who love both.  Ok, maybe four:  those who don’t love either one.  I happen to love both baths and showers, which is the main reason I love Lush so much.  Lush understands that bath and shower time can be fun, relaxing, pampering ‘me’ time that is an escape from the stress and anxiety of the real world.

In celebration of the luxury of bath time, Lush commissioned artist Jon Burgerman to create a super fun, reusable bath tin that they filled with bestselling bath bombs and entitled Bathtime Favourites Tin ($39.95).  Just check out this fabulous art work:

I literally – and I mean LITERALLY – had to wrestle my daughters and pry this from their hands once it arrived.  Some great advice:  if you have a daughter who needs a birthday gift or just something to say ‘I love you’, pick up one of these limited edition tins.  You will forever be known as the BEST PERSON ALIVE.

Inside the awesome tin are nine classic Lush bath bombs.  Bath bombs don’t give bubbles, they disintegrate into your warm bath water in an effervescent fizz, and leave the water, the air, and your body smelling pretty darn amazing.  Individual Lush bath bombs retail for anywhere from $5 to $7, so for the price this collection of nine bath bombs plus the tin is an amazing deal.  The bombs included are:

Blackberry:  This big bath bomb turns bath water a gorgeous lilac color.  There’s a surprise inside, but I won’t spoil the fun and tell you what it is!

Avobath:  This bath bomb turns bath water a lemon-lime color, and it has teensy tiny shimmer in it.  It leaves the skin glowing and super soft.

Geo Phizz:  Pictured below, this gorgeous bath bomb is full of sea salt.  Use it when your muscles are sore from working out or you are feeling achy.  It smells fabulous, like pine and cedar and the outdoors.

Honey Bee:  To me his bath bomb smells of caramel and toffee, which I absolutely adore.  It is a very  summery/beachy scent.  It turns the bath water honey yellow, which absolutely tickles kids (and the kid in you too!)

Big Blue:  Can’t be any more like the ocean – it’s big, it’s blue, it’s got sea salt and seaweed in it.  Drop this is in your tub and have a total spa experience.

Pink:  Just look at how gorgeous this is (pictured below).  Love how it turns the bath water super girly pink, and I love how it makes my skin smell amazing with the perfect mix of tonka bean and vanilla.  Be sure to clean those little flowers confetti hearts out of the tub after, though!

Butterball:  This bath bomb has pieces of cocoa butter in it that melt into the bath water.  The result is gloriously soft skin.  The scent is rich vanilla.

Keep It Fluffy: Oooh, a bath bomb that turns into foam!!  That’s the fluffy part, a soft floating foam that smells of vanilla and jasmine.  Fabulous.

Sex Bomb:  Check out the gorgeous rose petals in this bath bomb.  It has a beautiful jasmine scent, and thanks to the soya milk in it your bath water becomes a soft, milky purpley-pink. 

Bath bombs are just ridiculously huge, I usually break mine up into three pieces and I get great results.  I also like to combine a piece of bath bomb with a piece of bubble bar for an extra special soak.

If you belong to the group that loves baths, this is a terrific bargain with fantastic products.  Again, it’s limited edition, so be sure to pick one up ASAP…I am betting they sell out quick.  – Lisa