Sunday, May 01, 2016

Lush Shampoo Bar - Montalbano, Jason and the Argan Oil and Goldiva

Lush was a brand I have heard about for a long time but never get to try until last year. To me, it's a hipster take on The Body Shop (in the way that both stores are pseudo-natural/wholesome and able to knock you down with their heavy fragrance when you are just passing by). They seem to have a nice selection of shampoo bars available so I decided to give them a try (since I either get sick of drugstore shampoo and/or most of them give me itchy scalp that's not induced by sodium lauryl sulfate). FYI, all of Lush shampoo bar does contain SLS (the "evil and harsh: detergent) as their primary ingredient so it's not exactly a natural brand.

Montalbano is one of my first picks because the sunny yellow color and it smells like lemon! Well, not fresh lemons but the Glades furniture polish. At least you know they are not skimping on the limonene! 
As you can see from the pictures, my Montalbano looks rather condensed (it's not brittle and remain one piece through out its lifespan). Consider these are handmade, I can't say the texture would be consistent across batches. 

Montalbano smells refreshing and cleanses very well. As a result of the squeaky cleanse, it's gives a clean lift from the root but can get a stripping. The sales associate said that each shampoo bar lasts up to 90 washes and I actually think that they are true given how much foam a swipe yields. By the end of second month or so I would either get sick of the scent or it gets too nasty already (after it has been exposed to the heat and humidity). 

Overall: I like it and might repurchase.
If it weren't for beauty blogs, I would have never picked this up. During one of my link-hopping trips, I learned that Jason and the Argan Oil smells like roses (it's hard to make out the smell once you are inside the store) so I also put it in my paper bag. I love my rosewater and rosy notes so the thought of petal hair was just so dreamy. 

Well, it's one of those YMMV things because I ended up hating this particular scent(with a passion). This one is strong, powdery and very pungent thanks to a sharp fruity note. The first few days I was using it, I thought something was rotting inside my shower and couldn't find the source...

Jason and the Argan Oil has a much drier and brittle texture that not only breaks easily. Once it's dampened,  the white strips of detergent start to look like maggots (doesn't help that the base is pink). On the bright side, this also means that I can actually finish it/flush it away much more easily.

 The cherry on top is how it works: Right after washing my hair with it, my hair feels so soft and airy but a few hours later I would get greasy roots and my scalp would start to itch by the end of day. 

To be fair, the itch is not unique to this formula (many shampoo, American or Japanese drugstore brands do that as well and I still haven't pinpoint the culprit ingredient). Within Lush, Bazilliant does the same thing (minus the softness), at least the orange-soda meets laundry detergent smell was a little more agreeable (as undie detergent).
Goldiva is my favorite of the bunch and very likely a holygrail material. This is actually my third bar since last summer (my first melted in my cupboard/became unsuitable for glamour shot then I couldn't wait to use the second). 

Infused with cocao butter, shea butter, coconut and camellia oils (hence the tendency to melt), it also functions as a conditioner. It took me no time to get used to the oily soap texture (feels much better than washing your hair with powdered detergent actually). While the foam isn't as crazy, it cleanses well (makes my hair soft and glossy) and leaves an exhilarating, lingering jasmine scent and no residue. 

Beside my nose, my scalp also really likes the formula as well. There is no itching or dry flakes so washing daily is no longer a requirement. To retain the integrity of the bar, I break this buttery bar into four pieces and only keeps one in my shower. Each piece would last for weeks anyway.

Overall: I like the idea of these bars as they produce so much less plastic waste (one less bottle to recycle!)and are easy to travel with. The formula are hit or miss but at least I am glad I found one I really like. I only wanted my shampoo to cleanse and smell good and Montalbano and Goldiva do exactly that. 


  1. They sound lovely! I have trouble with dry scalp so I'll check these out!

    1. Goldiva is a godsent for dry scalp! And it's such an unique scent for shampoo.

    2. Perfect! I love Jasmine too :)


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