I Tried Lush Hair Care (Again)

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Photo courtesy of Lushusa.com

I have switched to waste-free hair care! Two months ago, I picked up a Lush shampoo bar, and there is no going back. I have waited two (and a half) months to write this post, and I’m already on my second shampoo bar; I just wanted to give their products an honest try before talking about them here.

Even though I have known about Lush shampoo bars for a very long time, I didn’t first try them until just a few years ago, and then, I tried the wrong ones for my hair type. I chose two at random, basing my choice on the colour of the bars–I picked red and orange.

They both left my hair super dry, and I didn’t know to go back and ask for the right product–I figured they were all the same, which is not true.

This time, I asked, and the sales associate recommended the Godiva shampoo bar, their most moisturizing option, along with the Jungle hair conditioner (also a solid bar). All Lush shampoo bars, including the Godiva, contain SLS beads, the solid form of a cleanser commonly found in conventional shampoos, which means you can count on them to clean your hair just as well, and without leaving greasy soap residue. A Lush shampoo bar is not made of soap! This is an important point to note because I have seen natural body care brands that offer a “bar shampoo” that is essentially just a regular bar of soap.

They all also contain other essential oils and moisturizers, and the jasmine-scented Godiva also contains chunks of natural moisturizing butters for extra hydration.

My hair absolutely loved the Godiva bar, and I didn’t really need to top up with a conditioner–I found that doing that made my normally very voluminous hair look limp. I ran out after about a month of every-other-day hair washing, and I restocked with the citrus-scented Montalbano bar because their Godiva was sold out. I love the distinctive scent and colour of each bar; they make me feel super pampered in the shower, and like I’m not giving anything up for the sake of living a more aligned lifestyle.

If you are ordering online and don’t feel like popping by a Lush store, try calling a nearby store and explaining your hair type before purchasing. Talking to a sales associate is what made all the difference for me. With the Montalbano bar, I am back to using the Jungle hair conditioner, a luscious moisturizing bar that leaves the shower air around smelling like ylang-ylang, a subtly sweet scent. It’s made with cocoa butter and mashed avocados and bananas (which you can also smell–yum!) and somehow conditions my hair without making it greasy.

Before styling my hair, I usually also run some Queen Bee hair honey (also sold in a solid bar) through my locks with my fingers. My hair has never felt softer than it does with this hair care routine, and I can’t recommend Lush enough not only for products that perform but ones that feel so good to use.

 

Safety Razor for Women’s Shaving

For ages, I considered trading my Gillette Venus or Schick Quattro (I have switched back-and-forth between these two women’s razors for a long time) for a safety razor. The prospect was a little scary, and I was too comfortable with my old routine, but I finally did it, and I’m so glad!

It’s not that I ever had any problems with the two types of shaving products I used, but the amount of plastic that accumulated in the bathroom trash can while each day I listened to the calamitous environmental consequences of waste and waste pollution on news podcasts became too much to bear.

A couple of months ago, I bit the bullet, as they say, and bought literally the first inexpensive safety razor that came up on Amazon. You’d hope someone purporting to inform an audience about this would delve into some research first, and I did, but I found the price premiums on the double-edged safety razors marketed to women had more to do with the pink handles than with an innovative shaving mechanism or functional design difference.

It just seemed as though the experience would be more or less the same, and I didn’t want to splurge in case safety razors were a definite no-no for me. But good news–they aren’t!

The razor I bought came with twenty blades, and I am on the third one now, shaving about once every five days, at the same rate as previously. Each blade lasts for 3-4 shaves of my full legs and produces so much less waste in the end than my made-for-women razor cartridges (the only thing that ends in the trash is a single thin blade, no plastic).

There was definitely a bit of a learning curve, and on that, I wish I’d done a little more reading before starting. For example, I’ve found that with a double-edged razor, I simply don’t have the luxury of applying pressure liberally or dragging the blade along my skin for long strokes to save time. Instead, short strokes with very, very gentle pressure are the only way to keep from nicking the sensitive skin on my legs.

I also have to lather up and trace my skin twice with the blade each time to get the same closeness as my Gillette provided once through. So ultimately, it takes a little more time and focus, with a razor handle that is not nearly as ergonomic (it starts to slip out of my hand when I get the slightest bit of shaving soap on my hand).

Following my first time shaving with the new razor, I remember actually feeling a surge of gratitude for the product designers at Gillette. My user experience with the Venus razor had been so absolutely seamless that shaving had never really been a noticeable part of my routine, but this time I couldn’t not notice as I stood with blood prickling out of at least three dozen spots all over my legs.

I’m sharing the struggle bits because I don’t want to contribute to the idea, which is generally a lie, that “green” products perform just as well as any other. An other which has usually has had countless R&D resources poured into it and that doesn’t face the same need to conform to some environmental standard. This one certainly doesn’t do as well from a performance standpoint alone! But I have chosen to keep at it because it seems almost like a bit of a moral imperative to do so. It doesn’t escape me that it’s a laughably small contribution on the grand scale of the worldwide trash “problem” but if it’s one of the only things I can personally do, why not? In the end, my legs are still hairless, and I’m completely accustomed to my new routine.

It truly was mostly just a matter of adjusting the pressure and dedicating an extra minute or two to the task. If you go this route, you’ll feel so, so much better knowing you’re not needlessly spending so much money on being hair-free and not polluting the world/oceans/landfills with so much of your trash.

I’ve replaced a few other conventionally wasteful personal hygiene and self-care products that I use regularly and will be sharing about them soon. Thoughts?

HIIT Workout + Yoga (#3)

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I haven’t done a fitness log in a really long time, but today I tried two new videos from Youtube, and I thought I’d share my thoughts. I was looking for a Jillian Michaels’ workout on the BeFit channel, but when I couldn’t find it, I settled for another result.

This 40-minute yoga and Pilates inspired workout was supposed to be a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) routine, and the upvotes convinced me to try it. I didn’t love it, but I was surprised by how much I noticed about the quality of instruction since having completed my Power Pilates training.

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Udemy for Classical Pilates

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Classical Pilates includes the modifier classical to indicate that it more closely resembles founder Joseph Pilates’ method of Contrology (or what is now just referred to as simply Pilates). A weight-bearing, low-impact, and mind-body type of exercise, Pilates stretches and strengthens the muscles, developing them in a balanced fashion aimed at increasing everyday functionality. From experience, adherence to this practice results in more bodily ease, and an increased sense of balance and freedom within one’s self. And this seems to hold true for practitioners starting at any age.

To me, Pilates is all that and more, and if you haven’t tried it, the short online course I am about to recommend in this post might just be the perfect place to start!

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Recipe: Creamy Vegan Coffee Ice Pops (Low Calorie)

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Summer is right around the corner! Even though today was windy and chilly, the weather has been trending towards the sunny and warm here in Toronto. So in honor of the slowly descending mid-spring, and soon-to-be-summer, I made these coffee ice pops.

love a good popsicle, and I love coffee. So combining the two came naturally! Usually, I’m partial to mango or strawberry-flavored smoothie pops, but these were so different—in a good way. They have a rich coffee flavour that, combined with the sweetness of the banana and dates, makes for a great low-calorie Netflix dessert option  (do you know what I mean?).

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Side Salads for Weight Loss (My Story)

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It wasn’t too many years ago that I found myself at a weight that made me really unhappy. I had tens of pounds to lose to get back to where I was before and where I am back to now, and I knew I didn’t want to follow any specific diet. I recently watched an interview about why despite the majority of Americans now finding themselves overweight, fewer of them than ever before are dieting.

One subject very aptly put it this way: “dieting is a four-letter word for failure.”

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Q & A: Coffee, Job Search, Our Planet, Cats and Dogs

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This is a fun “life lately” type of post made up of questions others have asked me lately.

In the last two weeks, I’ve been either on a or phoned into a half-dozen job interviews, and they’ve all had one thing in common: so many questions—which makes a lot of sense. In that time, I’ve also been asked countless questions from friends, prospective dates (hi, Hinge), my mom, and even my doctor. So today I thought of putting together a Q&A based on some of those questions. 🙂

Anything you’ve been asked lately that made you stop and think? Tell me, I’d actually love to know!

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