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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Blogging: How to Stay Inspired

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Daily blogging is one of those things that appears deceptively easy, especially for a “generalist” blog written without much specific expertise in the field needed, which is often the case for lifestyle blogs—but that’s true for many others as well, such as personal finance or hobby-specific sites. However, what you’ll find, as I did, if you actually try to put up quality content every day is that staying inspired with enough ideas to create posts that will genuinely interest you and your readers each and every day requires great time management, planning, and a strategic plan just to stay inspired.

Yesterday, I opened my WordPress editor to find that there was absolutely nothing left in my “inspiration tank.” I had already talked about most of what was a current lifestyle inspiration to me, and the other things I’d tried recently weren’t noteworthy.

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Is The Tone It Up App Worth It? Studio Tone It Up App Review and Why I Quit

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In the last few years, online fitness programs and subscriptions have become very popular. They offer a level of convenience that is higher for some people than going to the gym or taking classes, and they’re usually more affordable, as well. Studio Tone It Up is one of those subscriptions. It is a fitness mobile application with free and paid options offered by the creators of Tone It Up, Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott.

Tone It Up is the fitness empire that was started by the two women in 2009. I have been involved with their work on-and-off since about 2011. I’ve done many of their free Youtube workouts, and I even purchased their nutrition plan in 2013 and their “Beach Babe 4” workout video bundle a couple of years later.

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Book Chat: 5 Lessons I Learned From “26 Marathons” by Meb Keflezighi

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Seeing as I have just gotten back into running and was desperately in need of some refreshing and inspirational reading material, I started reading Meb Keflezighi’s book, “26 Marathons: What I Learned About Faith, Identity, Running, and Life From My Marathon Career.” It is authored alongside journalist and running writer Scott Douglas. The book turned out to be both of those things, refreshing and inspirational, in addition to easy-to-read and well-written to boot.

Meb Keflezighi is an Eritrean-born, American distance runner. He’s a four-time Olympian for Team USA, he participated in two World finals, and he has won prestigious races such as the Boston and the New York City marathons. He is practically as “elite” as a runner can get.

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Goodbye to All That: Toxic Spirituality & Mental Health

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Spirituality is an important part of my life. I like to know that this isn’t everything there is, that there’s more than what meets the eye in this world… It brings me peace. My spirituality is something I turn to even more anytime I am going through something difficult.

As cheesy as it sounds, and especially because I was not brought up Christian, I can always count on stories of individuals choosing good over evil, overcoming through humility and God’s grace and forgiveness that characterize much of the Bible to lift me up and rejuvenate my spirit. I don’t think the Bible or religion are the only sources of spiritual health, and I know there are other options for spiritual fulfillment.

However, I do want to share my negative experience with a type of spirituality that is basically a scam. And more so, it can very easily turn toxic to our mental health. It’s a spirituality of complete autonomy, based on the idea that we are not only responsible for what we do but also responsible for everything that happens to us. There is no empirical evidence for this, of course. But then again, there isn’t any for a benevolent God wanting the best for us either.

If you’re going through this, you’re not alone. What is referred to as Law of Attraction, which informs this type of thinking, has taken over so much of our culture, and it’s based on a couple of compelling but false claims.

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