LUSH Big Solid Conditioner


LUSH India seems to have fallen off the face of the earth, which is a pity indeed. Their website has been down since almost ages and now the Fb page is gone too as is the solitary store in North India, the one in Select City Walk, New Delhi. What the status of their stores down south is I can’t say, but as far as we in the North of India are concerned, LUSH India is in fact gone leaving LUSHies like me high and dry. I hear that by this April they should be up and doing but all we can do is wait and watch.


Even though LUSH India is MIA, yet here is a review of their Big Solid Conditioner, a conditioner to complement their Big Shampoo. First things first, this conditioner is NOT meant for my kind of hair- hair that is on the dry, wavy side. Instead, it’s for those with “dull, limp and fine” hair and in need of a “jolt of volume and shine”. So why did I buy it? Well, because I’m a big sucker for anything that gives “volume” to the hair and because I just fell in love with the lovely vanilla fragrance even though it does not linger on at all.

What LUSH says about it –

“For big volume and tons of shine

Big conditioner livens up dull, limp and fine hair with a jolt of volume and shine. It carries with it the beautiful fragrance of the vanilla, jasmine and tonka absolute to perfume hair while the sea salt goes to work building body. Extra virgin coconut oil and toothed wracked seaweed infusion soften and condition hair without weighing it down, while a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh lime add even more shine. Just like in our Big Shampoo, we’ve used fine sea salt to add softness and body, and glycerine to help retain moisture. We take protein-rich toothed wrack seaweed fresh from Poole Harbour, purée it and blend it through to help make your hair more manageable. A squeeze of fresh lime and lemon juice get to work on adding gloss, as the acids help the cuticles to lie flat and reflect light.”

Having said that it is not for my hair type, how did it fare? I got volume alright, and loads of it which is not surprising considering that it has sea salt in it – I was just short of looking like Monica in FRIENDS . But that was because in my zeal I overdid it a bit. Once I had figured out that it was just one rub down the length of my hair that was needed, it fared quite well even though mostly I use R & B Hair Moisturiser afterwards (reviewed here).

So here’s a quick overview.

  1. It is small squishy bar that has to be stored in the refrigerator in the summers. This means it’s a nightmare to travel with specially in the hot humid months. It never really dries up completely, always being in a semi solid state.
  2. It has a lovely vanilla fragrance which, however, sadly does not longer on at all.
  3. It does give a good jolt of volume so should work well for those with dull, limp hair. Those with hair on dry side better stay away. As for the shiny part, I really didn’t see any extraordinary shine in my hair.
  4. Very little is needed, at least for me- one swipe down the length of the hair is enough. Those who actually have dull, limp hair may need two swipes at most. One needs to be careful not to tug at the hair. Otherwise that can cause breakage.
  5. Cruelty free and pretty much natural ingredients.

I’m forgetting the price but I think it was around Rs 700/- for a 100g bar- expensive but LUSH pretty much is so. Anyone with limp, fine hair must try it. Even for my wavy, dry hair it’s good product, giving good volume and bounce, though, for obvious reasons, I will not repurchase it.


The Inconvenience of Dying


People die all the time and in the process, as Alan Shore is likely to say, make things terribly inconvenient for others and for themselves – the latter of course if one is to believe the theory that there is something called a soul that is tormented by its unfulfilled desires. The inconvenience for the living left behind manifests itself in different ways. For the near and dear ones, the biggest “inconvenience” is obviously the emotional-psychological upheaval caused by the death of a loved one. Then there is the materialistic and physical inconvenience, which, no matter how real, cannot be mentioned for the fear of being labelled inhuman and selfish. Schedules to be rearranged, work hours lost and a host of legal formalities and the deceased’s unfinished business to be attended to.

The biggest inconvenience caused by death however is perhaps of bringing you face to face with your own mortality. You are going about your humdrum routine, taking it for granted that life will continue so, and that too ad infinitum, when someone drops dead. Really! Can there be a bigger inconvenience? All the platitudes about uncertainty of life and ephemeral nature of things come to haunt even the most prosaic of us, even if momentarily. The very next day most of us snap out of these solemn ponderings and go on about the business of living but for the sensitive few this second hand brush with death and mortality may become a thought provoking, life altering experience.

In all the mayhem that follows a death, has anyone ever spared a thought for the dead? Yeah I know all grief is for the dead but if you give it a thought, it’s about “you” in relation to the deceased- how you will miss the person, how empty your life will be without him and so on and so forth. But what about that person per se? Have you ever thought of death from the viewpoint of the deceased? Isn’t it as much an inconvenience for him as it is for others? None of us think that we are going to die – not when we actually die in any case. Just imagine trying to go about your life, when something as preposterous as death ruins it all. Mercifully once dead, it’s over for you. If it were not so, what a trauma it would be! All the ties of love left behind, all the ‘unfinished’ businesses, the unfulfilled dreams, desires, aspirations, promises,   responsibilities…all of it would haunt one forever and beyond. If one could choose and plan ones time of death, would we fare better? Would we actually lead a more meaningful life, get our priorities right, wind up our “business”, attend to our affairs and be “ready” at the appointed hour to go? Sadly, I don’t think so. Nothing is ever enough for us- at no point are we ever ready to let go.

No wonder the smart-ass wise have often advised not to take life very seriously- after all, no one ever gets out alive. We all know, theoretically, that we will die. But as we go about our daily lives, do we ever actually spare a thought for it? Not in a morbid way but as a fact of life- that we are in fact living on borrowed time, that each day lived is indeed bringing one close to the end so one might as well choose wisely. Death, like it or not, is quite an inconvenience. The best one can do is find one’s true calling, find one’s moorings- be it in god, religion or what you will- and live each day to the fullest for who knows when one will be inconvenienced.

Forest Essentials “Made to Order Customised Cream Review

Last July I had ordered Forest Essentials “Made to Order  Customised Cream” (read here) . Sadly, I could not use it when I received it in mid August as not only did I get an acute bout of acne but I also realised that the formula was a bit on the richer side for my oily, acne prone skin especially in the hot and humid months of August and September. I finally started using it from November onwards, regularly, twice a day- morning and evening- and now after over 2 months I think I can accurately give my opinion.


Well, the glamour of seeing a cream specially customised for you aside, it has been quite a letdown. Not that I was suddenly expecting to have a flawless skin but sadly, it has done nothing for me that any other face cream has not. And here is why-

  1. Whatever drug store variety I have used – say Olay or Garnier- did the job of keeping the skin moisturised and that is just about what this cream did as well. As I said above, for the months of August and September, the formula was too heavy for me, which is surprising considering that it is “customised” and hence supposed to be just right for you. All that it did November onwards was to provide adequate moisturisation and that’s about it.
  2.  What I was really looking for and had asked for was for the cream to somewhat even out my skin tone and lighten the acne marks and dark spots – it did neither.
  3.  As much as I might like to say that I woke up with a bright face and all that jazz, I sadly did not.
  4. Despite all the “anti inflammatory” and “anti bacterial” ingredients, it did nothing by way of combating acne. For that, I have turned to homeopathy.
  5. The only good thing, as Neeha too pointed out in her comment in my previous post ( here), is the divine smell and the initial feel good factor. Other than that it has just turned out to be a waste of Rs3000/- .

While a customised cream is supposed to address your specific concerns, mine did not. That is not to say that someone else’s customised cream will not work for them- it may or may not. Mine unfortunately did not and I have now moved to Kama…let’s see how that fares.