A few years ago I went into the iconic Oxford Street Lush store before heading to a blog event with my friend Rachael of Rachwat (who sadly no longer blogs). One of the items we tried out in their ‘experience’ store was this and I remember it being something that I was like “one day, I’ll try that” – and fast forward two years I finally bought it, and then another six months later I actually put it to the test.
The weather is really taking a toll on my hands the cold spells which keep coming, alongside the redecoration in our house and the constant contact with white spirit has meant that normal hand cream hasn’t really come close to curing the issues I’ve had with the hangnails from hell.
This is a similar concept to the Hot Oil Sticks for hair that I reviewed back in the Autumn, where it’s a solid oil block that you mix into boiling water in a mug, and despite the fact I learnt from my mistakes last time -my criticisms are the same as that – it doesn’t tell you how much water to use/what kind of size mug to use so these products really leave you in the dark in my opinion.
The design of this is fun with a golden glitter dipped hand shape, when mixed up the glitter isn’t apparant and really serves no purpose other than it matching to the product name… for me – it would be better without it and just made mess taking out of the cardboard for the sake of making a mess.
This time I decided to mix this up in a bowl rather than a mug – it really wasn’t easy last time to get my hands into the mug to scoop out product so I thought this would make things slightly easier. I poured the boiling water into the bowl and dunked in the solid oil for about a minute to allow it to soften up before starting to mix around in the water.
And Voila – a thick oily paste cream eventually emerges after a few minutes of stirring. It’s a bit of swings and roundabouts with the bowl over mug approach – because the surface area is larger it’s a bit messier (a larger bowl might have helped), and the water cools down quicker which meant the last little bit on the stick was a struggle to get melted. So it might have been better to mix up in a mug and then scrape into the bowl.
Once all the product was all mixed up, my thoughts were… BOY that’s a lot of product. That looked like the equivalent of three tubes of hand cream. I applied a really thick application onto both my hands and then sat on the end of my bed – like “Well Now What?”. I seem to recall when they applied this on us in the store they put one of those looser style hair dye gloves over our hands so we could still browse the store and pick stuff up, but without someone to do that for you, you’re stuck. But I was sat there like well what am I meant to do – it felt like it could have dripped onto my freshly cleaned carpet so I stuck it out on the bed as long as I could before I got bored – which must have been 10-15 minutes.
Rinsing my hands off the cream texture melted off to a slightly oily feeling residue which wasn’t unpleasant and I left that to sink into my hands by patting off the water, rather than trying to get them bone dry. But once it was all dried down I was a little underwhelmed by the results, the palms of my hands, and the majority of my fingers felt soft and smooth, but anywhere where there was dryness particularly around my cuticles were practically no different. Essentially I felt like it didn’t go above and beyond what a good handcream would have done if applied overnight and through the day. I was expecting something more noticeable.
My other criticism of the product is how much of it there was… I could have coated both my legs with this one mix and it would have been still probably too much product, and I’m nearly 6ft – that’s a lotta leg. I feel like these should be sold in smaller chunks maybe a bitesize type pack to give you 5 treatments or instructions to maybe but it in half (although this would defy the melt on the stick approach). I left my bowl covered in a cool dry place – away from heat, but also not refrigerated and although I managed to use it the next day – past that the consistency was a lot thicker and pastier. I would estimate that around 60-70% was binned.
Overall I find this a hard product to use – I feel like if you could leave it on for longer then it would maybe be a product that gave better results, but it’s a really awkward product to leave on for a long time. Loose hair dye gloves could be an answer for this being more useable but I feel like it’s not a product that everyone has lying around their house, and lush certainly won’t be providing them with their plans to go plastic-free. But the wastage on this for me was crazy – if there’s 7 of you having a pamper session in (does anyone actually do this or is to just movies that lead me to think some people do?!) then it would be really hard to use up.
I had a comment recently on my hair oil post that went with an undertone of “you’re an idiot, Lush doesn’t deserve bad reviews for people not knowing how much water to use to mix it and you should telepathically know they mean a medium sized mug and DUH you can just watch videos of it online, haven’t you heard of YouTube?! “, and I wholeheartedly disagree. The instructions which come with these types of products are quite frankly, piss poor – you shouldn’t have to go watch a video online demonstration for a problem that would be simply solved by including a rough guide of how many ml of bloody water is needed. Literally the only important aspect of making this product and one that will make or break its performance – you could easily make this too thin or too think and there’s no reference point as to whether that may be right. Personally I think lush need to rethink the concept on this one a bit, how they could make it more usable/wearable for longer and just improve the darn label.
Have you tried Lush’s Golden Handshake?