First off, I would like to apologise for not featuring many Lush Cosmetics related posts lately. As I have said in other recent posts, I have had a lot of mental health struggles the past few months and as such, blogging has taken a back seat. However, I plan to catch up with partially written posts and post on here more regularly. As I find blogging and writing very therapeutic. But I digress.
This Lush cocktail with its beautifully earthy base and crisp spiced apple aroma was inspired by the book ‘Three Dark Crowns’. The central plotline and most of the subplots of ‘Three Dark Crowns’ focus on a set of Triplet Queens who have their own and very distinct special powers. These powers in combination with my interpretation of the dominant personality traits pertaining to each Queen inspired the product selection used in this cocktail. In addition, the aforementioned dominant personality traits influenced the formation of this Lush Cocktail’s title; each individual word corresponds to its own queen (discussed later).
This Lush bath cocktail is comprised of: ½ Bathos bubble bar; 1 Lord of Misrule (LOM) bath bomb and 1 So White bath bomb.
NB: Whilst the Lush bath cocktails within this section of the blog do not offer full mindfulness recipes per se, there are a few recipes I wish to recommend which I feel would match the sensory awakening properties offered by this bath cocktail. I provide links to each recipe under the section ‘Mindfulness Recipe’, below.
Each of the aforementioned bath products represent a queen, discussed below.
Bathos Bubble Bar: ‘Rustic’
Bathos bubble bar was the first product to be added to the bath to create mounds of silky soft bubbles. There are numerous ways to use a bubble bar and after much trial and error, I find the best way to create lots of bubbles is to use a sieve. The size and position of your bath tap(s) will help determine the size of sieve that will achieve the largest amount of bubbles. I use a sieve 6 inches in diameter. Crumble ½ of the Bathos bubble bar into the sieve and place the sieve under running water. The water does not have to be boiling hot to produce lots of bubbles.
Bathos was selected to represent aesthetically rugged around the edges, tomboyish Queen Arsinoe, who possesses naturalist powers. It is for these reasons that the word ‘rustic’ came to mind when I considered representation of Arsinoe. In addition, as Arsinoe lives in a little woodland town surrounded by animals and fellow naturalists, Bathos with its prominent violet scent and combination of earthy floral notes seemed the perfect choice. As ingredients within Bathos such as, violet leaf absolute, ylang-ylang and clove bud oils give it a more complex scent than one that is merely flowery. As such, Bathos offers a variety of aromas (albeit with violet at its core) that can be associated with the countryside/outdoors. It is for this reason Bathos was selected for use over products such as, Lush’s ‘Guardians of the Forrest’ bath bomb; which would have been an obvious choice. The violet leaf oil made the bath water silky soft and very moisturising for the skin.
So White Bath Bomb: ‘Brew’
Next, So White was added to the bath water for no reason other than eagerness. Eagerness got the better of me because I had not yet experienced the updated version of So White.
With its crisp apple scent and white apple shaped appearance, I could think of no better product to represent Queen number two, Katherine. As Katherine is gifted with poisoner magic and within most fairy tales and other stories the use of an apple is frequently the common means of assassination by poison attempts. Thus, So White was the most fitting choice.
When So White is added to the violet water as coloured by Bathos, the water colour changes to a cool deep teal with yellow hues depending upon the angle it is looked at. Thus, the water is the perfect colour for a witch’s brew! The idea to use the word ‘Brew’ in the title came to the fore due to all of the poisoned foodstuffs Katherine must consume.
As a product, the scent offered by So White bath bomb is beautifully simplistic. It does as it says on its powdery ‘tin’, as it offers a very crisp apple aroma. This one-dimensional scent means it is a perfect complementary addition to many combinations of Lush bath products for the creation of Lush Cocktails. Finally, I love the revamped version of So White. Not only due to looking like the food item its scent represents, but because the new colours it spews make for a stunning bath display.
LOM Bath Bomb: ‘Spirited’
As I love the LOM scent so much, it is probably no surprise that I found another excuse to use a LOM bath bomb within one of my Lush bath cocktails. With its peppered vanilla aroma and burning red innards, LOM was the perfect product to represent contender to the throne number three, Mirabella. As a powerful Queen with the elemental gift, on the surface Mirabella has a wrath with the potential to cause fiery destruction. However, much like LOM’s aromatic properties with its peppered vanilla, Mirabella has a sweeter side which reduces the risk of an all-out stormy catastrophe.
The title’s ‘Spirited’ to describe Mirabella was used in a partially contradictory context. As despite the fact that Mirabella has fiercely powerful elemental gift, whereby she can control the elements, Mirabella is in fact a soft and kind-hearted individual who does not want to follow suit and carry out the age-old tradition of killing her sisters in return for being crowned queen.
For a more detailed discussion of LOM’s ingredients and their properties which can aid mental health improvement, see my ‘Mulled Wine’ Lush bath Cocktail.
Overall, my favourite things about this Lush cocktail is its silky soft water and the feeling of relaxing in a silent woodland spring area. If (like me) you are not a fan of strong earthy/woody scents, I recommend you give this Lush Cocktail a try. As although there is an earthy element to it, the sweetness deriving from product ingredients such as, vanilla, violet and apple soften the earthy blow.
To get the most out of this delicious bath, I recommend practising the following mindfulness exercises featured in the ‘Mindfulness Recipe’ provided below.
Mindfulness: Personal Overview
Mindfulness can be used as a means of distraction during times of anxiety, intrusive thoughts, high emotional distress and for relaxation. As such, all mindfulness exercises discussed throughout this post and blog can be practiced exclusively for relaxation purposes; to enjoy some much needed ‘me time’ away from day-to-day routines and commitments.
On a personal level, as discussed in my previous posts, Lush Cosmetics has been a firm part of my therapy and an important means for me to practice mindfulness. Hence, Lush products are the only ingredient of these mindfulness cocktails. Finally, I find the sensory skills practiced during difficult times far more effective than exercises such as a ‘body scan’. Therefore, sensory style exercises are featured within each recipe, opposed to body scan category of exercises.
To learn more about mindfulness and its core concept please see this sticky.
The core mindfulness exercise for this recipe is ‘Breathing Mindfully’. As the soft water within this bath is soothing for the skin whilst the aromas it offers means an extended layer of mindful breathing can be practiced through the ‘scents and mindful breathing’ exercise.
NB: Most of the mindfulness exercise names/phrases discussed in each of my ‘Mindfulness Recipes’ I coined myself. Therefore, it is acknowledged that the exercises discussed are most likely well-known by their generic titles. I, personally, find the titles/phrases I have coined to be more explanatory and consequently their selection for use more tailorable to individual needs. As they are easy to skim through and choose what exercises you feel your inner self may be in need of for recovery.
- Breathing Mindfully:
This exercise focusses solely on relaxed, steady breathing. The objective of which is to cognitively separate yourself from the outside world. As well as any troubles or other life stressors which may be having a negative impact on your mental and physical well-being.
How to practice the breathing exercise:
In your Lush bath, close your eyes and inhale/exhale deeply two to three times. The purpose of this step is to centre yourself and become more physically comfortable. Once you are in a comfortable position, turn your focus to your torso and notice the physical sensations deriving from each breath. Such noticing could be the way your abdomen rises and falls. Just notice the movements and sensations without attaching labels or commentary to what is occurring in that very moment. Repeat this for as long as is comfortable to do so. This is known as breathing one-mindfully.
Continuing your mindful breathing, move from the torso to notice sensations you experience from the hot bath water either throughout your whole body or areas you feel comfortable with. The following are examples of physical sensations you could practice noticing during the breathing exercise: Does the water feel soft? Is your skin tingling from the heat? Can you feel any muscles untangling? The main element to remember when practicing this exercise is to notice these things one-mindfully and non-judgmentally, by feeling/noticing any sensations or movements without allowing mental commentary to be occur.
If you notice any thoughts arriving such as, ‘oaft, this is hot’, bring your focus back to your breathing. Focussing on your breathing and not allowing thoughts that enter the brain to stick, by continuously bringing the focus back to your breath is to participate in the exercise one-mindfully. This practice allows us to live in the present moment, noticing what is happening internally and externally without judgment or feeling the need to change it. As this exercise focusses heavily on breathing, the best way to end it is to take a few deep breaths and slowly bring your focus back to the external environment by slowly opening your eyes whilst breathing.
NB: There is no time scale for this exercise, when you feel it is time to end, do so. Additionally, one thing you will most likely become aware of is how fickle and easily distracted the mind can be. If you become distracted, do not worry because it is normal for this to happen. With practice and over time you may find that distracting thoughts occur less often, as they become easier to unstick.
- Scents and Mindful Breathing:
As with the Breathing Mindfully exercise above, when you are ready to start this next exercise take a few moments to get yourself into a comfortable position. Once you are physically comfortable, close your eyes and take two to three very deep breaths. Allowing yourself to sink into a natural position of further comfort and ease. The breaths also help you to become more grounded and centred within your bath tub environment. The core purpose of this and all mindfulness exercises within this recipe is to aid maximum mental and physical relaxation.
How to practice ‘Scents and Mindful Breathing’:
This exercise operates in a very similar way to ‘Breathing Mindfully’ above, with the exception that this time you are noticing the various smells coming from the products used.
Once you are in a comfortable position, close your eyes. With each breath, allow yourself to inhale, absorb and notice the sweet, floral and calming aromas of the product combination. Try to keep your breathing at a steady pace. I find slow, prolonged deep breaths work best.
Should any intrusive thoughts or passing mental comments about the products enter your mind, let them pass. Do not analyse them or offer any extended commentary to the initial thought. For example, product thoughts could include: ‘I like the smell of vanilla’; ‘I do not like the floral notes’ and so on. Such thoughts, no matter how small constitute a judgement and therefore, not ‘living in the moment’. Letting such thoughts pass whilst not criticising yourself for having them is to practice the exercise one-mindfully.
 See sticky for details of body scan exercise or for more about body scan and how to do it, see http://mindfulnessforstudents.co.uk/resources/the-body-scan/