Happy Halloween everyone! It’s the most wonderful time of the year – LUSH Christmas product time! (Christmas creep gettin’ all up in ya blogs… but when it’s LUSH, I don’t mind!)
And this year, as in years past, they’ve brought back my favorite cleanser, Buche de Noel!
This was a new introduction in holiday 2010, which coincidentally was when I started working for the company. That was the same time when I dropped from beauty blogging, for a couple of reasons.
1) I had all this fun new LUSH stuff courtesy of staff discounts and product boxes, and back then, I couldn’t get a straight answer from head office about whether or not it was acceptable for me to blog about them. Also, even though of course I’d be up front with y’all about how I got it, I felt it’d be slightly disingenuous. I wouldn’t review anything I disliked, for obvious reasons, so it would seem as though I was just shilling for them! (Does anyone else think so?)
2) But it didn’t matter anyway because I was working two jobs then, basically 80 hours a week and I was too pooped to blog. 😛
But I don’t work there now and I recently went in to my old store to stock up again, so I thought it’d be appropriate to do a review on one of my absolute favorite cleansers ever. (EVER.)
I became totally enamored with this cleanser when it was first introduced, and every year, I’ve stockpiled pots in my freezer to last me through until the next season. I really hate that it’s limited edition, but such is LUSH. On that note, there’s another limited edition cleanser this year called Let the Good Times Roll (so appropriate for Louisiana!) which is absolutely fab and might even be competing with Buche as my favorite! However, I only have a sample so I’ll review that once I have the full-size.
Buche de Noel is made with loads of one of my favorite ingredients of all time: almonds. I love snacking on almonds, I love almond milk (hard to find in the US for some reason, though it’s everywhere in Taiwan) and anything almond-scented gets dropped in my shopping cart immediately. (Of course I’m also obsessed with that other LUSH holiday almond favorite: Snowcake!)
Here’s Corey, who hand-made my Buche de Noel. As with all LUSH products, because they strive to be as preservative-free as possible, there is an expiration date and it, along with a picture of who made your product, is put on each package.
It’s a roll cleanser typical of LUSH; however, unlike their other cleansers, it isn’t sold in bulk but in prepackaged pots of 100g each. By the way, save your black pots from LUSH! If you bring 5 empty pots back to the stores, you get a FREE Fresh face mask! (As a former employee, I’m compelled to mention it’s nice if you clean them out before. ;))
If you aren’t familiar with LUSH’s roll cleansers, they’re basically solid-formed cleansers that you take a pinch of, work into a paste with a dab of water and polish over your face. Speaking of which, I love the new labels which actually give directions, although to be honest, I think they’re not so great for Buche. If I were reading this, I might think it means to just start rubbing it on my face dry. What do you think?
Buche de Noel uses ground whole almonds (not the harsh, jagged shell!) for a great, gentle exfoliation that smells delicious, and has cranberries and satsumas to deliver nice antioxidants to the face including vitamin C which helps to even the skintone and fade dark spots. The smell is absolutely heavenly: sweet, warm almonds with a bit of tart fruitiness behind it — however, it doesn’t taste nearly as nice as it smells! (Yes, I’ve nibbled a bit of my Buche before, as well as a lot of other LUSH products, if I’m being honest! I think almost every LUSHie or LUSH employee has tasted at least one thing before!)
It also has lots of kaolin clay, which basically acts like a vacuum to your pores and sucks all the gunk out, plus it helps to brighten your face up. There’s also a teensy bit of brandy to warm up your skin and increase circulation.
The display roll in store is wrapped up with seaweed, to give the appearance of a Yule log. Seaweed is used in a lot of LUSH products and is great for softening the skin (think seaweed wraps!).
What I love most about Buche is that it has tons of glycerin and cocoa butter in it so it’s really great for winter skin that tends to be drier. All the ingredients work together to give you just beautifully soft, glowy and moisturized skin. Buche is vegan, which not all LUSH products are (although all are vegetarian and cruelty-free).
For reference, I have combo skin: super oily T-zone and normal-to-dry everywhere else, with mildly acne-prone skin which tends to leave spots of hyperpigmentation. Buche is the perfect amount of moisturization to help normalize the sebum levels on my face, and the other ingredients also help to fade my dark spots.
I’m absolutely obsessed, which is why I try to stockpile it. On that note, people who bought it used to ask me, when I worked there, if it was OK to freeze to prolong its shelf life. I would tell them that it wasn’t recommended, because… well, it isn’t! BUT now that I no longer work for LUSH, I can admit, shamefacedly, that I myself freeze my Buche to last me through the year.
To be honest, I still don’t recommend it. There is a world of difference between a nice, fresh chunk of Buche and one that I’ve defrosted from my freezer 6 months later. Given the choice, I’d go to the store and buy a fresh pot every time I run out, but I can’t, so I have to get my fix somehow!
I’m basically a Buche junky, so you know… you gotta find out where your line is, and draw it or cross it or whatever. I don’t judge (much).
However, whether or not you choose to be a gross LUSH addict like me, you definitely do NOT want to be using an opened pot for more than 3 months or sticking an older pot into the fridge/freezer to reuse later. At that point, bacteria or mold may have started creeping in and you just don’t want to be rubbing that all over your face, plus the fresh ingredients will deteriorate after a point. If you’re looking for something you can get year-round, LUSH’s best-seller Angels on Bare Skin is formulated very similarly to Buche, but is not as heavily moisturizing. Angels does have tons of lavender which is great for balancing the oily spots on your face and which is also antibacterial, so it’s actually a better option for all seasons use if your skin is not very, very dry.
For me, Buche de Noel just works better than Angels in a way I can’t explain. It’s absolutely one of my HG products, which I’ll say right now, that label gets tossed around on other blogs like it’s going out of style — for me, it means if I had to use only ONE cleanser for the rest of my life… it’d be this baby.
I won’t lie and say I only use Buche. After all, I have my medicated BP wash and I get the wandering eye like every beauty addict, but I always come back to my delicious almond and cranberry log.
So anyway, if you wanna have a very merry Christmas, you must get thee to your nearest LUSH store or LUSH.com, and order yourself a pot (or ten) of Buche de Noel!
Buche de Noel is available for $12.95.