I’m FINALLY free from the shackles of my very demanding IRL job and what fun to see that my co-bloggers have started a Favorites list – I wanna play!

Actually this is perfect because I have been meaning to tell y’all about some stuff I’ve been using lately that I am absolutely in love with – in fact, I just told my homegirl SinisterRouge that I am taking her this weekend to try some of this stuff for herself because I am sure she will love it as well. I’m talking about LUSH, the handmade hair and body products not tested on animals and sold with minimal packaging (excellent since I am feeling hella guilty about the big ass pedicured carbon footprint I am leaving behind).

1. Lush ‘Soft’ Solid Shampoo & ‘Jungle’ Solid Conditioner: The concept of a solid shampoo and conditioner takes a bit of getting used to, and it doesn’t make for the easiest of travel ready items (although for gate checking of bags it’s ACES since you totally circumvent the fucking “3oz or less and only one fucking baggie” bullshit TSA rule) but I really love the idea that there is no packaging for the product, hence less waste for the landfill. The ‘Soft’ shampoo is specifically formulated for mineral heavy soft water and working in the New England area recently is what prompted me to try this stuff to begin with. Lush has loads of different shampoos and so far I have only been using the ‘Soft’ but it leaves my hair and scalp sooooooo fresh and so cleanclean. The ‘Jungle’ conditioner is also a solid and sometimes I find it a little harder to use but I think this is because I brought a pretty small chunk with me on the road. But it smells lovely and fresh and it’s a very versatile product. Besides being a lightweight everyday conditioner you can also use it as a leave in and you can shave with it. For you curly heads I hear you can leave it in and use it as a protective layer if you are going to blow-dry straight.

2. Lush Aromarant & Aromacreme Deodorant: Okay, sooooo this by far has been the most impressive of the Lush products that I have tried, even Mr. K is a believer now. Before switching I was using that Secret Clinical Strength shit, you’ve seen this right? Fucking ‘clinical strength’, like I didn’t already feel like I had some kind of mutant, superhuman nasty armpit funk since all the pretty, delicate lady deodorants didn’t do a fucking thing for me – and while my girlfriends are talking about just needing “a swipe of Dove every other day” there’s me having to bury the clinical anti-persp at the bottom of the basket because the mere packaging shames me. Anyway, needless to say I was all kinds of skeptical about these all natural aluminum free “hippie deodorants”, was positive they wouldn’t work and could not stop picturing myself rubbing crystals under my arms. I got hooked up with some samples, tried them out and was f-l-o-o-r-e-d. Not only do I NOT have mutant, superhuman nasty armpit funk but I am now convinced all the brand name stuff I had been using was actually making me smell WORSE, causing me to re-apply in a vicious and lucrative (for the manufacturers) cycle. That Secret CS was the only thing that would keep my pits dry but it never washed off, I had to shave it off so you can just imagine the kind of clogging and suffocating my pits must have been going through. The Aromarant is a solid which goes on much easier if your pits are still a bit wet from the shower or if you moisten your fingertip and kind of rub one side of it to get it going. It has lemon and sandalwood oils and smells sooooo good – it goes on in the morning and after an 18hr day of corporate stress and aggravation I have zero pit smell. The Aromacreme is really fun with it’s almond oil and shea butter base, also smells delish and sometimes I put it on on top of the Aromarant. Neither one keeps me dry but that actually doesn’t bother me as I think keeping all the sweat IN was funking shit up and a quick pat with a tissue takes no time anyway, but the main thing is not to stink – or with the Aromacreme sometimes I catch a whiff of it and it’s niiiice. Only thing is I can’t use it after shaving ‘cuz it burns like a mofo, but no probs because the Aromarant goes on just fine.

3. Lush Tea Tree Water Toner and Herbalism Cleanser: LOVE, I am in it. Some of y’all know what a glamazon I am but strangely enough I do not have the same patience for my skincare as I do for make-up, hair and appearance – go figure. But as I get older I have no choice but to acknowledge that my lax ways will indeed catch up with me and I will have no one to blame but myself. (Sidenote: having kick ass Panda beauty blogger BiscuitDoughJones do your make-up is such a fun, fun treat, but seeing her gorgeous skin close up will shame a bitch with a quickness!) My skincare woes can be summed up in two words: OIL & PORES. As in, at any given moment I have more oil shining, pooling, sliding around on my mug than the Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez dumped her load, and my pores? Fuhgeddaboudit. Bigger and scarier than Herpy Hilton’s cooch. I have tried everything from drugstore stuff to $400 oz stuff and thought I was relegated to prescription acne creams (yes, acne skipped me in high school but decides to visit in my 20’s, fucking yay) which are a goddamn chore and do not help with the oil situation since they are also veryHerbalism is magic y\'all, don\'t hate b/c it happens to resemble a green turd, it doesn\'t feel that way about you. OVER-drying at times. I’ve been using the Herbalism every morning for about a week and already I can see a major difference. I almost don’t want to admit it for fear it’s a dream but I actually do think my skin was significantly less oily all day yesterday, but it’s definitely more balanced and calmer. Herbalism is an exfoliating scrub that you get a little wet and make a paste with, scrub it on and rinse it off. Follow with a good spritz of the Tea Tree Water Toner and Kadinsky has visibly smaller pores in 4 days. The toner is great for my travel days as well, I think we all know nothing is quite as disgusting as the feel of your skin after sharing circulated air at 30,000 feet with random farters and mouth breathers – blech.

4. Lush Bath Bombs: Dudes, if you haven’t tried a Bath Bomb, get thee a glass/bottle/pitcher of something wicked and head for the tub pronto. These are Lush’s best sellers and it’s easy to see why, besides being fun they’re yummy smelling, fizzing orbs that come in lots of different scents and moisturize with natural butters and essential oils. A friend of mine loves that she doesn’t have to put any lotion on after a Bath Bomb bath because she says her skin is so loaded with moisture she just rinses off and pats dry. I’m partial to the Avobath, Haagenbath and of course Sex Bomb which smells heavenly and naughty at the same time. Some of the Bombs have things in them that disperse as the Bomb dissolves, which can be a pain when it comes to cleaning the tub but no worries if you tie it up in a old stocking before hand.

Avocado oil and lemongrass = yumyumMinty and Cocoa-yJasmine and duh, sex bombass-ness

5. Fresh Summer Fruits + Booze: I think one of my all time favoritest things about summer is all the amazingly delightful cocktails one can make with juicy, fresh fruits. It was really hard to not make this whole list about libations in fact, so here are 2 of my faves from my bartending days; Watermelon Martini and Cucumber Lemon infused water. Now, if you’re going to have a watermelon martini for the love of Pete DO NOT use that nasty ass Pucker shit they sell in plastic tooter-shooter shots to brainless spring breakers. Step 1 – Chop up a couple cups of fresh watermelon (mind the seeds) and add to a shaker. Step 2 – Add premium chilled vodka, ounce or two of simple syrup, couple squirts of fresh lime juice if you feel like it. Step 3 – Fill shaker with ice, shake whatcha mamma gave ya, strain and pour into a chilled martini glass. (Garnish with sugar/salt/fruit as you desire). The Cucumber Lemon water is non alcoholic and something I got turned on to at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, where they keep it chilled poolside – perfection. Simply slice half a cucumber (you don’t have to peel it) and add to a pitcher of water, add lemon slices, ice and that’s it. I like to keep a pitcher in the icebox and the longer it steeps the better the flavor.

6. Christian and Mac: And by that I mean my Diorshow mascara in Black and MAC TechnaKohl eyeliner in Brownborder. I have this weird multi tube mascara system, based on years of faithful Diorshow use and knowing how/when they start to dry out as this affects how they go on. Also, a brand new tube of Diorshow is not something to take lightly because that shit will get all over your face faster than a Scientology lawyer with a cease-and-desist letter. Anyway one day I am going to count all the tubes I have just because I know it must be a fucking redonkulous number. The MAC eyeliner is supposed to be smudgeproof and considering the grease pit that is my face it does do a remarkable job, better than anything else I’ve ever used. I can’t wait to see if the midday smears I normally get become a faded memory due to the awesome Lush facial products.

7. iPod mini: I noticed that everyone had either music or an iPod listed on their favorite list and I will beJealous yet?  Don\'t be, come join the party! no different. Mine is a 4G with a busted ass battery that only goes for 2-3 hours at a time but I still consider it an appendage for all air travel. Right now as I get ready to rock out next week at Summerfest my iPod is bringing the jamz of errbody from Tim McGraw to Steve Miller Band, The Roots to Tom Petty.

8. Homegrown Dank: Mmmmmmm, yeah baby. Me and Mr. K procured some nice fucking buds from some excellent growers who believe in tending to their crops without chemmies. ‘Nuff said.

peen shaped!

9. Technology: I’m a geek, but I’m a geek with a wide variety of tastes and interests. Unfortch what I don’t have is massive amounts of free time, so technology (and all those who make it happen) are definitely one of my fave things as it allows me to stay in touch with sports, what’s going on in the world, the interwebz and so on. Sadly, I have just rec’d word that a truly disturbed person appears to be cock-blocking our dear BDJ from her free world rights to teh Google, I will update you when we plan to storm the building.

10. Sexism: I know, I know but honestly you guys? I take a great and perverse pleasure every. single. day in shattering the preconceived notions of some fuckshit asshole who expects me to behave a certain way or choose a particular course of action based solely on what’s in my pants. Like 2 nights ago when I relieved 4 hard scrabble Back Bay bartenders of their cash in a late night Hold ‘Em game. ‘Scuse me while I dust mah shoulders off, yo.