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There probably isn't a Ciaoster who doesn't know the brand name Lush. Lush the company that provokes either a " I neeeeeeeeeeeeed this" or " Not another blooming Lush op" from different quarters was first set up in 1994 with a small shop in Poole Dorset making hand made cosmetic items. The brains behind Lush however have been together since the late 70's. In 1978 the team first sold products to the Body Shop. In the 80's the team started the doomed "Cosmetics to go" company. This company was to fold and out of the ashes like a phoenix grow the company we now fondly know as Lush. From the small shop in Poole the company now sells it's unique range of hand made beauty products in over 100 shops worldwide. Including the UK,Europe, Japan, Canada and Australia. Unlike other well known natural beauty shops all of the Lush shops in the UK are wholly owned by the company, they have a strict no franchises policy.
Lush has a policy of not using ingredients that have been tested on animals.The company has a policy of testing out new ingredients on the audience they are going to be made for ie humans! Nor will the company buy non tested ingredients from company's that still carry out animal testing.
Lush in it's nine year history have rapidly expanded it's range of products, from bath ballistics to hair care products to soaps amongst other things. All of which are handmade, thus you do sometimes get some rather oddly shaped products. In keeping with their stance on animal testing Lush also have a very minimalist approach to packaging. You'll not find layer upon layer of cardboard, paper and cling film wrapping say one of their bars of soaps.
Shopping at Lush is an overwhelming experience not only because you feel like a small child let lose in a sweetie shop but due to the somewhat over powering aroma of all the products mingling into one. Not a place to go shopping on a Sunday morning with a hangover as I can testify.
Lush is probably best known for their bath ballistics. For the uninitiated a bath ballistic is a fairly large round ball which when added to running water rapidly fizzes not unlike a giant alka seltzer. Lush suggests that when using a bath ballistic you drop one into a warm bath, then drop yourself into the bath and chill out for at least 20 minutes. Obviously I follow these instructions to the letter!! The Nursey loves nothing better than to get fizzical (- that's fizzical not physical!) with a bath ballistic.As with all Lush bath ballistics, the aroma you are greeted with lingers for hours afterwards. Depending on what kind of bath ballistic you chose you can find yourself luxuriating in a wide range of different smelling baths. Some will add rose petals or even glitter to the bath or change the colour of the water to a vibrant colour.What you will find with all types is that your skin feels ever so slightly greasy when you get out.
~Tried and tested~
The Sicilian - with it's rich orange aroma this 200g ball of fun has to be my favourite way to get fizzical in the bath. Price: £1.95 Recommended
Butterball - a smaller bath ballistic weighing in at a measly 95g, but the slightly vanilla aroma from this bath ballistic is wonderful.With added skin softeners in the form of added Cocoa butter this really does make your skin feel baby soft. Price: £1.60 Recommended
Softly - want to really feel like a princess? Well grab one of these, a bottle of fizz, some choccies and chill out in a rose petalled filled bath with a delicate flora aroma. Better still see if you can find someone to actually clean the bath out afterwards as this 200g ball is jam packed with rose petals which unfortunately don't vanish down the plug hole! Price: £2.10 Recommended if you can find someone else to clean the bath out!
~~Bubble Bar Slices~~
These are actually a good cheap alternative to using a Bath Ballistic due to the fact they can be broken up and thus used more than once. With a wide range of different flavours you're definitely going to find one you. With all Bubble Bar Slices you will be rewarded with a rich array of bubbles -the amount obviously depends on how much of the bar you crumble under a running tap and a wonderful scented aroma. As with the Bath ballistics, your skin will have a slightly greasy film to it on leaving the bath. Unfortunately Lush have chosen to stop making one of my all time favourites a gorgeous smelling Marzipan bar.
~Tried and tested~
Blue Skies and Fluffy White Clouds - with it's blue and white swirls this patchouli scented this 200g bar is a great way to relax in the bath amongst masses of white rich fluffy bubbles. If you look underneath the bubbles you'll see the water is a blue colour.A 200g bar can be used at least 4 times Price: £2.85 Recommended
Floating Island - this gives you a rich mass of sandalwood and lemon scented bubbles. With the added cocoa butter this really does soften your skin. Weight: 100g Price: £2.40 Recommended.
Ok your probably thinking what's so special about a bar of soap aren't you? Or wondering why on earth should you pay those prices for something you can pick up at Tesco's for half the price? Lush soaps are simple wonderful. These hand made beauties come in large round packs not unlike large round cheeses -obviously this is where the resemblance to cheese ends! All Lush soaps are vegetarian ie no animal products have been added to them unlike the soaps you find on the shelves in Tesco's. Lush soaps not only smell wonderful, last for simply ages if stored properly and unlike most soaps don't tend to dry out the skin. Lush produce a number of different soaps all of which are handmade. Unfortunately Lush saw fit yet again to stop making one of my favourite soaps - Milko. All Lush soaps are sold at a minimum weight of 100g, bigger slices can be purchased as well by asking the assistant to slice a bigger portion off for you.
~Tried and tested~
I Should Coco - reminiscent of a school coconut sponge pudding I really wanted to like this soap I really did. Unfortunately it smelt far too chemically for my liking - cold tar soap smells better than this one I'm afraid. Price: £1.90 per 100g. Not Recommended
Miranda - a fruit bowl in a soap is the only way you can describe this soap. With a wonderful fruit aroma this green soap is mixed with different coloured pieces given it a slightly odd looking appearance. It's gentle effects on the skin means it will not dry out delicate facial skin. It also lasts for ages. Price: £1.95 per 100g. Recommended
Red Rooster - the perfect wake me up in the morning soap. With it's tangy orange smell it's the prefect wake up call in the morning. Lush recommends this soap for all who are unable to speak in the morning till they've had their first caffeine hit of the day. Price: £1.75 per 100g Recommended
Honey I washed the kids - a relatively new soap to the Lush array of soaps. This one really is good enough to eat -obviously this wouldn't be recommended! with it's rich honey smell this really is a great compliment to a Lush bath. Price: £1.95 per 100g Highly recommended
Lush produce a wide range of hair care products for all different types of hair.Included in the range are shampoo's, conditioners, hair treatments and hair dyes. All of the hair care products are as usual handmade. Lush however do not just produce your common all garden liquid shampoo's and conditioners. Lush took everyday hair care one stage further and added to their range shampoo and conditioning bars. Personally these rather over priced goodies have never appealed but should you wish to try a solid shampoo or conditioner bar you'll definitely find one to suit your hair type amongst the many on offer in this range. I have however tried some of their hair moisturizers.
~Tried and tested~
H'Suan Wen Hua - named after a chinese god apparently this was one of Lushes first hair moisturizers. Having in hairdresser speak processed hair this is a god send for me as it really does work. The smell may be off putting for some. It has been described by some as smelling like an old peoples home I actually think it smells more like bay leaves. H'Suan Wen Hua is a weekly pre washing moisturizer. you apply it to dry hair and basically leave it on for at least twenty minutes. It is sold in 225g tubs having fairly short hair I find I can on average get about 6 treatments out of one tub, for people with long hair this will obviously be reduced.Price:£5.50 Recommended
This part of the Lush range incorporates items such as cleansers,face masks, toners, moisturizers and body lotions and body conditioners. With their wide range of freshly made products you will find the right product for you. The range incorporates products for young skin, problem skin, dry skin as well as emergency treatments. as the majority of the facial skincare items do not contain synthetic preservatives you will notice on your tub of glop and expiry date. I've tried several of the items in the skincare range and have found them all to be excellent.
~Tried and tested~
Mask of Magnaminty - this is a combined face mask and facial scrub in one. with it's luminous green colour it's one to try in the privacy of your own bathroom away from prying eyes! With the cooling effects of the peppermint oil this mask will leave your face feeling tingly fresh and clean. It's the one product Lush does that I buy on every visit to a Lush shop. A 315g tub tends to last me about 4 months of bi weekly use.Price: £5.25 for 315g Recommended
Buffy the Backside slayer - marketed as a helping hand for those wobbly bits, this product looks like a bar of beige soap. An effective way to help condition and exfoliate your skin, with added cocoa butter and shea butter it also helps to moisturize the skin. A 70g bar tends to last me about 5 scrubs. Price: £3.25 per 70g bar Recommended
~~Bath and Shower products~~
Now you're probably thinking but aren't the Bath ballistics and Bubble bar slices Bath and Shower products? Well this is true but Lush also do a range of liquid shower gels and liquid soaps - called smoothies. Within the shower gel range you'll find some wonderfully smelling gels such as the honey smelling Back for Breakfast, the wake up call which is The Slammer - a rather zesty lime smelling shower gel and the earthy patchouli laced Tramp. Not having a shower I've been unable to sample these gels. The other part of the range is what Lush term the smoothies basically a posh name for a tub of thick liquid soap. Given my experience of one of the products in the smoothie range I've yet to be tempted to test another.
~Tried and tested~
Creamed Almond and Coconut Smoothie - Lush hype this up as more of a creamy mousse than a liquid soap. This was one product I actually bought from Lush online unsniffed. I had visions of some almond smelling glop which would be a joy to use. Unfortunately glop is the only thing that was true about this product. I'm convinced my tub didn't get it's share of almonds nor coconut. It also failed to lather up and simply slid of my body. it did how ever make a rather expensive shaving soap. Price: £5.50 per 250g tub Not recommended
Lush have a wide range of massage bars from the fun glittery bars to the soothing Wiccy Magic Muscles bar. In amongst the range you'll find the wicked smelling after Eight bar -the name says it all really. Lush recommends that due to the heavy colouring in some of the bars that you protect bedding with towels however should you manage to get any onto bedding it does disappear with normal washing. The bars range in price from £2.95 to £5.95
~Tried and Tested:~
None but I'm open to offers!!!
Lush also has a range of dusting powders,lip balms, shaving creams, foot lotions and solid deodorant bars. As well as a range of fresh facial products.
Should I have wetted your appetite some what then I'd strongly recommend you take a look at the Lush website at www.lush.co.uk. From the website you'll be able to find your nearest Lush shop or purchase a limited range of Lush goodies. Now if you'll excuse me I have some shopping to do......