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The first thing that strikes you about the Lush website is that it’s quite unlike any other. It’s just the right side of kitsch, just the right side of garish, and just the right side of badly designed not to put you off. It’s actually a pretty faithful reproduction of their newsletter/catalogue, Lush Times, and knowing that takes away your fears that you’ve come across something slightly dodgy. I paid my first visit last week, after reading so many fantastic reviews of it, and by the time I’d finished browsing (which took a hour, as the products were so brilliant), I LOVED it.
The site is quick to load, although you do go through a shopping information page (which basically just tells you that they’re using shop assistant for their e-commerce) first.
You are then greeted with a repeating background pattern of the Lush logo, and some very green and red buttons, bars and lettering.
The home page is a veritable smorgasbord of tidbits, telling you about new products, assuring you of their security, showing you who recommends them, and informing you about delivery, gift wrapping, where their off-line shops are and much, much more. There is also a great little section you can click through to which tells you what celebs have recently been in their shops and what they’ve bought.
There’s plenty of info about the company too, and how they make their products, and the company email and telephone number are always readily accessible should you want to contact them.
For those who don’t know, the Lush factory is based in Poole, Dorset, and produces hand-made, environmentally-friendly, non animal tested beauty products. They all come with sell-by-dates and the name of the person who made them on the bottom. Ingredients are from nature, including plants, minerals and loads of essential oils.
Many of them are really unusual, the sort of stuff you wouldn’t get anywhere else. They do cleansers like putty, shampoos in bars, bubble bath in slices and all manner of weird and wonderful combinations.
If you’re a regular, you can go straight through to the ‘quick order’ section, but otherwise you just click on ‘products’ to be taken to the online shop. You are then presented with a new menu, breaking the products down into categories:
Bath Ballistics Bubble Bar Slices Soaps Skincare Close Up Gifts Fresh Bath & Shower Hair Care Fragrances Massage Bars
Simply choose your type of product, and you’re on to the meat of the site.
Products are displayed very well, with excellent pictures and clear pricing. Clicking on a picture then takes you to a bigger picture, and full description of the product.
Descriptions are terrific. Not only can you clearly see prices and sizes, you also get a full ingredients list and information such as the product is suitable for vegetarians/vegans.
And some of the descriptions are a joy to read. A site that actually describes its products in a witty and interesting way! It is so refreshing and really adds to the shopping experience.
Take this one, for Karma perfume, for example:
“Karma smells like Kensington High Street on a summer afternoon in the 1970s. It smells of long floaty dresses, strings of glass beads, silk scarves, Pre-Raphaelite hair, round pink sunglasses, flares, clogs, cheesecloth shirts and progressive music.”
I don’t wear cheesecloth and never have liked progressive rock, but after reading that I just had to order some right away.
And the names of the products are so evocative: Buffy the Backside Slayer for a body exfoliator, Angels on Bare Skin for a cleanser, Floating Island for a bath melt and Skinny Dip for a body wash to name just a few.
Lush say on the homepage that “It's a shame we can't pipe the scent along the ISDN line”, but for me the piccies and words are so brilliantly descriptive that I could almost smell the stuff emanating from my screen.
To actually make purchases is the same as most other websites: add things to your basket and a pop up menu will appear to confirm, review/amend your basket whenever you wish, and click through to the cashier when you want to check out.
Terms and Conditions of the site are available to view from every page, as is a How to Shop help section, which is great for those new to the online purchasing experience.
Going through the check out is simplicity itself. It is always very clear what information Lush are asking you for, and there’s a nice big box for you to type in your message if the product is a gift.
Pay through netbanx by credit or debit card, or by smart wallet, then sit back and wait for delivery. A confirmation of your order will arrive by email within seconds.
Next day delivery is available, but you have to arrange it by phone. Otherwise the site tells you to allow up to 14 working days (with 5 being the norm) for your products to arrive. I was disappointed with this, but then found that my order actually arrived in 48 hours, so I guess they are just being cautious in case anything is out of stock. I ordered 4 items, for which delivery was a measly £2.95.
Goods are very reasonably priced, especially considering the quality. I paid £15 for the perfume, £7 for a moisturiser, £4.70 for a shower gel and £3.25 for a cleanser, and these prices are all representative of the many other products on the site.
When my items did arrive they were brilliantly packaged in a sturdy brown box and all were in perfect order. A copy of Lush Times was included, as were instructions for returning goods should I want to do so.
I was so impressed with the goods I received (that Karma perfume is something else) that I did not want to return anything. In fact I went straight back onto the website and ordered something else.
Lush.co.uk is great for your skin, your body, your mind and your smell, but very, very bad for your bank balance.
I prefer the shop to the site but I did recently make a HUGE purchase from the site and I'm still waiting (with baited breath) for it to arrive. I thought it would save me carrying it all back from town but it's just not the same when you can't sniff everything, lol. Nicola
gobbygirl 06.09.2002 17:04
I am still yet to dally with lush but keep meaning to, roll on payday!
superpricee 20.08.2002 11:55
I might have known that you were one of "The Lush Mob" - that place must have made £1000s out of our little get together!