Lush is a brand best known for their never-ending funny range of handmade bath products with puns for every label, popping colours, and intense scents.
But they’ve also managed to touch people’s hearts through their nature-driven ethics, amazing packaging, homemade feel, natural ingredients, budget friendlyness, and safe chemicals. More: they have online stores in plenty countries (even Portugal!), and at least the UK website ships worldwide.
Entering a Lush store for the first time can be daunting and overwhelming. It’s filled to the brim with unusual products and intense scents, and you may not know where to turn to. I know I didn’t. But my curiosity and interest in more natural ingredients for my skin and better company/product ethics won over the first scare, and I managed to find amazing products, way more than the cute and great smelling bath bombs.
Disclaimer, here: more than “what works for me may not work for you”, we all have different tastes, especially in scents. Lush products are mostly heavily scented (although, for better or worse, nothing smells like fake-fruit or plastic-man-made-flowers), and what I love, you may profoundly dislike. I’m more atracted by the soft, creamy, nutty scents like vanilla (warm and adult, not too sweet), shea butter, cocoa butter, oats, chocolate, figs or almonds, with pinches of cinammon, black tea, ginger, of coffee beans. Flowers? Delicate roses from my mom’s garden.
Scents aside, these products have earned a place in my heart and in my skincare shef because they truly are efficient and worth a try.
Lush shampoos have no bells nor whistles: they just lather up nicely and leave your hair feeling very clean, with the added bonus of staying smelling beautiful for a long time. They do have sulfates, so they’re not suited for coloured or very dry/damaged hair, or sensitive scalps.
Their solid shampoos are winners, because of their portability, they last really long, and some have great scents.
Honey I washed my hair is a simple all-around solid shampoo with a delightful scent of honey.
Trichomania is soft coconut in a bar, a bit more moisturising than the average, yet without leaving any heavy feel.
Big is the only liquid shampoo from Lush that I really loved: it has an incredible clarifying power, with sea salt being the main ingredient – that forces you to really massage your scalp until it is all dissolved. It smells like the sea, and it’s great for that once-a-fortnight deep hair cleanse or whenever you want to clear your scalp from product build up. I wouldn’t use it on a daily basis, just because I feel it is too clarifying, and it would strip your hair from its natural oils.
American Cream . Sorry, I can’t be unbiased on this one. This is *the* conditioner. It is undoubtedly good, it detangles pretty darn well, and your hair feels soft and shiny and not heavy at all. But, most of all, it smells divine… Of a warm vanilla cut with strawberries… It’s just too yummy. And your hair will keep on smelling like that for days. If I need to put a hair mask on, I’ll still apply a bit of this afterwards… After the initial small size “let’s give this a try” purchase, I’ve already gone through three 500g bottles. Yes. That’s how much I love it.
There are other very effective and great smelling conditioners at Lush. They’re just… not American Cream…
King of skin . I can’t really put my finger on the scent of this one, I don’t know, don’t care: it’s just soft lingering perfection and they should make more products with this scent. The application is as lazy as it gets: you’ve finished rinsing your shower gel, you glide the bar on your wet skin and, in contact with the warm water, it melts in a luscious oily/creamy way. You massage it onto your skin while rinsing and you’re done. If you’re worried about it leaving your skin too oily, don’t be. Yes, there will be a soft residue, but after you’ve dried yourself with the towel, you’re left with just creamy soft skin. Just think: no more fussing around with freezing creams on the ice cold bathroom before you put on your PJs. Or that annoying sticky “am I sweating already?!” feeling in the summer. Both the scent and the moisture last a long time, and it’s winter-chapped-skin-proof. It’s beautiful after shaving, too.
Vanilla Dee-Lite . This smells of the perfect vanilla scent, and matches my perfume (Vanillary). It’s cut with coconut water, so it’s not sickly sweet. Why, oh why, don’t they come up with a shower gel that smells like this? I think it’s just because they want to annoy me. Yes, me, personally. This is a very light lotion, not a buttery moisturiser — perfect for summer. It’s immediately absorbed by the skin, never feeling heavy. If you layer it with the matching Vanillary Gorilla perfume and/or Vanilla Puff powder, you’ll leave a cloud of warm sexy sophisticated vanilla everywhere you go, and I’m really not talking about the out-of-the-kitchen-after-baking-a-cake-type vanilla smell.
Sugar Scrub . This one comes in a bar, but my tip is to cut&crush it back to its sugary texture (it will put up a fight, but it’s worth it) and store it in a pot or bottle (mine is from Muji, if you’re wondering). Then you just mix a bit with your favourite shower gel (currently loving It’s Raining Men, with a honey scent) and you’ll get a soft yet effective sugar scrub that will get rid of those uneven dry patches and help your healthy skin resurface. It smells of zingy ginger and fennel, great pick-me-up in the morning.
Popcorn Lip Scrub is just immensely fun, effective, and tasty. It’s a sugar scrub for your lips infused with oil, for added moisture. It smells literally of sweet popcorns. After scrubbing away, you can lick it from your lips and it tastes incredibly of sweet buttery popcorns. I don’t know how they’ve managed to do this one…
Figs and Leaves . I must confess I’m not a big fan of Lush’s soaps. I find them too drying and they don’t lather that well. The only exception, and mainly because of the amazing scent that lingers on the skin, is this one. It smells of spring mornings in the woods, and fall afternoons crushing leaves under your feet, and warm breezy summer nights eating figs.
Lush’s deodorants are surprisingly effective, although I wouldn’t use them when sweating profusely on a polyester t-shirt ;)
Aromaco is a bar, that melts when in contact with your skin. It lasts and holds up quite well during the day, without overpowering any perfume or body lotion you’d like to wear. Downside? Application. The bar is a bit dry (you should keep it in a closed container and use a bit of paper to clean its edges before applying) and there’s always some residue left on your fingers. It should come in a push-up-stick deodorant kind of packaging, like the old Gorilla solid perfumes used to be…
The Guv’ner is a powder and it has a strong dry herbs scent, which I find really nice, especially for men. It takes down any b.o. and its dainty packaging allows you to carry it around in your bag.
T for Toes is an excelent deodorant powder with the same kind of dry herbs scent, but for the feet (and shoes – put a bit inside and let the powder absorb those nasty bacteria overnight). I keep it near my dancing shoes at all times.
Ultrabland . I’ve raved about this one profusely: a rich balm, virtually scentless, that you massage on your skin to deeply cleanse it, taking it off with a muslin cloth drenched in warm water. It feels lushious, deeply nourishing and balances out any irritation I may have on my skin. Even breakouts seem less angry at me after cleansing my face with this. It’s a dream for dehydrated or extra-sensitive skin. It also removes makeup quite well, but not the waterproof kind. I use it daily as my second cleanse.
Celestial is a beautiful simple moisturiser for very sensitive skin. It has a soft smell of fresh roses or rose water. It sinks in the skin quite quickly, leaving it nourished and supple, with its scent lingering on your skin for a long time
Vanillary Gorilla Perfume is my signature scent. I use it in the solid form, and sweep that warm, not too sweet, vanilla goodness on my neck, wrists and chest, and I can even use it to moisturise the ends of my hair, because it has jojoba oil in it. Please excuse the battered packaging in the picture: I really take it wherever I go. The solid perfume has now been repackaged, with more fancy little tins.