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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lush Cosmetics: Would or Won't?

http://www.lush.com/How can you not have heard about Lush by now?
They're a handmade cosmetics company from the UK that is deliciously scented and touted to be as fresh as you can get. Their catalogue is full of references of chopping up veggies, squeezing fruit, and pouring it all into containers as recycled as can be. If you're on a botanical green kick for your beauty products, Lush is right at the top of providing pretty things for your vanity shelf. Be prepared though, one rather average sized chunk of soap will cost you $10 US.

Best sellers? Keep readin'!

Karma soap: The scent of this translucent orange soap is so complex you'll smell it once and keep coming back to try and figure it out. Spicy patchouli is complemented with refreshing lemongrass, orange oil and pine to create a clean and lovely smell that lasts on the skin for ages after you've washed. If you've been mindful and brimming with loving kindness, this is the soap to reward you. One whiff and you'll be hooked – for this life and the next. Honey I Washed the Kids: Once you've unwrapped this mouth-watering toffee scented soap, you'll immediately want to wash yourself all over with it - and then wash your honey, and then the kids and maybe even gran if she's lucky. With masses of honey and aloe, this delectable bar is perfect for washing the whole family, even those with sensitive skin. Topped with a slice of beeswax and infused with bergamot and sweet orange to lift spirits right up into honey-heaven. and a pretty little Bath Bomb in...
Vanilla Fountain: Vanilla Fountain is a decadent desert bath made with vanilla absolute (the posh stuff made from pods) and rich tonka absolute. Inspired by lavish English deserts, it's comforting and deeply sweet, with notes of burnt caramel that last on your skin and waft through the house so you can enjoy it for hours. Simon Constantine invented this delicious new fragrance; we loved it so much we just had to have an entire fragrance line, and we got what we wished for! Layer on the vanilla!

The above mentioned bath bomb is a dissolvable product you plop into your bathwater to transform your blah bathing experience into an aromatherapy heaven. Lush offers bath bombs that change the colour of your H2O, fizz, create bubbles, or even have bits of confetti. Sounds fab, no?

I tried four of their products and here's my honest to goodness opinion. Did they smell good? Certainly. BUT- was it worth shipping to my little casa all the way from the British Isles? Um. No. I think ordering from someone state side (for me, in the US) would be more economical. Is the soap worth almost $10 bucks? Definitely not. I'm all for vegan advertising or botanical extracts or the idea of squeezing an orange into a soap and rolling around in the bubbles- BUT I'd have to say these didn't wow me.

Here's what I used:

Honey I Washed the Kids soap, $7.95 USA: Okay, lull me in online with your descriptions of almost edible-smelling yumminess. I got the eco friendly box with the LUSH inscriped taping and almost did a little jig in excitement since these products were so hyped up. Opening the package didn't bring a delicious tide of anything other than....paper. All right. Meh. Keep going. I unwrapped the Honey, etc soap and immediately headed off to try it. First thing, the little beeswax topper fell off. Not sure if it's really beeswax or molded soap or what. But all I did walking up my stairs to the shower was try to press it back on feeling oddly ripped off. For $7-8 US, you'd think they'd get the wax to stick. It's part of the appeal! P.S. For that price, you'd want a massive doorstop worthy brick of soap. No, it's about the same as what you'd get in a bar of Dove. This stuff better rock. Post wash result? Nothing special. I didn't feel super soft, if anything it was just well, soap. No really wonderful butter toffee smell....nothing. Will I order again. Newp. It lathered alright, but used up quickly and didn't linger on my skin.

Side note: I gave a sample (Lush includes samples, I mean 1" samples in their orders) of this soap to my son who is 13. Here's what he said: "You didn't like it? It smelled really, really good. It had a unique smell. I couldn't really describe it. But I felt cleaner than normal bars of soap from Irish spring..."

From the mouth of babes....or funky 13 year old boys who like mud and well, Lush soap :) He's a great kid. Love him to bits.

Karma Soap, $7.95 USA: Okay, this one was touted at THE most amazing smelling soap ever. I wanted a Morroccan spice smell, reminding me of brass lanterns casting shadows on the walls, incense, gold coins, and silk scarves. What was it really like? Well, pine floor cleaner mixed with sandalwood incense and um, lemon. Not really appealing at all. I felt a bit gipped out of my belly dancer reverie and felt more like I paid a whole lot for a whole lotta advertising. Use was the same as above, except this soap was a little more substantial than the Honey, etc soap.
The scent in this soap was stronger, but not overwhelming or even that appealing. Ah, come on Lush! Wow me! I beg you! Would I buy this again? Maybe. On Sale.

Honey Bun bath bomb, $2.00 sale price, orig. $3.95 USA:

"Want to have loads of fun in the bath? Share it with your Honey Bun! Molded
after a traditional Japanese cake shape, it's just as deliciously sweet. It's
got the same toffee fragrance as our best-selling soap with sweet orange and
bergamot oils. Pop one into your basket and hop right into the tub; every-bunny
loves our bunny!"

http://www.lushusa.com/shop/products/bath-shower/bath-bombs/honey-bun (I'm too lazy to load the photo, :) I've got to get going, it's 9:00 a.m. here right now)

I dropped this little baby into my jetted tub and it turned the water a yellow-green shade. No bubbles or fizz, this was more a fragrance experience. Did it smell good? Yes, it was light though and I'm not sure if it was because my tub was big and there was more water or if it wasn't that scented, not sure on that. My bathtub fits 3, has 5 jets and is larger than a standard tub. I can imagine in a standard bath this would be stronger. Just a guess. The scent was a warm buttery fragrance almost like cookies, but very faint. Again, it was a novelty, but the performance just wasn't what I would expect from a company I've heard sooo many raving reviews over.

Overall Opinion: Overpriced, over-advertised but a great idea. However, so many sellers on Etsy sell comparable items (bath bombs, scented soaps, scrubs, etc) that ordering from Lush needs to be top notch to warrant the cost and shipping. Order to try, let me know what you think....but for the wallet friendly versions, check out Suds N Sass, sellers on Etsy, or even *sigh* Bath and Body Works....That's my two cents!

I've got some Karma soap left over, so I'll go give it a whirl, again. Who knows, mabye try #2 will do the trick!

Love Lush?! Am I totally off kilter in my thinking? Tell me about it! I'd love to hear what products you've tried. On the flip side, sign up for the Lush Times catalogue. It's got a newspapery vibe to it with hilarious stories, photos, and great product descriptions. It's a fun read to say the least.

So Lush, I want desperately to love you. I do. I'll try your stuff again, but please....if this relationship is going to last, I need more fragrance, larger soaps, and less shipping cost. Just sayin'.


OH! P.S.! Shhhh.....want to find a steal at Lush's site? Type SALE into their search engine periodically to get your items half off. Why pay more? But don't tell them I told you. It's a secret!


Loulou said...

Being a dedicated and UK-based Lush fan, I've got to say that the soaps, although nice, are not that special (Honey I Washed The Kids being a notable exception, since repeated use makes your skin feel *realllly* nice, and I love the smell so much I bought the solid perfume) and the bath bombs are way overpriced. Where Lush shine are on ethical considerations (such as their boycott on palm oil) and with their cleansers. I cannot praise Babyface (solid oil cleanser) and Angels on Bare Skin (kaolin and almond with aromatics) enough. They, along with mineral foundation, have made the biggest difference to my sensitive, touchy skin, and I have tried just about every cleanser under the sun. Also, Whip Stick, their chocolate orange lip balm, is just divine, and Soak and Float solid shampoo works wonders on a sensitive itchy scalp - shame it smells a bit iffy, like tar, but I'm used to it now. It doesn't make your hair smell bad, though.

I prefer to spend a bit more and buy the products I really like and will use, rather than try fifteen different products with poor results; luckily I can get to a Lush store fairly easily. It's a little different trying them out by mail order, I admit.

doclady354 said...

I am dedicated to Bath and Body Works coupons. They keep my purse open all the time in the shops!

TianneMarie said...

LouLou- Your thoughtful comment was really helpful. I was bummed to not get bowled over by Lush- especially since I'd heard some really high praise for their stuff. I will look out for what you said works and try it. I appreciate your thoughts- thank you!

TianneMarie said...

Doclady- I know, coupons are a gift! I hate buying retail (especially when I know how high the markup is) so coupons help a ton. What's your favorite BBW scent? I'm into the honeysuckle right now. Love it.