Style & Beauty

A Look Into Lush, The Coolest Store In The World

In May, a Lush store opened on Oxford Street in London, making it the biggest Lush store yet. And for those of us who still need to do holiday shopping, it’s the perfect place to pick up fun soaps and shampoos—which are also 100 percent vegetarian.

And, the good news is, you don’t need to travel all the way to London to shop there. Plus, who doesn’t like or can’t use soap, especially ones that are made the Lush way?

When you walk into any Lush location, the best word to describe the scent is “pretty.” The aroma lures you in, and soon you’ll be smelling all kinds of unique soaps, lotions, shower gels, and moisturizers, as well as other hair, facial, and body products.

Personal Experiences

I still remember stepping foot into a Lush when I was going to school in England. Even when I walk into American Lush stores today, the scent transports me back to my first Lush store in London over a decade ago. Once you step inside, you never want to leave.

The Oxford street location is the biggest of them all, being 9,500 square feet and three floors, like a castle of beauty products. It’s almost like going to a beauty products museum—only, you can go home with the items on display; you don’t just have to admire and pine after them.

And the store (any location) wants you to sample its products before committing to buying them, whether we’re talking shampoo bars or soap ones. The Oxford St. store even has a Hair Lab where you can get your hair washed (which includes a 20-minute head massage) or get a DIY blowout.

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Olfactory-Guided Tour

Have you ever been on an olfactory (or scent) guided tour? Well, you can go on one now, via the Oxford Street store’s Gorilla Gallery for all your sensory needs (which includes disco equipment and scented sand).

This Oxford Street Lush location also has a spa, of course, where three are three main stages:

  • Getting rid of your past through a body massage
  • Being in the present with a hand and arm massage, tea, and a palm reading.
  • Heading into the future through a facial.

They also have atypical products, like a face mask that contains garlic.

“It’s like, what can we use that’s actually going to make a difference?” said cofounder Rowena Bird to Refinery29. “So, there’s a face mask… with garlic in it. Garlic is excellent if you’ve got spots. Honey is excellent if you have spots. Let’s put those together in a face mask with no preservatives. Preservatives cause a problem if you’ve got spots. Mineral oil will cause an immense reaction on some people’s skin, and yet it’s in most cosmetics.”

With their clever taglines—like “Shampoo bars: They last longer than most relationships”—and fun products, like Bath Bombs (those fizzy bath balls), and with packaging that is recycled and recyclable, what’s not to love about Lush?

Plus, the company cares about its customers, as well as other causes, like their Slush Fund, where two percent of the annual buyers’ spend gets invested in fair-trade projects. I don’t know about you, but I’m sold on Lush and all they have to offer, including the way they treat people.

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The Evolution Of Lush

Refinery29 also talked to Bird about how Lush has changed over the 20 years they’ve been around. “It hasn’t changed. [The products are] still fresh, they’re still handmade, and there are still cosmetics. Fresh and handmade has been with us the whole time, and that won’t change. Fresh, handmade, ethical, transparent, and honest. That’s what we are, that’s who we are, that’s the only way we know how to be.”

As for best-selling products, Bird said they include Lemony FlutterDream Cream, and Angels On Bare Skin. She has high-hopes for the new Magical Moringa, too. Yum. If those flavors don’t sound enticing, I don’t know what does.

Lush was founded by Mark Constantine, a trichologist, and Liz Weir, a beauty therapist. They started out selling natural beauty and hair products on their own, pre-Lush, then started selling to The Body Shop in the early 1980s.

Years later, they started a mail-order cosmetics company, Cosmetics-To-Go. The two then worked with Mo Constantine, Helen Ambrosen, Rowena Bird and Paul Greaves from Cosmetics-To-Go and Lush was born. And are we ever glad it was.

To get in on the action, check them out online. Or, better yet, book that trip to London now. After all, England is beautiful in the winter – and it’s also a lot cheaper to go there in the cold months than the warmer ones.