It’s hard being a Lushie in the Queen City. The closest Lush is a 2 hour drive away. I know a few people who, if they’re going up to Sasaktoon, they contact all their friends and say “I’m going to Saskatoon this weekend! What do you want from Lush/Sephora/Kernels”? (That’s right, we don’t even have a Kernels here! I’ve heard rumblings of us getting a Sephora, but haven’t found anything to substantiate that yet).
So when I went to Saskatoon a couple weekends ago, after a much needed bathroom break, Lush was the first store I hit! I got a few goodies, which I’m going to review here, but first I need to tell a story.
If you’ve ever been to a Lush retail location, you probably know that they have amazing customer service. The people that work there really do interact with customers not like a sales person, but like your bff who wants to tell you all about this bath bomb. This trip to Lush was no exception.
I was checking out the body butters when AJ, my new best friend/personal Lush consultant introduced himself and shook my hand (formal shopping timez!) and asked if I was looking for anything in particular. I knew I needed some more shampoo, but past that, I was just there to see what I could find. I said I was mostly just looking around for the moment.
AJ complimented my sewing machine tattoo and we discussed crafting, which led to talking about Leslie Hall (of all people) for a couple minutes. Then he told me about his first tattoo that he just got and was very very excited about. Excited enough to put his foot up on the demonstration table, roll his pant leg up and show me. “Wow… that was really nerdy of me, I’m sorry,” he apologized. “I’ll let you look at the butters for a bit and check on you in a couple minutes”.
Roughly 30 seconds went by when AJ picked up one of the body butters and said I had to try it. And that’s when a grown-ass man, that I had only know for 5 minutes, washed my hands and arms for me. In public. It smelled really nice and I was all for trying it out, so I said sure, we can try this body butter/exfoliate thingy on me. What was supposed to be a little test on a small section of my right forearm turned into a fingertip to elbow scrubbing of both arms.
It felt oddly ritualistic, and I think maybe now a goat is going to be marrying us and 15 other couples on the night of the equinox, in flowing white robes. I don’t know. Maybe I’m marrying the goat. I’ve changed my name to Mother Dandelion for the occasion at any rate.
Weirdness aside, it was a really great body butter and I ended up buying it, so point one, AJ. It’s one of the products I’ll review in this post shortly.
After I dried my arms, about another 60 seconds went by before AJ yelled across the store to me: “Deanne! Come try this (product I can’t for the life of me remember now)!” It was a really delicious smelling hand scrubby thing, but I can’t think of what is was. However, AJ informed me, it’s all completely non-toxic. It smelled to good he “just had to eat some one day”. And he did, without getting sick, so there you go. We tried this one out in one of the large silver bowls that Lush employs for demos like this. AJ really liked doing demos in the bowls on the table; “it’s just really cute, right?”
So I dried off from that experience, my hands and arms soft and clean and smelling great. I picked up my shampoo and a couple other items and headed to the till. AJ was so genuinely happy that I was buying products he recommended. He put his hand to his heart and said “aww…. you’re trying this one? I’m so happy – you’re going to love it!”
So it was a weird experience – mostly because I think we’re just not used to friendliness or good customer service anymore – but it was good weird. And really, anyone who knows me knows I appreciate weird. And a good story to go with it. Here’s what I got:
This is a super scrubby body butter in block form (try saying that 3 times fast!). It smells ah-maz-ing, thanks to the shea and cocoa butters, almonds, lavender and lemon oils. It’s super moisturizing, to the point of almost leaving my skin oily feeling, but only for a short period of time. As the butters and oils soak in, my skin is just left feeling soft and smelling great. I suspect this bar would slough off dead skin like nobody’s business.
I say “suspect” because, thanks to my dermotillomania, parts of my skin are completely picked raw. And I can’t seem to leave it alone long enough to see any improvement. But I scrubbed my heels and they are getting softer, so I’d day go for it on dead skin!
A word to the wise: get a soap dish for this one. Put it away from the shower stream. Once wet, the edges get relatively crumbly. If you want to be cool like me, or if you don’t have much space in your shower, you could just precariously perch the block on top of your conditioner bottle. But then you get soap crumbs all over the edge of your tub. It’s your call!
AJ advised that since the block is so moisturizing, it’s all you need. But if you want to get a bit more sophisticated, you can finish off with a bit of shower gel. Which brings me to product #2:
2. Happy Hippy
AJ was really pushing for me to take home a bottle of Grass, which is what we tried in the demo/handfasting ceremony. But I’ve always loved the smell of Happy Hippy and never bought any, so I was sticking with it. It’s grapefruit scented and also has frankincense and bergamot. It works great on its own and with Buffy – the scents don’t interfere or “clash” at all.
I was happy that using this shower gel worked out. Last time I went to Lush, I bought 2 rather large blocks of soap (Karma and Ice Blue), only to end up covered in hives pretty much the second I lathered up with these at home. I’ve also used their solid deoderant, Aromaco, which left my underarms red, blotchy, itchy and angry. I raised my arms once, after a couple stubborn weeks’ worth of use (it smells of patchouli! It was a fair trade off for my discomfort!), only to hear my sister and grandmother gasp and demand to know what was wrong with me that my underarms were so red. I stopped using it shortly after. It’s lead me to believe that there’s something about Lush’s solid products that just doesn’t jive with my body. I now steer clear of them, except…
#3. Karma Komba
Full disclosure: usually when I go to Lush, looking for something new, I just say “what do you have with patchouli in it?” Try as I might, I’m just a dirty hippy on the inside. Last year, when I bought my first bar of Karma Komba, I wanted to try solid shampoo, but couldn’t decide which one to get. There were a couple that would work with my hair type. I ended up going with this beauty, partly because of the patchouli, and partly because its name sounds like one of my favourite Massive Attack songs.
Karma Komba smells great and lasts a looooong time! I bought my first bar last November, and it’s not actually all gone yet. I bought another one just because I know I’ll be out soon. And I wash my hair 5-6 times a week. Just a couple swipes on your head are all you need to get a head full of suds. My hair is soft and shiny afterwards, feeling clean without feeling stripped. It’s recommended that you buy the little tins made just for the shampoo to store it in. It’s not going to last long sitting out on the edge of your tub!
So those are the three treats I brought back with me. It was probably the first 100% successful Lush trip. I always seem to bring back something I just don’t like. But Buffy, Happy Hippy and Karma Komba are all on my “replace as soon as this runs out!” list.
A word about Lush’s new makeup line, Emotional Brilliance. I didn’t try any of it. Maybe I was a little overwhelmed at all the new things to smell and try, but I couldn’t figure out their makeup. It’s all packaged in the same glass containers. I didn’t know the eyeliner from the lipstick from the eye shadow. It all looks like nail polish to me. So I didn’t get any. Plus, I knew Sephora was in the same mall and I was saving my dollars for stuff there.
I think Lush needs to go back to the drawing board a little bit with their approach, and maybe get one dedicated person per shift to push the cosmetics. I’m sure they’re great once tried, but there was nothing that made me want to try them or spend any more time figuring out what exactly I was looking at.
What are your favourite Lush products? Have you tried their cosmetics at all?
Be good to each other!