Monday, February 5, 2007
LUSH to Love
So - I don't know if I have very many readers at this very early stage of this little blog's history...but for the readers that I do have, the following post was written by my friend, Geoff. Geoff and I attended middle school/high school together and though we weren't very close back then, we have recently re-discovered one another due to our mutual love of literature, celebrity gossip, and beauty products! He will be contributing to this blog from time to time or whenever the mood strikes him. He really seems to know his stuff (he is an NYU grad afterall...), so please welcome him with open arms! : )
The idea of organic cosmetics has become appealing in recent years much in the same way that organic food has. But as a fallen vegetarian (who grudgingly scorned tofu for a whole three months and stuck mostly to candy), let me suggest that an organic beauty regimine is much easier to follow than an organic diet.
One of the foremost purveyors of handmade, natural cosmetics is the LUSH brand. Even though its stores are not as ubiquitous as say, Sephora, all LUSH products can be ordered online at www.lush.com — and if you’re willing to make the trek, there is usually at least one LUSH store in every major city.
Walking into a LUSH store, one is overwhelmed by sights and scents. Product names and ingredient lists are scrawled onto chalkboards. Hunks of soap, large and craggy as rocks, reside on countertops. Perishable facemasks are stored in a miniature fridge. It’s like stepping into a mad scientist’s lab, or Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.
I was introduced to LUSH about five years ago, and have used their products regularly ever since. And although LUSH makes hundreds of products for every conceivable beauty need, here are a few favorites:
Fresh Farmacy Cleansing Bar — Calms oily, acne-prone, or irritated skin with calamine. Solid pink cleansing bar topped with Marigold flower shavings. Gets rid of redness quicker than anything I’ve ever tried, and face feels tightly clean after washing.
Dream Time Temple Balm — Massage this stuff into your temples before bedtime, and you’ll wake up the next morning with a lavender-scented pillow. I’ve heard people swear by this balm with more allegiance than sleeping pills.
Black Tooth Gel — Deliciously flavored tooth gel, made with citrus and Indian sandalwood. It’s black because charcoal, not fluoride, is the active cleaning agent. Teeth are literally “squeaky” after brushing, and much whiter.
Aromaco Deodorant Bar — Citrus and patchouli-scented antiperspirant bar that has a very natural, hippie-ish smell. Cools underarms, and the scent stays with you all day, which is a good thing. You’ll never go back to regular deodorant again.
Cynthia Sylvia Stout Shampoo— - Perfect for dry or thick hair, or for anyone who likes that slept-in, slightly oily look. Contains actual Irish Stout and cognac oil— but you won’t smell like an alchie— plus fresh lemon juice for shine.
Though I've never tried any of the products Geoff has raved about, I have been in a few LUSH stores, and they are, as Geoff has described, lots of fun. The staff is very helpful (at least at the store in Covent Garden, London) and they have tons of testers so you can always try before you buy. Some of my picks from LUSH include the Bath Bombs (especially the Butterball), Bath Melts, and the Ocean Salt facial scrub. If you order from the LUSH website, pay special attention to their shipping policies. Because many of their products are made with natural ingredients, they may melt, harden, discolor, etc. - but the wesbite will inform you of their shipping suggestions for their various products.
Also, LUSH puts out a ridiculously fun and interesting "newsletter"/catalogue chock full of product descriptions, customer raves, usage suggestions, and cute illustrations.
If you can get to a store, do it! If not, check out the website!
(Again, thanks so much to Geoff for this review!)