Everybody has shops where they just don’t go for whatever reason. Maybe it’s ethics, maybe it’s a bad customer service experience, maybe you just don’t agree with how they price their products.
For me, one of these shops that I would always avoid was Lush – it wasn’t that I didn’t want to shop there, I was just always plagued by a fear of how my body would react.
I have written before about how my life has been controlled by migraines and bothered by various allergies, especially cosmetic allergies. So when I walked past the store unsuspectingly and felt the headache kick in immediately I knew that was just going to be somewhere that I never shopped. The problem was, their products looked pretty lovely and people would constantly speak about how good they were. Good quality, aesthetically pleasing, ethically delightful, lovely smelling – it almost all seemed too good to be true and yet I couldn’t get within 10 feet of a store without feeling ill.
What surprised me even more was when I found out that my body’s reaction to the store is in fact incredibly common. A friend told me that he had a similar reaction, but actually found that once he went into the shop the symptoms pretty much disappeared.
So when the opportunity arose to attend one of their influencer evenings, I decided to give it a go.
When I asked people for their Lush recommendations, I was inundated with ‘must buy’ products. Bath bombs and shampoos, in particular, seemed to be a massive hit so I decided that I would try and get myself at least a bath bomb (something else which has never been a part of my life due to the allergies fear!) if the opportunity arose.
The aim of the event was to let us see just exactly how ahead of the game Lush are when it comes to being environmentally friendly. If you don’t know, Lush’s products are made using only natural ingredients and they are constantly working to expand their NAKED range – that is, packaging free. I have to say that this event piqued my interests – having seen various online videos about going plastic packaging free I knew it was something that I would essentially like to be a part of, I just didn’t really know where to start.
I would say that I fit into the same niche as so many others – I would say that I care about the environment and the future of the planet which we live on, but I really only do my bit when somebody makes it convenient for me to do so. I recycle, but only because there is a recycling bin at the door. I reuse shopping bags (when I remember to take them) but mainly because I’ll be charged for new shopping bags. I try to switch off lights if I’m leaving a room or switch off the TV when my programme is finished – to be honest this is probably about as proactive in saving the environment as I get but it’s not really because I don’t want to do more, I just don’t know how to do more.
So off I went and joined in the fun, learning about the NAKED range (and Lush products in general, what a rookie!), seeing their products in action, making a bath bomb of my very own, speaking to local bloggers who I have only ever seen through a screen and contemplating how I can use less packaging and create less waste in my own life.
It was great fun to see their new turtle jelly bombs (who knew this was a thing?) in action, even if we were all dyed a little green (we were all too excited and didn’t wait for it to dissolve properly, if you follow the instructions you won’t actually turn green!).
I was particularly curious about the shampoo bars – apparently this tiny bar of funky soap is the equivalent to three bottles of shampoo? Travellers rave about them because they remove the problems of only being allowed 100ml of liquids and people say that they are JUST AS GOOD as having an actual bottle of shampoo. What sorcery is this? I was a bit disappointed that nobody in the shop could tell me about how they react with coloured hair, but they recommended trying one of the ‘gentler’ ones for coloured hair to reduce the risk of colour stripping and it smelled pretty good, so I bought one to try.
I also came away with a few bath bombs (of course!) – the selection of bath bombs is crazy. There are ones to make you sleepy and ones to wake you up and ones to make you glow and ones to make you sparkle and ones to make you smell good and ones j u s t b e c a u s e. I have always assumed bath bombs to be overrated and unneccessary – #ForTheGram – but I might be away to be proved completely and utterly wrong.
Finally, I was feeling super kind (AKA it smelt amazing) and picked up one of their naked beard oils for Gary. He hasn’t had a chance to test it out properly yet either, but I can’t wait to hear how it goes and see/smell/feel the results.
Did my body react to being locked in Lush?
Yes. My head hurt, my nose and throat burned and by the time I left my chest was feeling pretty tight, which was a surprise even to me because respiratory reactions are pretty rare and my reactions are normally cosmetic. I found that the burning and headache worsened when I stood on one side of the room, so obviously something over there did not agree with me!
Did I survive the full two hours of the event?
Would I visit Lush again?
I would, just maybe at a time when the door was open. Let’s face it, it is highly unlikely that I would ever actually spend two hours in the store browsing and shopping, more like 15 minutes. The first 15 minutes (actually the first hour really) I was pretty much okay, so I think a ‘normal’ shopping experience would be fine. Of course, the other part of this is whether or not I have a cosmetic reaction when I try the products I bought because I haven’t used any of them yet.
Am I a Lush convert?
No. They’re products seem pretty good, and I’m expecting pretty great things when I finally get round to trying them out, but they are also quite pricey (yes, I know I’m stingy). The shampoo bar may be the equivalent of three bottles, but it’s the price of about 6 bottles of the shampoo that I currently use so in reality it is going to have to be mind blowing for me to change to using it all the time. If it works well with my hair it could be a game changer for adventures, though. Not as much of a cynic as before, but not yet a convert.
What do you think? Would you like to go packaging free? What is your favourite Lush product? What could I try and incorporate into my life to help save the polar bears? Let me know in the comments below!