Sunday, May 4, 2014

Show & Tell Sunday: Lush Haul & Review

I first discovered Lush many years ago when backpacking the UK and Europe with a friend of mine. We went in and were amazed by the amount of beautiful products lining the shelves and counters and by how AMAZING it smelled. For those of you that have never heard of Lush, it is a company that makes fresh, handmade cosmetics, hair and skin care, and beautiful bath products. They use mostly natural ingredients with "safe synthetics" in there only when necessary.

On the heels of finding out that I have a chemical allergy and knowing that I'm susceptible to develop more, I made the conscious decision to cut the chemicals and do everything I can to use natural ingredients. I have only ever purchased one product from Lush and it was years ago but I knew that going to a company that makes all of their products by hand with natural ingredients was the way to go.

After working a wedding I decided that I was going to use that money to pamper myself. I've been really stressed lately and that has led to stress breakouts on my face, yuck. I decided that I was going to completely revamp my skin and hair care routine to include beautiful products that pamper my skin and hair and leave me smelling amazing. While Lush products are not cheap, I was willing to FINALLY splurge on myself.

Last Sunday I went to my local Lush shop and worked with one of the girl's that worked there to find everything on my list. She was so helpful and explained everything to me and made it a really nice experience. I figured I'd use the products for a week and do a review for you so here it goes!

One huge reason why I love Lush is that they are very vocal in their fight against animal testing. Not only do they not use ingredients tested on animals, but they will not buy ingredients from companies that supply ingredients to companies that test on animals. They are loud and proud in their fight and I love that. All of their products are vegetarian and a huge amount of them are vegan. They label all of their vegan products so it's easy for you to tell which are vegan and which are not. In addition to this, they believe in sustainable sourcing. According to their website, "We give our love (and money) to suppliers that respect the environment, as well as the animals and people living there."

As I mentioned before, everything from Lush is hand made. I think it is so adorable that they place these stickers on every product showing you who made your product! It also includes the date it was made as well as the expiration date (all natural ingredients expire!).

Finally, Lush is extremely environmentally conscious. They believe in naked packaging which basically means that a lot of their products have no packaging at all. The bottles and black pots are made with recycled BPA free materials. They encourage you to bring back your empty black pots by offering a free fresh face mask for every 5 pots you bring in. When they ship their products they package everything in biodegradable packaging and use biodegradable filler (packing peanuts that apparently melt in water!).

So now you know why I love the company... now let's check out the haul!

So many beautiful products. I basically got the bare minimum I'd need to start a new hair and skin care routine. I have seen videos of people that essentially hoard Lush products but I don't have the funds for that ;) Let's go through what I got.

This beautiful bar of soap is called Sultana of Soap. It is a creamy, beautiful soap that smells light but sweet. It is a creamy soap with currants, apricots and cranberries. It lathers pretty well and leaves your skin smelling amazing and feeling really soft. The only thing is that it tends to melt pretty quickly in the shower so it is best to cut the bar into little pieces to preserve as much of it as possible.

While I love using the product I probably would hold off on purchasing it again ONLY because I don't really like using bar soaps. I have always preferred liquid soaps so that is the only thing that would hold me back from buying it again.

Something else that is amazing about Lush is that they are so generous with giving out samples. I wanted to try a few out before I bought them for two reasons. Either the products was ridiculously expensive or it contained chamomile. People that are allergic to ragweed can cross react with chamomile so I wanted to do a patch test with the product before I purchased it. I'll talk more about each sample below.

These are my fresh face masks! In my attempt to pamper myself I figured that a face mask would be the perfect way to do it. All of the fresh face masks are made up of completely natural ingredients and have to be stored in the fridge and used with three weeks. They have three vegan face masks and I have two pictured above.

Oatifix: The Oatifix face mask is made of oats, bananas, almond, and vanilla among other ingredients. It is a cooling, soothing face mask that exfoliates and moisturizes. It is safe for sensitive skin and great for soothing red or irritated skin. I was attracted to this one because of my stress breakouts and because I have rosacea and am always looking for a way to soothe that. The face mask is really cooling and soothing while it is on and it smells AMAZING. It leaves your skin feeling soft and supple and exfoliated. It smells like a beautiful, sweet oatmeal cookie. It is a really lovely product and I'm glad I bought it. I would purchase it again in the future if I was looking for a way to pamper myself but not too often since I don't know if I'll even use it all up in the three weeks before it expires.

Catastrophe Cosmetic: The little sample that I have is called Catastrophe Cosmetic. This face mask contains blueberries, calamine, chamomile and rose absolute. It also has a calming, soothing effect on your skin. This face mask is creamy, unlike the Oatifix so it is nice if you want something cooling without the abrasiveness of the oats and almonds. It smells nice but not as amazing as Oatifix. I got the sample of this to patch test since it has the chamomile. I have not done this yet so I can't review how the product works.

These are my FAVORITE products that I purchased!!

Big: Probably my favorite product in the entire haul. This shampoo (yes, shampoo!!) in the open pot on the left is a beautiful, volumizing shampoo. It is filled with coarse sea salt that melts away and citrus juice, seaweed infusion, coconut and avocado oils. The sea salt scrubs away the dirt as well as volumizes your hair, the oils keep your hair soft and nourished and the citrus juices make your hair shiny. Let me tell you, every claim is correct. After I use this shampoo my hair feels super clean. I don't use heat on my hair so I let it air dry and it has TONS of volume and the sea salt brings out my natural waves. It is super soft and shiny as well. It lathers really well in the shower and smells like a citrusy margarita (which I love). I will buy this product over and over again, I am totally in love with it.

Veganese: I would say that conditioners probably have the fewest vegan options but all you need is this one! This conditioner is light with a beautiful, bright, fresh lemon scent. It has lemon and seaweed that leaves your hair silky and shiny. It pairs perfectly with the Big shampoo, I love the combination of the two.


Sympathy for the Skin: The large pot on the left and the body moisturizer that I chose. It contains bananas which are moisturizing and make your skin super soft. A little goes a long way and this lotion is thick and luscious. It smells like a sweet banana/vanilla custard and the scent stays with you for a long time after you apply it. It is a really lovely product that I would definitely recommend. I use it after I shower and my skin feels soft and smooth all day.

Celestial: The facial moisturizer I chose to sample. Since their facial moisturizers are expensive for the size, I decided to try a sample of it before I committed to the full size. This is a sensitive skin facial moisturizer that soothes and hydrates. It contains cocoa butter, almond milk and dove orchid extract. It is a really light moisturizer that smells like vanilla custard. I LOVE this moisturizer. It is really light and doesn't irritate my skin which is really important for me. You'll see how much I liked it in a minute.

Tea Tree Water: This is the toner that I chose to try. It is alcohol free which is great since alcohol can dry out the skin. It is really effective on blemish prone skin and since my stress breakout was driving me crazy I figured I'd give it a try. It brightens the skin, reduces redness and clears excess oils. I love spraying it directly on my face since it is really cooling and refreshing. This is another product I will be incorporating into my regular routine.

Grease Lightning: Spot treatment to get rid of blemishes pretty quickly. It contains herbs like thyme and rosemary, grape juice, aloe vera extract and other ingredients that combine to form a gentle but powerful blemish fighter. I have been using this all week to combat my stress breakout and I am confident when I say that this stuff is amazing. My breakout has improved tremendously in just a week and I definitely believe that adding this product to my routine has helped me calm my skin and reduce the appearance of my blemishes.

Dark Angels: This was probably the product I was most afraid of. It is a facial scrub made of charcoal and black sugar. It is to smooth and brighten skin and reduce redness while exfoliating the dead skin away. Cold pressed olive oil softens and nourishes the skin. Truthfully, I hate the way it smells... which is like a combination of charcoal and licorice and using a black cleanser is messy BUT... it works. The combination of this cleanser, the spot treatment, the toner and the moisturizer has not only helped my breakous tremendously, it reduced the redness in my face as well as smoothed my skin and made it glow. While my complexion still is far from perfect, the combination of these products have definitely helped it improve tremendously.

Rub Rub Rub: The final sample of this haul is called Rub Rub Rub, a shower gel/scrub. I got a sample of this because I wasn't sure how I felt about it and it was pretty expensive. Like the Big Shampoo, it contains salt for its cleansing power and exfoliating properties. The salt isn't as coarse as in the shampoo so it exfoliates gently. It has a refreshing citrus scent and works really well. I want to purchase a full sized pot of this product but it is really expensive so I'm going to wait for a bit. I'm going to stretch the rest of my sample as much as possible ;)

I loved my Celestial moisturizer sample so much and was really happy with my new facial cleansing routine so I went back to Lush this past Friday and picked it up. I picked up a few other things as well as you can see!

Happy Hippy: Since I was going to hold off on Rub Rub Rub, I chose to go with a less expensive shower gel option. This shower gel smells AMAZING. It has a gorgeous and refreshing grapefruit scent. The grapefruit cleans amazingly well, brightens your skin and is the perfect morning wake up scent. The only thing I'm not super thrilled about is that the scent doesn't stay on your skin at all. It's not a huge deal since I use the strongly scented lotion after but I love the scent so much I'd love for it to stay with me for a bit. Honestly, I'll probably use it as a liquid hand soap as well.

Let The Good Times Roll: I was lucky enough to get another sample on this trip and this time I chose a different cleanser. While I will continue to use the Dark Angels cleanser because it works, I wanted to try another one that smells better :X And this one DEFINITELY smells better! I love this scent. My first impression was that is smelled like sweet cornbread. I've heard that it smells like caramel popcorn but I still get the cornbread scent from it. Anyway, this cleanser consists of maize flour, corn meal and cinnamon and is meant to exfoliate and moisturize and leaves you with beautiful glowing skin. The scent stays with you for a long time which I loved. I have only used it once but I liked it. I'm a little nervous to rock the boat on my skin care routine so I may use it as a body scrub in the shower (which is another great use for it!) when my Rub Rub Rub sample runs out.

Popcorn Lip Scrub: Lush is well known for their sugar lip scrubs. It is pretty easy to make your own but I felt like the popcorn flavor was so unique I wanted to give it a try. It is a salty sweet lip scrub that tastes like caramel popcorn. It exfoliates your lips and leaves them soft and smooth. All you do is gently rub the scrub on your lips then lick it off! It works so well and is really yummy too!

So that's everything! Truthfully there is so much more that I want to try but I kept it to a minimum since I'm just starting to rebuild. I'm really happy with the products I got AND I found a way to save money for when I need to re-stock. It is apparently cheaper to purchase the more expensive products from the UK website and I tested it out and added up a purchase of my favorite essentials and including the international shipping (about $13ish US) I would save $35. So I'm going to be ordering from the UK when it's time to re-stock!

So that is my incredibly long Lush haul and review. I hope you enjoyed reading it! I'll keep you posted on any new items I pick up and definitely let me know if you've ever tried anything from Lush or what you may want to try! Also, if you have any favorite all natural hair or skin care products please share them in the comments, I'd love to hear some more suggestions.

Hope you all had a great weekend!


  1. Um, I don't recall reading about anyone in Long Island recently winning the Powerball? That is some haul.

    I have some Lush Bath Bombs I bought about 10 years ago that are too precious for me to ever actually use. Maybe one day (with some Candles and a Cold Beer).

    1. Hahaha I wish! It didn't cost as much as I thought it would (it wasn't cheap but it wasn't completely over the top ridiculous) and to me it is worth it. For products that I'm putting and leaving on my skin I'd rather pay a little more for something that is safe.

      Ahhh, I would recommend buying a new bath bomb after 10 years ;) I bet it doesn't have much fizz or scent left at this point. I actually found the scents of the bath bombs to be way too overwhelming for me. The bubble bars weren't as bad but I wasn't a huge fan of the bath bomb scents. I also don't like floral scents and I found a lot of the bath bombs to be quite floral.

    2. Oh no. I am looking very much forward to the day I can finally use my Lush Bath Bombs. I don't throw nothing out.

  2. This. Is. Awesome! And informative! I have been inside a Lush store a few times, but haven't purchased anything because I didn't know enough about them. Plus, I'm a total shower girl; I haven't taken a bath in a tub in many years! At least five, because that's how long I've lived here, and I've never sat in my tub. Ha! I know their bath bombs are supposed to be. . .the bomb. ;) I want to try some of these products you've mentioned, maybe I'll drag my brother into a Lush store while in London... I can see him grimacing already!

    1. Haha, thanks! I was always overwhelmed by Lush when I went in so I did my research. I am with you, I can't remember the last time I've taken a bath! Which is why you see zero bath bombs/melts or bubble bars in this haul ;) I would like to try a bubble bar one day... maybe when I'm house sitting for my bro and I get to use their big jacuzzi tub ;) Definitely take a look around... they have a few products for men so maybe he'll find something too? Definitely get it in London, it is WAAAAAAAAAAY cheaper there!

  3. This was great Sarah! I have been intrigued by Big shampoo for a while but haven't tried it! Do you think it will last a while? I've used their soap in the past and shampoo. I tend to reserve it all for once in a while though because everything is a little on the pricier side.

    The only thing I would say as a warning (in case you didn't know already) is that given your sensitivities, just be careful as Lush does use fragrances and perfumes and some have methylparabens, propylparabens. Just something to be aware of! Don't want you getting sick!

    1. Thanks, Gabby!! I'm glad it was helpful for you! Big shampoo is amazing, my favorite product by far. It will definitely last a while, it lathers really well and you don't have to use it every time you shampoo. Also, if you want to try something less expensive, I believe their "Seanik" solid shampoo bar is supposed to do the same thing as Big but it is less than half the price and lasts for 60-90 shampoos depending on how long and thick your hair is and how often you wash it. That may be another option if you want to spend less. I am thinking about trying that as well.

      Yes, thank you for the warning and I am indeed aware of these things. I'm ok with fragrance and perfume, have never had any reactions to them. I also patch test all of my products before using them because I get nervous. I am also aware of the parabens and I definitely wish they wouldn't use them but from what they say they use minute amounts of them and they are safe so hopefully it should all be ok. Thanks for the tip though! Also, I'm planning getting some more natural shampoo, conditioner and shower gel so I can switch them off and minimize the paraben exposure :)

  4. Wowee, that's quite a haul! I've never heard of Lush, but I'll definitely check them out. The face masks look amazing. I love companies that label which of their products are vegan. Urban Decay has a great vegan line too.

    1. Unfortunately when you start over your first haul is quite large so my wallet will need some recovery time! Truthfully it was really worth it. The masks are really fun for pampering yourself. I also love when companies take the guess work out and make it really easy for you to tell what is vegan and what isn't. It's so funny you mention Urban Decay because that is going to be my next splurge (whenever that may be)! They have such beautiful products.

  5. I think Google might have lost my comment....
    I guess the gist of what I wrote was, skin is sooo important and good for you for treating yrself well. Being itchy, or in pain, or otherwise uncomfortable in yr own body is the worst. Glad you were able to get some good stuff. I hope it works well for you. my friend used to work at Lush and gifted me some delicious smelling slabs of soap. It was really nice!
    I think I've said before how I have eczema and I'm having weird flare ups and rashes on my arms and face lately and it's really driving me crazy, so I'm starting to get really picky about what products I use too.
    Speaking of the Primped Craftacular (which I DO think you really would have enjoyed! They do them occasionally, so I'll let you know about the next one) and beauty products in general, I just bought the Vegan Cuts Beauty box, which I'm going to review when I've tried some of the products. You've bought that before right? How did you like it?
    PS I think the Dark Angels stuff sounds great!

    1. Ugh, google is cranky lately I think. I agree, and a huge part of why I splurged was actually for my hair and scalp. Even though it has been 6 months I'm still feeling the effects of that allergic reaction and I thought that the salt in the shampoo would be amazing for exfoliating my scalp along with it's other benefits and it has been great! I agree, it is so important to take care of yourself so you can be comfortable.

      How nice that she gifted you the soap! Their soaps do smell lovely, I'm just not a bar soap gal. They have a soap called Porridge which I think may help your eczema! It has oatmeal in it to exfoliate and oils to moisturize and I was curious about it too. I think it would be great for you!

      Ooh yes please do let me know when they have the next one! I have gotten the Vegan Cuts Beauty box and they are great. I like them more for the fact that I learn about new companies and it is definitely worth the $20. I'm kind of picky so it drives me crazy that I don't have a choice in colors or scents (I really don't like floral scents) but the products are usually good. Can't wait to see your review!

      The Dark Angels works really well which is why I continue to use it! It can be used as a body wash too so that may be another good option for you if you are flaring up! The only thing is that you have to be sure to clean it off really well because tiny charcoal particles get left behind. When I use that cleanser I have to use my toner on a cotton pad to make sure I get rid of all of the charcoal particles.

  6. Someone sent me a few items from Lush quite a few years ago and I remember them being extremely fragrant, which I have a hard time with. I keep hearing so many good things about them, though, that I might have to give them a chance again. I'm glad you treated yourself. It's great to do that sometimes, especially with bath & beauty stuff!

    1. I found the bath products (bath bombs, bubble bars, bath melts) to be incredibly fragrant. I could only smell a few before I had to stop because it was too overwhelming. The products that I purchased are a little more subtle to me... I'm not sure if it's because of my allergies though lol! My sense of smell isn't at 100% ;) Thanks, I agree that beauty stuff is always a great splurge! Great to "see" (read?) you again!