Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Wednesday Whine | LUSH Cosmetics

Never one to shy away from controversy (see 'five products I just don't rate', for example!) I've decided to come out and declare to the world just how much I loathe LUSH. Now, before you start throwing things at me, hear me out...

I know LUSH is a favourite amongst my fellow bloggers so I'm taking a huge risk in making this post. I've made quite a few friends in the blogging community of late and I know a lot of them are LUSH addicts. I'm sure one of them even works in LUSH (sorry!)

Why do I hate LUSH so much? Do I really hate LUSH?! How could I possibly hate LUSH?!?

Well... read on to find out!

1. The smell.

I used to work in a store called Wax Lyrical which sold candles. I would finish every shift with a headache because of the nasal assault unleashed upon me every time I went to work. The myriad of smells vying for dominance was simply migraine inducing. Vanilla, lavender, cedarwood, lemon, rosemary, lavender, pine, lavender (trust me, lavender scents were BIG in the late 90s)... there were so many scents that just walking past the store was enough to make my eyes water. LUSH is the same. Too many different scents, all very sickly, all competing with each other in a small space. LUSH gives me an instant headache because of the smell.

2. The stupidly named products.

Like Benefit, LUSH has some really silly names for their creations. The names are cute, kitsch and annoying. Silly product names include (but are definitely not limited to): Dragon's Egg, Granny Takes a Dip, Honey I Washed the Kids, No Doubt, Daddy-O, I Love Juicy, Love Lettuce, The Sacred Truth and None of your Beeswax. As you can see, it's really easy to tell what these products are. Not. Yeah, I'm probably being a little harsh and I know people find these names endearing and fun, but I'm clearly boring and lack any real pleasure in life (that's not true, but I can sense some of you thinking that..!)

3. The ingredients.

I love LUSH's ethics - against animal testing, ethical buying, 100% vegetarian, all handmade... but, and this is a big BUT, their products still contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) which even the company themselves have acknowledged can be a skin irritant. LUSH state on their website "we have recently begun to replace sodium lauryl sulfate with a milder surfactant, sodium coco-sulfate. This new material is kinder to the scalp, but still cleans the hair effectively." So, they know it can be a little harsh but it's still in a lot of their products. You can read more about SLS here.


Many LUSH products also contain parabens. Parabens are used as preservatives. Again, LUSH acknowledge that there is a lot of controversy surrounding parabens but claim "scare-mongering ‘studies’ into their potentially negative effects have now been widely debunked." So why then do they go on to state that a lot of their products don't have them in? "We formulate our products without preservatives wherever possible. Many Lush products are completely free of preservatives and are formulated to be self-preserving." So which is it LUSH? If parabens are nothing to worry about why do you try not to use them?

Personally I have no issue with SLS or parabens - I've got products that have them in and products that don't. The things that I object to is that LUSH claims to be all these amazing things (ethical, cruelty free etc.) but they're still using outdated and questionable ingredients in some of their products.

4. The hard sell.

LUSH is not a store that you're allowed to browse. Oh no. The second you enter you're jumped on by an eager sales assistant (do they work on commission?!) and forced to have face masks applied to your hands, creams rubbed into your elbows and to witness yet another colourful bath bomb crumble in water to reveal that WOW, it has glitter inside! (Who wants to bathe in glitter?!) Even when you think you've managed to avoid being harassed, a sales assistant will accost you from behind a tower of soap bars to ask if you've tried their new face cream / lip scrub / dusting powder. If you decide to buy something you're almost always guilt tripped into buying their charity pot which yeah, is for a good cause, but do you really need another mini hand cream? I'd rather just give them £1 to leave me alone in the first place.

If they try to sell me a bath bomb one more time I'm going to ram someone's face into the sink (I jest, of course...) I don't even have a bath but they seem to think I'm lying when I tell them this. Only last week a sales assistant asked me why I don't have a bath and seemed astounded that I had it removed in place of a walk in shower. He was probably miffed he'd wasted a whole Space Girl bath bomb on me.

5. Santa's Lip Scrub

Despite not being a fan of LUSH I can honestly say that their Mint Julips and Bubblegum lip scrubs are amazing and I use them at least four times a week to keep my lips smooth. I was excited to see a new release from them in the form of Santa's Lip Scrub. What a disappointment! Not only does it taste nothing like that advertised cola (it contains extracts of cherries and dates) but the texture is waxy and it stains my lips and the area around my mouth when I use it. It also tastes awful and synthetic, unlike the others. The other scrubs are lovely and you can really feel them sloughing away the dead skin (yum!) but Santa's Lip Scrub is just, to put it mildly, pants. I also hate the smell of beauty blogger favourite 'Snow Fairy'. Soz.


To summarise, LUSH gives me a headache, the names are infuriating, the ingredients aren't as 'natural' and harmless as they'd lead you to believe and the sales assistants are, quite frankly, militant.

I hope this tongue in cheek look at LUSH has entertained rather than infuriated. I can understand why people love LUSH, I really can. In an ideal world I would love it too but for some reason the whole brand just narks me.

Let me hear your LUSH defence in the comments, I'm sure you've got a few choice words for me...

27 comments:

  1. Haha yeah I totally agree with some of your points! I do like their products but their stores frustrate me too - prefer ordering from them online! xx

    Jasmin Charlotte | UK Lifestyle Blog

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  2. Haha, re the smell; I remember one boxing day I was staying at my then-boyfriends house. We headed off to the nearest town so that I could get all my discount Lush products and we literally smelled our way there, turning left and right at each corner and sniffing to find it.

    I do love Lush though; frankly their face products are the only thing that really work for me.

    Nicola // pink-confetti.co.uk

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    1. I've never tried any of it because I just want to be left alone to look at things, and I've never been afforded that luxury! Even if I say I'm ok the sales assistant will still keep rambling or offering to show me things. I don't like that - if I say I'm ok, it means leave me alone ;-)

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  3. I use to hate the hard sell when I went in, the Cardiff store was really bad for it, but my local (Warrington) one isn't too bad and I don't mind the smell haha. x

    Cat | Lilac Ghosts

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    1. Both of my local (ish!) stores have very VERY pushy sales assistants. If I could find a store to browse in quietly I would probably find some things I like and become a fan. I do think that not having a bath limits my options though.

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  4. I'm a sucker for their face washes.

    I don't get the hard sell (I just go in for specific things) but I always get the attempted bond over deodorant. Oh, I'm wearing that now *lifts arm and sniffs* and the weird story about how she wears it, but often forgets, but it's ok because she doesn't mind walking around stinky.

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    1. Ahh, the 'over-share' - awesome! :-p

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  5. I absolutely hate Lush to! Thought I was the only one in the blogging community. If I see a post about Lush on my feed I just instantly press "Mark as read" - nearly did on this one until I saw the word "whine" as well, then thought I would take a look:) xxx

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    1. The posts I have with the word 'whine' in seem to be some of my most read! I know that if I allowed anonymous comments I'd have a lot more 'leave LUSH alone' style comments but as it is I am only (partially) joking... or not... hehe!

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  6. I don't get a hard sell when I go in. The boys do keep trying to flirt with me though ;)

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    1. The one in Eldon Square would, most definitely ;-)

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  7. I'm in two minds about the "hard sell" - a lot of it is perspective and for one person a good, attentive sales assistant may be another person's nightmare. I prefer to be approached and helped by assistants; it shows the company cares. Even if the reason ultimately is profit. Nothing worse than having to actively seek a sales assistant out because you need help only to find them stood gossiping or even worse hiding because they can't be bothered. There is a fine line between a customer care and the hard sell but fortunately I've not found a Lush store that's overstepped the mark (so much so that it's only a month ago I made my first purchase after years of dodging in out of the shop)!

    http://lovesandloathes.wordpress.com

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    1. I completely agree Helen, it really annoys me when staff are standing around chatting and I need help! There's a fine line between being helpful and being overhearing and unfortunately every branch of LUSH I've been in has fallen into the latter. I've had creams rubbed into my skin without permission which in this day and age can be construed as assault in some scenarios!

      I would love to visit these LUSH stores that everyone else has - the ones in the North East have, in my experience, been quite pushy,

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  8. Such a shame you aren't a fan as I find their products fantastic and love the fact they're moving even further away from using any preservatives (a lot of their new products don't contain any chemical nasties). Do you like the actual products or is it just the store/ethics you don't like?
    Love Lucinda @ http://thefashionfictionary.com xx

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    1. I've only ever tried some shower jelly (which I didn't like) and the lip scrubs!

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  9. I like Lush products but completely agree about the smell of the store, and the fact that the sales assistants won't leave you alone! Saying that, I like Lush but I can live without it. I've bought maybe two things from there in the past year!

    India / Touchscreens & Beautyqueens

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  10. Lol I love lush products in general but I hate the hard sell too tbh...
    Although in general they leave me alone...
    I must have a face that says 'i am not to be disturbed' lol

    J
    edwardsmumsbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. I thought I had a 'leave me alone' default look but it would appear not Jane!!

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  11. Brilliant! A little disapointed about the "cola" lip scrub as that was on Gem's to buy list, which I was obviously going to have to try out too as a second opinion. Alas, I think I've been in a Lush store about three times in my life and I simply can not stay in there for more than a minute as I end up with a raging migraine. Because of this I've not sampled a massive array of their products at all. I also absolutely loathe baths and since a lot of people rave about their bath bombs and bubble baths I can't quite get into the craze.

    Amie | Hellbentforlipstick

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  12. I LOVE this post! I totally agree with you about the strong smell in the shops and my HUGE bug bear ith them is the fact their products STILL contain parabens! My 20 year old daughter is a fan so she bought me their 'Dream Cream' last year for Christmas, on the premise it would be good for my eczema and dry skin. Not so! I am allergic to parabens so as this was choc full of them, she had wasted her money. Its the same Boots own brand products. Promises of being 'hypoallergenic' are rubbish if they are full of these things. However, I to use the lip scrub and I have the bubble-gum one, which is really good and does slough off unwanted dry skin. Great post my beaut! xxx @JuJu_Carbo

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