Dear Mummy, you had a wonderful evening at the LUSH Store in Basingstoke recently. Having been invited down to a bloggers event to see some fab summer products.
If you haven’t heard of Lush (where have you been?!?) it is a highly respected and trusted cosmetic brand in the UK. It’s renowned for its stance against animal testing and for using natural, locally sourced products. Lush has been established since 1995 and its stores are filled with beautiful, sweet-smelling bath, skincare and haircare treats. Lush has also expanded into the Spa and make-up business too!
My mummy was invited into the store to try out some of their summer treats ranging from natural suntan lotion and sunblock to sea salt spray.
When my mummy was younger her home LUSH store was in Southampton and she can remember when it first opened up by the Bargate Centre. She used to love walking past and getting a whiff of the beautiful smells. As an adult she loves buying LUSH. They have moved on a lot since then and produce a wide and diverse range of products…it’s not all about the bath bombs anymore!
When she arrived her hosts for the night were Ryan and Zoe from the Basingstoke LUSH store and she got a brief introduction from the store manager Kim about the business. Ryan has been working at LUSH for over 5 years and is a super character, funny and very knowledgable. He’s worked in many stores like Reading and Guilford and loves working for LUSH and being part of the family. He’s very enthusiast and this comes across in the way he is passionate about the brand. He tells us about his LUSH factory visit to Poole where he got to meet some of the inventors and the production crew. They are like one big happy family and are all integrated into everyone’s roles. Zoe has been working for LUSH for over 5 months and is a trained make-up artist and beauty therapist. Throughout the evening they both share jokes and tell us all about some fab LUSH products.
You wouldn’t think that Lush would be your first port of call for sunscreen but LUSH has been stocking suntan lotions for the past year and developing them for ages! Their suncare range came out last year. They are all fresh and natural looking with no bright colours. But don’t let that put you off. LUSH hasn’t added anything to their sun protection range that didn’t needed to be added. All the fun natural coloured stuff can be found in their bath range.
Here’s what we tried.
Sesame Suntan Lotion – Sunscreen – SPF 10 Low
Ordinarily we wouldn’t go near anything lower than SPF15 as my mummy is a pale Irish girl who only has to look at the sun to burn. Like a vampire she dodges the sun from tree to tree when we go out on our walks. However on gentle persuasion from me on a hot cloudy day she puts a little on her face to try to catch some rays. It gave her a dewy complexion and is slightly bronzed, so already she looked tanned.
It contains hydrating cocoa butter and organic sesame oil with aloe vera extract and feels lovely and light on her skin. This product is amazing and it does what it says on the bottle, protects and tans at the same time. However the sesame smell is very heavy for the first couple of hours and not to everyone’s liking. Daddy thinks it smells like Chinese take away! It make’s my mummy feel hungry!
The Sunblock – Solid Sunscreen Wash – SPF 30 High
We’ve never heard of a solid sunblock that looked like a bar of fudge and smelled of peanut butter! Each third of the block offers enough sun protection to cover the whole body! The sunblock is a solid bar of SPF30 sun protection. What’s quirky is that you can apply it in the shower wet or massage it into dry skin. It contains Camoline powder which is a natural SPF too and can help with heat rashes. It doesn’t make my mummy feel greasy like most liquid sunscreens do. It smells wonderful instead of the standard commercial chemical scent. My mummy now keeps it in her handbag and it doubles up as a beautiful floral skin scent containing rose absolute, chamomile blue and eucalyptus blue oils.
Million Dollar moisturiser – SPF 30 High
This is the thickest moisturiser my mummy has ever used on her face! It feels really heavy and has a super strong SPF30 included in its list of benefits. Reflective pigments in the cream highlight my mummy’s face with a gentle glow. It doubles up as a nice primer for make-up too and gives my mummy an even skintone. It’s grips her make-up really well and doesn’t appear slimy or clumpy as the day goes by. It’s a bit too thick for my mummy’s liking but maybe when her skin is a bit more mature it will help fill in the lines and make her appear more youthful…well that’s the plan anyway!
Powdered Sunshine – Powdered sunscreen – SPF 15 Low
We hate putting sun creams on especially high factors which look and feel like PVA glue. They always make my mummy’s body greasy and shiny so imagine her delight at powdered sunscreen! OMGosh! It could be the most wonderful thing we’ve ever heard of! It again contains calamine powder – rich in naturally protective zinc oxide – which reflects uv rays. Along with nutrients from organic sesame oil, organic cocoa butter and patchouli oil it smells pretty. It contains safe synthetics to bind all the ingredients together. This loose powder is really good at mattifying the skin and my mummy has started to use it as face powder in the summer. It helps with her t-zone and keeps sweating at bay! She also uses it as dry shampoo during the week! The fact it protects her from the sun is an added bonus and it makes her skin shimmer!
We were also introduced to;
Ocean Salt – Face And Body Scrub
A gentle scrub with lime and coconut….and Vodka!! The limes used in this scrub are steeped in yummy vodka. It contains grainy sea salt which is rich in minerals and is excellent for scrubbing away any dead skin. The scent is amazing and smells very fruity like a cocktail on your face, just make sure you don’t get any in your mouth as it tastes REALLY salty! It also contains avocado butter, coconut oil and seaweed absolute to keep your skin soft, smooth and conditioned. It helps with face discolouration, so if you mess up on self tan this should help scrub it away! You really do see and feel the difference once you’ve used this product. My mummy’s skin felt so soft and looked great – no red patches anywhere! You don’t need a huge amount of the product so it will last you a long time. It got rid of all the little bumps on the backs of my mummy’s arms too! Result.
Sea Spray – Hair Mist
In the store Zoe shows us one of her top products for Summer called Sea Spray, and it is exactly that! Spray of the Sea! It’s a great haircare product that uses natural ingredients such as Salt and Seaweed and has a beautiful smell to it. It’s as local and homegrown as possible, the seaweed and salt is harvested in Poole Harbour then taken around the corner to the factory. Sea Spray makes a great setter and holder for hair and can be used like hairspray.
Ryan calls it his ‘Happy Happy Joy Joy’ hair product as the sweet orange scent of neroli oil, raises the serotonin levels which makes you happy. It makes a great hair perfume and my mummy gets some lovely comments on it throughout the day when she wears it!
When testing the product my mummy flips her hair upside down and scrunches the spray in damp hair for a beach look at home. It works wonders! She lets it dry naturally and voila! My mummy has Russell Brand style hair which is wild and crazy, so this works well with her style. It encourages the natural wave and curl to come out of her thick hair and adds great texture and shine. Sea Spray is great for perfecting festival looks.
Big Blue Bath Bomb and Sunny Side Bubble Bar
On the store visit my mummy watched a demonstration as Zoe and Ryan mixed two products together Big Blue and Sunny Side to create a perfect tropical bathing experience. It turns the water blue and turquoise with gold dusting and it smelt and looked wonderful.
Big Blue is a calming bath bomb which contains arame seaweed that softens in your hot bath water and lavender to help you drift off to sleep. Sunny Side is a bright gold bar which also contains arame seaweed which is rich in vitamins and minerals and sea salt to remove dead skin cells and lavender which is a natural antiseptic and helps cleanse the body. It looks like it has glitter stuck on top of it, but it is in fact crushed gold seaweed. My mummy loves the demonstration!
After the demonstration my mummy even got to make her own bath bomb – Big Blue. Ryan acted as the ‘compounder’ and mixed the bath bomb together. Key ingredients for any bath bomb is the Citric acid which makes the water fizz and sodium bicarbonate which sticks everything together. My mummy was the ‘presser’ and put the mixture into the clear mould to set. Once combined the ingredients naturally stick together but are still powdery and flaky so you need to leave a freshly pressed bath bomb 24 hrs before use so it can expand and explode correctly.
My mummy has a great time watching the demonstrations and making her own bath bomb! The Basingstoke LUSH staff were friendly and informative and she learnt a great deal about some of their summer products.
phew! Could do with a holiday after all that fun!
This summer we will be head to toe in lovely LUSHNESS!
Love Bella x