How ya' doing kiddo? New look to the blog, as you might have notice. It looks fancy, huh? I can write, like, anything and it'll look professional, look: boob. Big ol' boob. Technically still looks good right? For all you know you may have just been reading an old-timey limerick from a real-life book, you guys!
Right, so, the matter at hand. I recently found out that LUSH give out samples, and I've taken full advantage. And that's not me just being cheap, or rather, that's not only me being cheap - after all, I'm doing it for you guys, right?:/
And besides, I took my cue from four teens who were in the store at the same time as me. I shit you not, they each had about twenty samples, which they asked for at a rate of three at a time. This led me to believe that LUSH have a pretty lenient (read 'amazing') samples policy, and that the woman working behind the counter was either a mother of four or a Buddhist monk on an unusual spiritual assignment.
So, I got all of the things. I also bought a few full-sized products based on some samples I tried earlier,and some gifts that had run dry. Check out below for my list of must-try samples, and a review of LUSH's Herbalism cleanser, Porridge and Rock Star soaps, and The Olive Branch shower gel.
Samples, baby, samples!
Okay, so I've got sensitive, oily skin that's prone to breakouts (feel better about your skin yet?), and I grabbed whatever said would help fix that. I also got some best-sellers, and a few other goods I had had my beady eye on for a while. Here's a list - it makes a good go-to if you're also afflicted with the above skin issues, or if you're just not sure where the hell to start.
- Herbalism (see review below)
Reviews, baby, reviews!
Disclosure: I haven't had this product longer than a week, and it takes about four until you can properly assess a skincare product's effectiveness. Having said that, I tried a sample of this one night and went and bought the full-size the next morning - not a normal thing for me. My skin just looked so damn fine after using it I couldn't not. It was radiant, glowing, and super-duper soft. Will report back in a few weeks with an empties post. Go grab a sample in the meantime and find out what all the fuss is about.
My sweeter-than-sugar brother bought me a LUSH gift box with this puppy in it, and it smelled and felt so good I thought it totally worth replacing once my smaller bottle had run dry. It's great for the gym, and gets bonus points for featuring fair-trade olive oil from women-run Isreali Jewish & Arab cooperative, Sindyanna.
G is a big oats fan, so when I locked my peepers on this guy I knew getting would mean a big smile on his face. Mission accomplished - we both love it. Gentle, luxe, and smells so good you want to eat it.
Truth be told I got this in part because of good copy writing. On the website this pocket of pink sounded better than it is. It does a superb job of cleansing your skin gently, but it's got a strong, sickly sweet smell that I'm not big on. Although I currently have my period and menstruation gives the nose of a blood hound - something that's turned into somewhat of a lame superpower. But I'll use it wisely. I won't go off the wall like that guy in Perfume (1985).
Before we part, I'd like to chat a little about LUSH and what's called 'green-washing'. 'Green-washing' is the practice of pretending to align one's brand with eco-first principles to reap the benefits of such, without actually doing so. It's not a very groovy thing to do. Do LUSH partake? Well, it kinda depends on who you ask.
People who tend to side with caution on the paraben debate will say that LUSH's 'green-washing' is effected through its use of synthetics like fragrance, parabens, and phthalates. In my mission statement you'll see that I belong to this camp, although I've still decided to endorse LUSH. Why? For the following reasons:
1. I've become more wary of bloggers and small-scale beauty brands touting the 'natural is best' flag than I have of any actual synthetics. Having dipped an un-pedicured toe into the world of DIY beauty, I realise now how easy it is to make bad, harmful products, and how difficult it is to make organic beauty products that truly work safely. I've become very suspicious of what I put on my face, and don't want to go near anything made by anyone making liberal use of the words 'toxins' or 'chemicals'.
That's 'cause the 'toxins' they're talking about have been 'proven' as such through some shoddy studies, and while that doesn't mean I'm up for lathering myself in these ingredients while we wait for better evidence, I still find it incredibly disturbing when brands herald their products over synthetics without stating the facts. They're not selling you skincare, they're selling you fear, and I'm no longer sure of how much I trust my skin with someone who doesn't know better, or doesn't care.
What's this got to do with LUSH? Well, the 'toxins' LUSH are using in their supposed 'green-washing' are deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This doesn't get them out of the woods (as the FDA are deemed by some to be less cautious than similar organisations in other countries), and it doesn't make anyone more comfortable about their somewhat obscured 'perfume' formula, but it does mean (to this blogger) that the use of synthetics isn't a reason to boot LUSH out the bathroom altogether from the get-go. And further, I think when coupled with the reasons below, there's enough evidence in favour of LUSH's integrity to feature it on TOOFUFU. Pop me a comment or mail if you think different, and we can chat.
2. LUSH have a thirty-year-strong baller anti-animal testing policy, are one hundred percent vegetarian, and have a wide range of vegan-friendly products. They're also passionate about production-line transparency and ethical sourcing. Then there's their charity work, and recycling ethos. Not such a greedy green giant corporate hellhole is it?
3. The hazard of being an ethical-minded buyer in world largely hostile to compassionate policies is that you tend to have to buy products that fulfill some but not all of your desired requirements. Would I prefer if LUSH were completely vegan and synthetic-free? Hell yes! But they're not. Yet, crucially, they're better than most. We work with what we have when we have it. LUSH aren't perfect, but they deserve credit where it's due - credit I'm happy to give them here.
However, you still might not be happy buying LUSH right out of the shops. Maybe you're a strict vegan, maybe you've got little ones you'd rather keep away from contested ingredients, or maybe you just don't have R200 to drop on a cleanser. I got you, fam.
Well, Pinterest's got you. There's a veritable plethora of LUSH copy recipes that are waiting for you to make on a cheaper scale at home. Just search 'LUSH DIY'. But remember that DIY beauty is harder than some make it out to be, and unless you're using oils, salts, or natural preservatives like vitamin E oil, you're not going to be making products you can use for much longer than a few days, tops. Always do some research before investing time and ingredients into a recipe. Or be like me and don't and then be more broke and a little more red in the face than you started off with. The choice is yours.