LUSH Cosmetics has undergone some serious changes in the last year, from celebrating their 20th birthday by creating their own font to discontinuing old classics in favor of new Oxford Street-exclusive products that are slowly rolling into the rest of their stores. To accommodate all this newness and to celebrate 10 years in the city’s premier shopping destination, the Toronto Eaton Centre’s LUSH (previously nicknamed “the closet”) had to be stretched out and remodelled. The new store is outfitted with a serious face masks bar, sitting-spots galore, and an entire vertical dedicated to the Emotional Brilliance makeup range.
And can you guess what all of this excitement means? It’s field trip time! I visited the new TEC store in September to find out what all the hoopla was about, and I’d love to share with you what I discovered.
One of the things LUSH is best known for around the world is their solid, self-preserving soaps. The ones you see in the photo were recently reformulated and are handmade in Toronto by proud compounders who actually label each chunk with their name. The display is inspired by a farmer’s market, where vendors can cut pieces from bulk-sized blocks. Ones to check out are the toffee-scented, honeycomb-topped Honey, I Washed the Kids ($7.95, LUSH*) and Karma ($7.95, LUSH*), one of LUSH’s signature citrus scents.
LUSH is all about respect for the environment, and their body scrubs are 100% microbeads free. In fact, earlier this year they ran a campaign where clients could exchange outside products with microbeads for a cleaner LUSH cleanser. Talk about taking it to the next level! For fans of Halloween’s beloved Lord of Misrule bath bomb ($6.95, LUSH*), the new The Rough With the Smooth scrub ($9.95, LUSH*) will be a delightful reminder of the Feast of Fools favourite.
I’m the type to mask on a daily basis, but something like my darling Fresh Crème Ancienne ($140, Sephora*) can get a little pricey over time. If you want to take the spa experience home then the LUSH Fresh face masks are a great option without breaking the bank. They’re handmade and delivered to the store once a week (in refrigerated trucks, no less), with varieties like Cupcake ($7.95, LUSH*) for acne-prone skin and Oatifix ($7.95, LUSH*) for dry, flaky skin.
The new Cup O’ Coffee ($10.95, LUSH*) is a soy-based scrubbing mask with agave and coffee grounds for the entire body, and does not need to be refrigerated. As well, the stunningly-blue Don’t Look At Me ($10.95, LUSH*) truly takes the cake for brightening and seriously cleaning pores – the photo doesn’t do it justice, so check it out online. The best part is that for every 5 empty black pots you bring back for recycling you get a free Fresh mask, so everyone wins.
It didn’t take me long to find the Gorilla Perfumes station, which I could have spent hours in. Where else can you sit at recycled old-school desks and try fragrances with stories like these? For example, Sun ($10.95, LUSH*) is inspired by a drive in California on a sunny day – swoon! Karma is available here as well, in solid or liquid versions ($11.95 and $45.95, LUSH*).
There’s even a line of distinctly masculine fragrances, called Dirty. Notice the body sprays ($23.95, LUSH*)!
Did somebody say hair care? LUSH TEC has you covered. The American Cream conditioner ($33.95, LUSH*) smells like a milkshake and is to die for, but the real highlight here is solid shampoos. The unpackaged pucks are good for up to 60 washes and can be stored in convenient travel tins.
The motto here is truly “If it can be done naturally…” The Caca range is a henna-based dye for hair that comes in four shades. You use it by melting pieces with hot water and leaving it on hair for about four hours.
And what do you do with hair that’s already colour-treated? Use Daddy-O ($30.95, LUSH*) to banish brassiness, of course. The purple colour alone makes me giddy! And because everything is 100% vegetarian and mostly vegan, most LUSH products are good for 14 months after opening, so even the giant 250 and 500 ml bottles will give you your money’s worth.
Other things to check out in the store are the cruelty-free, multi-use makeup line…
The Knot-Wraps station with its clever gift-wrapping-into-scarf offerings…
And of course, the bath goodies. They’ve got bath bombs (fizzies that turn your bath into a colourful, fragrant adventure), bubble bars (solid bubble bath that you crumble under running water), and even a few bath melts that turn the water silky smooth. Ever wanted to see a bath bomb in action? This is the jasmine-laden Sex Bomb ($6.75, LUSH*), one of the company’s bestsellers. Notice that everything is handmade with fairly sourced ingredients (including bio-degradable seaweed glitter), like the delicate rose details on this sensual ballistic.
An entire novel wouldn’t cover the wonders of this new LUSH store, and I am so grateful to have gotten a peek at all the goodies within. The staff at this particular location are all about inspired, interactive storytelling and educating clients, and they clearly know their stuff. Thank you in particular to Raegan and Melissa for their help, I hope everyone in the GTA gets a chance to visit them soon and check out all the holiday goodies. As Raegan told me, LUSH is a company for “People who love change” – couldn’t have said it better myself. Thanks for the guided tour, ladies!