I fell in love with LUSH fresh handmade cosmetics when one of its brick-and-mortar stores opened about a half hour from my home town. Not only is the shop stocked like a farmer’s market — spherical “bath bombs” stacked like apples, wedges of “bubble bars” displayed like cheese, and signs written on traditional chalkboards — but the the products themselves are made with natural ingredients and minimal preservatives. Each item is fresh and made by hand — each has a sticker showing a cartoon image of its maker, as well as his or her name and the date it was created.
While LUSH sells everything from dusting powders, facial creams and skin cleansers to body scrubs, lip balm and henna hair dyes, there are a few items that are particularly good for travel, namely solid products that you can carry with ease in your through airport security checkpoints — leaving more room for liquid toiletries in your quart-size bag. If you pack them in your checked luggage, you don’t need to worry about liquid spills.
For example, I just sampled the Godiva solid shampoo ($9.25)for the first time. I was totally skeptical at first, but this little bar suds up plenty when you rub it in your hands under water. It has the most magnificent scent, too, and my hair literally felt squeaky clean (yes, it squeaked as I rinsed it). It’s chock full of moisturizing goodness, like shea butter and macadamia nut oil, but absolutely doesn’t leave your hair greasy.
The Godiva solid shampoo is also filled with little bits of flowers and leaves (not unlike many of the LUSH products), and as my daughter pointed out, “Why would they put twigs in the shampoo; aren’t you trying to clean your hair?” But, frankly if any little bits of natural goodness ended up in my tresses, they’d likely fly out in the drying process anyway. (More likely, they got washed out in the shower.)
Another favorite solid product from LUSH is the massage bar — instead of pouring oil into your hands before you rub a loved one down, you let the bar melt a bit in your hand to release the cocoa and coconut butters the comprise the bulk of each bar’s ingredients. My husband and I have tried quite a few of these out over the years. Our least favorites include glitter that gets all over the bedsheets and is hard to remove in the shower (sending your husband to work in the morning with glitter on the back of his neck is not cool). Then there’s the Wiccy Magic Muscles Massage Bar that is meant too soothe away aches, but contains little aduki beans that, as the bar melts, end up all over the bed, too. I’d recommend the straightforward, no-frills Business Time ($8.95; pictured right) or Each Peach (and Two’s a Pair) Massage Bars.
Finally, the solid body butters are meant to be used in the shower to moisturize, and some of them have exfoliants in them as well. They aren’t really cleansers — no sudsing involved — so I’d still use some sort of soap to get clean before using a body butter like Buffy Body Butter ($10.75), which smells oh-so-good (I think the lavender scent should be a LUSH solid perfume). The body butter also has ground rice, almonds and aduki beans that work as a gentle scrub.
If you purchase a solid shampoo, body butter and massage bar, and want to travel with them, check out the It’s a Wrap organic-fair-trade-cotton carrier that comes with tins to hold each of the three products. It costs $12.95 and can be purchased at the LUSH website. While you’re there, click around to all the different irreverently named products, and check out the very active forum. LUSH has some very loyal fans, and they don’t hesitate to share what they like and “luv” about different LUSH items.