Lush. This word may conjure up images of the friendly yet sloppy drunk at your neighborhood bar but for people like me it means something much different.
If you have never heard of Lush it is a huge cosmetics and skin care company. With a name like Lush I’m sure it seems a bit confusing, but what’s in a name? Actually quite a lot. Lush embraces fresh, natural ingredients and a lifestyle of love, luxury and pampering, so what better name for something as altering and addictive?
*Fun Fact* A favorite facial cleanser titled Fresh Farmacy almost beat out Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics for the company name.
If you’ve ever been to a Lush store you’ve probably felt like you were getting a sneak peek into Willy Wonka’s factory without a golden ticket. Seductive jasmine, revitalizing lemon, comforting coconut and candy scented tonka perfume the shop and waft out onto the street, drawing people in like kids to a candy store. Once inside you are injected into a world of bright colors and oddly shaped thingamabobs that have you saying, “What is that?”
All around the store there are bold black and white signs in haphazard handwriting exhibiting various Lush philosophies. Often times the walls will be lined with gifts of all sizes and shapes in colorful and festive wrapping. The music is pumping and all the shoppers and workers are engaged in different stages of demonstrations and activities explaining how all the products work. It truly feels like being transported to another dimension.
*Fun fact* Lush doesn’t use perfume to scent the shop. The essential oils and ingredients in the products add a fragrance to the air. Since most of the products are packaging free, the store smells like a combination of everything!
Despite the fact that Lush is fun, wonderful, incredible, amazing and basically all the things, people are oddly reserved about inquiring about how to become a member of the Lush team. It is fairly simple, if you’ve got what it takes.
How To Work At Lush:
1. Be yourself.
Lush loves individuality. Think of Lush like a global quilt highlighting the colors and textures of each culture and region. Lush celebrates uniqueness and believes that the differences between all of us are a source of beauty.
Come in. Look respectable but still represent yourself. Piercings and tattoos need not be concealed. When you come in bring a resume and cover letter (very important). Make sure it is unique but concise. In general Lush does not hire online for people looking to work in the shop and for the most part Lush only promotes from within. For those of us in North America looking to work in the factory, the only kitchens are in Toronto and Vancouver.
Hiring happens in a couple different ways, always 18 and older. If they are looking for one or two employees (this is the type of hiring that takes place around March/April or when someone decides to leave) they will accept resumes and cover letters and call back on a first come/first serve/work experience basis.
If they are looking to hire in bulk Lush will host an in-shop hiring party. They may invite anywhere from five to twenty applicants! During the party there will be demonstrations of how to use certain products and then they will ask all the applicants to try it out on each other. It is important to pay attention and demo the products with confidence. Demos are a huge part of the job requirement and if they sense you are uncomfortable with this it will be much more difficult to be hired. But don’t worry, if your demo skills need a little work they will train you on how to be more at ease with demos after you’re hired.
Usually during the party a senior staff member will pull you aside for a few minutes to chat about your background, interests and desire to work for the company. I would suggest that if you consider yourself offbeat, a free thinker or unique in any way, to play up those aspects of yourself. If you are vegan, against animal testing, philanthropic or passionate about the eco-system those are representative of the core values that Lush upholds, so be sure to mention that as well.
Lush employees are all really weird but I promise we are generally nice, fun loving and pleasant to be around. We are just a black-and-white clad version of one big happy family.
What Lush is Really Like:
Aren’t the employees at Lush shops always having fun? Don’t they have bright smiles and an easygoing manner? They seem approachable, knowledgeable and helpful, don’t they?
I have to tell you something. Its not an illusion. Lush employees truly love their jobs! The environment doesn’t suffer from the typical drama because most Lush employees are truly passionate about the brand and happy to introduce others to something they love. The store is a conduit of positive energy, discovery and (once again) luxury. So the next time a Lush employee asks you how your day was, give them a genuine answer, not, “I’m just looking.” No need to be brusque.
Lush is really amazing about training the employees. Beware that if you are a holiday hire for Lush things may get so hectic that in-store training falls by the wayside, but not to fear. There will be a local training for your district where you’ll get to network with other Lush employees, learn secret facts about Lush and try out all the new products people are just dying to get their hands on.
Lush UK is a bit different from Lush USA. Often times those of us here in the states will get products way later. But the good news is that all of the employees at the shop are well informed and trained on how they work, what is inside and why you’d love it.
Overall the best things about working at Lush are the fun environment, access to products that I love, being able to support various causes and not feeling stifled as an individual.
Now onto the subject that everyone wants to know about–what are the ultimate, best of the best products that Lush has to offer?! I won’t deny that I have my favorites and some not so favorites, but a lot of it is up to preference. Here are my picks for each category.
-Cleanser- Always and forever I will love Angels on Bare Skin. Its the best selling of the clay cleansers. Angels has a kaolin clay base which means it gently clarifies the skin of excess oil and grime. It is balanced by ground almonds which nourish the skin with essential vitamin E and tagetes oil which is antimicrobial and antiseptic. The scent pairs well with the wonderful fragrance of chamomile, lavender and rose which help to provide soothing and balancing elements for the sensitive facial skin. I smell this cleanser every morning and its like I am transported back to the sweetest of dreams. This cleanser is truly an angel.
-Toner-Eau Roma Water. This is basically a no brainer for me. I’m a rose addict so it had to be Eau Roma. Very nice for refreshing the skin and soothing away oil and redness. Pro Tip: my toner gets double duty as a makeup setting spray! Great for staving off oiliness throughout the day.
-Moisturizer-Vanishing Cream. This moisturizer is called Vanishing Cream because of the easy way it sinks into the skin, but it should be called Vanishing Cream because of the way I can’t seem to stop buying and using it. The scent of this moisturizer is the less fragrant version of Angels and it echoes some of the same ingredients with the rose and lavender. Bonus, this contains lavender honey water which is soothing for oil, antiseptic, antibacterial and beautifully fragrant. This also contains brightening and uplifting neroli oil and zingy witch hazel to keep the pimples away. Not to mention the richly moisturizing aspects from the grapeseed, jojoba and shea. VC also contains lindseed infusion which is derived from flax seeds and acts like a cooling and lightly moisturizing gel on the skin.
-Mask-This one was tough. There are so many I love for different reasons but one that I come back to time and time again is Brazened Honey. It uses kaolin to cleanse, fresh lime and ginger to cleanse and brighten, ground almonds to exfoliate and moisturize and a bulk of herbs like sage, rosemary and parsley to provide a glow, stimulate blood flow and skin cell regeneration. This is the mask to beat.
-Shower Gel-Grass was my favorite up until they announced its discontinuation, but the new Yuzu & Cocoa Shower Cream is scrumdiddlyumptious! With the exception of my t-zone, the skin all over my face and body is quite normal so I prefer to use cleansers that lean a bit more to the moisturizing side. Y&C is laced with cocoa butter making it richer in texture and creamy on the skin. It smells like a chocolate dipped creamsicle with just enough yuzu to keep it bright and fruity.
-Bar Soap-Sultana. Not even a contest. I like to smell sweet and edible so Sultana completely fulfills that. Reminiscent of berries and cream, there is dried fruit on the top as a crowning garnish and the rapeseed and coconut oil base ensures that you’ll feel as soft as a cloud.
-Massage Bar-This might be the only category that has a tie. Peace has a smell that literally fills me with utter calm. It balances me, uplifts me and centers my spirit. I actually don’t know what gives Peace its fragrance but I could bottle it up and sell it on the black market. Its literally amazing. Plus I feel good buying Peace because Lush sources all the organic cocoa butter from the Colombian Peace Community.
But with a name like Tender is the Night, how could you resist? Tender is super emollient and melts instantly into the skin from the luxurious murumuru butter. It smells like losing your virginity to your one true love; sexy from the ylang ylang and jasmine but sweet and innocent from the vanilla and shea.
-Lotion-Sympathy for the Skin is like a banana milkshake for your skin that will literally bring all the boys to your yard (not even kidding). It is softly scented with banana, vanilla and sandalwood. Banana is moisturizing, vanilla is soothing for burns and bumps and sandalwood is both emollient and anti-inflammatory. The cocoa butter provides that extra body and richness to take this lotion from considerate to sympathetic.
-Shampoo-Shampoo is one of those things that varies highly from person to hair type to chemical treatment to styling preferences. But my holy grail shampoo is Cynthia Sylvia Stout. I have natural curls that are very voluminous and Cynthia gives great body and shine without drying my hair out.
-Conditioner-Most people come in looking for American Cream because they’ve heard so much about it and they love the delicious scent, but it wasn’t for me. Retread has a light melony scent that disguises how richly moisturizing the conditioner is. It repairs with milk, avocado, yogurt, jojoba and olive oil. Cantaloupe is one of the leading fruits that provides the building blocks for your body to produce adequate amounts of oil in the scalp and collagen. Not to mention the agar agar gel which is a light, watery moisturizer to deeply penetrate the damaged hair shaft and bring it back to life.
-Mask/Treatment-Even as a Lush employee I haven’t tried them all, but of the ones I have tried Roots is my favorite. I love the cool minty stimulating feeling in a warm shower when rinsing it off my scalp and I noticed a significant increase in the thickness, growth and overall health of my hair.
-Bombs-My favorite bath bomb is Fizzbanger but I am not the bath taker that likes relaxing lavender and soothing vanilla…I generally hate vanilla actually. Fizzbanger is a slap and a kiss as I always say. Its exciting and awakening and smells like fresh cut green apples sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon and a kick of something spicy.
-Melts-Nothing says happiness and decadence quite like the Floating Island. While I appreciate the juicy citrus scent of the You’ve Been Mangoed melt, there’s nothing like sinking into a creamy rich bath of Floating Island to melt away the stress. The combination of lemon, sandalwood and cocoa butter are truly tropical without penetrating the sphere of relaxation generated by bathing in this cupcake-looking treat.
If you needed any convincing on why you should love Lush I hope this satisfied your need. If you still aren’t a fan, maybe you just don’t like having fun?
And here’s a picture of a FUN dough octopus that my coworker made during some downtime.