smilingrid: a study in obsession

June 04, 2013

a study in obsession

My friend Grace and I share an obsession with Lush, a store that is found conveniently halfway between our two homes! It's been a while since we'd been in, so we decided a trip was in order.

The thing you have to know about Lush stores is that they are basically a toy store mixed with a penny candy store that sells beauty products. It's all made by hand from fresh and organic ingredients, with no testing on animals, and a frankly incredible amount of giving back.  

Gracie Lu is very concerned about what goes into her products! You read those ingredients, girl!

And it's not only all of this larger than life stuff, but everything looks beautiful, cute, and quirky while managing to feel better than anything! You think this statement is too much? 

Nope. It's not.

If you thought I was exaggerating about the penny candy part, look at the above pictures again. They seriously do look good enough to eat and they smell equally delicious!

Plus, like I said, it's not only reminiscent of a candy store. There are shelves of gorgeously wrapped gifts with exceedingly sweet notes along a few of the walls, which definitely gives the whole store a kind of whimsical excitement you don't find many places other than small children's birthday parties and the Big Apple Circus.

You can piece together loads of different things using all of the soaps and massage bars along the walls, like my strawberry princess! Crown on a precious little face with puppy-large hands and feet!

Of course, if you don't want to assemble your cuteness,  there are some like these "Ickle Baby Bots" just waiting to be taken to a loving home!

There are also regularly shaped colorful versions, arranged as if they were on sale in an open-air market!

The first thing we did upon entering the store was fill out information for the drawing they are having. They're pulling winners later today so wish us luck and keep your fingers crossed!
(please please please let one of us win! Biggest fans over here!)

Then, there's this magical section of the store! As you know if you've been reading this little experiment of mine, I'm a bit obsessed with lip stuffs. This area is beyond cool because not only does it have the eensy metal tins of lip tints, it has the glass tubes of pigment that can be used anywhere on your face! 

The colors along the wall and their corresponding spots on the color wheel can also be used in a sort of fortune telling. Grace and I had this done a few months back, so I can really only give the gist of it, but here goes. The girl who was helping us (I think her name is Nicole, she was awesome! We had as much fun last time we were there as this one... which was a freaking blast) spun the wheel slowly and we picked three colors. Each of the colors has a pretty inspiring or emotional name, like "fantasy" or "happiness." Nicole took the colors we chose and did a past, present, and future prediction based on their names before using them to give us both amazing make-overs! 
(Grace picked some pretty crazy reds and has been henceforth known as the girl on fire.)

I love love love the perfume section, both for the smells and for the aesthetic of it! The solid perfumes make it very colorful and the graphic black and white is unexpected. I love that Gorilla Perfumes and Lush decorate something that is usually so overly feminine (I always think of the well-dressed ladies who spray people with fancy bottles in department stores, surrounded by pink and pastels) in a simple and stark manner. They let the scents do the talking, rather than the packaging (which I'm usually afraid to touch for fear of breaking soooo...) "Perfume is the point," gosh it's so easy to be obsessed with this place! 

The main reason this trip was so much fun is that we met Stephanie as she was working in the Lush store. She put on some amazing music (including some Matt & Kim, winning Grace's heart completely and forever), answered all of our questions, let me take as many pictures as my little heart desired, and plopped us down in these chairs for a mind-blowing hand treatment.

First, there was some spectacular cuticle cream, followed by a soak and Grace and I being goofy.

Then came the use of one of their best-sellers. "Ocean Salt" has just that in it, but unlike most salt scrubs, it has both coarse and fine grains of salt, so you get two kinds of exfoliation. It also contains fresh grapefruit infusions, fresh lime extracted in vodka, fresh avocado butter (are you sensing a theme here? 'Cause I am: freshness!), coconut fat, lime oil, and seaweed. It smells wonderful, is a gorgeous sea-foam green color, and leaves your skin soft beyond levels of soft you may have previously experienced. 
That good.
There's a reason it's a best-seller!

Finally, Stephanie ended our hand treatments with some cream that Grace and I sniffed out as favorites. We were seriously blissed out at this point, look at those faces of adoration!

These are my treasures of the day: "Charity Pot" and "Big."

The "Charity Pot" is a lotion made with Fair trade organic cocoa butter, almond oil, and ylang ylang oil. The most important bit, though, is that 100% of the profits from their sale goes to grassroots organizations (over 350!) all around the world! 

I bought a tub for Hug It Forward, an organization that reduces the littering problem in Guatemala by using it as insulation in schools built in the community, by the community. 

"Big" is a sea salt shampoo that also contains seaweed infusion along with fresh lemon and lime juices and a crazy amount of oils. Last time we were in Lush, I asked for a sample of it. I made the sample last for a week... it was the best week of hair days I have ever had, back-to-back, "damn, my hair looks great" kind of hair days. 
Now that I have significantly shorter hair, I decided buying a full sized container of it! As you can see, Grace emphatically agrees with my choice!

This is just to show how immature we are; Grace and I spent a good 15 minutes laughing about the "caca" hair henna. 

Don't look at me like that, it's funny!

Don't be shy about asking to try things! They are awesome about samples and it's always a good idea to try something and be sure that it does what you want the way you want it done before you invest in it.

The leg pop says a lot about the amount of happy in her system!

I felt a bit like a kid on their first day of kindergarden! That level of excitement!

We left laden with goodies, both regular sized ones we've tried and adored and new samples to become obsessed with. We practically skipped out of the doors with the biggest of grins on our faces! 

I guess my adoration for this company is pretty widespread and well articulated. Why else would they have my very thoughts painted on the walls?

Bonus: selfies with Grace!

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