LUSH x Rough Trade Pop Up
You may be thinking it is too early for Christmas, but today I attended a Christmas launch pop up shop to celebrate Lush’s festive products. Although I also agree that it is slightly too soon to be counting down to Christmas, I took any excuse to witness Lush’s new 70 limited edition products. Going to the event allowed me to gain a first sneak peek at the exclusive range and see some of the favourite LUSH products come to life.
Throughout the day they had a range of interactive activities including yoga, live music, poetry and bathbomb workshops, just to name a few. Lush themes mock-tails and Doughnotts doughnuts were available in the space as we entered. The event was held in the upper floor of Rough Trade Nottingham where the cafe/bar is situated. The space very much reflected Rough Trade’s creativity and fearless self-expression despite being decorated with wooded lush stands, black chalk-boards and fairy lights. Although a small space, a lot was packed into the room, with the low-level lighting and cosy corner areas adding to the relaxed and welcoming appeal.
The first workshop I attended was the Essential Oils talk. It was a small group of women who came together to learn more about the oils and which Lush products each can be found in. I have dabbled a little with oils in the past, in particular the classic tea-tree oil and also more recently lavender, however I am always open to learn more and open my eyes to new possibilities. The lady spoke about the oils, passing round the pure oil to smell as well as the corresponding Lush product shortly after. In between oils, we all smelt coffee beans to cleanse our noses and allow us to gain a more accurate sense of the next one.
Essential oils are the essences of the plants they come from and are concentrated liquids which I didn’t previously realise contain the parts of the plant that attract pollinators, deter pests, and essentially, smell nice. All oils have a different effect on different people so it is all about finding what works best for the individual.
Some of the oils we were presented with were Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Patchouli oil, Rose oil, Lemon oil and lastly Lavender oil. Sandalwood for most people soothes the skin and scalp and is also a treatment for stomach and headaches. Patchouli oil on the other hand is something that was used in the 60s and is loved by the team at Lush, so much so that some of their best sellers contain the oil. It is grounding oil and helps to increase confidence and balance; this one is great to help with sleep especially when you are overly stressed or anxious. It is also cooling and has antiseptic properties and therefore is used in some of their natural deodorants. Rose oil has an extremely strong floral scent but has restorative and balancing properties, good to relive stress and anxiety, as well as toning and reducing redness.
Lemon oil, the next passed around, was the freshest out of all of them and was the one that was the most uplifting for me. It is also energising and helps to stimulate the immune system. Cosmetically it can brighten the face and enhances shine on the hair, changing the way it reflects light. Lastly I learnt that lavender effectively has two hats: the sleeping hat is very commonly known, however if used in excess it can have opposite effects, stimulating, focusing and alerting. It also helps with relaxation, slowing down the heart and is commonly used in spas as a result of its calming effects. I have also previously used Lavender to remove redness on the face and to help relieve the pressure in large spots.
My favourite out of the oils was the Cedarwood as a result of the subtle aroma and less intense feeling; it is also said to have balancing properties and leave a profound feeling of wellbeing. A common theme for the essentials oils was helping to relieve pain and reduce anxiety and therefore each one has a healing property of their own which I find fascinating; it just shows the power of plants and nature.
The second session was a product making workshop which took me back to my childhood playing with playdough. A small group of us surrounded one of Lush’s metal bowls and helped to break down the bathbomb power into a flour-like texture, removing all of the lumps. We were then given two half sphere moulds, filling each with the powder mixture, and then using friction to twist the two halves together. We took our bathbomb home in a small brown bag, allowing the product to set for a day before removing the mould. I was very glad to be making a Butterball as this is my favourite Lush product when it comes to bathbombs. It is so subtle and has a slightly vanilla scent which I love; I am not an overly big fan of the intense smells that Lush is known for.
I wouldn’t say I am the typical Lush lover, enjoying mainly the bathbombs and bubble bars. However, I really love Lush for their innovation when it comes to zero waste and packaging free. This is why I was drawn to the new solid products without the need for a plastic container. The solid cleansers, deodorants, shampoo bars and shower gels really did catch my eye; the solid form would make the product last a long time and are all more natural ingredient based. Although Lush is not completely zero waste, I admire their aim for greater minimisation, with zero waste the ideal concept to drive towards.