Monday, June 2, 2014

Bordeaux Diaries - Lala's "LUSH" life.

Lush is a world renowned UK based handmade/organic cosmetic brand but today I am going to write about it in my Bordeaux Diaries series because I had my first ever Lush experience in Bordeaux recently. The brand itself needs no introduction but I will still do my bit of effort to record my own latest affair with Lush products.

Even though Lush does not have a franchise in Pakistan, the brand itself is very well known. The major source of this popularity are our relatives and friends from abroad bringing back these handmade goods on their visits. While getting these products as a gift is an unbeatable delight, for me, finally being able to choose from a huge range of Lush products in its boutique's fragrant ambiance was a great experience for me. And as someone who really enjoys good conversations, the friendly staff of Lush in Bordeaux made me an immediate fan.

Lush BordeauxLike any well reputed brand, Lush has its own unique brand history. It's practically impossible not to acknowledge the various attributes of Lush products such as the brand's Green policy which is focused on environmental conservation, responsible consumption of natural resources through means of ethical purchasing and its consistent effort towards fight against animal testing. At one can learn all about the story behind Lush and its concept of organic products, the brand's core believes and practices. For me, understanding a product that I choose to spend my money on and learning that my purchase has a wider social impact is of great importance. On this note, I can safely admit that Lush products genuinely make me feel happy on various levels of consciousness.

Lush is located at the happening pedestrian street in Bordeaux and I had previously taken many quick trips to this colorful shop just to look at the products and wonder which ones to buy first. It is true that making a single choice from a huge array of products at Lush can be a really tough task. All the eye pleasing shapes & colors and the mood lifting aromas in the shop has never failed to grab my attention like that of a little kid in a candy shop. I really do manage to find a way to relate cosmetics and candies somehow, now don't I?

Lush Bordeaux

It all truly started the day when I was out and about searching for something that would help me relax. This time around I wasn't looking for a chocolate chip cookie or a cupcake but rather something that would bring a sense of tranquility and feel good. Simply put: I wanted to splurge on my self! And that's when I entered Lush, willing to treat myself to some sight soothing colors and soul soothing aromas. This was going to be my first ever splurging session at Lush and I was excited, except that, I didn't know much about the products and their features. I don't know if it's even possible to buy a "wrong product" at Lush but this is where the smiling Lush mentor, Quentin Lacoste, came to my true rescue. With shaky confidence in my French, I tend to seek people who can speak "some" English but that day, gosh I was lucky!

Lush BordeauxI remember clearly telling him that all I wanna do is spend to feel good on an item or two that will make me feel relaxed. Since I had not much clue about the difference between the various bath bombs in the shop, I asked him to guide me through his own personal favorites. For half an hour of genuine guidance, a lot of information and a tinge of good humor, this turned out to be my best retail therapy session in a long time. I cannot help but mention that the dedicated attention you receive from the sales staff in Bordeaux (well, this is the only one I know) is very fulfilling for a customer. While it's obvious that this brand has a huge reputation built up on the basis of its organic products, it's clear that an effective customer service has an equally important role in building, maintaining and retaining a clientele. Three cheers for all the awesome girls and the guy at Lush!

Lush Bordeaux

Talking about my first few proud purchases from Lush, I ended up owning a bathing bomb called Twilight, a bubble bath stick in tulip shape and a bubble gum flavored lip scrub. For a Lush newbie that I am, this was the perfect introduction to the brand. Moreover, I also received generous samples of a hair conditioning balm and a citrus shower gel that smells so fresh that it can become someone's only good reason to wake up for in the mornings.

I learned that day that the bathing bombs are based on a natural element called sodium bicarbonate that not only gives them their distinct fizz but also their detoxifying characteristic to be enjoyed in the form of a non-foaming bath. Moreover, these bathing bombs also have natural essential oils added in them which helps you choose the right one according to your own need and mood. While I was thinking about the classic baking soda detoxifying baths mixed with either Epsom salts or any preferred essential oils, these cute little spheres of bathing goodness reminded me why I never attempted messing with bowls full of baking soda and salt earlier in my life. This is what I call pure luxury. Ting!

Lush Lip scrub
My favorite part of the lush trip was lip scrub shopping. I felt a bit silly because I chose a lip scrub on the basis of its taste! Let me quote Quentin here: "You can have all the fun you want with this one. You apply it in a small quantity, eventually eat it away and than you apply a little more again. You can keep on doing this all day!" And believe you me, ever since I bought this cute little jar of bumble gum flavored crushed candy/lip scrub, I can not imagine not having it in my arm's reach no matter where I am. The lip scrub is effective, addictive and of course edible. Although, the little voice in my head wonders how bubble gum made it to the list of natural flavors alongside salted popcorn and Mint/menthol? Moreover, wouldn't it be lovely if they can mention the calories on the pot because I have finished mine in less than a month's time. And I am supposed to be on a sugar - free diet! Just saying.

Lush threesamosasMy trip to lush was around the Mother's day season and I recall noticing the flower shaped pieces displayed in a form of a bouquet on a shelf. While we were discussing the possibilities for me to get a bubble bath product, Quentin led me towards the very same display. There were pretty daisies, tulips and butterfly shaped bubble bathing bars attached to thin wands with "Mum" tags. I was told that these wands have seeds within and once the bubble bar has been fully utilized, the wand has to be placed in a jar with water sprayed on/around and some leaves are gonna sprout outta them. Now that's some real wand trick! However, I had a pre assumed notion of these bars being a single use item like bathing bombs. But before I could even voice my concern, I was informed that these bars are good for up to 8 bubble bath indulgence sessions. Yea me and my wallet!

Lush Lala

There was so much more I could have had bought that day had my wallet been a bit more generous to me. On a serious note, for the first true try at Lush, I had sufficient products to start off with. While hair products were extremely tempting, I decided to leave the temptation hanging in there for the next time around. You see, I just knew that there will be a next around at Lush for me. To further add to this temptation, I was offered the sample of this "totally sold out at the moment" hair conditioning balm that I tried just as instructed by Quentin: "Use a little on scalp after a shampoo and your hair will smell divine all day long." For me, not only did my hair smelled great but I also found a solution to my dry scalp issues.

The smiling lady at the cash register and her joyfulness further reduced my "expenditure jitters". For anyone like me out there who is prone to feeling guilty after a splurge, I would say, splurge a little more and grab that charity pot on the counter. Instant feel good gesture that I can vouch by. I gotta admit, it's true that Lush products and their wonders comes with a price tag requiring some advance budgeting. That said, there is no doubt that the quality and the product's effectiveness is totally worthy of my money. My biggest fear is to spend money only to regret it later when a certain product or a service doesn't achieve for me what I wanted from it. But at Lush, I know that I will be given just what I am looking for in my purchase. Thank you team Lush!

Based on the effectiveness of the products which I have already purchased, I already have a "to buy" list prepared in my head for the days and months to come. The hair conditioning balm is most probably going to be my very next buy at Lush. I am also drooling at the mere thought of acquiring the salted popcorn flavored lip scrub. I haven't tried any facial masks yet but I am looking forward it. The images of them soaps, bathing oils, soap cases, lip tints and best of all, the huge gift box including most of the shop's products are flickering in my mind right now. I better hold my horses or else I will turn into a pretty bankrupt being real soon.

Lush BordeauxLush Bordeaux

So here is my review of Lush for "Bordeaux diaries" on this blog. The entire experience was exciting and fulfilling as a newbie to this brand. I will be posting the product review around my first ever bathing bomb called "Twilight". Not to forget, I still gotta use my Tulip bubble bath wand fully so I can see the leaves growing out of the wand. I truly wish for Lush to show up with a franchise in Pakistan (Karachi, Karachi, Karachi please!) one fine day in future as it has a huge fan following for its products back there. Even better, how about opening a Lush spa in Pakistan? I, myself and Zoya, can promise to be your first loyal clients to begin with.

Lush is where I would like to go whenever I want and can afford to pamper myself. A bathing bomb or two maybe and a glass of the best Mojito in Bordeaux with my new found friend Quentin (now that is a different story altogether) afterwards. Now that's what I call a "Lush Life"!