In the last year there has been a lot of focus on the big Oxford Street Store and the Lush Kitchen when it came to fun new stuff. The spring seasonal ranges were basically what was expected with a few fun new shapes or colours, with the real fun as exclusives, Father's day was a step away from this and Christmas has happily continued the trend. Some old favourite fragrances are back in new ways, some old favourite products have had a make over and all in all its an exciting range to be tempted with for the next few months.
Lets start by talking the new arrivals in this years range. Lavender makes a big appearance in the form of a new body lotion and sparkling dusting powder, as does sugar-sweet in the form of more snow fairy scented products and more of the surprisingly vegan honey scented products. Light florals and citrus are also stand outs this year, but most of the spicy warm scents seem to be confined to the Halloween products that feature variants on that ever popular pumpkin spice idea.
A stand out new product is the Never mind the Ballistics, a sweet fruit little number that anyone who follows a lush addict on Instagram might recognise. A stand out from the Mothers Day range was the Rollerball, a bathbomb sprayed with bath melt that was almost impossible to get even with the best connections - I know, I tried. For Christmas that idea returns, but no longer sprayed and instead dipped, which I guess makes production a lot more practical. This innovation in the bombs is one I'm looking foward to seeing more of. So pretty and moisturising, as someone who finds bath melts a bit "too much" for me this is just about right. I also loved the look of the Snowie bubble bar, simple, yet really lovely, with a great uplifting smell too.
Slightly reworked is a big theme too, not least because for the first time the entire Christmas range is self-preserving - which is the way Lush refer to the products that contain nothing classified as a synthetic preservative. Simply, if its honey or alcohol or similar its ok, if its paraben it isn't. This is a really neat thing to do, as they've somehow managed the same shelf-life as in the other products.
Product wise, a few of last years products have gotten revamped to varying degrees. Shoot for the Stars, Snowcake, Yog nog, Santa's Belly, Stardust, Northern Lights, Reindeer Rock and So White have all changed in some way. Some changes are on the small side; Stardust is bigger, Northern Lights less breakable and Santa's belly and Snowcake have new shapes, none of which really make a difference to how we as customers experience them. However in the case of Shoot for the Stars and So White bath bombs its more the fragrance is the same, but the whole experience in the bath has changed. So White, once a crisp red delicious is now a different variety of apple and as for Shoot for the Stars; it now a glorious blue bath sprinkled with golden star melts that fall from the bomb as it dissolves. Reindeer Rock has a totally new scent, colour and shape, making it a small pebble you just pick up and buy rather than a large block cut to order. It's a nice idea to mix up the soaps in that way, as much as I understand the rationale of the large blocks in gift season its a nice idea to have something that looks consistant. The pebbles are really cute, although I do wish they had kept the scent. I think the small block idea would actually work well in the new Igloo soap, but instead that is large blocks that build together, which is still a really lovely idea.
Back to the event, because really, what part of an event is any different from a normal Lush shopping experience, or at least how it is on a good day. Well, firstly you are rarely greeted with a drink at the door - something I recommend they institute immediately! Continuing with the theme we were treated to a selection of warming autumnal teas from Bluebird Tea - the pot being constantly refreshed and glasses refilled by the lovely Kate, who also made us all aware of the nibbles dotted around the shop - saving us from a potentially awkward soap nibble.
There was bath cocktail making with a twist - multiple bowls and vases were dotted around the bath section for us to play with - Chelle from The Mumington Post had her lovely daughter with her who was taking great delight in doing what I think we were a bit too in blogger mode to so - make them all extremely colourful and play messily with everything. We also got to see the "cocktails" in glasses, which looked so gloriously sparkly that photos needed to be taken.
As well as trying out all the bath products we also got to make our own Comforter bubble bar to take home, using the same method they used to use in the factory. They make a big swiss roll now, as the one by one method is too time consuming apparently, but you make a candy cane and then squish it down to get the spiral pebble. This was WAY too enjoyable, but I wish I hadn't squished mine it looked much prettier as a candy mountain style pyramid.As well as taking home our comforter in a goody bag, we also each got a wrapped "Christmas" present from a lucky dip, which was a nice touch.
We each all got a chance to sit down with one of the lovely lushies and have a consultation or even just a chat over a relaxing hand and arm massage (such a relaxing thing). This is something that goes on in stores daily, but what with us all used to the systems of booking appointments and deposits held against purchase other beauty suppliers seem to do, is something that often gets lost from the average Lush experience in my opinion. People seem a little freaked out by the idea you can get a pamper for nothing, with no obligation to buy, but you can. That is one of the things I have loved about Lush since I was a teen - they believe in and stand by their products so much that they'll let you try them all out to convince you, rather than talking you into it.
Despite being an old school lushie and being pampered in store loads of times, it was great to experience the new range and have a bit of a giggle with everyone in store without feeling I was taking them away from people who were going to spend more money than me. It's a bit of a thing when you're not really buying and people in stores are happy to chat, but that's the lovely thing about the Brighton guys, they'll happily just try and make your day a bit brighter.
The only sad thing (from the blogger viewpoint)was that Lush PR didn't have a hashtag or anything that us attending could use to find out who else was going and chat about the event beforehand on twitter etc. That's a blogger thing thou, and the lovely Kate and my good friend Sophie running the event did give us one to use once we were there. It's just a bit sad knowing how like myself have anxiety problems and so on, and find big things like this a bit scary if we are going on our own. I've never been to an event and not had an idea of who else was going before walking in the door an damn it, it was a bit scary. Lucky for me I knew the guys working the event otherwise I might have been bricking it.
Anxiety or not, and my issue with PR aside, the guys working in Lush Brighton are a great bunch, and even if I didn't already know them I would have felt right at home with them as I smelt my way around the store. And as for the Christmas range, well... I'll be in the bath.