My 10 favorite Lush products

So this is a blog post that I've been meaning to write for awhile, because, well, over the past year I have converted into pretty much a total Lush fangirl. My bathroom counter looks like a mini Lush store these days, because I love their products — they're effective, use mostly natural ingredients and only the bare minimum of preservatives, and they're environmentally friendly. A win all-around.

And after doing something very very bad to my skin last night (slathering it with zombie makeup, if you must know), I went for #1 on the list to save it, and remembered I'd been meaning to write this post. So here it is — my 10 favorite Lush products:

10. Vanilla in the Mist Soap — before I got a sample of this soap to try, my favorite soap might have been a tie between Honey I Washed the Kids and Sexy Peel. But this soap smells ridiculously good, and it's super moisturizing. Lush always aces their vanilla scents and this is a perfect example. It smells so good it's tempting to make a little snack of it in the shower.

9. American Cream Conditioner — Aside from Aveda's eye cream, which I do still use, the last major holdout of other cosmetics brands in my bathroom had been Aveda's Color Revival Conditioner. I started noticing, though, that it just wasn't doing as well as it used to — my hair was starting to get that weird smell it does when the ends are drying out. I'd tried some Lush conditioners before but not American Cream; as soon as I smelled this stuff and saw how heavily a little bit conditioned my hair, I was sold. Unfortunately I have a lot of Aveda left to use up!

8. Saving Face — I found out about Lush's face serums when I was at one of their spas in the UK. These were developed for their spa facials, but they also started selling them in the stores. For someone like me, who has fairly oily skin, this is a kind of scary product to use at first. It's a solid, and you rub it between your palms until it heats up enough to transfer some onto your hands. Then you rub it on your face. And it feels a little greasy. But it turns out, it's good grease, and instead of making me break out, it just made my skin feel much softer in the morning. I use this almost every night now, and I think it's preventing the spread of those post-30 wrinkles that were starting to develop. Also, props to Lush for taking something I would never have thought could be made into a solid, and actually achieving making it a solid, keeping more plastic bottles out of landfills.

7. Dark Angels Cleanser — This is actually not the face cleanser I use most frequently from Lush (Fresh Farmacy is my every morning cleanser, used with my Clarisonic), but it is ridiculously good stuff. It's a favorite because its charcoal soaks up oil like crazy, and it's super-exfoliating. I like to leave it on for a few minutes like a quick mask, then scrub it in before I rinse. I don't use it every day because this. stuff. is. messy. It's all-black, and I have a white sink. Yuck. Like the other two Lush cleansers I use most frequently (the afforementioned Fresh Farmacy and Coalface), it's a solid. Even more plastic bottles eliminated AND they don't have to go in my quart bag when I fly.

6. Big Blue Bath Bomb — I wanted a bath bomb on the list, but this one is sort of a representative of all the bath bombs (and innovative bubble bars, too, for that matter) Lush carries. It is one that I keep going back to, though, for its smells-of-the-sea scent, even though it leaves the tub filled with seaweed, which is not fun to clean up. Like all of the bath bombs, this one is really moisturizing, and makes you want to keep smelling your skin after a bath. Although when I go to Lush, I'm usually there for more practical products like the ones earlier on this list, it's tough to resist going over to the display of bath bombs, looking like an array of little ice cream scoops, and picking one or two out.

5. Volcano Foot Mask — I've been having a problem with swelling, pain, and stiffness in one of my feet since the beginning of this year, and Volcano has been a frequent treatment. It's a foot mask that warms (like, really, really warms — it's kind of freaky) after you put it on, which feels really good for problem feet. It also deodorizes and softens. I accidentally proved how much it was softening, because I was applying it frequently to the bad foot, and sort of forgot about the other one. One day I looked down and realized how soft and exfoliated the skin on Bad Foot was, and how dry and scaly Good Foot was looking. Sorry about that, Good Foot.

4. King of Skin — Yet another excellent solid product. This one is a butter bar that basically works like conditioner for your skin. You swipe it on while your skin is wet, then rinse. King of Skin isn't as exfoliating as some of the other butter bars, but it smells lovely, and it's my favorite. I used to get a lot of irritation when I'd shave my legs, but once I started using King of Skin after, irritation GONE. The only thing I don't like about it is that they changed the shape from a square that fit nicely into their body butter tins (these suckers need to be kept in a tin, or they'll melt all over your shower), to one that's perhaps more ergonomically comfortable, but does not fit in the tin. New King-of-Skin shaped tin, please, Lush? And while you're at it, one sized for the face serums?

3. Squeaky Green Shampoo — This was one of my earliest Lush conversions. Confession: I prescribed for many years to the Procter & Gamble-induced notion that I had dandruff. I mean, I had all the, uh, signs of it, so of course I had dandruff, right? Wrong. I tried out Lush's shampoo bars, and after I finally completely converted over to them, the "dandruff" went away. Now, while Squeaky Green does contain some ingredients that are good for dandruff, I'm pretty sure that what I actually had was an irritated scalp from all the chemical crap P&G puts in its shampoos and conditioners. The shampoo bars (I use a rotation of Squeaky Green and either Ultimate Shine or Seanik) work better than bottled shampoo, and as a side bonus I'm no longer using any plastic shampoo bottles. Or having to include shampoo in my quart bag when I fly. And I get a ton of washes out of each shampoo bar, so they're even more cost effective than the P&G stuff. Win, win, win, win.

2. Lemony Flutter — I use this as a gateway drug to get other people hooked on Lush, so it's one I give as a gift a lot. You know when your cuticles are starting to look a little ragged, and you're sure it's only going to get worse now that they've started to go? Lemony Flutter turns that around, like, immediately. A little douse and they're back to looking healthy. In the winter, sometimes I use it on my entire hands, because mine tend to dry out a ton and even used to crack and bleed (not anymore, in the post-Lemony Flutter era). It's super-moisturizing and smells delicious, and one pot lasts forever. I like to keep two, though — one for work and one for home.

1. Catastrophe Cosmetic — As soon as the zombie makeup came off my face, I knew what it needed. A quick dose of Catastrophe Cosmetic, which, I'm fairly sure, is made of rainbows and magic. I have acne-prone skin; I believe the politer British term is that I "get spots". Whatever you want to call it, I struggled for years and used nasty chemical product after nasty chemical product on my face. It's only been since I switched to Lush products that I've gotten things under control, and even after that, it took me awhile to realize that this was the cornerstone. I don't know what's in there working the magic, but what I do know is that I see INSTANT improvement as soon as I wash it off. It's amazing stuff. Usually now, if I "get spots," it's because it's my own fault I've gone too long between Catastrophe Cosmetic applications (every other night is ideal). Usually, I smear some of the facial serum on underneath before I apply (it's supposed to help the mask penetrate the skin more), and then don't quite wash the mask off all the way, so my skin's still a little chalky when I go to bed, that way it keeps using its magic powers all night. Added bonus: Lush has a program where if you bring back five black pots to the store so they can recycle them, you get a free face mask. So I often get this for free! Note that in the US you have to buy this one in the store, and it needs to stay refrigerated.

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