Last Friday, Lush opened its doors in Liverpool, unveiling their biggest store ever. Spanning three floors, it’s a haven for bath bomb obsessives and socially conscious shoppers, designed to be an all-round one-stop shop for your beauty needs. I explored the new store, getting the low-down from the product inventors and masterminds behind the 300 new products available as I navigated my way around the Perfume Library, Spa and Salon. Here’s what you need to know about Lush's new Liverpool store.
The Hair Lab
For the first time ever, Lush has created its very own salon, set in the dense foliage of the ground floor. Offering treatments, cuts, and wet or dry styling, prices start at £35 and combine a bespoke salon experience with products and treatments freshly made in front of you using sustainably sourced and natural ingredients. Daniel Campbell, Lush Product Inventor and Cosmetic Scientist, hired a team with a broad range of expertise, and created a menu of services to inform, educate, and entertain customers. He tells me:
“It’s about educating clients on how to get the best out of their hair every day and we’ve tried to bring moments of magic throughout the whole experience. We have the ability to create a de-mineralised or mineralised blend of water to use, depending on what the hair needs. If your hair is fine, mineralised water can be good because it helps build up deposits on the hair to make it thicker and fuller, whereas if your hair is coarser and tends to be thicker, de-mineralised water is better because it doesn’t interrupt the effects of the shampoo.
And that's not the only bespoke treatment on offer. Campbell continues:
"Then we have our infusion bar, where we prepare a fresh formula for the hair where we can make fresh pre-treatments. We’re not just using natural ingredients so we can stick it on the label, they actually have a benefit for the hair, and we can tweak and tune the client's experience as we go along.”
The entire Hair Lab takes its inspiration from the early days of Lush, and co-founder and herbal trichologist Mark Constantine's idea of making a herbal apothecary to care and treat tresses using the best natural ingredients. In the treatment area, there's a myriad of options to chose from, ranging from semi-permanent Henna dyes to dry styling treatments you can fit in on your lunch break.
The treatments on offer will be expanding Campbell tells me, with bleaching and surface dyes soon to come. Most excitingly, there are also plans to turn the Hair Labs into standalone Lush salons. Watch this space.
A natural next step for Lush was to create their first spa. With six rooms offering 13 unique treatments sprawled across the third floor of the Liverpool store, this is a tranquil oasis away from the shop floor business. There are both vegan and vegetarian treatments on offer, ranging in price from £45 for a 30-minute facial to £300 for a 3-hour long massage, facial, and tarot reading hybrid.
As is befitting the Lush ethos, the furniture and infrastructure of the spa were made using recycled materials. Spa host Steph Carmen revealed to me that they utilised recycled materials from the existing Lush Spa in Oxford Street, as well as sourcing reclaimed wood and ocean waste for the sinks and changing areas.
What about the treatments themselves? Well, I opted for the Fresh Facial, which promises half an hour of zen that you can squeeze into your lunch break. Following a consultation, my therapist concocted a spread of cleansers, exfoliators, toners, oils, moisturisers, and masks from Lush’s naked range (packaging free FYI). The facial was accompanied by a hand and neck massage, and after 30 minutes I walked out with a glowing, radiant, and thoroughly cleansed complexion. Excitingly, you don't have to trek to Liverpool to try these new treatments, as they can be booked in Lush stores across the UK, including Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, London Oxford Street and Poole.
The Perfume Library
Upon entering the store, you'll first encounter the florist selling handmade bouquets of locally sourced blooms, a makeup bar with packaging-free foundations, concealers, highlighters and lipsticks, and the coffee shop. If you can make it past all of that without getting distracted, you'll arrive at The Perfume Library. This is quite literally what it says on the tin: a library of books on the history and creation of some of the most iconic fragrances throughout history, each one hand-picked by Mark Constantine.
Lush’s head buyer and perfumer, Simon Constantine, revealed to me their commitment to not only sourcing natural and beautifully scented ingredients, but also to aiding environmental issues affected by the fragrance farming such as deforestation.
“The patchouli oil in our perfumes comes from Sumatra, in Western Indonesia, and patchouli farmers are unintentionally contributing to deforestation. Their techniques for growing patchouli cut into the forest in the Aceh region, as they use the soil fertility up when they grow the patchouli. That depletes the soil, then the following year they go further into the forest, and the year after that and the year after that. So we’ve been working with them to remedy that through organic growing techniques and agroecology, to build the soil fertility up each year.”
The books are accompanied by 29 exclusive fine fragrances that celebrate Lush’s perfume heritage over its 30-year history. While browsing the shelves, I picked up the travel-friendly solid perfume, Breath Of God, for £9, a distinctive blend of neroli, cedar-wood, and grapefruit oils. These fragrances are accompanied by the community perfumes, which customers voted to bring back into stores, along with quirky body sprays for lighter spritzing.
If that’s not enough, there are 300 new products to shop. On the first floor, you’ll find a colour-coordinated bath bomb wall, a bath bomb conveyer belt, and more soaps than you can shake a stick at. It’s an Instagram dream. That’s not to mention the selection of colourful art prints or colourful fabrics you can buy in place of a plastic bag.
Here are my top 5 recommendations that you should pick up if you’re in Liverpool.
This palm-sized green bar is an expert in mattifying oily skin like mine while still hydrating, reducing redness and creating the perfect canvas to apply makeup that will last all day. I guarantee it. My skin has never looked so good. It’s part of their naked range too, so there’s not an ounce of plastic packaging insight.
Lush have cleverly taken their popular cleansing balm, Ultrabland, and removed the water, creating a cleansing oil that’s fresher than ever. Silky smooth and sumptuously soft, it removes even the stubbornest of mascaras, and a little goes a long way. This went straight into my skincare arsenal.
While there are almost too many bath bombs to choose from, this limited edition butterfly one takes the cake. Infused with Sicilian lemon and Turkish rose oil, it has a musky floral fragrance and a beautiful pink and blue colour. You’ll definitely earn some brownie points if you gift this on Mother’s Day.
I finally got my hands on Lush’s packaging free foundation while in store, as thus far, it’s only been available online. The creamy formula gives a sheer, but buildable coverage and glides onto the skin effortlessly, even rivalling my beloved IT Cosmetics CC cream. It’s easy to top up throughout the day and blended seamlessly with just my fingers.