A few weeks ago, I received an invitation to a blogger event at one of my favourite companies – Lush. I’d applied towards the end of October and after deciding that I probably wouldn’t get asked to go I pushed it to the back of my mind, so imagine my surprise when an email inviting me to attend pinged up in my inbox.
I very excitedly accepted and marked out the day in my planner, and on Tuesday 6th December I was part of a large group of the loveliest people you could imagine for the #lusharndalebeautyschool blogger event.
As this was my first ever event I didn’t know what to expect and spent the day flipping between joy and utter terror, but I am so, so glad that I went and had fun and learnt so much about the Lush history and their products.
To kick off the night, we were split into three groups with around seven bloggers in each – just enough so that we all had time to participate and ask questions and chat amongst ourselves within the hour dedicated to each mini event without feeling rushed.
Henna hair tutorial & knot-wraps
Our first beauty school lesson involved Persian henna hair dye, and included a demonstration of the different ways to utilise a gorgeous, silky knot wrap. The lesson began with a quick ice-breaker introduction, and then we were talked through the product, what it’s made from and how best to use it whilst it was applied to a model.
Our hair is made up of between two and three layers – the cuticle (outer protective layer), cortex (inner layer where our hair colour forms) and for some of us the medulla which is the innermost layer and is usually only found in thick and course hair. The Lush henna dye works by gently coloring the outer cuticle rather than flooding the cortex with chemicals, and I think it’s a great alternative to synthetic, harmful dyes. It’s available in four colors and retails at £9.95 for a huge bar – a complete steal and 100% natural, what’s not to like?!
We moved on to the Lush knot-wrap – I’d seen these plenty of times in store before but always forget to grab one so I was super happy to find one tucked into a goody bag for me! We were shown different ways of styling it including a lovely rose wrap and taught us how to make a cute little gift bag to wrap products in. I think using this instead of plastic wrap really fits in with Lush’s ‘naked’ packaging idea and is a really special touch as it means the recipient also gets to keep the packaging.
As soon as it began, the hour for hair was up and we made our way to the Emotional Brilliance make-up station. After a quick stop for some tasty biscuits, we were guided through a demonstration of a full face of makeup. This was a real treat for me as although I’d seen a lip balms and face moisturisers before in store, I wasn’t aware of the amount of products on offer.
All items in the Emotional Brilliance makeup range are 100% vegan, cruelty free and kind to the environment. From colour supplements to lip tints to liquid eyeliner there is a huge range available and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them as they were passed around for us to test.
During the demonstration, we were told that the range encourages creativeness and that Lush see makeup as an art that you personally need to experiment with, which is why they encourage you to try it out on yourself in store rather than asking someone to do it for you. I think this is such a good idea – although I’ve had people do my make up for me in the past, I don’t really get a feel for how products work with my skin until I have a go, so any brand that encourages people to be daring and creative gets a huge thumbs up from me.
I loved everything used in the tutorial, but two particular favourites were the ‘Feeling Younger’ skin tint and the incredibly pigmented eye shadow jewels.
During the demo, the tint was applied as a highlighter and looked incredible. As it was passed around I swatched some on my hand and couldn’t get over how easily it glided over my skin and gave the subtlest of shimmers when catching the light. Made from oats, cocoa butter, jojoba and almond oil it is soothing and gentle and as you only need a tiny dot here and there it means that one 20g pot goes a long way.
I’m a sucker for a warm, coppery eye shadow and could barely contain myself at the ‘Seducer’ eye jewel. Made with highly moisturising murumuru butter, it can be used directly against the skin or applied using a makeup brush or your finger for a neater result. I swatched this one onto my wrist, and even in constant contact with the sleeve of my jumper it stayed in place until I washed it off later in the evening. At £10 each they are a little more than I would expect to pay for just one colour of shadow, but the jewels are huge and I feel like it would be worth investing in a colour that I know I’d wear time and time again.
We had a little free time to wander around before the final task, and I took this as an opportunity to tuck into a delicious vegan cupcake and chat with lots of like-minded and incredibly friendly fellow bloggers – thank you to everyone who took the time to have a natter and swap details!
Butterbear & cupcakes
For our final task I felt like the best had been saved until last – we were presented with the opportunity to make our very own Lush products. Alex welcomed us into The Greenhouse with open arms and a cheerful smile and revealed that we’d be trying our hand at two popular items; the ‘Butterbear’ bath bomb and the ‘Cupcake‘ face mask.
We began with the Butterbear, which is an adorable teddy bear shaped bath bomb. It’s made from fair trade, organic cocoa butter that is sourced from Columbia, and as much as I enjoyed making this, nothing prepared me for the heartbreaking history behind ongoing bloody and violent conflict that spans over six decades. You can read more about this here, but I want to take the opportunity to encourage you to spend a few pounds on the Butterbear or Butterball or any product that contains the fair trade cocoa butter, as this money directly helps Lush to continue to support the Peace Company – and trust me when I say they need all the support they can get.
After crafting out bath bomb we then tried our hands at a cupcake face mask by mixing together rhasooul (a natural mineral clay) with cocoa powder, fresh mint, vanilla and a few secret ingredients. It is perfect for cleansing the skin and helping to draw out impurities, but also contains moisturisers to help soothe and calm breakouts. Tearing up fresh mint leaves to throw into the mixture really drove it home just how natural and fresh Lush products are, and we were left with a mint chocolate ‘cupcake’ mask to take home. It has the texture of brownie mix and smells absolutely divine – I’ve not used this yet but it’s currently tucked up in my fridge calling my name!
To finish our wonderful evening, we were ushered back together and had a chance to grab some goodies that had been made throughout the evening and were left over. Along with my goody bag I also took home a ‘Comforter’ bubble bar, and a seriously delicious smelling ‘Angels On Bare Skin’ face cleanser. I also couldn’t resist picking up a gloriously glittery ‘Magic Of Christmas’ reusable bubble wand – I’ve not used one of these before and can’t wait to give it a try.
The event was really well organised and thought out, and I can’t end this post without mentioning the staff and how awesome they were. During visits to Lush stores in the past I have always been greeted with a smile and cheery hello, but the staff in the Arndale store were absolutely fantastic. They were welcoming, attentive and made the time to chat and answer any questions and it really added a little magic to the night itself for me. As far as blogger gatherings go, this was the perfect introduction to the world of events and I am looking forward to attending many more in future!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post as much as I did experiencing the night, and that you’ll leave this knowing just a little bit more about such a fantastic company.