I LOVE LUSH Cosmetics. It’s a magical girly wonderland of candy-colored bath bombs and soft flowery fragrances. If you are lucky enough to live near a LUSH store, go there now. I have three words for you: Unlimited. Free. Samples. I’m not kidding, those wonderful bitches will PUSH free samples on you. If you even look sideways at a product, some adorable rockabilly chick will appear with a cute tiny tub of the stuff for you to take home. It’s awesome! I was able to replace my entire beauty regimen with vegan products without having to go through an expensive trial-and-error process of buying stuff I ended up not liking.
Another reason I love LUSH Cosmetics is because they put a lot of effort into fighting animal testing; using containers made from recycled materials or, as in the case of their shampoo bars and bath bombs, using no packaging at all; sourcing sustainable ingredients; creating products made from little to no synthetic materials (over 70% currently are completely natural) and reducing their water consumption. I love that they have a ton of vegan products, and that the vegan products are clearly labeled. LUSH is a company that I feel good buying from beyond the fact that I think their products are tops.
Now, down to the nitty-gritty. Over the last few years I have sampled and purchased countless products from LUSH Cosmetics and the following five are the vegan beauty products that I can’t live without:
#1: Big Shampoo
I love how LUSH’s Big Shampoo makes my hair look, smell and feel. It gets my hair clean without feeling stripped, and adds tons of sexy volume. It’s made with sea salt and lemon juice, giving my hair a gloriously clean, fresh scent. These two ingredients are balanced by extra virgin coconut oil and avocado butter, so it softens even as it cleans and lifts. I haven’t talked to anyone yet who didn’t love this shampoo after trying it. A little goes a long way, too. The 11.4 oz tub lasts me at least six months, sometimes as long as a year.
#2: Veganese Conditioner
The Veganese Conditioner makes my hair soft without weighing it down at all. I have fine hair (lots of it), so it’s important for me to have a conditioner that moisturizes without making my hair greasy or heavy. Trust me when I say this is a tough order to fill. The Veganese Conditioner is the best conditioner I’ve ever used for my hair type. When I put it on, it feels light, almost like it disappears into my hair. A quick rinse leaves my hair soft without robbing it of any volume from the Big shampoo. Agar seaweed softens while lemon oil adds freshness and shine.
Together, for my hair, the Big Shampoo and the Veganese Conditioner are a perfect pair. They leave my hair joyously fresh, fluffy, shiny beautiful!
#3: 9 to 5 Facial Cleanser
I love LUSH’s Ultra Bland Cleanser, but it uses beeswax so it’s not vegan. The next best choice for makeup removal is their 9 to 5 facial cleanser, which is their only liquid cleanser. The 9 to 5 Facial Cleanser is made with almond oil and dove orchids, making it very gentle and moisturizing. Because of the oils, 9 to 5 works well to remove make up and especially eye makeup. If you wear very heavy eye makeup, you may also need to use an oil cleanser to remove the excess, but for I typically just wear one coat of mascara and maybe a little eyeliner and this cleanser is great for that.
The 9 to 5 Facial Cleanser works similarly to the Ultra Bland Cleanser (or a cold cream or a cleansing milk): you massage the 9 to 5 into your damp face and then remove with a washcloth, tissue or cotton pad. The oils break up the oils in your makeup without damaging your skin’s natural oils, making it far more gentle than foaming cleansers. My routine is to open my pores by splashing hot water on my face, massage the 9 to 5 onto my face for 60-120 seconds and then wipe off with a hot washcloth. Splash with cold water after the product is removed and voila! Clean, supple, soft, dewy skin. I usually don’t have to moisturize after using 9 to 5, making it my one-step nighttime routine. When I do this regularly, my pores look tighter and my skin looks younger.
This product can be used with a skin cleansing device, like Clarisonic’s Mia 2 (which I have and LOVE).
I have oily, breakout prone skin, so I use LUSH’s Herbalism Cleanser a few times a week to gently exfoliate, balance my skin and fight blemishes. Herbalism has a blend of rosemary, chamomile and nettle, which a antibacterial and soothing for inflammation. The rice bran exfoliates and the kaolin clay performs a deep clean on pores.
The best way I’ve found to use the Herbalism Cleanser is to put a small chunk, about the size of a chickpea, in my palm and then sprinkle water over it and massage until it becomes a thin paste. Spread that paste all over your damp face and then gently massage into pores for about a minute, then rinse. I typically use Herbalism in the shower as it can be a bit messy and the shower opens my pores, helping the Herbalism to really get in there.
This product can also be used with a skin cleansing device, like the Clarisonic’s Mia 2. I find using the Mia 2 makes the Herbalism Cleanser more effective, and it also makes anything I on put on afterwards, like Grease Lightning Cleanser (below) or a moisturizer, more effective as well.
#5: Grease Lightening Cleanser
When I do get a pimple, I use Grease Lightning Cleanser, LUSH’s amazing spot treatment gel, to help clear it up faster. The gel’s base is made from carrageenan moss, which works with aloe vera to soothe inflammation. A mixture of thyme, tea tree oil and rosemary work to kill bacteria and get rid of your blemish faster. If I’m a good girl and leave my blemish alone, keep my skin clean and use Greased Lightening, most zits go away within two to three days and are dramatically reduced overnight.
Grease Lightning Cleanser has a mattifying effect, so it doubles as T-zone oil control for me under makeup on days I can tell my skin is going to get greasy (typically when I’m tired, my diet has been poor and/or I haven’t been following my skincare routine). I bought my bottle over a year ago and I still have a ton left. You only have to use a tiny, tiny drop even for multiple blemishes, so this bottle should last you a good long time.
Bonus Recommendation: Cupcake Fresh Face Mask
I don’t use it all the time but the Cupcake Fresh Face Mask (available in stores only) is outstanding! If you have oily skin, this face mask will leave you feeling balanced, clean and baby soft. I swear I look younger and less jaded when I use it (lol). It has chocolate, spearmint and vanilla, so it smells as good as it works. This is the free face mask I choose when I bring back my five empty pots to LUSH for recycling!