Glass explores LUSH’s new beauty endeavour: make-up for your personality as well as your face …
I’ve made no secret of my particular fondness of LUSH. Since being hooked as a teenager on their vibrant and delicious-smelling slices of brightly coloured soap, they’re one of the more creative beauty brands out there which hold a special place in my heart. As much as I love them, LUSH isn’t a chic lifestyle brand one may associate with makeup - it’s more of an earthy, chaotic and sweet-smelling affair which is why it works so well for bath and body products. But a make-up range …?
I remember having a love/hate relationship to their last attempt, the now sadly defunct sister company “B Never to Busy to Be Beautiful”. I initially adored the pretty packaging adorned with gems, tiny mirrors and colours to rival those of an Indian spice market. But the somewhat haphazard and cluttered arrangement made it seem a bit “messy”, like a child’s facepaint box, which made me reluctant to apply the products to my freshly cleansed skin.
Happily, the company seemed to have learnt from history, and their new collection – Emotional Brilliance is far more minimal, clean and streamlined than the whimsical, girly offering that was “B’, The concept behind the range is also far more complex and intriguing. Customers are introduced to a “colour wheel” displaying many different coloured discs. The wheel is spun round and when it stops you are asked to pick the first three colours that “jump out’ at you, which supposedly reveal emotions and aspects of your character.
Customers aren’t told what colours will “suit” them, only which apparently represent their particular state of mind. Wearing these colours is meant to help remind you of your strengths and instil a sense of empowerment. Being more than a little sceptical, I then found out that the concept did possess some psychological clout – in developing the range co-founder and product inventor Rowena Bird worked with Strategic Behavioural Therapist Lady Kennedy, who uses the influential power of words and colour association in her therapy sessions, hence idea of the colour wheel.
All the shades (mostly opaque rainbow brights combined with a few fiery metallic and soft pastels) are available in the form of a liquid eyeliner, cream eyeshadow or liquid lipstick, all £14.50 each. Each product is encased in a recyclable “dropper” bottle with minimal packaging other than a label on the neck; they may not look like much on the dressing table but they do help make the planet a cleaner place. And after all, it’s what’s inside these plain little bottles that counts – and their rich colour pigments and staying power are more than impressive. And as with most LUSH products, a little goes a long way.
Accompanying the colours is the new Eyes Right mascara in Black, £12, which contains only one preservative instead of the average five making it ideal for sensitive eyes. There are also new base products, £12 each, which LUSH claims work for all skin tones – Charisma Skin Tint is great when mixed with foundation for a terracotta glow, while Feeling Younger is a shimmering primer and highlighter in one – both of which have a nourishing base of simmered oats, cocoa butter and orange flower water. But my favourite product has to be their Translucent Face Powder, £12, a micro fine powder which is invisible when applied onto the skin but delivers a clean matte finish and ensures any other makeup stays put. It also contains jojoba oil so it isn’t drying in the least – a common bugbear when it comes to face powder.
As a concept, Emotional Brilliance is unique and intriguing – rather than prescribing colours to a customer, it encourages them to step out of their comfort zone and celebrate their personality, which can only be a good thing. Here’s hoping the range becomes just as synonymous with LUSH as those giant multi-coloured soaps.
by Viola Levy
Emotional Brilliance launches in LUSH stores worldwide and online on July 21st. For more information visit lush.co.uk