Still stuck for festive beauty gift ideas? One of our favourite last-minute-present-solvers is Lush, which for us can be found in Cambridge’s Lion Yard (as with all Lush stores, simply follow your nose to track it down). We were recently invited for a late-night tour of the store’s range of Christmas goodies, and the friendly and enthusiastic staff kept us talking for almost two hours – there really was a huge amount to talk about.
For this year’s festive season, Lush has developed gifts along three distinct lines: City of Gold, featuring glittery metallics as far as the eye can see; Storytelling, where traditional characters get brought bang up to date; and Nordic Pop & German Techno which was described to us as – well – as a combination of acid-bright fluro-inspired fragrances and colours mixed with traditional Scandi motifs, or as Augustus Gloop meets Oompa Loompa. But of course!
Our favourites from the range included:
This layered, luxurious bath time treat is one of Lush’s best selling products and we could see why: it instantly transformed the demo water into a shimmering emerald soup, producing multicoloured bubbles fragranced with sweet citrus and cognac.
This nutmeg and clove-fragranced soap made from soya yoghurt is the perfect gift for the caffeine addict in your life. Moisturising, rich and almost fudge-like in texture, we couldn’t keep this soap away from our noses.
This bright pink, “Snow Fairy” scented creation can be reused over and over again for extra bubble fun: simply swish it in your bath then leave it on the side to dry for next time. Perfect for budget-friendly present hunters, or just those wanting to add a bit of magic to their bath time.
Northern Lights Bath Bomb
A favourite of blogger extraordinaire Zoe Suggest, of Zoella – we hear that after she posted about it, staff couldn’t restock the shelves fast enough for the hoards of guys and girls all desperate for its jasmine and ylang ylang-scented goodness – and for good reason, this stuffs awesome!
Candy Mountain Bubble Bar
Promising to do just what it says on it’s Eco-friendly packaging, when crumbled under running water, you get mountains of glistening bubbles topped with a magical pink mist. The candy scent wafting through the steam includes Fair Trade vanilla absolute, and is simply divine!
Yep – that’s the name of the gift set as well as the noise we made when they showed it to us. It’s everything Lush does for Christmas in one box, and an absolute knockout of a present.
As you might expect, Lush’s packaging and gift wrapping is also eco-friendly and utterly spectacular. Gift sets come contained in all sorts of boxes, including house-style tins or even a florescent drum covered in jingling bells (that’ll be the German Techno influence again).
Smaller sets are wrapped in beautiful wood-free khadi paper that’s made in India from recycled cotton rags, and even Lush’s knot-wraps have had a festive makeover for the season.
These scarves are either vintage or made for the shop using recycled plastic bottles, and feature seasonal illustrations created by artists from around the UK – including Abi Cooke-Hunt, a Cambridge-based illustrator. (Read an interview she did with Lush here)
We eventually emerged from our tour blinking into the dark winter night, heads spinning with natural fragrance and sparkling with Lush’s non-plastic glitter but determined to go back to stock up as soon as possible. So – if you’re still panicking for what to buy for a certain person (and we know we are), you probably can’t go wrong in Lush: the shop’s festive range is huge, and really does seem to have something for everyone.
Whats more, all their staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about their products, so if you’re really stuck, you could always throw yourself on their mercy and get them to help pick out a winner.
Alternatively, of course, you might just want a little treat for yourself after solving all your shopping dilemmas – whatever your motivation, we strongly recommend battling through the last-minute shoppers to investigate Lush’s seasonal range before it disappears until next year.