I clearly remember the first time I came across products by the UK-based company Lush. I was in Bangalore for my best friend’s wedding and we were off getting last minute supplies at a mall. We walked past the usual stores – clothing, cosmetics, electronics, and stopped at a giant glass window featuring beauty products unlike those we’d ever seen before. No packaging, just bare products that looked fresh and inviting. This was Lush and we went in and explored their range of bathing bars, shower jellies, bathing salts and massage bars, all looking good enough to take a bite out of (we’ve resisted the urge and suggest you do the same no matter how delicious they smell).
This week Lush launches Emotional Brilliance, their first range of colour cosmetics. I had the chance to preview the products a few weeks ago where I learned a few things and experienced a few more:
- The range features 30 products consisting of liquid lip colour, liquid eyeliner and cream eye-shadow.
- Each colour in the range corresponds to a word that, after much research and polling of people, is found to reflect a certain state of mind. For example, fuschia is Passionate, navy blue is Control. We had a little fun at the preview as you can see in the video where I spun the Emotional Brilliance Colour Wheel to get my personalized colour reading.
- My favourite is the liquid eyeliner. I picked two colours – a medium bright purple and navy. The purple is a really good fit for the Indian market because it goes very well with the most common eye colour found here – brown. I had never considered anything other than black, brown or blue before since they were easy choices for my dark brown eye colour and Indian skin tone. With this purple I have a fun alternative that is distinctive enough to stand out but not so outrageous that I can’t wear it on a regular basis. The formula is light and I had to apply a few coats to make the colour pop.
- The liquid lip colour uses Lush’s softening Ultrabalm as a base, which is a blend of organic jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax. The application is very smooth and light and it carries pigment well. I found the colour that I picked (fuschia) a little bright when applied on my lips but the good thing is the effect can be softened by mixing with lip balm.
- Lush bath products come without the cardboard box/plastic packaging that most such products are sold in. Obviously you can’t sell make-up with zero packaging but the packaging on the Emotional Brilliance products is minimalistic in both design and approach. Clear glass bottles with caps designed like droppers. Everything except the wand that dips into the make-up is recyclable.
- I also had the chance to sample products from their Desert Island Collection which consists of mascara, skin tints and face powder. Eyes Right, the mascara, is easy to wear, does not clump and comes off easily as well. I’m still getting the hang of the skin tints – the lighter one is called Feeling Younger and it has a pearly finish with a subtle orange pigment that works well as an illuminator. The first time I wore it I put on too much, the second time, too little. I’ve figured out the balance now and I use it as a highlighter on the brow bone, top of the cheekbones and even blended into the centre of my lips after applying lip gloss for that extra boost of shine. Charisma is the more golden skin tint and can be used as a bronzer as well. The face powder blended into my skin without settling into fine lines which is as face powder should be.
So there you have it – my experience with Lush’s first range of colour cosmetics. It’s been very interesting because thus far my make-up palette has consisted of neutral colours [with the exception of MAC’s bright red Ruby Woo, an indulgent gift on a significant birthday]. At the Lush preview I also tried out a neon green eyeliner which I got more of on my lashes than lids. It actually looked really cool and I think I’ll go buy a bottle when the collection hits stores this week. I’m a minimal-makeup kind of girl and I’m having so much fun, so I can’t even imagine what the girls who go all out will do with the options on offer. If you try out these colours, let us know what you thought in the comments below.
Emotional Brilliance launches 21st July 2012 in all Lush stores worldwide and online.
Website: Lush India