Check It Out

No.216 (7/27/12)

Lush Invasion Still Goes On!

By Keiko H. Johnson
Staff Writer

The look of a LUSH cosmetic shop reminds me of a cheese shop. Soap sold in wedges that do indeed look like cheese, is the first thing you notice. They are priced by weight and wrapped in waxed paper. The smell of soap as a definition of LUSH cosmetics brand reaches out to the storefront, envelops the entire neighborhood and grabs at the defenseless passerby.

LUSH is a handmade cosmetic company began in England in Poole, Dorset in 1978 and built its early revenue structure from a mail order business model. The CEO of the Lush Cosmetic Company, Mark and Mo Constantine, opened their first cosmetic store under the name Cosmetic House Limited back in that time. During the first few years of their business, their products were sold on the shelves at The Body Shop; one of the renowned cosmetic retailers in the UK, the company adopted its current name and parted from The Body Shop in 1995. If it feels like LUSH stores are everywhere, you may be right. There are more than 600 stores in 43 countries to this day. LUSH has expanded its business to all over the world including Japan.

LUSH cosmetics first caught my eyes when they were advertizing their Japan line products along with other companies. In the aftermath of the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan in 2011, many companies and organizations had tried to engage in efforts to aid the devastated country and LUSH Cosmetics was one of them. LUSH has 1,600 staff members working in their 145 shops and manufacturing facility in Japan, including shops located in Aomori ELM, Morioka Fezan, Sendai LOFT, Izumi Park, Sendai, and AEON Mall, Naroti. All proceeds from the sale of certain LUSH products went directly to the Peace Boat, which is a non-profit organization that aided the disaster relief program.

The variety of products sold at LUSH stores are mostly skin care products, such as soaps, shower gels, shampoos and conditioners, bath bombs, bubble bars, hand and body lotions, face masks, just to name a few. One of the most popular products of LUSH, the Bath Bombs, and can be piled in a bowl like Christmas ornaments. In 2007, seven million of these bath bombs were sold and dropped in bathtubs all over the world. The butter cream products look more like cupcakes than shower soap. The ingredients of these yummy looking products are mostly natural. LUSH uses fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey, and beeswax, and no animal fats are used in their products. The company is also against animal testing so their products are tested solely on human volunteers.

According to an interview conducted by The Guardian: a British business magazine, Mo and Mark Constantine’s, CEO of the company, are still at the stem of ideas which contribute to the new creations and the new products. The company is still based in Poole, run from a small office above the initial shop. For such a big company like LUSH, it gives us an image of them relying on mass production, however, the true picture sits at the cottage located in their back yard where Mr. and Mrs. Constantine spend days testing and combining the ingredients in the traditional way of steaming over boiling water and Tupperware to create new products. This company of husband and wife who started at this old English cottage in Poole and have become one of the most popular cosmetic companies in the world, but still dream of being one of the most warmhearted and peaceful cosmetic companies in the world.

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