I originally heard about Lush products on a travel website, they were available only in London at the time and people raved about their fresh handmade bath products, made with natural ingredients.
Lush came to the US sometime ago, the original store on Armitage opened in 2004 and since then they've opened retail outlets in Macy's in Water Tower, on State Street in Chicago and in the suburbs of Oak Brook at Oak Brook Mall, Skokie at Old Orchard Mall and Schaumburg at Woodfield Mall.
What to buy: Lush carries soap, shower gel, lotions, hair products, skin care products and bath bombs. I love their Snow Fairy bath gel that comes out near Christmas and Pied de Pepper for my winter ravaged toes. Dream Cream is also nice as a hand lotion, a little too expensive for me to use as body lotion.
Should you find yourself in a pickle and need something as mundane as batteries, there's a CVS Pharmacy catercorner from Union Station at the crossroads of Canal & Adams streets. I also found one on my most recent trip 1 block away from the youth hostel on Congress (CVS located at Congress & State) where I needed to buy an emergency umbrella (just $5, folks!).
I noticed, too, that there were a plethora of Chicago souvenirs inside the place such as cups, t-shirts, and the like. Being CVS, they probably go for a fairly reasonable rate!
There's also a CVS near the Chicago International Youth Hostel further north where I picked up a few sundry items. This might also be a good place to park as they have a parking lot.
The one on Canal Street is open M-F from 6:30am - 8pm; Sat 8am-5pm (pharmacy M-F 6:30am - 7pm).
What to buy: Sundries, $5 umbrellas, cosmetics, bath & beauty products, batteries, maps, souvenirs, get your photos printed or your prescriptions refilled.
Photo: May 15, 2008
Walking into the Fresh Store is like walking into a huge garden. Everything smells so good and the packaging is so attractive, you can’t help yourself; you just start opening bottles and spraying stuff and rubbing creams anywhere skin is exposed on your body.
What to buy: Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg, husband and wife co-founders of Fresh, believe that every product must be as enjoyable as it is effective. Sophisticated delivery systems and innovative formulas advance the performance of ingredients both familiar and exotic. Visually engaging packaging reveals sensuous textures and scents for a uniquely gratifying multi-sensory experience. Trusting their instincts and responding to their own genuine needs, Lev and Alina keep Fresh consistently ahead of the curve.
Products I recommend include:
The Sugar Face Polish which is a nourishing mask with an intense conditioning action, delivering the perfecting properties of real brown sugar infused with wild strawberries. Rice Face Cream which utilizes regenerative rice bran oil in a luxuriously pampering formula to plump, smooth and restore. My sister swears by the SugarBath collection- esp. the lemon. They also have wonderful cosmetics. I swear by their lip glosses.
Having been to the shop in London, I was so excited when Lush opened in Chicago. The products don't contain preservatives so they are great for people who have sensitive skin/allergies. They also don't do any animal testing.
What to buy: Lush was first made famous for its bath bombs. There look like huge gob stoppers and come in yummy scents. You put them under the running water and they make your bath smell lovely. They also have great natural soaps that come in huge blocks and you ask for a slice. I really love their lotions and moisturizers that come in packages that look like ice cream tubs.
What to pay: A bath bomb costs around $4.
I swear by H20 Plus moisturizers. I had tried them years ago and have recently rediscovered them.
H2O Plus skincare products combine purified water and nutritive sea derived ingredients to help improve skin texture, tone and vitality. The company designs, formulates and manufactures their own products to maintain unparalleled standards of quality. It opened its first store in Chicago in 1989.
What to buy: Here are a few items that I use and recommend:
Face Oasis™ Hydrating Treatment: Recommended by Elle and Marie Claire. A moisture-intensive gel that hydrates the skin while firming and diminishing the appearance of fine lines. I use the night treatment.
Green Tea Antioxidant Face Complex: A powerfully hydrating, antioxidant complex that helps protect the skin from free radical damage, environmental exposure and dehydration.
Mariel Eau de Parfum: A fragrance by Mariel Hemingway. A sea of natural essences with notes of mandarin, grapefruit, water lily and mango.
I also love their spa products and esp. their hair mask.
What to pay: Prices are very reasonable. Moisturizers for around $35.