Until now they have done it with the most gorgeously delectable scents. And textures. And “good” ingredients. I don’t know about you but there have been many, many times that I have found myself reaching for a grapefruit-laced Happy Hippy Shower Gel to banish the blahs or a patchouli-infused Karma Soap to help me focus. So, I was beyond excited with Emotional Brilliance – Lush’s brand new makeup line, which besides looking gorgeous also reflects the brand’s core philosophy of using natural ingredients, minimal preservatives and no-tolerance policy towards animal testing.
Play the colour game
I, for one, completely get how a beauty product is ‘emotional’: wearing red lipstick makes me feel more courageous, pastel pink eye shadow is reserved for those times when I am in “pretty and feminine” mode and a deep slash of black eye liner brings out my inner wild child. That’s because certain colours have the capacity to make us feel a certain way. And it’s not hocus pocus – this is a concept that’s firmly rooted in science. This is what Lush has drawn upon for Emotional Brilliance, working with renowned Strategic Behavioral Therapist Lady Kennedy, who specializes in changing people’s behaviour and attitudes.
This is how it works: walk into a Lush store and spin the colour wheel (or you can do it online), picking the first three hues you are drawn to – not your favourite colour but those that stand out to you immediately. All the colours have words attached to them and the order you pick them matters as well. The first colour chosen is meant to represent a strength or weakness in your life; the second represents a subconscious need; the third is your talent and what you will need to achieve the subconscious need. Lush believes that if you wear these colours, you truly wear the word. Maybe this sounds a little crazy, but I like the idea that wearing a bold blue liner named “Control” can help me have a stress-free day. Placebo effect? Perhaps! But I am all for bright make-up when in need of a pick-me-up in any case!
100% handmade goodness
Well! That’s cool! But to me what’s even cooler is the fact that Lush has managed to put together a complete, highly pigmented colour collection made almost entirely from natural ingredients. For example, the Translucent Face Powder lists talc, mica, jojoba oil, iron oxides and CI77947 as the ingredients – not the main ingredients, the only ingredients.
Then there is the packaging, which is enough to bring a smile to my face all on it’s own. The cute, vintage-y glass bottles are in equal parts utilitarian and earth-friendly. The clear glass allows you to easily see the colour, while also being superbly recyclable. AND the black caps are actually made from recycled Lush pots. So, full marks on the eco-cred!
Liquid Lips (Rs. 1,300 / US$22.95)
First stop: the liquid lip colours, which to me are the best part of this product line. As per my colour wheel suggestion, I power up with Power (sorry for the pun) – a shimmery reddish-orange that goes on like whipped butter. It applies well, feels weightless on the lips and is intensively moisturising (it’s packed with organic jojoba oil, candelilla wax and rose wax) without being slippery. The pigmentation is amazing – one swipe gives full opaque coverage though you can soften the effect by layering it with a lip balm. The wear time is also pretty decent (I got about four hours) though you need to remember that this is not a stain, so it’s not fair to expect all-day durability.
Cream Eyeshadows (Rs. 1,300 / US$22.95)
The bright yellow Lifted also goes on easily with the sponge-tip applicator. However, like any cream shadow, it creases pretty quickly on bare lids – so you will get on best with a primer. It dries quickly, completely setting in less than a minute (one needs to blend fast!) but once on, it lasts literally through the day.
An added bonus: the base contains a soothing combination of rose petal infusion, almond and jojoba oils, and cupuacu butter, all of which have amazing skincare benefits for the eye area.
Eyeliners (Rs. 1,300 / US$22.95)
The bright, shimmery teal Motivation is made with the same base as the cream eyeshadows, which means that it’s pretty blend-able and incredibly long-lasting (think heavy rain-shower and not one smudge!). Plus, the bottles hold 8g of product – normally liquid eyeliner is 2g – making them good value for money! However, at least for me and my clumsy hands, the quaint dropper handle makes the liner brush a little tricky to control, so I skip it and use my trusty Tom Ford instead.
Skin Tints (Rs. 1,100 / $18.95)
Another product I am impressed with is the skin tint, which is designed to be mixed in with a Colour Supplement or moisturiser. However, it can also be used as a skin primer or a tinted base with its combination of simmered oats, almond and jojoba oils, cocoa butter and orange flower water that help remove unwanted shine while nourishing the skin.
I especially like Charisma, a bronze hue that leaves you with a nice, glowing complexion (almost like Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel) and is perfect for contouring or warming up the skin.
Feeling Younger – an iridescent pink highlighter that’s pretty similar to MAC’s Strobe Cream – contains a “magic orange” pigment, which makes skin look bright and glow-y. It can be used as a highlighter on the brow bone and eyelid to really open up the eye; on the cheekbone for a youthful glow; or on the décolletage for a sexy shimmer.
Translucent Powder (Rs. 1,100 / $18.95)
This, actually, is my least favourite product in the collection. Technically, the translucent light-reflecting face powder can be used over foundation to set it in place and create a shine-free finish or on its own to even out skin tone… however, I found it a bit too chalky and difficult to blend, so would deem it skippable. However, it does have the merit of containing absolutely no preservatives or mineral oils, making it a good bet for those with super-sensitive skin.
Eyes Right Mascara (Rs. 1,100 / $18.95)
With only one preservative (most mascaras on the market contain between 4-6), this gentle mascara can be worn even by those with the most sensitive of eyes. It’s packed with wheatgrass to condition and nourish the lashes, along with Japan and Carnauba wax to help it remain completely clump- and smudge-free. The end result is a set of really fluttery and naturally full looking lashes – those aspiring to spidery ones should look elsewhere.
All in all, it’s a pretty solid collection. Does it catch your fancy? What colours are you drawn to? And which ones influence your mood the most? Do tell!