Last Friday was the first time that I’ve had the oppertunity to go along and meet the compounders at my wonderful local LUSH store in Preston. When I arrived there was definitely an air of excitement and curiosity buzzing around the shop floor. I was introduced to the lovely Jamie (Ballistics Manager) and Kerri (UK Trainer) who despite their very early start were so friendly and approachable and were more than happy to answer my many questions.
What was clearly evident throughout the day was their genuine enthusiasm and passion behind what they do and their commitment and loyalty to LUSH as a brand and all that they stand for. At one point even fondly describing working for LUSH as being a part of a huge family. For me knowing this makes using and experiencing LUSH products even more special. I seriously doubt that this sort of passion and loyalty exists in any other cosmetics company that I know of.
|Ltd edition Space Girl mould|
The first job was to mix the sodium bicarbonate (containing the colour and fragrance/essential oils) with the citric acid (which although sounds scary, is a natural occurring fruit acid).
|Blackberry Bomb mixture|
I have to admit I was half waiting for some wet ingredients to be presented to me to add to the mixture but was soon to find out that there weren’t any. I found it so bizarre that these two dry, powdered ingredients alone could end up becoming a solid ballistic but learned that it’s all down to a clever chemical reaction (or as I like to think of it LUSH magic, hehe).
Interesting Jamie fact #2 In the factory a piece of machinery called a ribbon mixer mixes these dry ingredients together in a gentle lifting and dropping motion. This is the only piece of machinery used in the process of making the ballistics, everything else being done by hand.
Interesting Jamie fact #3 The product is kept in the mould right up until it is picked for packing. This is where it has its final quality control check before it is carefully packed and sent on its way to you or your local store.
Jamie explained that for the more innovative ballistics such as Twilight, Dragons Egg, Fizzbanger, Rocketeer etc the process can be far more intricate and lengthy as the product needs to be made in layers/stages to achieve the overall effect. He spoke passionately and proudly to me about the fact that LUSH don’t just rest on their laurels, but that they’re constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation in cosmetics, especially with their bath products. I couldn’t agree more, just when you think LUSH can wow you no more, they release yet another product that’s even more mind blowing.
A massive thank-you to Jamie and Kerri and the lovely staff at LUSH Preston (Fi, Helen and Heather) for making the afternoon so much fun. I felt like a small child who was finding out about some of the secrets about what goes on at Santa’s workshop. Very exciting and fascinating stuff!
LUSH Compounders on Tour 2012 really isn’t an opportunity to be missed, it’s so much fun for kids and adults alike whether you're new to LUSH or a veteran. To find out when the compounders are visiting your local store visit; https://www.lush.co.uk/content/view/4636