Working in Lush was like a real-life Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Yes, you smell amazing all the time


Lush Cosmetics. You know, the store you can smell before you see; the place that almost blinds you with its kaleidoscopic colour scheme. The place that is like walking into a scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Trust me – it’s just as magical to work there.

Yes, we smell amazing – all the time

Self-explanatory, really. We also have incredibly soft hands. After all, someone must take one for the team and try all these testers we have open.

'I only came in for a bath bomb'

‘I only came in for a bath bomb’

Everything is genuinely fresh and handmade

They’re not lying: literally everything.

So many people did not believe me. They were sceptical and disbelieving when I told them that the products were entirely natural. Their response was usually along the lines of, “how can it be natural when it’s that bloody colour?”

Yes, the bath bombs and bubble bars are brighter than my future, but they are also more wholesome. No artificial ingredients, no unnecessary chemicals, no crap.

And everything you have used on your skin up until now is full of said crap

As such, the products will take over your life.

You know that top-brand moisturiser you just paid 30 quid for? Bet you can’t even pronounce half the ingredients or even know what they are. WTF is Paraffinium Liquidum?

You’ll undergo a skin transformation and wonder why it took you so long. It’s a horribly beautiful cult and now you’re in it you’ll never get out.

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Nectar of the gods

Samples are love, samples are life

You’ll be trying everything in the shop, just because you can. Broken bath bombs and undercut soap will become your best friend. You’ll take more than you’re supposed to.

“I dealt with a shitty customer today and I deserve a freebie” is a way of life. And on the odd occasion a colleague will offer you a sample or some written-off stock that can’t be sold, it’ll make your day.

Honestly, you could open a flagship store with the volume of stock in your bathroom.

The employee perks are pretty darn good  

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I wish I had some juicy horror story about ill treatment of staff or terrible working conditions, but I do not. The pay is well above average at over £7 an hour for starting sales positions.

Constantly smelling like a 10 even when you look like a four is pretty fabulous. And the 50 per cent staff discount ain’t bad either.

Even during initial training sessions you receive goody bags and freebies to take home. It’s just impossible to work here and not become addicted to the products.

Most customers don’t know what the products are even for

Shower jelly? Body conditioner? Toothy tabs? What is this sorcery?

“I just dump some Radox in the bath and I’m good to go,” most say.

Hands down the best thing a customer has ever said to me, though: “No offence, but I need to go outside. The smell in here gives me the fucking fear.”

Then there are those who know more than you do

These customers are a breed not to be messed with. Known as Lushies, they are fanatics, addicts, connoisseurs. Despite months of training, you’ll never top them. Fair play, they are walking Lush directories.

It ain’t no joke to them when the store runs out of bestselling shower gel Snow Fairy one week before Christmas. Oh, and there is seemingly no in-between: you either love or hate Snow Fairy. Pick a side.

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Hounding people is all part of the job

Sorry pal, I know you’ve already been approached five times, but my manager sees that as five missed opportunities.

On countless occasions I was asked whether I had attended to customers who had already made it clear they wanted no help. I’m pretty sure the next person to approach that customer is going to get shot. But alas, there’s no such thing as “just having a browse.” You’ll come in for one thing and when we’re finished with you, you’ll leave with 10.

Christmas starts in August

That’s when Lush starts to hire “Christmas temps”. Yep, AUGUST.

If you thought seeing the holiday season take over the world of retail in October was bad, think again.

You will adopt pet names

Whether you’re talking to a customer or a colleague, you’re guaranteed to call someone or be called “honey” at least once an hour.

You’ll meet new staff every shift

You’ve been here three months and you’re still working with people you’ve never seen before. God, I spoke to her once before, what’s her bloody name again?

I once asked a girl I’d never seen before (who I assumed was a temp) how she was finding it, only to be reassured she was permanent and had been there years. Soz honey.

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And even when you’re not working, you are

You are a walking advertisement and will become an at-home advisor to friends, to family, to baes, to people you don’t even know. Yes Gina, I’ll get you a sample of Ultrabland, don’t you worry. And everywhere you go, you’ll get a bit too excited when you see a another Lush store.

“You must have loved working there.” Yes, yes I did.