Experience the Lush life at Ross Park Mall's new cosmetic deli

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
| Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The scent draws people in.

The products keep them coming back.

Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics — a self-appointed cosmetic deli — just opened at Ross Park Mall, with a grand opening planned next month.

“At Lush, we always want the customer to leave our store feeling a part of something special, whether it's learning about local charities or finding the perfect product to fit their needs,” says Mark Wolverton, president and CEO of Lush North America. “We invite our local fans to pop by our new location in Pittsburgh to treat themselves and have a truly unique in-store experience.”

On April 16, store manager Lauren Kaufman invited clients to sit at the kitchen table inside the store and treat themselves to an arm massage, a sample of body lotion, or just awaken their senses.

“Drop one of the luxury bath melts into your bath water for a fabulously decadent bath-time experience,” said Kaufman. “I love every product in this store; my entire bathroom is filled with Lush products. I believe in the philosophy of this company, and I invite everyone to come in and experience Lush.”

Pittsburgh is the 175th store in the United States and Canada. There are more than 800 in the world.

“Lush offers our shoppers a way to discover quality cosmetics in an atmosphere that stimulates all of your senses,” said Lisa Earl, Ross Park Mall manager. “They are a perfect complement to our diverse lineup of retailers.”

Even the names of the products are fun. Walk up to the fresh bar for a face mask called Cup Cake, Love Lettuce or Catastrophe Cosmetic.

There are mud masks for hair and shower smoothies and shower jellies. The deodorant contains no aluminum. Products are hand made in Vancouver and Toronto — the package includes photos of the person who created them, along with the date they were made.

Among the store's more popular products are anything named Karma, because “who wouldn't want to give someone a gift of karma?” Kaufman said.

Prices range from $1.95 for the Tea Tree Toner Tab to $89.95 for a facial moisturizer, but most products are in the $20 range.

“This is certainly unique,” said Laurel Kramer of Allison Park, who visited the store for the first time. “I have not seen a store like this one in any mall I have been to. I don't think I will leave this store without buying something.”

Chunks of soaps are sold by the pound. One choice even looks like a block of cheese.

“There are no calories here, but we do think of it as food for your body,” Kaufman said. “You get to see the whole unpackaged Lush here.”

One-third of the products are package free.

There are massage bars that melt when you put them on your skin. And a body butter called Buffy the Backside Slayer that reduces cellulite on your bottom.

The interactive nature of the store is unique to the beauty world; Lush's deli concept takes traditional beauty retail and flips it upside down with a hint of cheekiness.

Lush products are 100 percent vegetarian, 82 percent vegan, 60 percent preservative free and 38 percent free of wasteful packaging. No animal testing is done on Lush products or ingredients.

A grand opening is planned from noon to 4 p.m. May 4. Details: 412-366-8096

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at jharrop@tribweb.com or 412-320-7889.

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