Southport Ave. welcomes Lush Cosmetics with open arms

Southport Corridor has been getting a facelift as of late. Just in January, J.Crew opened its doors with SoulCycle perched right above them. Now, Lush Cosmetics has just opened its third standalone store in Chicago on Southport Ave. nestled right between Mint Julep, a locally owned women’s clothing retailer, and a vacant storefront.

The Southport store’s extensive bath bomb collection. Bath bombs are essentially hard-packed dry ingredients that fizz and disintegrate when they hit the water. They are used to add essential oils, color, and scent to the bath water. 

by Ally Zacek

While bath bombs are one of Lush’s most popular and notable items, the retailer has been working on expanding product lines for facial care, cosmetics, and even to men’s products. 

by Ally Zacek

            Lush is a cosmetics company founded in 1995 and based in Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom. Their specialty is handmade products and a strong stance against animal testing. The company does not test their products on animals, testing on human volunteers before the products are released, and they don’t buy from companies that carry out or fund testing on animals.

On the back wall of the store is the company’s mission statement, simplified and on full display. 

by Ally Zacek

            A retailer that carries with it a strong political statement somehow seems to fit right in with the neighborhood. “We had a really strong opening weekend, everybody that has come by has been super nice,” Mallory O’Donnell, a sales associate at the store, said. “A lot of people from the neighboring stores have stopped by and introduced themselves, the sense of community is a major plus.”

Perfumes are one of the newer product lines that Lush has been working on, including fragrances for men. 

by Ally Zacek

“Each of these small posters were applied to the wall by hand by the team here at the store when we were putting everything together,” O’Donnell said. 

by Ally Zacek

            The store took three excruciatingly long days to put together and incorporates elements and influences from other stores. “We have a large built-in with a sink that is an element that was inspired by the store on Oxford Street in London,” O’Donnell said.

The large build-in shelving unit that houses the women’s hair care line is an element that originally appeared in the brand’s Oxford Street store in London. 

by Ally Zacek

            What sets this store apart aesthetically from other locations is the use of rustic design and integration of natural light that bleeds into the space. The poured concrete floors, white ceramic tiles used for backsplashes, and exposed ductwork pull urban influence into the bright and open store.

The Fresh Bar in the center of the store is where the facemasks, made out of everyday fresh ingredients, are kept on ice to maintain freshness. 

by Ally Zacek

The back left corner of the Southport location is overflowing with an extensive array of bath bombs, one of Lush’s best-selling and most popular items. 

by Ally Zacek

            On May 4th-6th Lush will be hosting a pop-up style event in Millennium Park called “Lush in the Park” where attendees will get the opportunity to meet the faces behind the products and step into a mini Lush factory to see how products are made and created.




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