B, D, F, M, N, Q, R at 34th St.-Herald Sq.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
This cruelty-free suds-and-salve emporium is designed more like a try-and-buy produce market than your typically antiseptic cosmetics store. Stacked around the bustling space, slabs of colorful, gelatinous cleansers and lotions are sliced, weighed, and sent home like boutique cheese-counter purchases with their earth-conscious buyers. Many of the goods, like the Sweet Japanese Girl facial exfoliation bar, are vegan, meaning they contain not a drop of animal-derived ingredients; even lanolin, beeswax, and dairy are exiled. Mark Constantine, creator of the U.K.-based brand, began mixing up herbal shampoos as a trichologist (a fancy title for a hair chemist) during the seventies. After the launch and demise of several earlier product lines, including one for The Body Shop, Constantine and his team of kindred, nature-loving spirits cleaned up with Lush in 1995, creating a beauty junkie-frenzy in Britain and Canada; New York’s locations opened in 2004. Aside from a few tinted lip balms, you won't find any cosmetics among the heaps of bath bombs and ice cream pint-like tubs of body butters and face creams, but hair hennas and glittery pomades add a little kick to the all-natural goodness. Wacky product names like Buffy the Backside Slayer match the store's zingy mood.