If you're a bit out of the loop, let's refresh: Early last week, U.K. Lush customer Abi Shenton tweeted a selfie with Day-Glo pink skin after using one of the brand's bath oils. Turns out, she mistakenly thought the oil was a soap, resulting in a rather bad dye job. Other Lush shoppers have since emerged with their own #beautyfail stories -- an issue potentially arising from the fact that the wacky-looking products don't come with explicit instructions.
"Because our products are unusual to look at, we definitely rely on staff to help the customers understand that, yes, this thing that looks and feels just like Jell-O is actually soap," says Lush senior brand and product trainer Erica Vega. And if you can't get to a boutique? The company publishes a catalog several times a year with detailed advice.
But we did you one better and asked Vega to break down the most misused and misunderstood products of the lot. Click through to find out exactly how you should be applying them (plus even more fail stories that will make you laugh out loud).
What it is: A solid, self-preserving toothpaste in the shape of a tiny mint
How to use it: Pop one in your mouth, start chewing it up, and when it begins to foam, brush your teeth with a toothbrush as you normally would.
Customer fail: Because it's often mistaken for a mint or candy, "[customers] chomp down on it and it actually starts foaming in their mouth," says Vega.
Lush Ultrablast Toothy Tab, $4.95, available at Lush.
What it is: Solid bubble bath that comes in wild shapes (a unicorn horn, candy, or a magic wand)
How to use it: Break off as little or as much as you'd like and crumble it under a running bath faucet to create soft bubbles.
Customer fail: Cracking it in half and throwing it in the bath. (It will just sink to the bottom.) It's also hilariously mistaken for a cupcake or cookie in the store. "Because they're on these big, bountiful displays, [they] do look like items in a bakery!" says Vega.
Lush Pop In the Bath Bubble Bar, $7.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A solid massage-oil bar
How to use it: Rub it on any areas you want to massage. It also works as a lotion on dry areas like the knees and elbows.
Customer fail: It's often mistaken for soap. But the blend of cocoa and shea butter feels like milk once it melts with your body temperature.
Lush Strawberry Feels Forever Massage Bar, $10.95, available at Lush.
Face & Body Cleanser
What it is: A solid-clay cleanser for the face and body. "This is one of my favorite things in the store... It's the one product that's not even done being made until you go home and finish making it yourself," says Vega.
How to use it: Pinch off a piece and trickle a little bit of water in your hands, then make a creamy paste with your fingers and wash as usual.
Customer fail: Not mixing it with water first. Also, be sure to work the product into the crevices of the nose or anywhere that needs a little extra attention.
Lush Angels On Bare Skin Face and Body Cleanser, $13.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A solid-shampoo bar
How to use it: Apply it like you would a bar of soap -- but to your hair. If you have fine hair, you can just brush it over the top of your head and the friction will work up a lather. If you have thicker strands, pick up sections of hair and rub the bar underneath them.
Customer fail: Thinking it's plain soap -- or not peeling away the waxy outer layer that serves as a protective coating. (Oops.)
Lush Jumping Juniper Shampoo Bar, $10.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A solid hair-conditioner bar
How to use it: Exactly as you would the solid-shampoo bar. (Whether you use it before or after is up to you.)
Customer fail: By this point you know it's not a bar soap, but it can still be a little difficult to break down the formula in the shower. For that, Vega recommends putting it in a pot of hot water. "By the time you're ready to use the conditioner, it's melted down a little bit and you can make it more like a creamy paste in your hand," she says.
Lush Jungle Solid Conditioner, $9.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A solid lotion you use in the shower (some have scrubbing particles, while others don't)
How to use it: At the very end of your shower, scrub this all over your body, rinse off, and pat dry.
Customer fail: Not washing it off after. "The Buffy has some scrub [parts], like ground almond, rice, and beans, so you really want to rinse that off," says Vega.
Lush Buffy Body Butter, $12.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A solid bath oil that does not create bubbles
How to use it: Pop it in the tub and it will bob around -- it's essentially a body butter that melts down.
Customer fail: You don't need to break it up, but don't expect it to fizz like a Bath Bomb either.
Lush Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment Luxury Bath Melt, $7.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A thick shower cream
How to use it: Smooth it across your skin with your hands or a washcloth -- just as you would a shower gel or soap.
Customer fail: It may look like a body cream (and it has neroli, an essential oil ideal for moisturizing dry skin), but again, you do need to rinse it off afterward.
Lush Dreamwash Shower Smoothie, $23.95, available at Lush.
What it is: A lotion that you use in the shower. "You should condition your body just like you would your hair," says Vega.
How to use it: After applying soap or shower gel, smooth the conditioner over your body, then lightly rinse and pat dry.
Customer fail: Many people have confused these for Shower Smoothies -- but the argan-oil cream isn't meant for cleansing.
Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, $33.95, available at Lush.
By Michelle Guerrere.