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Why Work With LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, as you know and love today, was first started in 1995 in Poole, England before making their way down under in 1997. LUSH was founded by Liz Weir, Mark Constantine, Mo Constantine, Rowena Bird and Helen Ambrosen. Each bringing their own unique and incredible talents to the business.

For more than 20 years, LUSH has been creating fresh handmade cosmetics for customers all over the world. However it wasn’t always this way. In fact, humble beginnings brought us to where we are today.

Mark Constantine and Liz Weir (now Bennett) first met in the early 70s working at a Poole beauty salon. Mark was a trichologist (this is an expert in the science of hair and the scalp!) and Liz, a beauty therapist. Both were interested in creating effective beauty products. So in 1977, they started a business of their own - Constantine & Weir.

Mark and Liz developed a small operation hand-making herbal hair products for local herbalists and salons. With the help of Mark’s wife, Mo, they would concoct batches of products made from their own recipes.

Constantine & Weir began providing many best-selling items to The Body Shop. This was when Helen Ambrosen and Rowena Bird joined the business. With The Body Shop booming in the 80s, Constantine & Weir sold their formulas to the business after 15 years of partnership and became fully independent. With the funds they received from their formulas, they launched their exciting new mail order business, Cosmetics to Go (CTG).

CTG exploded onto the cosmetics scene in a burst of colourful catalogues and never-before-seen items! There were bath bombs, solid shampoo bars, and solid massage bars. Products which survived and evolved into the next millennium to be some of the colourful and familiar items you see today at LUSH. They constantly experimented and played with ingredients - and still do to this day!

The independent status also allowed them to focus on the issues close to their hearts. Staunchly against animal testing, they developed a buying policy that ensured that no supplier tested on animals - a pioneering policy that still stands today. They also funded the important work of those looking for cruelty-free solutions to cosmetics testing without the use of animals.

A visit to a London delicatessen also sparked the desire to use fresh ingredients in the cosmetics that they produced, and an emphasis on cutting down on preservatives within the range.

In six short years, the innovative CTG business unfortunately found itself in receivership. However, the team picked themselves back up and we soon saw the birth of LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics!

LUSH’s debut was understated and humble after the hard lessons from the CTG venture. The first shop was simply designed with the day’s specials written on chalkboards in the 29 High Street space. Frivolous packaging was nowhere to be found, and all money went into buying fresh, quality ingredients. This was the beginning of the signature LUSH look that still exists today.

The echoes of the Cosmetics to Go ethos is embodied in how LUSH has progressed and how we continue to do business today.

LUSH is still a campaigning company, still proud to swim against the tide and support groups and causes we truly believe in. We are still fighting against animal testing, and are working on preservative-free cosmetics. The creativity remains unfettered by industry trends, and thrives on passion, innovation and the excitement of the next invention.


LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics's People Support Coordinator, Zani Walker

“Hints from HR” turns Interviewers into Interviewees to ask the Human Resources (HR) professionals making the hiring decisions what they actually want, what they look for, their turn-ons and turn-offs, their best advice plus a little about their own story. Read on to get LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics’s advice:

Meet Zani

When you were 9 years old, what did you want to be when you "grew up?"

I had to ask my mum this one. Apparently, I told her I would be a pilot with 5 children, and that she would look after them when I traveled.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a kitchen hand. I hated it, but have since developed a passion for cooking!

How long have you worked in HR/recruitment?

4 years collectively… I took a break in the middle to go to university.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Meeting all the amazing people that want to work for LUSH.

If you could go back and tell your teenage self one thing related to jobs/career, what would be?

Seek out feedback and try, try again.

Hints from Zani

What I look for in candidates:

I look for a growth mindset – a desire and ability to grow. Someone might not “tick all the boxes” for a role, but if they are willing to learn and develop, they could still be the right person.

To me, the most employable skills a candidate could have are:

I look for soft skills such as the ability to give and receive feedback in a meaningful way.

My advice to applicants who want to stand out:

Be creative. LUSH is a creative brand, and we appreciate people who go the extra mile. I was once presented with a solid perfume which a candidate had made, which went along with their cover letter. Each ingredient represented something about them.

Something you might not know about working for us:

We aren’t just a soap shop… We use our stores and brand to campaign for issues across animal welfare, environmental protection, and human rights.

The biggest mistake you could make:

The biggest mistake you could make in an application or interview is to ignore your transferable skills. If you have worked in hospitality but not retail, focus on how your customer service experience would transfer to a new setting. Focus on what you do know, and how you could use it.

The first thing I notice about a resume:

The first thing I notice about a resume is the layout. I want the information most relevant to the role to be at the top, and to be easily read. Are you applying for a job hand making LUSH products, and you have experience making food? Don’t hide it on the second page of your resume, use the layout of your resume to your advantage.

The first thing I notice about a candidate at an interview:

Eye contact! Good eye contact can say a lot about a person – they are confident, personable, and able to connect with others.

Questions a candidate should never ask:

I love people asking questions about the role and company! The only thing I would steer away from is personal questions about the interviewer.

Don't shy away from asking:

About the salary and expectations of the role, and about company culture.

Don't let this hold you back:

Not “fitting the mould”. At LUSH we hire people of all genders, sexualities, and appearances. Half of us are covered in tattoos. We love it when people express themselves in whatever way they like, whether that is with bright pink hair or a suit and tie.

What I want to know about you as a person:

At LUSH we are passionate about a lot of things. I want to know what you are passionate about, and how you want to make the world a better place.

What homework I expect you to have done before the interview:

I hope that people applying to work at LUSH already love the brand and products. If not, then visit a shop, use some products and research our history as a campaigning company.

My advice to a candidate who wasn't successful:

Seek out feedback and try, try again. We have many successful team members who were not hired on their first try or had to take time to find the right role.