all I wanted was some face scrub

James has been working crazy hours lately, so he took three day staycation this week and it has been glorious. I've been catching up on all my overdue doctor appointments, and we've been watching shows and eating delicious food and just having fun. We decided to go on a family date yesterday, since it's the one day I didn't have a doctor's office to cry at. We had some Christmas money to blow, and I'm currently in a big project of fine-tuning my closet to have only clothes that I love and that fit my current body. The baby weight is almost gone, and even though I still have a bit to go until I'm back to where I want to be, I'm making big strides in being happy with my body again. I've been feeling really positive about my progress lately, and I even put eyeliner on for the first time since before I was pregnant. I feel like I've been getting my groove back. We set off to the mall for an afternoon of meandering, shopping, and coffee drinking. We walked inside, and instead of bulldozing my way through sale racks of jeans, I found myself meticulously searching through BabyGap. Once you have a baby, shopping for said baby is infinitely more fun and rewarding than shopping for yourself. It's retail therapy without the body image issues.

After finding Gracie a new outfit, I found a pair of jeans that were exactly what I was looking for, and we sauntered along until I saw a Lush store straight ahead. I've never been in one, but just walking past one gives me an insta-headache from the demon scents. It's as if mother nature threw up all over herself and then rinsed it off with lavender and jasmine. It's worse than walking through the laundry detergent aisle in the grocery store. However, I got a few Lush products for my birthday last year and loved them, and there were a few things I wanted to try, but I wanted to see them in person first.

James and Gracie sat on a nearby bench while I declared war on my olfactory senses. I walked inside, willing myself not to pull my shirt over my face. I stuck my fingers in various samples of lotions and felt myself lose consciousness a few times from the overwhelming odor that can only come from every single smell known to man aggressively wafting through one tiny room. By the time I was three steps in I had already started wheezing. It reminded me of when I was pregnant and could smell everyone's body wash from a mile away. Add in some debilitating nausea and I was back in the first trimester.

I found the face scrub I was looking for and tried to see what else I could find before the smells overpowered my will to live. Within seconds, an employee spotted me, stood as close to me as possible, and then softly whisper-asked if I've used the face scrub before.

"Nope, but a few people recommended it so I'm going to try it."

She inched even closer to me, as if she were going to tell me her debit card number, looked me dead in the eyes and whispered, "But what are your skincare needs?"

My skincare needs? I'm not sure I even understand what that means.

I shrugged as she pulled me over to a bowl of water and asked for my hand. I thought she was going to propose until she whipped out a sample and started massaging my hand with it. People were shuffling in and out and all around, staring at me as I stood rigidly through an unauthorized hand massage, praying I wouldn't see anyone I knew.

"Doesn't that feel good? Doesn't the salt make you feel like you're vacationing in Florida? Doesn't your skin feel wonderful?" she whispered as she continued to rub my hand and I strained to hear what she said. Not only was it incredibly noisy, but I think even the violent fragrances were making it hard to hear. The only thing that made me feel like I was in Florida was the fact that I was sweating, but it was due to the awkwardness and not humidity. It was a good thing I had already decided to buy this stuff, because otherwise I think she would've held me captive until I agreed to. It was like they rounded up a bunch of car salesmen to sell skincare.

"Compare your hands. Doesn't the scrub make your hands look completely different?"

"Wow! Totally!" I said, even though the only difference I could tell was that one was still slightly wet and one was dry.

I quickly backed away to glance at one more thing when a girl with emerald green hair and bright blue eyebrows swooped in and redirected my attention to something called "shower jelly." Before I knew what was happening, she was rubbing what looked to be a blob of yellow jello up and down my arm that reeked of gummy bears.

"Isn't this so great? It's made from seaweed! It's only $7! Here, buy some! You should get the neon blue one!"

"That's ok, I'll buy it next time." I said as I slowly backed away with a nervous smile plastered on my face. I felt like I was in the back of a 1970s VW van, and everyone was high except for me.

I started to walk to the check-out counter, proud of myself for sticking to my guns and only buying what I had walked in for, when the mermaid girl swooped back in front of me.

"Oh my gosh!! When are you due? Congratulations!"

"Uh, what?!"

"When are you due? You're pregnant, right?"

Next time I think I'll just order online.


  1. SHE DID NOT ASK YOU IF YOU WERE PREGNANT. That wench!!! My gosh!!

    I've never been into a Lush store, but Alissa did get me some popcorn lip scrub last year that I have used nearly every single day since. I think a store just opened in one of the malls around us, and I was considering stopping in there to get another one- but after reading your experience, maybe it iS best to order online. Pajamas over people, right?

    Tell me about this face scrub!!


    also, yes, what face scrub? i love me some lush face scrubs.

    1. And here I was feeling so good about myself!

      Ocean Salt! I almost bought the coffee one instead, but next time. I wish I could buy one of everything.

  3. There is absolutely nothing I hate more (that's probably not true) than being hounded at a store when I really don't need/want any help. Introverts unite. I've actually only been in a Lush store once, years ago, but I've read some horror stories about how they basically force their employees to hound a customer even after they've said (sometimes multiple times) that they don't want assistance. Maybe that works for some people, but I'm usually even less inclined to buy something if someone is trying to force it on me. Bad business model if you ask me.

    I cannot believe she asked you if you were pregnant. Social awareness = zero.

  4. NO. NO!

    That's one of my big fears. I'm pretty sure I look as pregnant now as I did when I was showing. What did you say? I would probably cry, honestly.

    Also, Lush intimidates me. So much... stuff! I would go into The Body Shop any day over Lush. There's just too much going on.

  5. They are AGGRESSIVE in that store, huh?!?!? I just went in for the first time over Christmas break and you just described almost exactly what I went through. Except I was literally paying for the face scrub and they made me get out of line because, "OMG I HAD NEVER TRIED ONE OF THEIR BATH BOMBS?!?" and they made me buy one that would make the water glittery and turn an emerald green and, "I would feel like a mermaid."

    And they were right. I did feel like a mermaid, and I enjoyed it immensely. But I am never setting foot in that store again. I will be permanently purchasing online.

    So, what face scrub did you get??

  6. This is why I am afraid to leave my house with my postpartum body. I've been asked when I am due a few times and each time I cry all day afterwards. I literally am getting chills that she said that to you.

    1. I just tried to laugh it off. She was super embarrassed, but she should be! I just can't understand what made her think it was ok to ask.

  7. Good grief. People! Let me shop in peace!

  8. The one time I went into Lush the lady asked what my kind of hair I have. I didn't really understand the question so I said "the dark kind." WHY COULDN'T THE FLOOR SWALLOW ME WHOLE. She then reached up and tucked the tag back into my shirt. I haven't been back since. I've never tried Lush but if you recommend the products I'll get some ONLINE.

  9. I CANT BELIEVE SHE SAID THAT!!! you just don't do that! What's wrong with people?! I totally would've cried. Don't you worry about it girl. I probably should've said yesterday but I did think to myself that you looked nice and thin in your blog picture and that I need to get my rear in gear and get a move on ;) and yeah Lush is kinda scary. I got a bubble bath bomb thing from someone so I decided to check it out and when I approached the store I saw they were having some kind of hippie style dance party going on in there! Like literally all of the rainbow colored hair employees were dancing. And the smell?! Why are all the stores SO TINY?! get some flipping ventilation going on in there!

    1. I LOVE YOU FOR THAT. Thank you! I wasn't even wearing anything that would've made me look THAT pregnant. Hahaha! Your description is pretty much spot on. I'm surprised these girls weren't dancing. But they were all a bit strange. I think the fragrances were getting to them ;)

  10. WHAT?! Oh my gosh. So rude. And I know EXACTLY what you mean about Lush..they're the tiniest stores with zero ventilation and every. single. scent. ever. I love the ocean salt scrub and will venture in when it runs out, but otherwise...nope.

  11. Oh.... my gosh. That story is giving me anxiety. Like, what the HECK? Stop touching me, er, you! Ah! I've only been in a Lush store once and I kept my eyes to the ground and hustled. I don't mind the smells but the stores are all so small! I really love their war on animal testing, but dang.... that experience sucked!

  12. HAHAHAHAHA Ohhhhhh my gosh. I just died reading this... by the time I got to the end I realized I was leaning SO CLOSE to the computer and hadn't blinked for a few minutes, so my eyes just about dried up. I was so engrossed in this horror story!! Sooo funny.

  13. NO! What is wrong with people? I remember when the cashier at a Chinese restaurant asked me if I was having twins. Who asks that? I was so engrossed in this post. You are an amazing storyteller! I am also proud of you for just buying what you came for. They are so aggressive in those stores and I find it really hard as a shy, people-pleasing type of person to remain calm and stick to my list.


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