For the last year or so, I have been semi-obsessed with Lush bath products. I've been a bath person for quite some time anyway, and the products Lush makes, especially the bath bombs and bath oil melts, are divine. I've spent a good chunk of money in the last year keeping myself stocked with these products, and spent a good many hours enjoying them.
But, all good things must end.
Recently, Lush raised their already exhorbant prices. For me, this moved them from the realm of expensive-but-probably-worth-it luxury item to just plain ridiculous. And it motivated me to try and find a substitute to fill my smelly and soft bath needs.
So far, I have come up with several candidates, each of which I plan to sample. The first is Bubbles. Bubbles has a huge selection of bath bombs, as well as salts, tub teas, bubble bars, etc. Their prices are much lower than Lush (for example, their bath bombs, which are about the same size as those at Lush, are all $3.99, while Lush's are $4.50-$5.70). They are also a woman-owned independent business. They focus on using natural ingredients, though not to the extent Lush does (for example, I believe they use artificial dyes in their products).
I ordered several bath bombs and bubble bars from Bubbles last week, and my shipment arrived yesterday. The packaging was lovely, and it included several free samples and a 10% off coupon for my next order. The shipping was much, much faster than Lush. The products themselves look and smell very nice. I used the first one, a Wild Honey Bath Bomb. The scent was nice, but not perfect--a little bit more artificial than I would have liked. The color it turned the water was kind of an odd yellowish that didn't look particularly appealing. However, it was very moisturizing and fizzy and the scent lasted for quite a long time. All in all, it seemed like a very quality product, though I will have to try a few more to be sure.
I will also be trying some bath bombs from Fantasy Bath. Fantasy Bath is also an independent, woman-owned business, based in Georgia. It is eco-friendly and does not use animal materials or testing. They are also committed to purchasing raw materials that have not been tested on animals and are from countries with fair-trade practices. And they have a "please spay and neuter your pets!" tagline at the bottom of their website.
Most of the bath bombs at Fantasy bath are $3.95 each. However, the site says that they are a different kind of bath bomb, which also creates bubbles, and that they are soft and can be broken into several pieces to use. The bombs are between 6.5 and 9 oz each (compared to 6.3 oz for Lush's biggest bath bomb). They do not contain any "extras" the way the ones at Lush (and Bubbles) do--no glitter, sprinkles, etc.--but it is totally dependent on the consumer whether that is a positive or a negative attribute. As I just paced my order, I don't yet know about shipping and handling or packaging, or how the products are in the bath, but I will update when I find out.
A third retailer I would like to try, but have not yet ordered from, is Bella Bomb. Bella Bomb focused on supplying large numbers of its products to stores, but they also sell to private consumers. Once again, Bella Bomb is an independent, woman-owned business, this time out of South Carolina.
Bella's bombs are shea butter based and contain natural ingredients, though they do seem to contain artificial color and perhaps some artificial scent. There are a bunch of varieties, and they sell for $3.00 each (unless you are buying 100 or more, in which case they are $1.50 each). The size of the bombs is not listed on the site. There are also several other things I'd like to try sold by Bella's Bombs, including honey foaming bath gel and tub cakes, which seem to be akin to Lush's bath oil bars.
A final place I may try is Bauble Bath. Bauble Bath is an independent business in Couer d'Alene, Idaho, which endears it to my heart. The website does not specify if it is a family or woman-owned business, but my guess would be yes. They also ship free samples with each order, which is a definite boom.
Their selection looks great--not as extensive as some of the other sites, but several things that sound like they are worth trying. Their bath bombs, called Bath Baubles, are priced between $3.75 and $4.20. Their size is not disclosed, and they are made of natural ingredients, as far as I can tell. Bauble Bath also offers tins of bubble bath for $6.11 and bath melts similar to Lush's for $5.95. They have lipgloss, lotion, foot and hand cream, and body scrubs for sale as well.
As we can see, then, there are many non-Lush fish in the sea. I'm not even going to miss it.