NEWPORT BEACH — The consensus among customers Friday afternoon was unanimous: The goods at Lush in Fashion Island look and smell tasty enough to eat.
"That's the problem — I don't know if I should use it or eat it," said Corona del Mar resident April McBride, who was going over a display of brightly colored assorted "bath bombs" with a friend at the recently opened store.
A similarly minded 16-year-old Nicole Maynard of Tustin was eyeing a chocolate-mint "cupcake" face mask packed full of the sweet stuff.
"Everything is natural and it all smells delicious," Nicole said, adding that she and her younger sisters first heard of Lush from cosmetic reviews on YouTube.
Although the hand-made cosmetics and bath and body products are 100% vegetarian and many are vegan, store manager and beauty consultant Traci Sanchez advises not eating them.
"There's definitely a lot of love that goes into our products," said Sanchez.
Each of the sweet-smelling soaps, shampoos and lotions is packaged with an individualized sticker showing which member of the Lush crew crafted the product that week.
The store, which has a deli-like feel with its wheels of soap that customers can buy fresh-cut and by the pound, opened Jan. 4. However, a grand-opening party is slated for Saturday with product trials, consultations, refreshments and music.
Although the store has been open less than a month, Sanchez has noticed that the bath bombs, effervescent skin softeners and the fresh masks — the products under McBride and Nicole's scrutiny — are popular with the local customers.
"Our bath bombs are what a lot of people recognize us for, but we are so much more than that," Sanchez said. "We care for everything from the crown of your head to the tips of your toes."
The Fashion Island location is the second Lush store to open in Orange County. The Canada-based company has 139 locations in North America.
The products, which range from $4 to about $40, include facial cleansers, exfoliants, moisturizers, soaps, perfumes and cosmetics.
Recommendations from Lush beauty consultant Traci Sanchez:
Buffy the Backside Slayer: a ground rice and shea butter exfoliant, $22.95
"Anyone who spends time outdoors or at the beach is going to need this for some hydration and exfoliation because it balances the skin," Sanchez said.
Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter: a lemon-scented beeswax and avocado heavy skin cream, $14.95
"This is great for keeping hands soft," Sanchez said. "Anybody who uses their hands all day should have this. It shines up your fingertips and keeps the skin soft — it's a great winter piece."
Bubblegum Lip Scrub: a jojoba oil and fine-grain sugar scrub for lips, $8.95
"This will remove all the dry, dead skin from your lips, and the best thing is that you can just lick it off," Sanchez said.
If You Go
What: Lush Grand Opening Party
When: 1 to 6 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lush at Fashion Island, 249 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach
Reservations: To reserve a spot, email email@example.com.