Posts tagged ‘Liz Earle’

October 3, 2012

Space NK and leaving beauty boxes behind.

I had a subscription to one of the beauty boxes until recently. Each month, I’d get a pretty box filled with a selection of sample beauty products posted through the letter box. And for a while, it was great. I love to get exciting post, and this was a little treat just for me. But after a while, the lustre wore off the whole thing. I heard rumours that beauty bloggers were getting different products to the rest of the subscribers, purely so they could act as free PR for the companies, and then another rumour about a ‘premium, invite-only’ box, that the company were going to just make available to a select few people. Quite how they were going to decide whose £12 a month was the most deserving of this premium line, I don’t know, but it seemed a little bit of ‘us and them’ behaviour to me. Of course, these were just unsubstantiated rumours, and I’m no beauty expert, but I decided to leave.

The other thing that I really realised about the experience is how much I love to go into stores and play around with products before buying them. Even getting the samples in the post wasn’t really the same, because part of the fun for me is chatting to the staff and learning more about the products that way. So, I’m back in the stores, trying things out, and enjoying the great customer service you often find with beauty brands.

One of my favourite places to do this is in Space NK. I like that they have a range of different brands, and that the staff in my local branch all seem to be really passionate about what they do and what they sell. Maybe they’re on commission, it doesn’t matter to me. What matters is that I always feel as though I’m being treated well and leave the store with a happy feeling.

At a brilliant card holders’ event recently (where I had my hair straightened) I came away with a incredible free bag of lovely goodies, after spending enough money (on gifts and for other people, so not spending money to get freebies, which is really bad maths!) and I really don’t think it would have been bettered anywhere else. I have favourite brands elsewhere (Liz Earle and Neal’s Yard Remedies for example), and favourite brands in Space NK (Eve Lom, Darphin, Caudalie, Diptyque to mention a few) and there is room in my life for them all! I’m enjoying the process of choosing things in store again, and I don’t think I’ll be going back to a beauty box subscription any time soon.

July 9, 2012

Liz Earle Skincare: Product Review

A short while ago, I wrote a post about the Leeds branch of Liz Earle, purely because I’d had a great experience and wanted to share it. The lovely folk at Liz Earle read it, and sent me a few products to try out.

The first was the Instant Boost Skin Tonic. Now, I’m not very good at using toners. I forget in my rush to get out of the house in the morning, and to be honest, I’ve tried a few in the past that were simply too harsh and so which left my skin really tight and dry. This one is different. It’s alcohol free for a start, so doesn’t have the astringency of older styles of toner, and it’s got a gentle floral smell from the calendula and rose-scented geranium it contains. It’s really gentle and refreshing. In fact, I’ve started using it on its own when I come home from work, just to freshen myself up, as well as after cleansing. It does seem to make a difference, taking off that last bit of grime  (usually mascara!) from my face, not to mention tightening up the enlarged pores on either side of my nose. I love this product and really recommend it. Just be careful when you first use it though. In my enthusiasm to try it, I ended up sloshing it all over my hands – it comes out of the bottle faster than I’d anticipated!

The second product I’ve been using is the Gentle Face Exfoliator. I’ve been using this on a weekly basis. It has a slightly medicinal smell (probably because of the skin purifying eucalyptus it contains) and is a white creamy consistency with small beads of exfoliating jojoba. It is massaged onto dry skin after cleansing and then rinsed off. It’s really gentle and does a good job of taking away the dead skin cells and dryness on my skin without leaving it feeling as though it’s been treated harshly. Once it’s rinsed off, I then use the Skin Tonic above again, which leaves my skin feeling soft and floral scented.

Finally, I’ve been using the award winning Intensive Nourishing Treatment Mask. I love this product. My skin often feels a bit exhausted, a bit like the rest of me really! I especially like using it when I’ve got the chance to lie down for 15 minutes and relax with it on, because it feels like a real treat after a busy week. My skin reacts really well to it too, looking and feeling smoother and softer – less exhausted! If you buy the starter kit, it comes with a muslin cloth for you to use to take the mask off with.

It comes as no real surprise to me that I’ve been so impressed with these products – although they were a gift, this is really how I feel about them, and if you get the chance to talk to me in person about them, you’ll have a job getting me to stop! I love the products, the ethos of the company, the BUAV accreditation, the British roots and the great customer service. At the moment too, there is a special offer. If you spend £60 on products, you can get this lovely tote bag which I think would be great for the beach. Now, if we could only get the weather sorted out too…

June 13, 2012

Liz Earle skincare and Leeds store review

I recently went to the Liz Earle store in the Victoria Quarter in Leeds for the first time. In honesty, I went with a friend who had vouchers to spend, but I ended up shopping myself too! I’ve used Liz Earle products before, bought by mail order, and really liked them, so I’m not really sure why I’ve not been in store before. Anyway, suffice to say I’ll be going back.

The store is a large one, covering two floors in the prestigious and beautiful Victoria Quarter in Leeds and is a really light, calm and welcoming space, giving very positive first impressions. There are lots of products out on display, but the real joy of this store is their complete understanding that before we buy a product, most of us like to try it out. What does it smell like, feel like, look like? How do I apply it? How does my skin react? All those questions, and more, can be answered by testing (playing!) with the products at the many spaces around the store.

Upstairs are more sinks and mirrors for exactly that purpose, as well as giant sofas with magazines and books about natural ingredients to browse through. Staff are on hand to answer any questions you might have, and the three that I spoke to during my visit were all really friendly and knowledgeable about the product without being pushy about making sales. Perfect. The icing on the customer service cake is literally, cake. Every Friday afternoon the store gives out cake to customers. That’s right, you heard me! CAKE FRIDAY! How well they know me…

Recently has seen the opening of a treatment room in store. This restful space will be used for providing facials using the Liz Earle range, which would be such a treat. I want to be the the woman having the facial in this photo! The Signature Facial was the highest rated in a Vogue magazine review of ‘wonder facials’.

As for the products themselves, I think they are brilliant. I bought the multi award-winning Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth cleanser, which is applied to the face and then washed off using the accompanying muslin cloth, therefore it acts as a gentle exfoliator too. I’ve been using this for a while now and my skin loves it. Alongside the cleanser, I bought a sample sized Skin Repair Moisturiser, which has also been lovely to use. Because I’d bought these two, I got another sample sized product free, so I chose the Superskin Concentrate which I’ve used at night. It smells glorious and feels very nourishing.

This is a long term offer and one that I think is another great example of excellent customer service, giving the opportunity to try new products at a reduced cost, or perhaps use the smaller sized versions for holiday. The other thing I love is their range of ‘Try Me’ kits – also great for holidays or just trying smaller sizes out before you commit to a more expensive purchase. Alongside the facial products is a full range of body products, sun protection and aftercare and men’s skincare too. I have friends with really sensitive skin who say that the Liz Earle sun protection cream is the only one that their skin doesn’t react to. They’ve recently launched a range of make up, which I’ve not tested yet, but it’s on the to-do list!

If I haven’t convinced you enough, what with the ace products, cake and great offers, I’ll tell you that they’re BUAV approved and British, with a headquarters on the wonderful Isle of Wight, where one half of my family are from. Excellent.