Posts tagged ‘Victoria Quarter’

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.

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March 12, 2012

Harvey Nichols: Brunch and a Fashion Show

I spent a lovely morning with my daughter yesterday having brunch and watching a children’s fashion show at Harvey Nichols in Leeds.

Like many girls of her age, Eve has got very firm views about what she likes to wear. Now that she’s spending so much of her time dressed in a school uniform, I like to indulge her a bit when she isn’t at school, even if that means letting her wear an outfit containing all the colours of the rainbow. After all, if you can’t dress like that when you’re five, when can you? Actually, with her colour blocking and clashing prints, I’d go as far as saying that she’s got the measure of recent seasons far more than I have.

We arrived to the event and were shown to our seats in the lovely bunting-filled Espresso Bar in the Victoria Quarter. After being presented with a superb little colouring-in kit, we also were very happy to receive juice, fresh pastries and a sunny fruit salad with accompanying vanilla yoghurt. Perfect food for an easy Sunday brunch. Ooh, and I had a Bellini too, which made me very happy.

Before I go any further, I have to mention the stickers in Eve’s kit. To be honest, they’re wasted on children because they are the best stickers ever! Famous characters of our age are recreated as items of food. So, we have Paris Stilton, Gordon Brownie, and Wayne Pruney…just brilliant. I would have sneaked them away for my own use, but Eve recognised their brilliance too and so they’re now all adorning her favourite notebook. I suppose my lack of stickers gives us a nice excuse to return to the Espresso Bar for brunch another day though, because I really need a Banana Mouskouri sticker of my own.

Anyway, onto the fashion show itself, which was a great showcasing of the Spring and Summer collections available from the ‘Step 2wo’ concession inside the Harvey Nichols Leeds store. A wonderful group of young models, including a gorgeous little three year old boy who received a round of applause every time he emerged, did a great job. Eve thoroughly enjoyed watching them all, and telling me which things she liked the best. By the end of the show, we had a great long wish list between us. Eve particularly loved the denim dress by No Added Sugar, which had great gold-edged ruffles on the bottom. We have a few pieces from this brand already, and I love them all. They have a great quirkiness to them, far removed from the pale pink princess clothing that is often created for girls. The colours are bolder, the shapes are often unusual, with ruffles, asymmetry and draping and, important from a practical point of view, they are really good quality, so they wash and wear well. There is a good selection of items from this range for both boys and girls instore.

Many of the brands represented instore were included in the show, such as Gucci and Versace, although my¬†other favourite pieces were the Paul Smith t-shirt and stripy boy’s shirt, which Ben would look very cool in. I also adored the Stella McCartney citrus print mac (the same print as the adult line for the current season) and green Hunter wellies over a cream dress, which would be perfect junior festival chic! Inside the store, we spent some time choosing our favourite Lelli Kelly sequinned shoes and Converse high tops. We’re going back for a pink pair of those. I live in my Converse, so I think it’s only fitting that I share the love. I have a feeling that the denim No Added Sugar dress will be coming home with us as well.

We had such a great time. It was the first time we have ever really been out for a ‘girly’ time together and I enjoyed it so much. She’s growing up so fast, one day, she’ll be poring over the MAC counter in Harvey Nichols as much as I do. This time, though, it was all about the glittery flower face painting. A nice addition to a lovely event.

With many, many thanks to Harvey Nichols for the invitation.