Hands up if you want soft mitts for Summer?

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 11 - 2011

We don’t like it but we can at last be excused a bit of roughness in the Winter as the harsh weather takes its toll on our poor extremities.  Our hands are usually the first to succumb to the Gods of dry skin and those rough bits that catch on your sleeves *ouch!*

In the Summer though, there really is no excuses for general skin dryness… so give yourself a helping hand and check out some of the hand creams below for a sure-fire way to get some silky softness back in your life!

Woods of Windsor True Rose Conditioning Hand and Nail Cream 125ml (£7.75)*

A lighter option for those who dislike the heavy feeling of cream on their hands.  This Woods of Windsor lotion absorbs quickly and efficiently whilst leaving behind a delicate rose scent.  I recommend keeping this one nearby though as you’ll need to top up regularly to ensure long-lasting softness.

Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream 75ml (£18.40)

I picked this up in Debenhams a little while ago and true to its name, the Bliss High Intensity Hand Cream delivers a welcome boost of moisturisation which means I can apply at night before bed and wake up in the morning with noticeably smoother digits.  A good choice to stash in the bedside table but perhaps not for you if you dislike the feeling of a rich cream on your hands.

Liz Earle Hand Repair 150ml (£19.65)*

If greasy residues are your main concern, the Liz Earle Hand Repair is the product you need!  The larger sizes come with a convenient pump dispenser which releases a rich, awesome smelling (as you’d expect) hand cream.  It absorbs with blistering speed, leaving my hands feeling silky to the touch.  Not as heavy duty in the moisturisation department as some, I’d recommend this for those with normal/dry skin concerns.

All for Eve Hand Cream 100ml (£7.50)

My top pick for Summer hand creams is the All for Eve offering I bought last month.  I keep this at my computer and would recommend this as the perfect every day hand cream.  It smells delicious, leans toward a lighter, more easily absorbed formula and at under £8 for a generous 100ml, it’s a bargain!  And don’t forget that all proceeds from ‘all for eve’ products go towards ‘The Eve Appeal’ fund.

Heathcote & Ivory Vintage Mimosa Mini Hand Creams 30ml (£4.00 for 3)*

Super cute mini hand cream that’s perfectly sized for some handbag toteing!  This Heathcote & Ivory Vintage Hand Cream is surprisingly potent for the money.  Again, more suited to normal/dry skin than those in need of severe replenishment, I particularly love the Shea Butter based formula which spreads itself thinly without taking all day to sink in!

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If you’re in particular need for something a little more intense, you might also be interested in taking a look at my review of the Lanolips Rose Balm Intense.

Are you getting your skin in shape for Summer?  What are your favourite hand creams at the moment?

* Denotes PR Sample


The Anti Ageing Beauty Bible and its winners…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 4 - 2011

So, The Anti-ageing Beauty Bible may have only been on the shelves for a couple of weeks but Beauty gurus Josephine Fairley and Sarah Stacey’s new book is already ensuring brands are making an effort to capitalize on their mentions from withing the Bible’s hallowed pages.

I don’t have a copy of the book yet, so I had a crafty ‘google’ to see which brands had already publicized their awards and mentions!

Liz Earle have released an Anti-ageing Beauty Bible collection (£25) to coincide with the book release.  This kit features 4 of their best-selling products that were featured within the pages of the book.

Monu are making sure we all know that their Skin Perfector (£16.25) got a big thumbs up in the book.

Nutritional skincare purveyors Oskia are keen to tell us why their Micro-Exfoliating Balm (£46) was an Anti-ageing Beauty Bible award winner!

Finally, NUDE Skincare are so proud of their award that they’re shipping their Replenishing Night Oil BUNDLED with a copy of the book!

Will you be picking up a copy of the new Anti-ageing Beauty Bible or checking out any of the brands that feel the Beauty Bible love?

Monday Musings: Do YOU have the potential to be a fangirl?

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 28 - 2011

Brand loyalty is a funny old thing.  Personally, I don’t think I’m brand loyal so much as product-loyal but I can definitely name a couple of brands that seem to attract super-fans.

Liz Earle is the one that always initially springs to mind.  Their supporters go crazy for the brand, the products, the shows… infact, both the brands that I had in mind when considering this post present on QVC.  Coincidence?

When I went to the Isle of Wight last year to attend Liz Earle’s 15th Anniversary Event… it opened my eyes.  I didn’t realise that us women could be so passionate about a brand.  Beauty in general?  Yes.  But a single brand?  A company?  A business?  I was left bemused by the (literally hordes of) women doing their utmost to maintain a sense of middle-class decorum while simultaneously clambering to get close to ANYONE at the event who looked like they were representing the brand.  It was the politest scrum I’ve ever been in!

Of course, it helps that at the head of this company… is Liz Earle.  Instantly likable on screen, she always appears effortlessly chic, calm and collected.  When she opens her mouth, she’s eloquent, charismatic… engaging and most of all, appears interested in what others have to say.  Yes, I’ll admit – I’m under her spell too.  Infact, I won’t name names… but I was in the company of a perfectly intelligent blogger (kinda) who’s words as we left the room in which we’d been introduced to Liz went something along the lines of… “OMG… I want a mummy Liz.  Do you think I can get her to adopt me?”  Of course, it was said in jest… and incited a riotous giggle amongst a group of women who are old enough to know better but it showed the Liz effect in full force!

I suppose that the phenomena could be attributed directly to the products.  If you find the solution to a skincare problem that’s plagued you for years within your Cleanse & Polish, your interest in everything the brand releases is going to be piqued.  And in all honesty, as superficial as we’re told all this beauty nonsense is… it runs deep for many of us.

Infact, as I write that last paragraph, I’m beginning to feel a little shame-faced and hypocritical.  I may not be evangelical about Cleanse & Polish (I don’t get the hype) but there is a certain product that I will forever hold in the highest regard and as such, it’s had a knock-on effect to the rest of this particular Antipodean brand.  My fangirl self even gets annoyed when I hear of other people not loving their products as much as I do!  Common sense?  Where did you disappear to?!

In analysing my own feelings for this brand, I can stem my cheerleading from the moment one of their products worked wonders on an issue that was troubling me in a way that did go deeper than the superficial.  In solving the physical issue it also removed a weight from my shoulders.

Oh dear… I’ve just thought of another brand that encourages my inner rah-rah girl.  Sigh, there goes my delusions of being even just a tiny bit cool.

Perhaps, before scoffing at what I perceive as other people’s foibles… I should remind myself that we all have a fangirl inside of us just waiting for that miracle product to bring her out, pom-poms flailing.

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Which brands do you think attract super-fans?  Do YOU have the potential to be a fangirl?

Mother’s Day Gift Guide Part 3: £30 – £50

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 26 - 2011

Got a picky Mum?  A lady for whom a Superdrug giftset just won’t do?  No, me neither (thank God!) but if you do… here’s some prime picks that might settle the hunger in her belly!

The best Mother’s Day Gifts for between £30 – £50!

1. Liz Earle Botanical Essence™ Eau de parfum No.1* (£40.35)

For our first ever fragrance we’ve used the finest natural botanical ingredients from around the world and the expert skills of a distinguished perfumer from Grasse, France.  We gave him the time to indulge in the age-old art of perfumery, skilfully hand-crafting this complex scent with true passion to create this vibrant, sparkling fragrance translating into warmth and sensuality.  This sensuous fragrance can be worn every day.

Well, let’s just be honest here… it’s Liz Earle meets perfume innit.  If your Mum is like most Mums out there, she’ll fall over herself to rip the carefully chosen wrapping paper off this one.

2. Eve Lom TLC Cream* (£50.00)

This intensive cream gives tender, loving care to dry and very dry skins types and is ideal for more mature complexions.  The most luxurious of all rose oils, Rose Otto of Bulgaria gently softens lines and wrinkles and imparts a delicious aroma.

A very rich cream that is ideal as an overnight treatment for softening and reinvigorating the tightest of skin types.  To put it simply, go to bed with tight, aggravated skin and wake up with supple and hydrated skin.  It’s very thick but warms up well and absorbs effectively through the night.  Mostly?  I love the rose scent.  It’s a comfort cream for poorly skins.

3. Aspinal of London Lipstick Case (£35.00)

Protect your favourite lipstick in style with this lipstick case handmade in gorgeous mock croc calf leather and lined in shimmering grosgrain.  Designed to hold one lipstick, the case closes securely with a popper fastening and even has a small handy mirror.

Squee cute much?  If pink ain’t your *cough* Mum’s thing, it’s available in a host of other colours too!

4. Oskia Renaissance Mask (£48.50)

Designed to increase cell turnover, boost radiance and packed with OSKIA’s trademark blend of beauty-boosting nutrients, this luxuriously-textured exfoliating mask leaves the complexion smoother, more refined and illuminated. Our testing panel thought its natural perfume so delicious they wanted to eat it!

Oskia have a great reputation for their “nutritionally-designed, natural skincare range” which is all about supplying the skin with a ‘diet’ of skincare goodies that include vitamins, minerals, amino acids and glucides.  If your Mum is a lover of oraganic, natural products, then you won’t go far wrong with Oskia who are proud of their ECOCERT credentials.

The Renaissance Mask promises to be a real treat, providing instant results and rinsing tired skin down the plughole to reveal a fresher you!

5. Jimmy Choo Eau de Parfum (£38.50)

Femininity, luxury and style… bottled.  Green top notes give a burst of freshness, a heart of Tiger Orchid lends a creamy seductiveness, and sensual base notes of toffee and Indonesian patchouli. A modern fruity-chypre.

The best things come to those who wait and the base notes contained in the EDP are lovely.  Despite it’s base of toffee, it manages to be sweet without being cloying… they describe it as ‘creamy’ which is pretty much spot-on.  Perhaps a choice for the younger Mums out there *waves arms*.  Jimmy Choo’s inaugural fragrance is proving popular.

6. Davina Peace Citrus Fruits Candle (£36.00)

Each Davina Peace candle is inspired by a long-lasting memory of the brand’s eponymous founder.  Based on the balmy smell of citrus fruits, this candle blends the organic fragrances of Sicilian lemon peel, juicy orange, Italian bergamot and root ginger.  Dedicated to only sourcing organic ingredients where possible, Davina Peace uses only pure natural wax blended with an organic fragrance in her candles.

Nothing is more exquisitely shared between mothers and daughters than memories and Davina Peace pays tribute to the art of remembering with the fragrances she offers throughout her range.  Her Memory No. 2: Citrus Fruits candle is a perfect choice for the warmer Summer months that are hopefully beginning to open up before us!

Exclusively available at Harrods.

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Hope that gives you a little inspiration for lovely Mums everywhere!

* I have received press samples of these items in the past

Spring clean your skin with this offer from Liz Earle!

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 28 - 2011

If you’re still trying to shake off the signs of overindulgence that Winter has left on your skin, you might find this offer from Liz Earle tempting…

The Clear Skin Kit contains a 50ml Gentle Face Exfoliator, a 75ml Deep Cleansing Mask, a 6ml Spot-On treatment, 2 x sponges, and a white headband.  The kit is available from 14th February to 23rd May 2011 for only £20.65 which is a saving of £12.50 on normal prices.

The three products included in the kit are designed to be used as a 3-step plan to help exfoliate, rebalance and treat blemish-prone skin.

I will unashamedly admit that I have a soft spot for Liz Earle press releases because I always learn something new reading them, look…

To avoid seasonal breakouts omega-3 is essential for making the body less inflammatory, so as well as eating oily fish, consider a supplement of fish oils.

Liz Earle recommends taking a probiotic supplement to help normalise the balance of gut bacteria, as two thirds of the body’s immune receptor cells are found in the gut.  With the right diet and skincare great skin is within everyone’s reach this spring.

Chocolate.  That’s anti-inflammatory right?

Do you pay attention to feeding your skin from the inside out?

Guest Post! Winter Skin Tips from Jo Givens at Liz Earle

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 8 - 2010

Happy Monday morning you lovely lot!

Stop dragging your knuckles on the floor.  I know you’ve only had time for 8 mugs of double espresso so far but look lively ‘cos I’ve got a treat for you today!

Jo Givens, the infinitely wise Treatments Development Manager at Liz Earle’s London flagship store has agreed to share some of her best tips to prepare your skin for whatever Winter has to throw at it!

L-R: Jo Givens -Treatments Development Manager at Liz Earle, Liz Earle Flagship London Store

Dear Lipglossiping readers!

I’m so honoured that I have been invited to share my seasonal skin tips with you all!

As the summer has sadly come to an end, I begrudgingly pack away my summer wardrobe as my ‘tan’ starts to fade along with the sunshine.  Autumn is here and winter is on its way.  The air feels cooler and the leaves on the trees have started to transform into a beautiful sea of orange and gold.  I find that this is the time my skin starts to feel in need of hydration, as the central heating resumes once more and sucks away skin moisture, and signs of damage from the harsh UV rays of the summer start to be revealed.

It is important to remember that we need to adapt our skincare routine during these coming months, along with good nutrition to keep skin looking and feeling its best whilst maintaining flagging energy levels.

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Problem: Skin breakouts during changing seasons

Solution: Plummeting temperatures and central heating can wreak havoc with your skin- symptoms of this can be breakouts (spots or pimples), due to inflammation, bacteria and a build up of dead skin cells and excess oils.  Use a clay mask which is rich in minerals to absorb excess oils.  I would recommend using this 2-3 x a week all over your face, or just on specific areas as a spot treatment overnight.  I firmly believe in supplements for the skin and garlic tablets are perfect as an anti-inflammatory treatment for the skin – always consult your doctor before taking anything internal.

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Problem: Dull and tired skin

Solution: Exfoliate skin as once stubborn skin cells are removed your skin will instantly look clearer and brighter. Also, I always recommend exoliating your skin before using a facial mask, as this can literally double the effects of any mask.  Try to do at least 10 minutes of exercise a day – this will boost the circulation to the skin and keep it looking fresh and hydrated.

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Problem: Parched, dry skin

Solution: As your skin can feel drier in the winter months, double up with a hydrating facial oil at night underneath your existing moisturiser.  Try a facial oil that is made up of 100% plant oils packed with skin loving ingredients such as argan oil and organic rosehip oil.  Also, try using a richer moisturiser at night that will provide super hydration whilst you sleep.  Focus on massaging your skin with gentle caring sweeps for at least 2 minutes every night as this will boost circulation and keep skin supple.

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Problem: How to Survive the Christmas Preparations?

Solution: After a warm bath, pat skin dry and lavish skin with a rich luxurious body cream.  Burn a natural Lavender soy candle for 10 minutes in your bedroom before you sleep to scent the room-this will aid relaxation

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Problem: Low Energy Levels during Dark Mornings and Evenings

Solution: I would always advise to start your day with a dry skin body brush. On dry skin, brush upwards using long sweeping strokes towards the heart – this boosts a sluggish system.  Once you have body brushed, massage a body scrub over damp skin – this will remove dead skin cells and bring oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells.

Banish tiredness by not eating sugary foods at night- these energy foods can disturb sleep.  A daily supplement of milk thistle is great during the winter months to boost the liver energy which will help the body to eliminate waste and maintain vitality.  Also keep up your daily water intake as dehydration can have a negative effect on the skin and body.

Interior of Liz Earle’s flagship London store

Thanks so much to Jo for taking the time to share your great tips and solutions with us!

I’ve already contemplated introducing some dry skin body brushing into my daily routine and I love treating my skin to Superskin Concentrate as an overnight dry-skin quencher whenever I feel it rebelling against the elements.  It’s a bit heavy for daytime use… but my goodness does it sort me out while I sleep!

Also, one of my favourite bath-time relaxers comes in the form of the Vital Oils for the Bath… the site recommends 1/2 capfuls per bath but this stuff is SO potent that a couple of drops does it for me!

However, if you really want to get your skin Winter-ready, you can’t beat a visit to The Treatment Rooms in the London store to indulge in one of Liz Earle facials or skin tutorials with an expert therapist like Jo.

What are your main skincare concerns for the upcoming Winter?  Dryness?  Dullness? Something else?

Liz Earle offers Botanically Beautiful Hair…

Posted by Lipglossiping On November - 2 - 2010

…and she really, really does.

I rarely get really excited about haircare – it’s happened 3 times so far this year.  First, with Pantene’s new Aqualight which I’d still be using now if my sensitive scalp hadn’t kicked up a fuss about it.  Secondly with my mysterious high street deep conditioner (don’t get too excited, it’s only mysterious ‘cos I haven’t written the review yet) and thirdly, with this fabulous offering from Liz Earle.

If you’re a regular beauty blog reader, I know that you will have read at least 10 other reviews on these products seeing as they’ve done the ‘blog rounds’ in recent months and I wish I could bring something new and exciting to the table.  But really, all I can do is offer up another rave on how lovely these products are.

Whilst I may not be sold on the powers of the original Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish (I prefer my Cleansing Oil routines), I have always been impressed with the philosophy behind it of finding a gentle but effective product to suit all skintones.  The same philosophy has been applied to the Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo (only for hairtypes) and for mine?  It works like a dream.

On a completely superficial level, I adore the scent.  I think it’s easy to underestimate just how big an influence scent plays in our bathing products.  In my bathroom, it’s right up there with performance… my haircare needs to smell divine, or I’m just not interested.  This smells… divine.  It’s understated, fruity and most importantly… clean-smelling and non-artificial.  It leaves my locks delicately scented without being overpowering.

The texture of the shampoo is almost slightly gel-like and the quantity shown above is about the amount I use to wash my hair.  Adding just a small amount of water, I lather the mixture up between my hands before applying to the roots of my hair.  Considering this is a SLS/SLES shampoo, I’m impressed with the amount of lather I can achieve.  My hair rinses clean in under a minute and actually feels clean (though not squeaky).  I only need one wash… none of that rinse and repeat stuff.  It cleanses my hair effectively and leaves my scalp happy and calm.

I was also sent the conditioner for dry or damaged hair (one of the three varieties available) and it’s a very thick, almost masque-like opaque cream.  Rich with shea butter and yangu oil (known for it’s inherent uv protection), the conditioner offers a deeply moisturising experience.  I tend to keep this away from my roots and concentrate instead on the ends and main hair shaft.  It lacks the tell-tale silicone slip that if I’m honest… I still miss but does prevent my hair from taking on a straw-like appearance once dry.

The scent of the conditioner is heavier than the shampoo and to my nose, I smell licorice which I’m putting down to the Rose-Scented Geranium essential oil… a scent that has always reminded me more of anise and licorice than roses!  Love it.

Both shampoo and conditioner come in two sizes (50ml and 200ml) and are priced at £4/£7.50 respectively.  Despite a full month’s use… I’ve only used half a bottle of the shampoo and will absolutely be repurchasing.  The conditioner tube is nearly empty and I’m not quite in love with it enough to repurchase.

Liz Earle’s new haircare ranges can be purchased online.  I’m not sure if they’re available from John Lewis, which would be my preferred source (I know the candles/bath oils aren’t) – I’ll check and get back to you on that one.

5 Summer Essentials!

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 17 - 2010

Mid August… the kids are still off school (don’t we all know it?!) and for many of us, the Summer is just starting to wind down.  We’ve already indulged in some Autumn/Winter makeup collections and gladiator sandals just don’t seem that appealing anymore.

Here’s some of the products that have made my Summer more enjoyable and at times, bearable!

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Liz Earle Foot Spritzer – £7

Instant relief for hot, tired feet.  Simply spritz all over to cool and refresh.  I actually spray on my legs aswell, the cooling sensation is undeniable though the menthol is a touch overpowering for some.

Mr. L moans when I use it in an enclosed space, though he admits that he finds it preferable to the smell of my feet.

This special edition Summer product is only available until the 5th September, so not long to stock up.

Available online from Liz Earle..

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Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powder – £23.50

I’m in love with both of my Bobbi Brown Illuminating Bronzing Powders (I also bought Maui this Summer).

Sheer with a touch of sparkle, Antigua blows my bronzing fear out of the water. The delicate pink shade sits realistically against my skintone and the buildable nature means that this is one product I won’t over-cook.

Available at counters nationwide or online.

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Mitchum Powder Fresh Roll On Deodorant – £2.79

If you’re looking for something to combat a particularly troublesome Summer issue, then Mitchum never lets me down.

The roll-on, “powder fresh” formula is my particular fav and for me, it really lives up to it’s claims of 48hr protection.

I don’t use this all year round, simply because I try to use something that contains less aluminium when I can get away with it.  But nothing will sway me from this product throughout the sweaty months.

Available from most supermarkets/chemists.

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Caudalie Organic Grape Water – £7

Another instant reliever for sweaty days, the can dispenses a fine mist that cools and refreshes. This was a lifesaver during a BBQ one warm evening after one of my Sk:n Laser Hair Removal sessions.

Extracted from grapes during the harvest the ingredient’s list reads: Grape Fruit Water, Grape Juice and Nitrogen. That’s it. Fabulous!

Available online from LookFantastic

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Tresemme Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo – £4.29

I’ve been reaching for this little can a lot over the last few weeks.  Tresemme’s take on the dry shampoo market is less “powdery” than the high street alternatives.  It dispenses a fine and completely clear mist that seems somehow more controllable than my Batiste.

However, it’s double the price…

I’ll repurchase with pleasure, but only when I find it on special offer.

Available from most supermarkets/chemists

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What products have been making your summer even more pleasurable?.

Notes from a (very) Small Island

Posted by Lipglossiping On August - 12 - 2010

Apologies to Bill Bryson for completely bastardizing his wonderful book title, but it stuck in my head and I couldn’t clear it for love nor chocolate.

I hope you’re sitting comfortably… this is gonna be a long one!

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of visiting the Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare HQ on the Isle of Wight.  The island is a stones throw from where I live in Hampshire… but I’ve only ever visited once before, and that was for a work trip that started at 9pm and finished at 6am.  I didn’t even get to see daybreak!  So, to say that I was excited at the prospect of revisiting is a bit of an understatement.

Stepping off the catamaran and onto Ryde pier was like stepping back in time.  Literally!  The trains they use to transfer passengers between the ferry landing point and the esplanade are 1980’s London Tube stock, complete with original upholstery.

Thankfully, the Liz Earle HQ is a little more modern!

Nicknamed “The Greenhouse” because of it’s ECO credentials, the building is heated and cooled thanks to some nifty geothermal technology and the loos are flushed with rainwater harvested from the roof!  The company even boasts a Green Team whose role is to oversee and brainstorm as many avenues as possible to ensure that Liz Earle as a company are leaving the lightest ecological footprints possible.

Our first stop was the Fulfilment Centre which takes up a huge area on the ground floor of the building.  This department alone employs over 130 people who handwrap each and every order that comes in.  There wasn’t a computerised ‘wrapping’ machine in sight!

I was keeping a very close eye on how those cylindrical bottles of Cleanse and Polish were being wrapped, but hands were moving far too quickly for my brain to process the steps!

The packaging and picking process is closely monitored at each stage so that any subsequent problems can be traced back to the source and addressed.  We were shown how similar-looking products can occasionally be confused by the picker if they’re placed too close to one another on the shelves.  With thousands of orders leaving the department each week, the fulfilment centre need to keep ontop of things and provide instant solutions to potential problems.

A picker completing the orders that were still flooding in just minutes before home time!

All the neatly wrapped products ready for picking and dispatch… I don’t know about you… but I’d struggle to tell them apart!

The staff in the fulfilment centre are frequently rotated to different stations and given different tasks to avoid common ‘factory’ problems such as R.S.I. – the atmosphere was jovial, though I think the sight of a bunch of (slightly-in-awe) bloggers taking such interest in their wrapping skills was the source of much amusement!

We followed up with a visit to the island store (spot for many a pilgrimage for die-hard Liz Earle fans!).  Union on Union Street in Ryde is a teeny tiny boutique store.  Barely bigger than my guest bedroom, but an absolute haven amongst the bustle of the other high street shops.  Despite it’s bijou appearance, they’ve paid clear attention to detail and design.  There’s a little station for hand and arm massages (as shown above) and an area complete with sink where customers can get a feel for the products they’re contemplating.

The well stocked shelves are inviting with all products displayed clearly.

A place to try the products… something more skincare companies should implement in their stores.

I could have spent a couple of hours in there, but our itinerary was busy and we were whisked back to The Greenhouse to continue on our ‘backstage’ tour!

Next stop was the 1st floor where we were able to say a quick hello to Jennifer Hirsch.  Surely, one of the most influential women at The Greenhouse… Jennifer is Liz Earle’s Botanical Research Manager responsible for researching the best quality botanical ingredients and working closely with the Product Development team to ensure that those ingredients end up in our products!  Fresh back from a research trip to Switzerland, alpine plants seem to be the flavour of the month with the Product Development lot!

I was also interested to learn from the PD team that Liz Earle rarely discontinue products.  Which means that they have to be cautious and careful to ensure they only create products that will enjoy a long term position within the product family.  Infact, the only product ever discontinued was a popular self-tanner that they decided to withdraw once legislation demanded one of the ingredients be animal tested.  Rather than comply and deviate from their ethical policies and commitment to no animal testing, they withdrew the product without delay.

The ongoing theme within the company, apparent every step of the way is their attention to detail.  It’s a meticulousness that transcends the everyday and culminates with the factoid that EVERYTHING is approved by joint founder Kim Buckland before being signed off.  From product placement through to signage, nothing gets the go ahead without being given the once over by the co-founder.  It’s a tight ship, but one that seems to be paying dividends.

A couple of the “thank you” cards on display in the Customer Centre which handles calls from all over the world and employs a crew of women who work late into the night to accommodate phonecalls from the U.S. and Canada.

The call centre staff are trained to offer general advice on skincare, botanical ingredients knowledge, product information, details about the Liz Earle philosophy and have even been known to impart a little local tourist advice to customers keen to make the pilgrimage!

One of the curios in the Customer Centre!  How dreadful is that old packaging?!  And it’s only from the late 90s… The turquoise is a slight improvement no?!

Enough of The Greenhouse!

It was time to meet the brand’s namesake at the Cleanse & Polish 15th Anniversary customer event!

The view from Biskra Beach House is pretty stunning.  You can see where the inspiration for the turquoise colour scheme came from!

The Beach House was the original setting for the company’s rise to success.  They only left these HQs for the purpose built Greenhouse a couple of years ago and the staff who have been there long enough to have worked at both locations had nothing but fond memories of working in such a beautiful setting.

The location quickly filled with locals who had been selected from the customer database and invited to come along and join in the celebrations.  The mood was uplifting and it was hard to suppress a smile at the good humour and banter that could be heard throughout the house and garden.  The average age of attendee was definitely toward the more mature end of the scale, which is probably a fair reflection of the brand’s supporters.  It was good to see a true representation… not the trendiest bunch of party goers, but definitely some of the most friendly!

There was an audible gasp and a crack of excitement in the air when Liz arrived to address the waiting guests.  She spoke informally for a while, thanking her guests and sharing some anecdotes from the brand’s past before making herself available to sign books and chat on a one to one basis.

We were led to an upstairs lounge to meet Liz who despite the hustle and bustle downstairs had put aside a surprising amount of time to chat with the three of us about her brand, it’s history and future visions.  She didn’t shy away from questions… and was happy to explain the brand’s decisions to use paraben preservatives and synthetic sandalwood oils.

We also discussed the recent partnership with Avon.  Liz was quick to assert that Avon would be indispensable in their quest to move the brand into wider global markets (China was mentioned) and that Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare needed a partner with the knowledge and infrastructure that would allow such a transition.

Liz is a woman who’s fiercely protective of the brand she’s helped to create.  She (more than anyone) recognises that it’s this previously mentioned attention to detail, commitment to customer service and the island from which the brand was born, independent attitude and ethical philosophies that are the foundations to their success.  These things aren’t about to change for anyone, no matter how deep their pockets.

Guest Review – Liz Earle Young Skin Try-Me Kit

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 5 - 2010

I’m delighted to introduce my latest guest reviewer Rachel from the delightful QueenofTurquoise.  As a more suitable candidate age-wise than me, she’s been trialling the Liz Earle Young Skin Try-Me Kit, and this is what she thought of it….

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I received this kit from Charlotte at the end of May and I’m far more impressed by it than I expected to be!  I was kind of thinking it would just show me that I wasn’t missing out on anything with my cheapy products.. Wrong 😉

I’ve been using it for three weeks now and I’ve noticed considerable changes…

Before I started using this I had quite a few little spots/bumps on my forehead, noticeable pores around my nose and the little creases around my nose were quite dry and red.  Primer was a necessity as my skin suffered from random flaky patches of skin that weren’t visible until foundation was applied.  I also had some stubborn blackheads on and around my nose and chin… Although I wouldn’t describe my skin as particularly oily it has it’s moments and breakouts are relatively common!

The difference in three weeks is quite dramatic, the pores around my nose appear smaller, noticeably more radiant skin (if I do say so myself!) less blackheads, spots disappear faster, and my odd flaky bits of skin have vanished making primer optional rather than essential!

The hot cloth cleanser is amazing, and boasts ingredients of Rosemary, Chamomile, Cocoa butter and Eucalyptus essentiol oil.

At first I was a little unsure of the consistency as I’d never really used anything like it before, but it soon grew on me as I watched my skin become smoother and softer.  The muslin cloth part of this really makes all the difference, particularly to the radiance factor! The cloth provided in the kit is lovely, really good quality and a great size.  The only down point for me is that I’m not keen on the scent of the cleanser, which is a shame as using it feels lovely and luxurious, and not liking the scent is a little frustrating!  I’d love this so much more if it had the same scent as the toner… Something I’d definitely consider buying full size for myself (which is saying a lot, I’m normally a £5 cleanser girl!)

Next in my new routine was the Skin Tonic Spritzer.  It smells absolutely gorgeous, I’d really like a perfume of it!  The scent really makes this product for me.  The naturally active ingredients are listed as Organic Aloe Vera, Calendula, Cucumber and Vitamin E.  There’s really nothing that this little wonder can’t do, used after cleansing my face felt smoother and softer, used during the day to refresh and cool through this weird British summer it did it’s job perfectly, and it sets make up amazingly!  Wonderful wonderful stuff, incredibly reasonably priced, I can see myself buying this forever more!

The third step is moisturiser, and for this the kit provided me with Skin Repair Light for Combination/Oily skin.  It’s described as “light, gentle and balancing” which I can only agree with.

I tend to have huge issues with moisturiser, I’m really fussy and I want it to do everything, be rich enough to moisturise well, yet still be light enough for it to be absorbed quickly enough to use before applying make up in the morning and more!  This ticks all the boxes, despite not claiming any mattifying qualities it doesn’t leave me shiny, it’s beautifully light yet creamy and it moisturises perfectly, plus I can put primer and make up over the top after just a couple of minutes without it “rolling” off in little bits everywhere!  Again, another top product and an essential one if you struggle with combination/oily skin, or even if you just like a lighter moisturiser in the morning.

The last product in the kit is the “Spot on” which is described as a “rescue treatment for blemishes, bites and cuts”.  I really didn’t like this on my face for spots, sticky and just yuck, for me it doesn’t fit with the luxurious experience the other products provide and that was disappointing.  It smells like any other spot treatment with tea tree and made very little noticeable difference to spots for me.  As you can tell, I was totally unimpressed with this until I got totally attacked with bites that kept me awake most of the night and nothing that I put on made any difference until I tried this, instantly cooling and soothing and it did a really great job considering the nasty allergic reaction I had to the bites!

Overall, an amazing kit to try, would really recommend it to anyone looking for a new routine with gorgeous products!

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Thanks Rachel, a great indepth review!

The Liz Earle Young Skin Try-Me kit is priced at £23 and available online from Liz Earle.

Liz Earle fans…

Posted by Lipglossiping On July - 3 - 2010

… don’t forget to flick over to Sky Channel 640 today to check out today’s QVC TSV (Today’s Special Value).

All this for £39.96!

Contents:

  • 1 x Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser Tube (100ml)
  • 1 x Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer (30ml)
  • 1 x Skin Repair Moisturiser (50ml) – choose from Dry/Sensitive, Light or Normal/Combination
  • 1 x Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion (150ml)
  • 1 x Daily Eye Repair (5ml)
  • 1 x Energising Body Wash (100ml)
  • 1 x Energising Body Scrub (50ml)
  • 1 x Foot Scrub (100ml)
  • 1 x Foot Repair Moisturiser (30ml)
  • 1 x Sheer Pink Lip Shimmer (5g)
  • 2 x muslin cloths

It’s beauty month at QVC so I’m looking forward to finding out what other TSV’s they have up their sleeves!

What’s been some of your favourite QVC Beauty bargains over the years?

Liz Earle guest blogs…

Posted by Lipglossiping On June - 16 - 2010

I’m very excited!  We’ve only bloomin’ got Liz Earle guest blogging on Lipglossiping today innit!

It’s an exciting week for everyone at Liz Earle who are currently celebrating the 15th anniversary of their multi-award winning Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser.

Liz agreed to share her tips on how to save some pennies and treat ourselves to a well-deserved uber facial whilst in the comfort of our own pig stys homes.  Read on for her fabulous how-to…

Dear Lipglossiping Friends,

It’s lovely to share with you my personal tips on how to pamper your skin in the comfort of your own home! Plus, if you are looking to curb the expense of a full salon treatment, this technique could be for you.

As summer is approaching, this at home facial is exactly what your skin needs – a fresh, new beginning! Simple, fuss- free and pampering, this facial will leave you with a complexion ready for summer.

Here are the quick and easy steps of what to do:

~ Cleanse
~ Exfoliate
~ Steam
~ Extracts (if any)
~ Tone
~ Mask and rest
~ Moisturise

Cleanse

The cornerstone of fabulous looking skin is cleansing.  Cleansing is integral to achieve a clear complexion by getting rid of daily grime and impurities to keep your skin clean and prevent blemishes.  Look for a gentle cleanser that is free from mineral oil, has a rich and creamy texture and swiftly removes all traces of face and eye make-up.

Apply a small amount of your cleanser of choice to the fingertips of one hand and dot on forehead, cheeks, chin and neck.  Massage the cleanser into your skin in small circular movements – always work down the neck, and up from jaw line to your forehead, going outwards from the centre of the face.  Work around the nostrils to help shift blackheads, especially if you’re spot-prone.

Wash off the cleanser using a pure muslin cloth wrung out in warm water to help gently dislodge dead skin cells and help reveal clean, soft and radiant skin.  Finish by splashing your face with cold water for a final refresh.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating is a vital step to buff away dead skin cells and impurities, in order to reveal fresh radiant skin.  To give yourself the equivalent of a salon treatment at home, you can use a very gentle face exfoliator.  Look for one containing spherical beads such as jojoba and avoid anything with jagged particles such as nut kernels.

Gently massage your exfoliator over your face, neck and décolleté, for one to three minutes, using the whole length of your fingers and working in little circles, out from the centre.  Avoid your eye area.

Rinse off with warm water.  To remove any last traces, sprinkle toner on cotton-wool pads and sweep them over your face.

Steam

After you have prepped your skin by cleansing and exfoliating, start the steaming process!  Avoid this step, however, if you have very high colour on your cheeks, or rosacea.  You can buy fancy gadgets for the steaming process but I get the best results by steaming my face over a basin of hot water for five minutes.   Here’s how you do it:

~ Fill a bowl with just-boiled water and allow it to cool for a minute or two.

~ Tie back your hair, or use a soft stretchy hair band.

~ You can get skin softened and prepped from plain steam, with nothing added to the water, although adding a few drops of essential oil will help blemish or spot-prone skin.  All pure essential oils are volatile oil compounds and therefore have antiseptic and antibacterial properties.  My favorites for facial steaming are lavender (good for all skin types), rosemary (for oilier skin) and tea tree (highly antibacterial and thus excellent for helping to purify spots and breakouts).  Add three to four drops to the water just before you put your face over it, and swoosh round with a toothbrush handle or similar.  Essential oils are broken down by heat, so drop in at the last moment to retain maximum potency and aroma.

~ With the towel over your head, take six deep slow breaths (through your mouth may be more comfortable). Move your head a little so every part of your face benefits from the cleansing steam.

~ Remove the towel after about five minutes and use it to pat the skin dry.

Extracts

The easiest time to remove any small spots or blackheads is just after steaming when skin is softer.  Apply a small dab of plant oil (i.e. grapeseed or almond) or balm to the affected area.

Wrap both index fingers in a tissue (pull it in half, so you have two thin sheets) and gently press the blemish to unclog the plugs of sebum.  Wipe clean and follow with a sweep of skin tonic.  If the spot is deep, don’t push or poke too hard; it may not be ready to be extracted.

A good tip: good light is essential and if you don’t have 20/20 vision, a magnifying mirror is very useful.

Tone

A toner is essential for closing pores and preparing your skin for your favorite moisturiser, so follow extractions with a sweep of skin toner sprinkled onto a cotton wool pad to cool the skin.  This will help to keep your complexion cool and calm.  Look for an alcohol free toner that will not dry or irritate your skin.

Mask & Rest

Some women don’t usually use a mask, but I believe it’s an essential part of the process to leave skin balanced, calm and clear.  Apply a generous layer of your favorite mask to both face and neck, but avoid the immediate eye area.  Clay-based masks are useful for spot-prone congested skin.  If you have dry skin I recommend using a creamy, oil-based mask as these are more nourishing.

It’s fine to mix and match masks and use a clay-based mask on your T-zone and then a richer, hydrating formula on drier cheeks.  Apply with your fingertips or – a little insider secret – use a blusher brush to paint the mask over your face!

To help you fall into a haven of rest and wake up with eyes that sparkle, dampen two cotton wool pads with an eye lotion.  Look for one that’s gentle, soothing and will revitalize your delicate eye area.  If you have the time, chill the pads in an ice tray for 10 minutes before applying for a refreshing treat.

I encourage you to lie down for 15 to 20 minutes with your feet propped up – raising your ankles above the level of your heart helps circulation.  Once you start feeling re-freshed, remove the eye pads and thoroughly wipe away the mask with a damp muslin cloth, flannel or facial sponge.

Moisturise

Finish your pampering treat by applying a moisturiser.  Dot over your face, neck and décolleté before massaging in.

I recommend you look for a moisturiser containing natural plant oils which will work in harmony with your skin’s natural oils to give it just the right amount of moisturisation, leaving your skin radiant with a healthy-looking glow.

Follow with your selected eye cream.

I hope you’ve found my personal tips helpful and just in time for summer.  If you have any questions regarding this at-home facial treatment, please feel free to ask any questions to Charlotte and the Liz Earle team and I will be happy to answer them.

Best regards,

Liz

So there you have it, tips from a bonafide skincare queen!  I’m going to give it a go this weekend, I’m in need of some serious pampering and have my Instant Boost Skin Tonic and Deep Cleansing Mask at the ready!

I never get round to making time to do this kind of thing despite ALWAYS promising myself that I will, so I’m pledging…. right here, right now.  Next week, my skin will GLOW from a proper DIY facial thanks to these tips.  Anyone else gonna make the pledge with me?  And no cheating… you have to do the lot… the steaming and the feet up bit included!

Also, as Liz mentioned… if you have any questions about DIY pampering, please leave a comment below!

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