I enjoy an online discount code as much as the next beauty nerd, but what website can give me a pre-party “Oxygen Blast” facial, as an Elizabeth Arden consultant did the other day? Smart bricks-and-mortar retailers know that the in-person customer experience is their trump card, and their new on-counter treatment menus couldn’t be further from the dodgy makeovers of yore. They’re also a brilliant way to try products without commitment or risk.
The aforementioned Arden treatment (a 15-minute booster during which a mist of hydrating serum and oxygen was delivered very pleasantly via airbrush over my face and neck for a plumper, brighter – albeit temporary – glow) is just one of those offered in the new Red Door Spa Express Services, available at selected counters. Others on the menu include a modern skin peel, custom facial massage and one revolving around the use of a digital diagnostic tool measuring moisture levels in the skin (I did this too and found the result gratifying). All are £15 but fully redeemable against any product bought on the day.
Japanese skincare brand Shiseido doesn’t charge anything for either its on-counter diagnostic service, which uses a machine to measure skin texture, evenness, damage and tone, or for its two Japanese skin treatments (one of which uses the very pricey Future Solutions LX products), lasting 10-20 minutes.
Clarins, whose on-counter treatments are among the very best, has just revamped and relaunched its We Know Skin in-store express treatment menu, with facials, skin diagnostics, eye reviving sessions and massages, all lasting 10-15 minutes and costing zero pence.
Estée Lauder counters offer both hands-on and hands-off services, the latter involving digital skin analysis terminals (essentially an iPad camera) that use AI technology to quickly and accurately measure the extent of skin concerns, from dark circles and redness to wrinkles and sun damage, or less dishearteningly, find your perfect foundation shade to disguise them all.
Elizabeth Arden, Estée Lauder and Clarins all offer online booking and services nationwide. Wherever you go, I’d suggest making an appointment (even if only an hour ahead while you browse the bedding) to get the full experience from a focused consultant – who, by the way, will almost invariably be delighted to deliver in-person service after being unable to touch any beauty customers for the thick end of two years.
Leave a Reply