Sunday, 30 May 2010

Treatment review - Liz Earle skincare tutorial

Disclosure - service was provided free of charge by PR

Earlier this week I wandered out in the blazing sunshine to attend a skincare tutorial with Liz Earle's treatment manager and skincare expert Jo Givens at the Liz Earle store in Chelsea.

The skincare tutorial is part of Liz Earle's range of treatment services, and costs a rather daunting £45 for 45 minutes. It's a one-on-one session designed to allow clients to discuss skincare concerns and learn how to adjust their skincare routine to address them. It's also a chance to learn exactly how to use Liz Earle products and how to get the best out of your skincare generally through application techniques and advice.

On arrival I was given a cup of iced tea and a very thorough pre-treatment questionnaire to  fill in, covering my medical history, current skincare routine and  various other relevant details. I filled it out sitting in a very welcoming relaxation area at  the back of the store.

As Beauty Mouth points out in her  excellent "facials  checklist", you should always expect a history to be taken or to  have some discussion with your therapist before any treatments. Liz  Earle's questionnaire is very thorough (down to asking how firm you like  the pressure during a massage).

Then I was introduced to Jo, and led through into the treatment area of the store, which is blocked off from the shop floor by a door and passageway (good for keeping the noise out).

I'd say the service is probably most suied to those with a particular or acute skincare concern, like an outbreak of acne, eczema or rosacea. I am lucky enough to have pretty easy-going skin, although I have started to see the dreaded First Signs Of Aging in the last year, particularly in the form of smile-lines and crows feet around my eyes. That was the first thing I raised once I was sitting in the treatment room (light, very spacious, spa-esque music playing) with Jo.

Jo had set out a tray containing all the Liz Earle skincare products for us to run through, and we sat down and started chatting. Jo explained that she could either talk me through the products, or I could apply them myself following her instructions. As I had come bare-faced to the session, I thought I would opt for the latter.

She showed me a simple 2-minute massage technique I could use with my cleanser, and also gave me very detailed advice on how to handle my skin, what sort of strokes to use and what level of pressure I should be applying (I am far too rough with it at the moment). She explained, using a diagram, how fine lines appear and where they originate in the skin. Her explanation made good sense to me and tied in logically with the advice she gave me. Having studied biology, I'm generally pretty sceptical about "the science bit" when I hear it from beauty professionals, but Jo's reasoning seemed very sound to me.

We moved on to treatments, and Jo showed me several auxiliary products in the Liz Earle line, including the Gentle Facial Exfoliator. This is simply a version of Cleanse & Polish with additional Jojoba beads for mechanical exfoliation. I liked the simplicity of that, and it seemed very logical to me to keep the formula the same and just add exfoliators rather than create a whole new product for skin to adjust to.

We also discussed eye treatments, and Jo taught me exactly how to apply eye cream (this had ALWAYS mystified me) and also how to use it as an eye mask. She answered my questions about the role of serums and oils in skincare (her verdict was that the format of a product matters much less than the ingredients it contains and the way it's used) and assessed the type and condition of my skin.

I could go on, but as my treatment was specific to me, it won't be relevant to most people reading. Suffice it to say that I found the service extremely thorough and professional, and I came away feeling that I had acquired some valuable new skills. It could so easily have been a Liz Earle sales pitch, but I didn't feel that was the agenda at all. I did get to know the products in the Liz Earle range better than I had previously, but I didn't feel Jo was trying to push them at me in any sense. Her approach was more about listening to my needs and concerns and tailoring the tools we had available to my particular skin and lifestyle. She provided me with as much useful information as she could within the 45 minutes, without swamping me with too much detail.

At the end of the session she wrote down all the products and  techniques for me, and we finished  up the session with a hand and arm massage. I left feeling very relaxed,  positive and happy.

Verdict - a pricey but very professional service with lots to offer, especially for those with specific skincare concerns.


  1. Hmm sounds good but eeek at that price! Tell us how to apply eye cream properly please! :D

  2. You pat it on lightly with your ring finger (which has the lightest touch) around the eye, before you moisturise. Don't rub in.

    I know re. price - I'd have to be quite rich to go back again!


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