I am on the hunt for a new day moisturiser since the seasons have changed and my skin is getting a little thirstier now the central heating is on and the mornings waiting for a train are colder. I headed to Space NK in Covent Garden where it has always been my go to place for top range skincare products and make-up under one roof and its on my way to the office. I wanted to try something new as I am such a sucker for the latest beauty lotions and potions.
It was still early, there were no other customers inside and I thought this would be a great time to get some undivided attention from the staff. I initially browsed the selection products behind the till before making eye contact with the shop assistant (male). He stopped the dusting he was doing and asked if I needed any help?
I gave him a precise list of what I was looking - a day moisturiser with a good SPF and anti-ageing properties suitable for combination skin. I get a shiny nose and have started to get expression lines on my forehead. Well he did ask how he could help and I wanted to be clear of my skin concerns and get the right product for me.
He took down a jar of Chantecaille but the jar was empty so he brought down another product called ReVive oil free lotion. I tried a small dot on the back of my hand but found the texture too greasy and took a long time to sink in. When I pointed this out to him - he tried a bit on his hand but protested that the product had sunk into his skin and did not leave a film on his hand. Mmmmm my skin is obviously different to yours but I'm not buying it for you, I'm buying it for me!
Another shop assistant came over (presumably the manager) and asked how she could help. I gave her the details of what I wanted and she came back with some products from the sun care range Adaptasun. A product which acted as a sun block but had anti-ageing ingredients in it. I asked how it worked and she said that it worked on the skin layers that stopped the skin from tanning and ageing. I asked if there were any physical barriers like titanium dioxide and she said no there wasn't any, it worked in a different way (she lost me on the science bit). So I pick up the box and start reading through the ingredients to see if there were any natural ingredients and what the anti-ageing ingredients were. And lo and behold there was titanium dioxide.... OK I point this out to her and she has a look to see and says it wasn't mentioned in the training she had. Of all the stupidest replies to give here. I had always thought the staff at Space NK were knowledgeable but these two were a bit clueless. I tell her I am not really looking for a sun block but a day moisturiser, she replies that if I used this product I can add a serum to help plump up the skin. Ah that's right just push some more products I don't need to buy thank you very much. I patiently explain that products with titanium dioxide leaves me with an ashy like pallor hence my reservation for this sun block suggestion.
At this point the other (male) assistant gets back into the conversation and asks me to try the ReVive cream which might be less greasy so I give that a go and it does sink in,has a much lighter texture and leaves no filmy residue. I have a look at the box and it says its suitable for normal to dry skin, prematurely aged skin and is priced at £120 - kerching ! Really did these guy's hear me at all? So I repeat what I wanted, I have combination skin I don't want a product for dry skin, I don't need the extra moisturisation to leave my face greasy or worse get break-outs. I want to apply a day cream so I can then slap on my make up and dash out to work. They point out the oil free ReVive Lotion should be suitable and is recommended people aged 25 start using it then - I tell them again (starting to get frustrated here) its greasy on my skin.*Really* what 25 year old would have the funds to splash out on a £120 lotion to prevent anti-ageing, they would be spending that money on holidays and sun tanning themselves to death (which is what I did back then).
Then I put in the deal breaker - I am going to be 39 hence the requirement for a moisturiser that has anti-ageing ingredients. they both look at me blankly I am obviously such a difficult case they decide to push some free samples of ReVive and tell me to try them at home and more or less shove me out of the door. Can I say during the whole time no other customer came into the shop - they were not obviously busy but the information and whole manner really was below par what I expect from a high end beauty retailer. Why they couldn't have opened a new jar of Chantecaille sun cream SPF30 for me to try is beyond me. That would have ticked all my skin care requirements.....I had the biggest hump ever when I left
So I am shopping with me feet and heading to a department store on Oxford Street, I may not get impartial advice and may need to spend a little longer at each beauty counter but at least the staff there will really be informed on their skin care lines. Anyway rant over and will update you on what I get.