Selfridges has re-vamped and reorganised the main beauty hall, and I was recently invited to go and have a look and a skincare consultation at the new Clinique counter.
Clinique have gained a huge amount of floorspace in the moves. They are now in the prime spot by the corner next to the path into the chocolate and stationery (where Lancome used to be, but also with half of the space round the corner where the Sisley counter was.) I can only guess how Lancome/L'Oreal feel about losing this spot, but in a battle of the two beauty behemoths if I had to pick a side I am definitely Team Lauder.
They've really looked at the different ways people shop; if you want to sit down and have a full skincare consultation there is a bar with seats that offer some privacy as you discuss your concerns with your consultant and she takes you through your skin type and suggested routine. You can also browse the products housed around the sides of the sales area and self-serve if you know what you want or you just want to have a look. The cosmetics are housed in a boutique area with decent lighting where you can test colours out, and there's even a bit for the boys - it's slightly separate from the ladies' area (around the side where the Sisley counter was) with their boy stuff easily on display so they can grab, pay and go.
My favourite bits - as well as the privacy for skincare consultations, I like the new diagnosis two way mirror/magnifier so that you can point out areas of concern to your consultant and both of you get a close look at your skin at the same time. Each of the stations has a hand sanitiser at it, and my consultant sanitised her hands thoroughly and asked for my permission before she touched my skin (I'm a germaphobe.) My consultant was lovely and very knowledgeable, and she asked me what my concerns were instead of telling me what she thought was wrong with my skin. I also like the fact that there is a payment station and not a counter separating the consumer and the sales assistants - I'm always interested in ingredients and it can be quite intimidating asking for a look at a box to check these out if you then decide not to buy. With the new set-up you are free to pick up a box and have a look.
From tomorrow (26 September) to 6 October 2009 there's also a good Bonus Time GWP at the counter too (and at Selfridges Manchester and Birmingham) - with any two purchases (one to be skincare) you get a nice bag designed by Michelle Smith, from design label Milly, filled with good-sized useful items; 30ml Deep Comfort Body Cream, 30ml Sparkle Skin Exfoliating Cream, 15ml Youth Surge spf 15 moisturiser, 75ml Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser, and a small sized glosswear, high impact mascara and eyeshadow duo.
I was sent some skincare diagnosed for me by the consultant by the Clinique PR (without charge), and I'll review it after using for a month or two. I'm particularly interested in seeing how the very new Even Better serum and spf 20 moisturiser work for dealing with my pigmentation marks (I'm a terrible picker at blemishes, and I end up with red marks on my pale skin for months afterwards.)