Invited last week to Sainsbury’s Beauty Boutique, I’d no idea what to expect. Yes, I visit Sainsbury’s on the odd occasion but it tends to be due to the proximity of the small local version rather than dedicated brand loyalty. The skincare ranges have completely passed me by.
What I found in situe on a corner of Covent Garden was a bakery transformed into a short overhaul beauty salon that catered to facials, make-up, manicures and hair styling (courtesy of Phil Smith and his team). The feel was relaxed and open and journalists meandered through the two floor area taking up their existing appointments and appearing transformed. But it’s the products on offer at Sainsbury’s that impressed.
The new Boutique cosmetics line is testimony to good taste. ie Colours in nails, lips and eye lines are thoughtful, often matching formula to colour (in lips) while nails have the hit colours for Autumn (gold, silver, navy, burgundy) as well as beigey minks and hot orange & red shades. Make-Up artists, Jo Saville and Sophie Price seem to have advised Sainsbury’s well on colour, range and offer that includes items that marry high pigmentation and staying power with easy application. Prices range from £4 for an eyeshadow to £7 for a Boutique lipstick.
Phil Smith’s range of hair products is easily labelled (a big bonus) and delivers treatments that include various dry shampoos, conditioners and treatments as well as the new ‘Total Treat’ area of argan oils and creams (launching September) to add shine and conditioning treatments to damp hair. Phil Smith even has a range of electrical products, obviously available at the larger Sainsburys and set at a keen price.
Skincare is functional and easily labelled and therefore understood by consumers (Sainsbury’s ‘get’ that the busy woman tends to grab and go). The Skin Therapy Collection has staple products from sensitive to combination, high performance day creams (I’m trialing one now – non sticky, moisturising and smooth), evening creams, serums, face oil, eye make-up remover and facial mousse ( a cleansing foaming wash). Prices range from £3 to £14.99 and all are currently available from Sainsbury’s branches.
New to the range from October is Geraldine Howard’s ‘Aroma Actives Collection’ (above), a range that encompasses active botanicals and essential oils. promising pure, natural and credible skincare free from harsh chemicals. The range includes cleansers and toners, facial wash and masks. All priced between £7-£12.
The Boutique cosmetics range from Sainsbury’s launches in September 2013 and will be available from larger branches nationwide. The Aroma Actives Collection will be avilable from October 2013