Last week I was invited to the new Beauty Floor over at John Lewis and, never turning down a good chance at being nosy, I graciously accepted. So, yesterday, Katy and I headed over to Liverpool - on seemingly the world's longest train journey - grabbed burgers as big as our heads from Almost Famous and then promptly went on our way to see whether John Lewis' new Beauty Floor would live up to the hype. With Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar right on our doorstep, us Scouse (and plastic Scouse, in my case) girls aren't easy to please.
I have to say - first impressions are good. Gone are the somewhat old fashioned beauty halls that John Lewis had offered Liverpool before, and in their place stand the soft rose gold of Charlotte Tilbury mirror, huge carnival lights announcing the arrival of Loved and Sound and the pleasantly approachable new Chino clad Clarins' Beauty Bar staff. Everything about the new Beauty Floor seems fresher, newer, younger - and it really does make the difference. Halls I used to bypass in favour of internet shopping I happily browsed through, hands full of swatches and questions for nearly every counter. Call me fickle (there's a joke in there somewhere, I'm sure) but the new bright, approachable, open stance that John Lewis seem to have implemented really does make the shopping experience much more pleasant.
First noticeable difference; Loved and Found. The new Loved and Found area is amazing - bright, fresh and new - with Skinnydip, Trinity and Paddywax Apothecary in amongst the huge offerings of clothing and homewares. Think a smaller Urban Outfitters within John Lewis - it's surprisingly enjoyable and really is somewhere that I'd shop and browse through - it's a unique new addition to the somewhat traditional brands that John Lewis have stocked in the past; and it was nice to see them embracing the new in such a huge way.
Next, and perhaps most notably of the whole newly refurbished floor; Clarins' Beauty Bar. Luckily I got a good amount of time to ask my questions, and although I opted out of getting a facial as I was full of cold, they let me in to observe Katy's and so I got to watch a few going on. The idea is an affordable spa treatment (£25) within 30 minutes - and it's genius. Not only are the girls really well read on their treatments (I quizzed poor Lottie for the entire time Katy had her SOS Facial), but they've thought of everything from specialised skin services with specialised products for men to the fact that they'll even redo your make up after your treatment so you can literally have one done on a lunch hour. Amongst everything we saw, I found the Beauty Bar the most impressive by far - it's affordable, ingenious and perfectly tailored to a busy modern day life.
All in all, I had a lovely night at John Lewis, and it's really lovely to see a brand embracing something new and innovative, and I can't wait to see how it continues to grow - I can say for sure though, you'll definitely see me in the beauty halls more often than ever.