I usually head to Intu Trafford Centre as a shopping and dining destination, but this spring they are focussing on all things beauty. After all, they are home to the exciting beauty departments at Selfridges, Debenhams, Boots and John Lewis, plus they have loads of high street and high end fragrance, skincare and beauty stores including Lush, Molton Brown, and L’Occitane. And the centre is not just about the beauty products! Did you know you can get a 15 minute post shopping facial at The Face Doctor for just £15? Or a complimentary hand massage at L’Occitane? There are actually lots of ways to experience a bit of express pampering during a visit to Intu Trafford Centre, so why wouldn’t you devote just a little of your time for a bit of indulgence?
One evening last week I went along for an Indulgence Hour – 60 minutes of express pampering tailored to my “beauty personality” and the key areas I wanted to focus on. What’s great is that because the centre is open until 10pm, it was easy to fit this express hour into my week after work. And as you’ll see from my itinerary, I chose to focus on my face with winter skincare and makeup, plus some relaxation and massage because it can be hard to wind down after a stressful day at work.
- 15 minute facial at The Face Doctor
My first stop was The Face Doctor, where I tried out their 15 minute post shopping facial. Their store/salon has the look of an old-fashioned apothecary, which I just loved, and the ladies there talked to me about their range of natural results-driven skincare products developed locally by “The Face Doctor” himself. The facial was short and sweet, yet didn’t feel at all rushed. It incorporated cleansing, facial massage, exfoliation, and then moisturising to finish, and used some of the lovely products available to buy in the store. My skin was suffering from a bit of winter dryness, and afterwards it felt fresh and glowing, so I was really pleased with the results. And although I decided not to reapply any makeup afterwards (because of the makeover I would be having later – see below), there were mirrors available to reapply if I’d wanted to. I think this mini facial is a really great (and convenient) post-shopping treat for just £15, and I’m really excited to try out some of their product samples.
- 10 minute head massage by Liz Earle
Then it was off to Boots for a head massage with the Liz Earle team. As a nice touch they wanted to personalise the treatment, and because the Liz Earle range now includes 4 different fragrances I selected my favourite, No. 20, to be used during my mini treatment. The massage itself was very relaxing and just the thing to leave behind the stresses of a workday. Afterwards I spoke to the team about the Liz Earle range created on the Isle of Wight and the botanical ingredients they use. Before my visit I was really only familiar with the Hot Cloth Cleanser, and to be fair it is their skincare expertise they are best known for, but their whole range (including hair care, fragrance and even makeup) is all about gentle natural ingredients, and I love the great ethics that this brand has. One product recommendation that I came away with was the Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion, which is great for refreshing and soothing tired, puffy, dry or stinging eyes, so I’ll be giving that a try.
- 10 minute hand massage at L’Occitane
Then I headed over to the other end of the centre to L’Occitane for an express hand massage (and a glass of bubbly!). This French brand uses natural ingredients and their products are also about fragrance and aromatherapy. My hand massage started off with a cleanse using their gentle and nourishing Almond Shower Oil, followed by exfoliation with the One Minute Hand Scrub created from brown sugar and softening oils, and both of these products had instant softening results. Afterwards some Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil was applied, and it was all wrapped up with the massage itself using the Shea Butter Hand Cream. This mini treatment is one that is offered for free to all visitors to the store (if only they knew about it), and results were instant! So next time you pass L’Occitane, why not pop in and try one to give your hands a lift.
- Makeover at Charlotte Tilbury, Selfridges
And I finished off my Indulgence Hour by popping down to the Charlotte Tilbury counter in Selfridges for a makeup consultation with a member of the team. First up I was shown the wonderful world of Charlotte Tilbury skincare (the “Magic” creams) and foundation/base products after telling them what my “skin goal” was. I said I liked my skin to look dewy even when I’m all made up, so that is what they went for. And then I got to choose which of the 10 Charlotte Tilsbury “looks” I wanted to go for. These looks include “The Rebel” and “The Uptown Girl” and the products used to create each look can be bought as complete boxed sets which would make great gifts! I chose to be “The Ingénue”, which is a fresh-faced, rosy look, and the products used were the Champagne Diamonds eyeshadow pencil, a classic Audrey eye liner, Love Glow blusher and coral lips created with Pink Venue liner, Coachella Coral lipstick and Portobello Girl gloss. I totally loved my first experience with Charlotte Tilbury, and would definitely recommend one of their in-store makeovers (for £35, redeemable against products) to get to know a bit about the products before buying.
So that was my Indulgence Hour, which left me feeling very relaxed and pampered. And the message is – even if you only have 20 minutes spare at the end of a day, that’s still enough time for a bit of indulgence!
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