If you have a large M&S near you then the chances are you will now have a Marks with one of its new(-ish, they rolled out in London 2012/13 and were hitting further afield places like Grimsby last summer) Beauty Departments.
My nearest is Marble Arch, which I think has the full gamut of brands they stock, and I have to say that I think Marks are batting out of the park here. Considering that they still maintain that the average woman looks good in a peach waterfall cardigan, to be stocking brands like Filorga, Murad, Skyn, Emma Hardie, Josh Wood, Bliss and Cowshed is reasonably mind blowing.
I absolutely LOVE having a rootle around whenever I pop in for more prosaic items like pants and tights and it’s rare that I don’t come out with something. The departments are hardly ever busy, they are well lit, stocked well presented simply. Often they have lovely offers like 3-for-2 or gifts with purchase (I recently loaded up on REN Evercalm and came away with a sweet little cosmetic purse full of about £25 worth of travel sizes.)
Emma Hardie has been one of the latest additions to their collection and her Midas Touch Serum was firstly exclusive only to M&S, which is pretty impressive when you consider that for a long while EH was the preserve of a few specialist websites and Space NK. I know that we can order anything online from pretty much anywhere these days, but I do find it really heartening that Marks are taking Beauty seriously and stocking some heavyweight brands that can now be picked up alongside some Percy Pigs and a packet of 5 cotton undies.
Standouts of their range for me are:
James Read Express Mask Tan -stick this on your mush for 30 minutes then wash off: it will carry on developing for a full hour. Gives a great natural glow for light to medium skintones.
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask -I don’t think I have ever found a mask that makes me look as zingy in ten minutes as this does. It’s a bit spendy but it’s a life saver rather than a regular use item.
Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Balm cleanser -Ditch the useless cloth that comes with this and just use a flannel for extra grip. Oily, unctuous, gorgeous smelling, divine miracle cleanser that leaves skin feeling soft and nourished.
Stila Convertible colour -The whole Stila range is pretty damn good, but their convertible colour cheek and (ahem) lip cream comes in the best formulation I’ve found.
M&S Essentials Aloe Vera and Mint shower gel -It’s a POUND, people. One freaking Pound. And for that you get 300ml of BUAV approved, alcohol and paraben free, Vegan friendly, minty loveliness. The whole Essentials range is great. (BEGONE, MAGNOLIA!)
Glamglow -it’s Witchcraft in a jar, basically.
REN Grab-and-Go Kit -A great place to start for £20 and everything you need for an overnight getaway, in a lush see through zipped pouch that they probably won’t let you through Airport security with. *Shakes fist at sky*
So there you have it -definitely worth a visit instore, but if you happen to live
in the sticks somewhere not graced with a Jumbo Marks then make sure you load up with goodies next time you’re in the market for an on-line haul.