I was invited to the launch of Kiehl’s in Debenhams’ Dundee store last Thursday and let me tell you, I was super excited about it. A beauty brand I’ve seen a lot of but never actually given a whirl, I was delighted to learn that Kiehl’s was coming to Dundee because a) I could try the products without risking my precious maternity pay on something that might not suit me, and b) because Dundee deserves to have premium and alternative beauty brands as much as any other city does.
If, like me, you don’t know much about Kiehl’s, you might be surprised to find out that the New York company was established 160 years ago, in 1851. It started as an old-world apothecary called Brunswick Apotheke before apprentice John Kiehl purchased the company in 1894, whose own apprentice Irving Morse bought it over thirty four years later, when Kiehl retired in 1924. Morse later handed the reigns over to his son Aaron in 1961 and, over the years, the company embarked on a series of marketing tactics (including introducing a men’s line, sponsoring major events, and circulating product samples) to promote and establish the brand.
Now, Kiehl’s is synonymous with being part-scientific, part-cosmetic; in 2005 they launched Dermatologist Solutions, a collection to address specific skin conditions such as aging, irritation, sensitivity, acne, sun spots and surface texture, and the entire skincare collection is adored by many for its image of being clean and natural.
Kiehl’s is also a company that cares about giving something back. For instance, Hand Care for a Cure was introduced in 1997, the first product dedicated to a philanthropic cause (amfAR), and 2009 saw the launch of the Recycle and Be Rewarded programme, swiftly followed by a collection with artist Jeff Koons in 2010 of which the proceeds benefited the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children. This was also the year Kiehl’s launched their most popular product, Midnight Recovery Concentrate.
At the event, we were introduced to the brand and its top selling products before being given a personal skin consultation and product recommendations. Unsurprisingly, the Midnight Recovery Concentrate (£38 for 3ml) was recommended to me by my skin consultant, Ciara, for its radiance boosting qualities (I suffer with dull, lacklustre skin in the winter months) and I was given a sample to take home and try. I’ve been using it for three nights and I like that I’m adding an extra step into my evening skincare routine with an oil. Ciara explained that although I drink two litres of water a day, my skin still needs more moisture to stay hydrated and reduce the appearance of lines. So, along with the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, she recommended the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate (£49.50 for 50ml), and again, gave me a sample to try. I’ve been using it in the mornings and though I like it, I don’t yet know if it’s making a difference. I’m a bit skeptical about ‘miracle’ products. However, I do believe the Mightnight Recovery Concentrate has improved the appearance of my skin already.
Two more products Ciara suggested for me included the Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil (£32 for 175ml) and the Ultra Facial Cream (24.50 for 50ml). I adore both of these and will definitely return to Debenhams to buy one of each.
The Cleansing Oil is the answer to my makeup removal prayers. I’ve been searching for a product that removes my make up quickly and easily, one that will stop me from dragging mitts and wipes across my face. This product is amazing! I use a tiny amount (the size of a five pence piece) and apply it to my forehead and cheeks. I splash a bit of water on to create the ‘milky’ effect and up over my eyes, before taking a pre-prepared wet cotton ball down my lashes to remove my eye makeup – it’s the only cleansing product that has fully removed all traces of my mascara with one or two gentle wipes, and we all know how fragile the skin around the eyes is so I’m delighted that the Cleansing Oil works so well with so little effort. I can’t wait to buy a full size bottle.
The Ultra Facial Cream is also on my shopping list. Having been a loyal Clinique fan for years, so far I haven’t discovered a brand that has come close, in terms of moisturisers. I’m almost sad to say that, with the Ultra Facial Cream, Kiehl’s has broken this rule. Why? Because my skin looks healthier and my make up looks better and lasts longer. It’s smoother, more dewy and still look as good as when it was first applied six hours later. Seriously, I’m not kidding. I can’t rate this cream highly enough and I’m genuinely moving over to this as my moisturiser for both day and night. (Though I’ll still use Clinique’s SPF30 for the face as the Kiehl’s cream doesn’t contain any SPF.)
With thanks to Kiehl’s and Debenhams.
PS. Did you know that Debenhams has even more brand launches in Dundee this week? Kat Von D arrives on Wednesday 3rd May and Bobbi Brown on Friday 5th May! (Seriously, my bank balance can’t take much more of this…)