I’ve been trying really hard to be more thrifty over the past few months – like not wasting money on fancy skincare or makeup when a high street brand will provide the same results.
Most of my new ventures into more reasonably priced products have been successful – in fact next week I will be sharing a wonderful moisturiser which I have found to replace my whole skincare routine. Excessive!
For a while I have been thinking about taking better care of myself, including doing more research into the products I use and quickly fell out with some of the brands I had previously been a massive advocate of. I won’t name and shame, but drop me a message if you want to know more.
One of the brands that intrigued me were No7. They claim to be the “leading” skincare brand in the UK – but don’t explain in what way. I’ve also heard this claim from just about every beauty counter I’ve ever visited and know it doesn’t necessarily mean much.
One of my main concerns about any “new” brand I’m using is their commitment to being cruelty free, and it didn’t take long for me to track down information that they don’t conduct animal testing – so I was free to proceed and go to try the product.
I visited the No7 counter at Boots in Manchester, and was greeted by a lovely, bubbly adviser who quickly sat me down and started to talk to me about my requirements. Her questioning was thorough, and she was pretty informative in terms of which products might match my skin conditions. She made a suggestion for the foundation I should try, and set about colour matching me.
Now, No7 have this nifty little gadget that claims to analyse your skin and match you to the perfect shade – so each customer knows that they’re getting the most suitable colour for them. I was quickly and comfortably matched with Stay Perfect Foundation in “Cool Vanilla” – which she applied.
All the while, she was explaining with confidence the Scientifically Proven promise on some of the No7 skincare range, totally selling it to me. I was in – I’d found a foundation which promised to be good, because scientists had proven it and a gadget had chosen a colour which was the same as my skin, and all I had to do was see proof of the magnificent effect and live happily forever.
The adviser turned the mirror on me, and even in the harsh, bright lights of Boots I looked pretty dang good. The coverage wasn’t as full as I normally go for, but, she assured me, the lighter coverage allowed my inner radiance to shine through right to the surface of my youthful, cherubic face. I loved her, and I wanted her to come home with me to keep saying nice stuff all the time, and to keep massaging radiance balm into my face.
I bought it all. The balm, the cream, the dust, the foundation, the eye thing, the lip edition. I stacked those babies high at the checkout and whipped out the plastic, and walked outta that joint with the biggest smile on my freshly polished face.
Out into the world I went, looking awesome.
Or did I?
I got back to the car a few minutes later – in broad daylight – where I was presented with my face. My blotchy face. My face with the wrong colour foundation on. My face with the wrong match. Right then I vowed never to trust a machine again, and to do more research before purchasing anything. I marched right back to boots and returned everything and went home to spend the weekend barefaced.
You know what though? I’m glad – because later I remembered that I saw a Boots whilst I was in China. Then I remembered that every cosmetic product which can be found in China must, by law, be tested on animals. I’m really not into that – and so I am done with No7 for good. If you are interested in reading more about this, Catherine at Buying Cruelty-Free sums it up nicely here.
So No7 didn’t even score a modest No5 from me. In fact, they might have dipped into minus points. Being mis-matched both physically and ethically is a huge disappointment for me, so I’m heading back to the Body Shop.