Saturday, 6 February 2010

This Works: This Works Skincare


Kathy Phillips, after 7 years as VOGUE UK as Health and Beauty Director and currently the International Beauty Director for Condé Nast Asia working with all their titles (Vogue, “W” and Allure) in Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan, has designed a skincare range. Who better?

This range oozes integrity, credibility, freshness and intelligence.

I am always skeptical about new ranges for my own skin. Sure, I design packaging and branding for skincare all the time - to make OTHER people buy them. But... I know all the tricks. The magic fades a little when I spend all my time dissecting ranges to ascertain what works, what doesn't, what's hype, what's not. There's not a lot that impresses me with regards to skincare from a personal level. I look at the ingredient listing, I feel the formulation. I look at where it is manufactured, and how it is manufactured. I go into research mode when I discover a range that might make the grade and actually get into the holiest of holies, my bathroom. Lord knows,  I have a bathroom cupboard full of broken promises.

Since discovering Clarins at the tender age of 15, I have been a skincare addict, I have tried so many different ranges to try to get perfect skin. I have found, honestly, that the LESS I do to my skin, the better it is. What truly works for me is no alcohol, loads of exercise, fresh fruit and vegetables, a good sunscreen and plenty of sleep.

What doesn't work is uninspiring packaging (I don't get the extra motivation to use the product because it doesn't make me happy when I use it - it becomes a chore), unscented product (again, boring) and finally anything that says it is as effective as an injection is probably a massive overstatement.

So, when I am faced with a skincare range claiming that "It Works" I am intrigued. I skirt around Mecca Cosmetica, looking at everything else, feeling it on my skin, smiling to myself at the carefully worded copy writing, and artfully executed packaging. Some ranges are made to look like they come from an apothecary, others are designed to look nice next to the perfume bottles on your dresser and some emulate pharmaceutical packaging. "It Works" is similar to to Philosophy in that is is typographically clever, and simple, with a catchy name.

What sold me on this product was that it smelt lovely, it felt gorgeous and had a fabulous ingredient that had the good stuff near the top of the list. If you look at the ingredient listings of many mass market brands, the natural sounding ingredient will be close to the bottom of the list, which means there's sweet little of it in the actual product. Mostly the manufacturers add this so they can claim in the sale pitch "infused with natural [exotic sounding botanical from somewhere remote] extract".

I started to research the various ingredients to show the the cream was a good one, but frankly my instinct when I tried it was right. It FELT good. It felt like what I was looking for. I wanted a simple, yet intelligent and modern formulation, by a brand that had some substance behind it, and not just a spin-off from a cosmetics company or fashion house.

So far I am impressed. It Works Super Moisture keeps my skin moist. So it does in fact work.

Available from thisworks.com online

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