Thursday, 19 May 2011



Ordinarily this is absolutely not my bag. I have never accepted money for reviews - certainly not false good reviews! - but when ESPA approached Handpicked re their new Lift & Firm range, I had the inside track.... having met with founder Sue Harmsworth a few weeks before the line hit shelves, and secreted a few products into my bathroom cabinet for testing, I didn't need a payment-prod to get typing on this one...

Here's why:

The new Lift & Firm range is comprised of 5 new products:
Lift & Firm Intensive Serum, Moisturiser, Eye Serum, Eye Moisturiser and Face Mask.
It's a lovely tight little range of targeted treatments designed for 40+ skins.

Mama Malcontent got a full set to trial (I'd already thumbs-upped the mask), and here is what she said. "It all smells lovely for a start, not fake floral or astringent or overpoweringly 'nice'. It's clean and simple, a bit like a breath of fresh sea air. I stuck with it for 3 weeks, cleansing every night with my normal wash-off, then the first time I used it I exfoliated with a Kate Somerville product, before rinsing off and using the Intensive Serum. It's got a great feel to it - silky without being siliconey - and sinks in beautifully. You only need a couple of drops but I was tempted to put some more around my eyes, laughter lines and across my neck because it felt very pleasant. I then massaged in the Moisturiser, tapped on a couple of drops of the Eye Serum, then a drop of the Eye Moisturiser under each. Interestingly, because I normally use a face oil and a cream, I noticed the difference in using a serum and cream - my skin felt 'watered' rather than 'oiled' and I liked it!

The next day I did the same thing, but used the Mask first. It's lovely this. I like Argan Oil already and this has rather a lot in it (I'm told by my daughter it's lovely high-grade stuff too), along with nice sounding things like Pellan Silt and Frankincense. I put it on before a bath, left it on for 20 minutes, and skin really did have a noticeable soft, bouncy feel to it afterwards. Those superficial dehydration lines looked better, and deeper lines across forehead, and under eyes, softened too. So, yes, it hydrates nicely and makes an immediate difference because of it.

I continued using all the products - so mask 2-3 times a week - and everything else (eye serum in morning, eye moisturiser at night, because I like a fresher feel in the day and a creamier treat before bed), and my skin feels 1) softer; 2) lines look a bit softer which I can tell is because my skin is just better 'fed' and getting more hydration etc, and 3) does indeed feel a bit firmer.

It's been a very busy and chaotic few weeks with not a huge amount of sleep - and I'm convinced that I'd look knackered if not for these products. I look tired, but wouldn't scare off little children - result!

Oh, and I also like the fact that none of these products feel 'heavy'. They sink in, soothe, smell good - and nothing needs to be massaged in over & over before skin drinks it up. I've used some very very expensive creams in the past (thanks, again, to my daughter!), which have felt sticky and oily, and none of the Lift & Firm products do any of that.

You do feel the difference sooner than you see it... and I fully intend to stick with it for 6-8 weeks because first impressions are positive ones."

So, there you have it. Right from the Mama Malcontent's mouth.

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