As you will have seen from Sprinkle of Glitter, I have recently chatterviewed Liz Earle- woweewowee!
For more information on the experience, fun and frolicks, click HERE.
The Liz Earle Chatterview
Firstly, thank you ever so much for taking part in Lou’s Chatterviews and giving me a bit of your time, you must be a very busy lady, so I really appreciate it.
The Fabulousness of Liz Earle
You started this company in 1995 with your chum Kim and since starting off on QVC, it has gone from strength I even saw you in vogue the other day-
I know, I know, So exciting!
I couldn’t believe it! (haha I don’t know why I said that- I think I was nervous- of COURSE I can believe it ahahaha lame).
Yes, 2 mentions- we had the facial and then we also had sheer skin tint.
Did you know that was coming?
No, not at all and they had 3 ‘glow getters’ featured on the page, two other big brand names and us, and we were number one, the first one they mentioned.
I think the Colour Range will win awards.
We always get so excited when that happens- we have to fan ourselves when something like that happens.
I thought you must know it was coming, so you would sit waiting for your copy of Vogue?
Nooo, noo, we never know!
Well how it started... I suppose I better answer your question really shouldn’t I?
The inspiration was really very much 2 things: One, I have a background as a Beauty Editor and as a Book Writer and I used to make TV programmes on beauty, health and well being, which was lovely. As part of that, I tried everything, as you do- you get sent things to try- and even after trying everything, for a decade, STILL couldn’t find the perfect skincare range. My own skin is very sensitive, I’m one of the patrons of the National Eczema Society, I have always had a long struggle with eczema and I knew from books I was writing, many of which appear in this corner (points to cosy little corner of the store where all her books are lovingly stacked) that there are plant ingredients that really work! But you have to use the genuine ingredient, you have to use it in the right quantities, in the right way, to get the best results. My good friend Kim, she knew that I knew about this and her background was in business and marketing, she used to run John Frieda Haircare, so she knew all about getting products into bottles and getting bottles on shelves, so she actually approached me, it was her idea.
So you were the perfect pair!
She said, ‘We’ll get together and we’ll do something really strong’. And they key to it has always been, it’s a very edited line, that’s why we’ve only had one cleanser, after sixteen years.
I love that, you don’t get confused with anything.
No you don’t. You don’t go to the counter and think, ‘Should I have a wash off cream, a foaming gel or an oil whatever?’, we take all the guess work out of it, we do it for you. We stand by it. We know it works for everybody. Kim and I are actually very good co-founders together because our skins are very different, her skin is very oily, problem prone, mine is very dry, eczema prone, so we knew that it was the Eureka moment when we had Cleanse and Polish because I got fantastic results with it, it didn’t strip my really dry sensitive skin. And for Kim, it really helped purify and clean her skin, and regulate it. So we knew that we had the two ends, and that applied then and it applies now, with Sheer Skin Tint. I love it for my dry skin-
I’m wearing it today!
So am I. Kim with her skin which is still oily and problem prone and she wears it every day too. Interestingly, we both wear the same shade, we both wear number two, beige-
So do I !!
Exactly! Now, you would not normally think that (that myself and Liz would wear the same foundation), I mean you are a lot younger than me, you have a different skin tone. Kim is much more olivey toned, I’m much more pink.
I just kind of like, magics itself into your skin.
Absolutely! We’ve never before shared a cosmetic product- ever. I would always go for a creamier, richer foundation. She would always go for something mattyfing, oil free perhaps, and we both wear it. So for us, we’re as excited about Sheer Skin Tint and as we are about Cleanse and Polish. We think it’s another absolute classic.
I love it!
Good. That’s nice to hear.
We all know that a huge feature of your products is that they are ‘naturally active’. Would you mind explaining a little about what that actually means?...And why is that important to you?
The bottom line is, it’s not rocket science, it comes down to the ingredients. How do you make a great product? You make it with great ingredients. It’s like cooking- how do you make something taste great? You use great ingredients when you cook it. So the same is true- it’s what’s in the bottle.
I think people appreciate that it’s not just a tonne of chemicals and synthetics that are similar to the product, it’s actually the real deal.
We’re not 100% natural, we never said we were, because we aim to be the best and this means being predominantly botanically based. If we have a synthetic that’s better, we’ll use it, it doesn’t often happen, occasionally it does. So it’s about capturing what’s best out there to give the best result on the skin. We only ever use plant oils, not mineral oils because the plant oils are better. They’re loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, vitamins, essential fatty acids- they just give so much more than a mineral oil that just has nothing, it’s just bland and devitalised and so that’s why we aim to use the best and ultimately, selfishly, Kim and I, we use these products on our skins every single day, so we are only going to put the best things on our faces, and those of our daughters and our mothers and our friends.
Well I love it!
I read in the guardian that somewhere in the world, every 30 seconds, someone is buying a Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. What do you think when you hear facts like that?
It’s true, it’s more than that now. It’s 93 countries I think, it seems to grow all the time!
That’s crazy! I wonder how many people have bought a cleanse and polish since we’ve been sitting here?! That must make you feel, “WOW”!
It’s just an extraordinary thing. You know, you talked about the Vogue piece. Our very first piece in Vogue came when they had a special edition, it was gold covers, a classic edition, it’s the millennium issue and it was December 1999 or January 2000, I can’t remember which one. They had one page of iconic beauty products, only one page, and they had all the classics, and baring in mind this is going back a few years ago, eleven years, so we’d pretty much just started and they had classic beauty from the millennium. So they had Chanel No. 5, Yves San Laurent Touché Éclat, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion, Clarins Beauty Flash, the real absolute classics and the last one on the page, right at the very bottom was Cleanse and Polish.
Have you framed that?
We have framed it actually. We still talk about it to this day. We had to go and lie down in a darkened room! It was such a surprise. We never know what’s coming out, and to be picked up and spotted as a beauty classic, with such an amazing hall of fame. I mean, you talk about proud moments, that was really one.
I’d be amazed- I’d faint!
Haha, and we still get them. You know, we’re working tonight with Sarah and Jo who’ve written the Beauty Bible (click HERE), and again, everyone thinks it’s a fix because we always win the top marks in there and they’re absolutely not.
Cue me, babbling on about my love for Cleanse and Polish and how it takes off even the most stubborn of mascara. Oh yes folks, I became the ultimate fan girl.
Well for older skins, you won’t appreciate this yet, but for older skins, to get the most iconic moisturiser, that is like the holy grail. And Jo Fairley has tried more moisturisers than you and I have had hot dinners, no question, she has flown around the globe, to every makeup launch in the world and there is nothing she doesn’t know about moisturiser, nothing she hasn’t tried. Anndd, I remember reading a quote from her, and we didn’t know it was coming, it was just written in an interview that she did, saying that Superskin Moisturiser was in her opinion the greatest moisturiser ever created. Wow!
Now, as luck would have it Jo was actually in the building that evening for a Beauty Bible event and so ensued a little chat about moisturisers and she confirmed her undying love for the wondrous Super Skin Moisturiser and we had a bit of a giggle. I can honestly truly confirm, she DOES love love love it-and she isn’t paid to say that, haha!!. I felt like I was chitchat with celebs! Ahaha
I have heard that you are teaming up with Avon, and you are going to the USA. Is this true?
Yes, Avon bought us 18 months ago now, and I think some people were a little bit worried when they heard that, but we remain a stand alone brand.
So it will always be ‘Liz Earle’, not ‘Liz Earle by Avon’?
No no no, absolutely not. They didn’t buy is to change us, they bought us because they like what we’re doing. So I think our customers, hopefully, are reassured that nothing has changed and we are just going from strength to strength. We still have the same management team, Kim and I still head it. The one thing that it is enabling us to do, in today’s economic climate, is to grow safely and to fly the flag abroad. So yes, we’re hoping to go into all sorts of overseas markets. We know they’ll love it because we ship it to 93 countries around the world. It’d be fantastic to be in all those 93 countries with our own stores, but we can’t do that on our own.
Will we be able to buy Liz Earle from the Avon catalogues?
No, there’s no plans to do that.
You recently had a Blogger Event to launch your new Colour range into the bloggersphere and it has had rave reviews. What's next for this range?
Well colour is a whole new category. It’s so exciting for us because we’re known for our skin care and our treatments and Colour is a very different thing. It’s made in a different way, it’s the icing on the cake, the bit of fun, the frost.
And for makeup lovers it’s so exciting!
Well for us Sheer Skin Tint is the bridge if you like, between skincare treatments moving into colour, so definitely watch this space- there is more to come! You will be amongst the first to know, I promise you, to bring it to all your readers (Sprinklerinos- you’ll be able to find that HERE). We’re hoping to have more to say probably next spring. So there will be more to come, definitely!
More excitement, a lot more excitement.
You mentioned there that you’ve seen some incredibly kind things written, do you read blogs in your spare time?
I do. We have our fantastic PR team here who are obviously aware of everything and they’re very good at sending through a little log or report to update us with all the links, so that we can easily just click on and see.
A sneaky one- Do you have any favourites, aside from me of course (ahahaha I had to pop that in there!)?
Well, what can I say? It just had to be yours, haha. What I love about blogging, and it is new, you know, when I was a Beauty Editor it was just very much the magazine that you were writing for- that’s partly why I went and wrote books, because I wanted to say my own thing, I didn’t want a sub editor cutting out all the good bits of my copy, and saying, ‘oh no, we had to drop that because we have this advertiser doing this’ and, ‘we should write about this’ or , you know, ‘we’ve got to squeeze in an extra page’ or, ‘ we’ve got to cut the edition size down’.
You lose the independency?
Totally! So I started to write books because, a hundred years ago, when I was a beauty writer, that was the only other option, but for you it’s so exciting because you’ve all got a different tone of voice and that really comes across.
A Little More About Liz
Thank you for answering all those probing questions up there! Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask you a few slightly more personal ones.
What do you do on a typical day off from creating amazing beauty products?
Do you know, for me, my family is my time off. I’ve got five children and I live on a farm, and for me, just to go out, in the fresh air and walk the dogs and spend time baking muffins and being a mummy is fab.
A domestic goddess?
Well I wouldn’t say that at all! I don’t think Nigella has anything to worry about! I’m a home-body, I love being at home with my family.
What is meaningful to you in life?
My family and my children. You know, what is more meaningful than bringing up the next generation? That is the meaning of life. (As I type this, Baby Glitter is snuggled up next to me and I have to agree).
If you could, what one change would you make to the world?
Apart from world peace?
Apart from world peace. Haha.
I think I would love everybody to be a bit kinder than necessary. I think especially women to women. I’m a greater believe in mentoring and lifting others as you rise and I think you see that more in blogging, more than the magazines do. Magazines are quite cut throat, where as the one things that’s impressed me about bloggers, is there is a sense of community, and you’ll link to each other, and you’ll share things in a much more open way and that’s a fantastic spirit. I think you (the bloggers) should be highly commended for that, I think it’s really admirable. More of that!
It really is a fantastic community to be involved in.
Life IS hard. Let’s all be kinder to each other and it makes the world a much better place.
What is your numero uno guilty pleasure?
Well I can say this actually with Ms Jo Fairely over there. It’s Green and Blacks 80% Dark Chocolate- it’s just a fantastic treat. And what I love about it is actually you can’t each that much of it because it is so rich and a little bit goes a long way.
And it’s full of antioxidants!
And a low glycemic index- it’s brilliant!
With Christmas around the corner, can I ask, are you Mrs Organised or Mrs last Minute? Do you give Liz Earle Products as presents?
I’m Mrs Organised and I do! I do give them, people expect to get given a certain amount of Liz Earle presents.
I would love it!! Haha!
Haha I bet! So, you know, my Mother is always angling for a big gift box. I am very organised, I do already have my Christmas Cards,
That is organised!
Which I bought in the sale last year. All I have to do now is find them! Haha. I love Christmas.
And finally, what was the last treat you bought yourself? (Anything from a starbucks to a private jet!)
The last treat I bought myself was actually this dress I’m wearing, which I thought was a bit of a treat.
It’s very jazzy, I like the sequins. Anything with glitter and I like it! Haha!
Well, I was in John Lewis, looking at one of our counters and I spotted a new brand, called Damsel In A Dress, which I thought was a fun name, and it’s just dresses, I love dresses, and I saw it hanging on a hanger and I had five minutes (I was going for a train), and I ran into a changing room, whipped off what I was wearing, threw it on- and do you know, I’ve worn it so many times.
It’s lovely. It’s smart but fun.
Well that’s what I thought! I even wore it to a breakfast meeting because I thought it wasn’t too glittery. (Here’s where I rambled on about how I nearly wore a dress but changed my mind at the last minute- curses!). I love dresses! Bring back dresses!
And there ended my wonderful chatterview with Liz Earle. At this point Liz asked to see Baby Glitter to I popped next door and picked her up from the coffee shop she was in with my Auntie- I didn’t just leave her there on her own for a skinny latte!- and we all had a squish. For pictures of that, click HERE.
Liz was an absolutely fabulous (I'm now thinking of the tv programme- haha) Chatterviewee and a pleasure to talk to. If you'd like to have a gander at her skincare range, click HERE. Did you know she has a book out? I may just have to add that to my Christmas list!
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