Friday, 14 January 2011

It's Only Available in London...

WARNING - this is a bit of rant!

I've recently been on a bit of a quest to get my hands on Across the Universe, the beautiful nail polish by Deborah Lippmann.  These were 'apparently' available in House of Fraser Apothecary departments throughout the country.  However, I have been to House of Frasers in Bath, Bristol, Cardiff (hello - Cardiff is a Capital City) and finally Victoria Street in London before I managed to get my hands on it today.  It wasn't available online, so this has been a bit of a mission.


I'm lucky that I work all over the country, so I haven't made a special trip to any of these stores other than the one in Bristol.  However, it has made me think about the London-centric attitude of the beauty industry.  Admittedly, the availability of products around the country has improved vastly over recent years, and with internet shopping, ladies all over the country can get products delivered to their door.  However, so many products are still launched exclusively at London stores before the rest of the nation is allowed to buy them.  I mean, can I buy Illamasqua in Bristol?  I can't - they don't sell it anywhere, despite having Debenhams, Harvey Nicks, HoF and John Lewis.  And how many products are exclusive to Selfridges (especially Chanel)?  A lot, and there is no Selfridges near me. Bristol was terrible for shopping before Cabot Circus opened, but it's certainly a lot better now.  Before I moved to Bristol, I lived in Brighton which is great  for shopping and easy to go for a shopping trip to London as well, and I grew up in London, so I was spoilt for choice then.

As I've said before, I do frequently visit central London for work - it sometimes feel like I commute to London daily - so this doesn't necessarily apply to me.  However, I realise that I am very lucky that my work pays for my jaunts to browse high end beauty products.  And I should add that I don't take the p**s with work time either - I pop in to Selfridges or Illamasqua or HoF on what would be my lunch break.  However, despite Bristol being relatively close to London and quick to get to, it's still extremely expensive to go for a quick shopping trip.  You wouldn't pay upwards of £70 in travel/parking to go shopping in your local town centre - you're likely to draw the line at £10 I reckon. 

Quite frankly, why should we have to go to London to buy certain products?  They should be available everywhere.  There are probably plently of beauty addicts living in the Scottish highlands and other remote parts of the nation who are prepared to part with the cash to buy high end cosmetics.  It's not an easy thing to hop on a train and travel several hundred miles just to buy a particular lipstick.

I suppose that this is the beauty of blogs and in particular, swatches.  Many websites are notoriously unreliable for swatches, so at least seeing other bloggers' experiences and photographs of products allows you to purchase online without being totally blind.  Whilst this is great, nothing beats swatching a product in person, particularly when it's very expensive, and I don't want to go to London to do that!

Anyway, if you do live in London, I'm jealous of you having lots of beauty delights on your doorstep - I just think they should be available elsewhere as well.  Being a 'proper' Londoner myself, although now in exile, the London-centric nature of things has taken a bit of time to dawn on me, despite working in the retail property industry (hence my frequent visits to London!).  Anyway, sorry for my rant!  Does anyone have any thoughts on this?  Is it because all the beauty companies are based in the big smoke?

12 comments:

Charlie said...

Don't get me started on this subject it drives me insane. There is life outisde London you know people!

Having said that, I was gobsmacked to find not only the range in Exeter, but this particular polish! They didn't have the one I wanted tho, Happy Birthday :(

TheBristolBeautyBlog said...

Glad it's not just me! I should've tried Exeter - it's slightly closer than London. They didn't have Happy Birthday in Victoria either as I did check!(hehe).

Laura said...

I'm desperate for this polish, and the Happy Birthday shade. I am hoping House of Fraser in Birmingham will come up trumps when I'm next there at the end of February. I'm also going to check out Illamasqua for the first time!

Jan said...

I have to agree but I hate beauty halls with a passion and tend to buy all my products online, only venturing in to check a shade. I do get a bit p**d off re perfumes though - only available in Horrids or Liberaces, now that does annoy me. Jan x

behindtheshoes said...

Rant away, the points you raise are valid and this issue really should be addressed by the said brands/companies. Rachelle X

Vintage and Cake said...

Like you I was born and bred in London, but I know that we have it easy when it comes to certain things. London does not have it all, I think our vintage clothing is a flop. Plus everything here costs the earth so yes we may have all of this stuff, but most of us can't afford it :( I do think it's sooooo wrong that other cities don't have the same when there is clearly a demand for it. I think when your from London you want to be somewhere else (I heart Brighton !!) and when your not you want to be. You have to remember as well that where London is a major tourist attraction that these company's what to home in on that. Plus I think the London 'label' means they can over change on stuff ....bastards because they know we want it and use it against us. So I don't think that it's London I think it's the company's attitude towards there customer ( money over service.) A clever company will see that having it in ever city would be good on both. anyway enough of the rant, but yes maybe if things where everywhere London would not be so bloody pricey ......yeah maybe not.

Lucy - Beauty and the Blogger said...

It bugs the hell out me how most of the PR events, beauty agencies and product availability is in London.

I really want Ruby Red Slippers, meant to go to HOF in Manchester today but it was raining and it's a bit of a trek down Deansgate. Interesting to see if it's actually being stocked there, I'll go and have a root (even if it's raining) next weekend!

TheBristolBeautyBlog said...

@Laura Hope you find Happy Birthday in Brum. I picked up the L’Wren Scott palette in Boots in Worcester when I was visiting my inlaws after Christmas – I couldn’t find it anywhere else!

@Jan – I know what you mean about hating beauty halls, especially the posh ones – I usually only go when I know exactly what I want and have perfected my stride through the counters to the one I want.

@ Rachelle – Let’s hope more brands open up throughout the country.

@ Laura – Good points there. You’re right about the prices in London – it’s one of the reasons I don’t live there anymore! I agree about vintage – Brighton was great for vintage clothes. I love Brighton as well, I’d love to move back there, but it’s almost as pricey as London!

@ Lucy – I suppose lots of PR companies are based in London, but it’s still really annoying! Hope you find Ruby Red Slippers in Manchester (and it doesn’t rain)!

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