So, Harvey Nichols, then. Welcome. What to make of this new beauty in our midst? Well, on the one hand, it’s hard to see what new-to-Liverpool brands it brings in its glittery wake. But this is a shop that’s far, far more than the sum of its blusher brushes.
Walking through this bejewelled polly pocket of a shop is like taking a trip through a grotto for grown ups who haven’t quite stopped believing in magic. But instead of Lewis’ tableaux of animatronic Bambis you’ve got a series of set-pieces where starey-eyed woman on stools twist and turn while elves buff their brows, feet are lifted while pixies pummel away snowdrifts of dead skin, and fairies tease the three bears’ tresses into goldish locks.
All the usual suspects are lined up and ready for their close up: Chanel, YSL, Aveda, Benefit…high end, on-trend and boutique skin care, salves, lotions and potions jostle in their backlit cabines – shouting ‘we have the secret. Just a little pipette of our serum is all that separates you from certain shagdom’. It’s a beautiful lie, of course, but it is beautiful. Build quality is high, materials glitter, glow, shimmer and shine like a WAG on a podium, after a crate of Krug.
Where once rubber mugs and Scandinavian, utilitarian cutlery hung around, cooly, on the Habitat pinewood shelves, now lip gloss, Tourmaline-enriched night cream and Peptide-infused hair elixirs shimmer longingly on gilt-edged display cabinets, with more LED lights than a chav’s Corsa.
And, everywhere you look, mysterious corridors snake their way into the depths – towards, we imagine, some inner sanctum of beauty where Jackie Stallone and Chantelle Houghton await, GHDs and microdermabrasion drills inhand, ready to turn Greggs girls into Medusa-haired dominatrix with Grecian curves and Garston vowels. “While your fella’s sinking Tetleys in the Beehive, let our little pipette of serum cum on your face, love,” they purr, offering the sort of love and attention the old girl last saw when Vladimír Šmicer slammed home a spot kick in Istanbul. And why the hell not.
In short, it’s a Bazaar. It’s bizarre. And we love it.
Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar