Saturday, 14 September 2013

Liberty's almighty washbag GWP 2013

Lately I've been working a lot at a client's offices near Oxford Circus. Specifically, near Liberty. This is always difficult, because I'm hopeless at resisting the lure of the beauty hall and fragrance department. Furtive lunchtime trips. Coming back in the afternoons smelling like Nasomatto or Serge Lutens. Everyone knows I have a problem.

I was doing great until a colleague mentioned to me that Liberty were doing an offer. "Oh God, not the washbag," I said. "Yes, there's a Liberty washbag full of products worth £300 when you spend £150."

The Liberty washbag offer is an annual GWP blow-out where you go on a joyous spree and then, to soften the blow at the till, receive a Liberty washbag filled with 20 or so miniature products from high-end beauty brands - think Nars, Chantecaille, Cowshed, Aesop, Eve Lom and Trish McEvoy. This year's spend threshold has been upped by £25 - last year it was £125. But there's no denying it's still an unbelievable deal.

If you want to grab it, there are three things you need to know...
  • You need to have a Liberty loyalty card to get the offer. You can apply in store.
  • The offer started on 11 September and is selling out fast.
  • The gifts are now sold out online

My shopping spree
I took the plunge after work yesterday. Sure enough the beauty hall was swarming with women wearing kid-in-a-sweetshop expressions and prowling the counters with large, hungry eyes. I spent an hour and a half choosing my £150 worth of products. I loved it. I was in a total flow state, assessing, comparing, sniffing, swatching. I met some other beauty junkies also doing the offer, and chatted with them about their choices.

I realised this way of shopping is actually very enjoyable. Because your spend amount is pre-determined, you're not agonising over every purchase or feeling guilty about the expense - you already know what you'll spend, so the only thing you're thinking about it how to get the best bang for your buck.

I decided I would only buy things I knew I would use. Too often I treat myself to a powder eyeshadow or a bright shade of lipstick, or worse still a beautiful high-end fragrance that's in no way suitable for work. The reality of my life is that I stumble out of bed at the last possible minute and apply the same time-saving long-wearing products in a huge rush - foundation, long-wear eye pencil, brow powder, mascara. I spray on Pure Grace by Philosophy and I leave the house. The only product type I regularly use in many different shades and finishes is nail polish, because I put it on in the evenings.

Here's what I chose:

  • Cire Trudon candle in Carmelite: £60
  • ESPA bath oil coffret: £27.50
  • Korres Fig shower gel: £8
  • Korres Vanilla Cinnamon shower gel: £8
  • Korres Mandarin Lip Butter (stick): £8
  • Aesop Resurrection Aromatique hand cream: £19
  • Bumble & Bumble Creme de Coco hair mask £22.50
In the photo you can also see a boxed fragrance sample I got from the Frederic Malle counter.

The washbag itself
The washbag I received is the Large Pepper Print Tana Lawn Washbag, which normally costs £45. I saw another shopper receiving the Claire Aude print version too, and going by the animated image in this post on the Liberty blog, Hera and Tatum prints are also available.

This bag is BIG. It's got room for all your haircare, shower stuff, facial skincare and bodycare. Whoever specced it out was sympathetic to those who love their products and are going to be travelling with a lot of stuff. The outer is cotton with a PVC coating and the lining is polyester.

What's in the washbag?
My washbag contained...


  •  Shu Uemura UV under base mousse in beige
  • Laura Mercier Foundation primer 30ml
  •  Hourglass Opaque rouge in Icon - no weight or volume marked. This is unbearably cute. Look at it!
  • Chantecaille Faux cils mascara in Black, 4g
  • Nars Illuminator in Orgasm, 30ml. The box is a bit bashed up - it's new, but not in giftable condition

Facial skincare:

  • Kiehl's Ultra facial moisturiser 30ml
  • Dermalogica Special cleansing gel 30ml
  • Eve Lom Cleanser 30ml
  • Malin+Goetz Grapefruit face cleanser 29ml
  • Omorovicza Queen of Hungary mist 30ml

Body and bath:

  • Liberty London Body wash in Lavender 400ml (full size)
  • ESPA Fitness body oil 28ml
  • Margaret Dabbs file (for fingers, not feet) 
  • QMS Medicosmetics Lift-o-firm body 45ml (never heard of this!)
  • Cowshed Cow herb restoring hand cream 50ml
  • Ren Moroccan rose otto body wash 50ml (old packaging design)
  • Decleor Aroma confort gradual glow hydrating body milk 50ml
  • Aromatherapy Associates De-stress muscle gel 40ml


  • Trish McEvoy Eau de parfum in 9, blackberry and vanilla musk. No volume marked. This is a small spray vial, at a guess 2 or 3ml.
  • Diptyque candle in Figuer 70g. Perfectly scaled down candle, including the label with jumbled letters.


  • Philip Kingsley Elasticizer 40ml
  • Aesop Classic shampoo 50ml

Did you miss out on this offer?
You might still get a great deal on a Liberty washbag. Keep an eye out on eBay over the next couple of weeks to see if those who got the deal are selling on their bags. In past years, they've gone very cheaply as people didn't realise the bags themselves were designer quality.


mippy said...

That Korres Vanilla showergel smells gorgeous! Sadly I don't need £150 worth of beauty just now...

Sarah said...

It is lovely. I don't think I need it either if I'm honest... x