The first thing that hits you when you walk in the door of Alice and Ivy is relief. The reason for this is there is actually a place in Southsea selling makeup and beauty that you can go to. With Knight and Lee closing their doors and also Debenhams down on Commercial Road having left us at Christmas, having a place you can visit without having to drive anywhere has become a real task, but this new spot on Marmion Road is way more than that. Alice and Ivy oozes quality and sophistication with a wonderful collection of makeup and beauty products that are going to wow you!
Arriving on the launch night I got to mooch around and check out the products and the environment. The shop is laid out using clean lines and a real sense of cleanliness with white walls and hints of black and grey. Having this interior style is great because it allows the products to stand out. There is a wall of greenery and a neon sign that says 'Oh you beauty' and behind that wall will be a place for treatments and beauty sessions.
I chatted to the owner Zara as to why she wanted to open a place like this as well as a thousand other questions. Here are a few questions that she answered.
Why is the shop called Alice and Ivy?
After 4 really important women who have shaped my life. My mum and both grandmothers are called Alice. And my mother-in-law was called Ivy. So a lovely family story.
What’s the background to Alice and Ivy and who owns it?
I own Alice & Ivy. It has been my childhood dream to open a business that is all about well-being, skincare, and makeup. I was inspired by a shop back in my hometown in Northern Ireland called Lilly Lecky – which was a boutique that stocked high-end skincare, beauty, and fragrance – as well as unique pieces of jewellery. It was ahead of its time, it was my favourite place and hence the dream was born.
If you were to describe Alice & Ivy in a few words – what would it be?
Alice and Ivy is a sanctuary for people to get great advice on skincare and wellbeing, access to amazing treatments and products that you cannot get on the high street.
Why does Alice & Ivy stock the products that it does?
To champion independent brands and provide an edited collection of amazing products that are organic, vegan, and have a strong social ethos. As well as being incredible products. It’s all about ‘small and independent’ supporting ‘small and independent’. All of the brands help you feel good as well as look good – it’s really important to me that they help the mind as well as the body.
Will these be the only brands you stock?
No. I am constantly sourcing new brands and products to add to the collection – and if customers have any recommendations for the types of products they’d like to see, we’d love to receive that insight.
Will you be running any special promotions or events?
Yes, over time we will start to run special events and evenings – focussing on specific product ranges or particular topics. These will be publicised within the shop and also on our social media – so customers should keep an eye out to sign up. The key for us is we want to give customers the opportunity to meet the people behind the brands. We want to know our customers and for them to know us.
Will you be providing treatments?
Absolutely – from mid-September, we’ll be offering brow treatments and styling. Keeley is a brow whisperer – her brow skills are amazing and transformative.
From November we’ll be offering face workouts – lifting the face and conditioning the skin, instant results. We’re partnering with our suppliers to develop bespoke protocols and to create the best products for the treatments.
I also chatted to Zara about the product ranges she has decided to stock. Being a fiercely independent shopper where I can, I was intrigued to find out why the shop had chosen the suppliers it had. Zara said that she really thought through all the product ranges and wanted to use independent brands. I really loved that a small indie wanted to support other small indies from the lipsticks right through to the night creams on the shelves. Who doesn't love hearing a back story? So I asked Zara to give us some more details on the brands that have been picked for the opening of the store.
Here is a list of the suppliers that Zara chose and why.
It was so hard to choose but I have narrowed it down!
The story behind BAO is inspirational. It was created by a lady with a severe autoimmune illness and she was finding that the products she was using were antagonising her skin – she couldn’t find anything that didn’t. So she created her own range. It’s all made in Dorset and is vegan and organic. It is a beautiful range that can be used by people with sensitive skin but also by anyone looking for an effective locally made vegan skin range. Zara loves all the products but she has a soft spot for the brightening hand cream.
They are all about the legs! Their products, particularly the leg lift cream are a must for anyone suffering from swollen legs, ankles or feet – either from pregnancy, sport, a flight, menopause – or someone that has a job where they’re on their feet all day. If your legs and feet feel great, it puts a spring in your step and makes your day that little bit better. Also – you can use the products elsewhere eg. Lifting cream on arms works!
Uses botanicals to get great results! Zara’s favourite stand out is the soap – but just calling it ‘soap’ is like saying Naomi Campbell ‘does a bit of modelling’ . It is a spa in a bar! The fragrances and scents from this range are as good for the mind as they are for the body.
Incredible hand-blended, multi-use products that smell amazingly good. All made in Devon, beautiful to look at as well as use.
I struggle to narrow down a favourite as they are all amazing!
Make up 54
Niche lip range which delivers richly pigmented, moisturising, non-drying, matt liquid lip colour. The range has brights and nudes. It’s a fun brand inspired by the disco era of studio 54. So whether at your desk or going to a disco – these lip colours deliver. The glitter ball lip topper, which can be worn over any lip colour or bare lip has flown out of the door since we got it and will be the ‘go to’ lip product for the party season.
Really strong ethical brand. Palettes are refillable which is great for the environment but also makes it really cost-effective. They have a fantastic range of blushers, bronzers, and highlighters- in a great range of colours in powder and cream formulas. They have ready-built palettes of colours or you can build your own. They are really versatile and can be used on eyes or on cheeks and they give a really lovely radiant dewy glow to the skin.
Beautiful brand. Vegan. Constantly reviewing their packaging to minimise on waste. The pigments used really pack a punch. Big hitters in terms of a little goes a long way. The colour range is wide ranging and will cover everything from bare faced beauty to full on glamour. For Zara, as someone who has struggled to get a bronzer because she’s so pale, she’s now addicted to their sheer bronze blusher – it gives a glow without being too glittery. Their treasure chest palette is a great present – as has a great range of colours and textures.
This is another vegan range, you can get refills for the products. It’s makeup on the go, it simplifies and streamlines. You can get your makeup kit in a little pencil case. The range uses hygienic pen technology ie everything comes as a pen, so makes it really easy to throw in your bag or purse and great for travelling. Zara is super excited about the eye primer and the lip range.
Having spent a good hour in the shop I feel I want to go back and buy a few things. I managed to try the hand brightening cream from BAO and loved it. I also tested out the Makeup 54 lipstick which is the same price as I pay for my MAC one but it lasts longer!
I feel this place is a real go to for not only myself but also for gifts to give family and friends. I also love the fact that Coastal Remedy is a couple of doors away and I see a real Christmas shopping spree coming on.
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Photo Credit to Moira Lizzie Photography