A few months ago I heard a rumour that got one of my best friends extremely excited when I told him about it. The US brand Kiehl’s was coming to SA. I have to confess that before this year, I knew nought about the brand and its 160 year history. Since then, I’ve seen the brand pop up in the strangest places from TV series to beauty websites across the globe.
Turns out, the launch of Kiehl’s in SA really is something to get excited about. So let me tell you a little about the company’s history. It started as an apothecary (translation: pharmacy) back in the mid-1800s. It was bought and renamed Kiehl’s by John Kiehl in 1894. Since then, most of its best-selling products (like the Musk Oil fragrance) have remained the same. To this day, the original store in New York still stands although over time family members have added to the brand’s “culture”. This means you’ll find everything from Harley Davidson motorcyles to Andy Warhol prints in the company’s brand identity. And yet, it still remains true to its pharmacy roots from the simple packaging and labelling to the staff’s “prescriptions” of skin care, and even the loved Mr Bones skeleton who makes an appearance in every story.
It’s a brand with a history and a brand with a story and we all know how much I love a good story.
So obviously when I attended the store’s opening next to (and part of) Edgars in Sandton City, I could hardly contain my excitement. I was dying to get my hands on every product I could and believe me, there are a lot of products. From baby to body to fragrance to a multitude of skin care lines (including a high-end dermatologically positioned range), there really is something for every one. The brand also has a huge male following in the US, not just of its extensive male range, but also the skin care ranges.
I’d like to post on every product but selected my favourite for the purposes of this post. Don’t worry though, I have plenty more to write about over the coming months. And keep your eyes out for my special guest blogger who’ll be testing out the men’s products for me.
One of the Kiehl’s best-sellers is the lip balm and upon trying it, it’s easy to see why. The ingredients include fabulous moisturisers like squalane, allantoin, wheatgerm oil and vitamin E as well as soothing ingredients like aloe. So it’s both as moisturiser and a treatment. It comes in a 15 tube with what it truly the simplest looking packaging in the world. According to staff at the shop, the branding has remained the same for most of the company’s history serving to both reinforce its apothecary history and keep costs where they should be, in the formulation (point of information: the brand has never advertised and to this day relies very much on word-of-mouth marketing).
The lip balm does what it needs to. It’s moisturising; it gives a little gloss; it treats lips that are prone to cracking. The Original Balm is R70 for 15ml but there are a number of other varieties you can try like cranberry, mango, mint, pear and vanilla. These are R95 each. There really isn’t a whole lot I can say about it other than if you struggle to find a lip balm that really works, you have to try this.
While I’m on the subject of trying, the brand has a very strict “try before you buy” policy. So if you want to pop into the store and see what products work for you before splurging on the full sizes, they have and encourage you to try the products you’re interested in. They’re so confident in their products, they believe once you try them, you’ll never look back.