Elemis Set for a New Golden Age

When you celebrate your silver anniversary, it can be a time to reassess and either break up – or decide to go for gold.

The latter was the decision of the team behind Elemis, as the iconic British botanical (and now also marine-based) luxury skincare brand celebrates its 25th birthday in 2015.

There’s the tres chic new logo, brand message (Defined By Nature, Led By Science) and packaging, new products and – piece de resistance of the milestone celebrations – the opening of the brand’s new epicentre, House of Elemis.

The five-storey townhouse in London’s elite Mayfair not only represents where Elemis is headed for the next five years and beyond but where the aesthetics industry as a whole is – or should be, anyway, according to president Sean Harrington.

Sean, who founded the brand in 1990 with director of product and treatment development Noelle Gabriel, and chief marketing officer Oriele Frank, dropped in on Sydney last week (Australia being the 15th country he had visited thus far) on his mission to spread the word.


He was a bit chuffed that he was given the same suite at The Langham hotel where Drew Barrymore spent the previous night after the premiere of hers and Toni Collette’s movie, Miss You Already. He even got to keep her vases of exquisite white roses.

But back to biz … Sean explained Elemis’ vision is about delivering an extraordinary holistic customer experience, not just performing a treatment and/or selling products.

And how this, in turn, will drive your salon, spa or clinic to greater levels of excellence in terms of client outcomes and satisfaction – which also means more repeat business, referrals and retail sales. Ching ching!

“The House of Elemis is a couture beauty house for people who are serious about looking after their skin and themselves,” says Sean.

Sean Harrington
Sean Harrington

“It’s where spa meets science meets skin, from The Penthouse to The Speed Spa to the seductive retailing area.

“Elemis therapists make it personal. They look. They listen. They perform transformative treatments, personalised to respond to the ever-evolving rhythm of a client’s life and the ever-changing nature of their skin.

“The Speed Bar is a great example of our evolution and of greater business opportunities for salons, spas and clinics.

“People these days are busy and time-poor. So we’re offering express treatments of between 15-30 minutes, whether it be a mini-facial, waxing, having a mani or pedi … the list goes on.

“It caters to busy schedules but in the process the client also starts to relax and feel better.

“Being half or less the time of full treatments they are half the price, too. This has been a hugely successful strategy as we are getting pretty much double the number of clients and more and more referrals. We also sell in blocks of six with one treatment free.

“We are finding, for instance, that on evenings later in the week, when people tend to socialise after work more, a group of colleagues or friends will often come in together to have express treatments/pick-me-ups before they hit the town.”

The Penthouse, haven of celebrities, socialites and powerful peeps
The Penthouse, haven of celebrities, socialites and powerful peeps

At the other end of the scale, there is the The Penthouse; “the ultimate couture experience that embodies our ethos of excellence,” according to Elemis marketing collateral.

“[It’s] a private oasis of opulence where simplicity meets modernity. This marks a new era in Elemis luxury; a sanctuary where time will surrender to you.”

A private VIP suite that can accommodate one or two, it features two treatment areas, including the revolutionary Amber and Quartz Crystal Bed, sitting room and private bathroom.

“Our dedicated VIP Spa Concierge will co-ordinate your uniquely personalised spa experience, whether you require a post-treatment hair appointment, door-to-door chauffeur service, or a restaurant booking.

“Your Elemis Elite Therapist will shape the time to your individual needs with a tailored edit of face and body treatments to give you real results and a powerful recharge.”

Complete with a private entrance, it has become a haven of celebrities, socialites and powerful peeps. Sean was concerned that the cost of treatments would be offputting but it has transpired to be quite the opposite.

There are further Houses of Elemis up and running, or being planned, around the world.

The elegant retail sales floor in the House of Elemis
The elegant retail sales floor in the House of Elemis

It’s possible Australia’s will open within the next year. Sean has homes in Australia and lived here for a few years, thus has a huge soft spot for this fair country. So we expect the next best “house” outside Mayfair!

On the skincare technology side of things (no doubt the most important!), a marine farm off the coast of Malta, where a particular algae is cultivated, has been added to the “source pot” of the best of “English country garden” ingredients.

Elemis boasts more than 20 beauty awards, is sold in more than 60 countries and has, on average, 6.5 million spa clients each year. A jar of its hero product, Pro-Marine Collagen, is sold somewhere in the world every 10 seconds.


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