So hurrah, here's another find, although it's hardly new – Queen has been around since 1927. I feel rather chastened that I haven't discovered it before now, but it seems to have been a rather well-kept secret, available through one renowned London pharmacy: John Bell & Croyden, which has stocked the range for the last 60 years. Now, thanks to the internet, grateful customers from all over the world – many of whom have rather more serious skincare issues than i – have become loyal fans.
The three eminent dermatologists who first created Queen were looking for creams for their patients with allergies, so came up with their own using ingredients that were high quality, no-irritating – so no perfumes or essential oils. It's a formula for success that is still used today and while it's a no-nonsense range that doesn't promise miracles (no Botox in a jar here) it's a very comprehensive line. There's everything from 'Theatrical Cleansing Cream' to remove even the heaviest make-up, to hair and body products and even a small make-up range. It's not billed as 'all-natural' as a mix of natural and synthetic ingredients are used. But, the company has never tested on animals.
There are also product types that are completely new to me – for instance the Eye Make-Up Remover (£14.50 - 50g) which is not a clear liquid but a cream in a jar. It seems as though it might be heavy, but not at all. It glides over the eye lids and lashes – no pulling, dragging or stinging (although you can't be too heavy-handed about it obviously). A damp cotton wool pad wiped across the lid and lashes removes the excess cream and finishes the job.
And for the first time in my life I am using an Eyelash Cream (£9.70 - 10g). Who knew you needed such a thing? It's apparently one of Queen's earliest products and ideal for anyone whose sensitive eyes hate mascara; it not only conditions and repairs the lashes, but gives them glossiness and definition. It's also pretty useful for taming unruly eyebrows... a lovely little product.
The other two products that I am testing – the Sensiderma Day Cream (£24.40 - 45ml) and the Sensiderma Rich Hand Cream (£9.35 - 50g) put me on more familiar territory, but both are rich and soothing on dry skin. The moisturiser conatins aloe vera and allantoin to soothe and almond oil to boost the softening qualities – my skin feels lovely after just the first use. The handcream is a customer favourite for being , in particular, so quickly and easily absorbed – you don't need to use much, so it's pretty good value for money.
Some of the products come in small trial sizes – which is rather useful for those with picky skin, as it avoids costly trial and error. And the eye shadows, blushers and lipsticks are available in free sample sizes... which is especially kind!