I had been reading a lot about Tracie Martyn’s skin care line in beauty magazines long before I originally researched and posted a review – and to be honest I think I was a little over influenced by the hype that surrounded the brand at the time.
Now in 2012 Martyn doesn’t seem to be quite the hot property she once was in the skin care world – although her website would have us believe that she still attracts a loyal celeb client list.
Tracie Martyn is a British esthetician living in New York when she created an innovative anti aging facial which combined natural active ingredients with electro-stimulation.
According to the marketing story the facials worked so well in lifting and firming client’s skin that word spread and her New York Salon become the new hot place to go.
Soon Hollywood celebs were beating a path to her door (certainly true 4-5 years ago) and Martyn’s client list expanded to include regulars like Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Madonna, Kate Winslet and Jennifer Anniston – to name a few. The popularity of the brand was also given an almighty boost by a feature on Oprah.
Red Carpet Facial
Her resculpting facial – adapted for the award ceremony and labelled the ‘Red Carpet’ facial – became the must have pre-Oscar beauty treatment and appears to have been still much sought after at the recent 2012 awards.
Most of us are unlikely to benefit from the Red Carpet Facial but we can buy products from her range of anti aging skin care using exactly the same formulations she uses in her salon and in LA at the academy awards.
Small range based on natural ingredients
Wisely she has kept her range small – just five items – reflecting the niche market she is in.
Mainly it was the concentration of highly active botanical ingredients that originally set these products apart from other anti aging skin care lines around at the time.
Now of course there is greater competition – naturally active skin care is a big trend and many main line skin care companies are producing similar products – often at far lower cost.
High cost a difficult sell on Amazon
If you want to get the A-list treatment at home Tracie Martyn’s product range is avaialble on Amazon and from her (not very frequently updated) website.
The Amla Firming Serum – based on high concentrations of antioxidants, green tea, bilberry and detoxifying peptides appears on the face of it to be a good alternative to vitamin C serum – lifting and toning skin and stimulating collagen production.
As I have no experience of how the product performs – my main reservation here would be price. If I was looking for skin serum – a top end vitamin C serum from a company like SkinCeuticals or any one of several serums from Murad Skin Care – would set you back a lot less.
The Amla Firming Serum comes in at $185. At that price it is not surprising that there are only four reviews (only one complementary) in the amazon store and the most recent I could find was 2009 – seems like there isn’t a very high turnover.
The Enzyme Exfoliant from the range did achieve something close to cult status for a while beloved of regular celebrity customers like Susan Sarandon and Madonna – both quoted as being enthusiastic users several years ago. Whether they still are is a moot point.
The exfoliant sells on Amazon for less than the serum at around $90 – so not a cheap option either – and has 8 reviewers with very mixed reactions.
One reviewer mentioned that products from the range are non returnable which for a skin care brand you purchase online is not good news. Again – it seems to me there may be many other products from derm level skin care brands which offer a better experience.
Brand passed its sell by date?
So – has the Tracie Martyn brand passed its sell-by date? I think there is always a difficulty in going from a great niche product to mass market sales without heavy marketing and advertising. Maybe Martyn should not have gone the Amazon route.
Inevitably, without huge sales, a small label like this one is going to suffer from lack of funds for further product development. It certainly looks that way – the original five product lines are the only ones sold and the ingredients don’t appear to have changed much.
I guess some might say if it works why change or extend the line but anti aging skin care has moved on in leaps and bounds since Tracie Martyn first set up shop in Manhattan. If she has adapted her business to those changes it doesn’t appear to show.
I am sure if you pay a visit to the salon in New York and experience the whole facial – electro-stimulation included – you would come out feeling like a new woman. Buying from the Tracie Martyn range would make sense once you had seen how it all works so you could carry on the treatment at home.
But buying an untried, expensive anti aging product online with very few reviews to guide you and no return option – that may be a step too far for most of us.