Fancy A Trip To The CCO? Come On Then!

Last week, I found myself in Portsmouth, whilst en-route to the Isle of Wight for the Liz Earle Anniversary Event. It made sense to pass by the CCS/CCO in Gunwharf Quays, a shopping outlet at Portsmouth Harbour.

For those of you who are unsure of what lies in wait for you at a CCS/CCO, keep reading. CCS/CCO stands for Cosmetic Company Store/Outlet and they stock and sell discounted Estee Lauder owned company's cosmetics. These brands include MAC, Origins, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, Estee Lauder amongst many others such as Darphin and Ojion, which are also under the Estee Lauder umbrella.

Stock is discounted up to 30% and you can often find discontinued or hard to find products, including a large quantity of stock from past MAC limited edition collections. It's also not unheard of to find plenty of current stock in there too, making a saving of 30%  even sweeter.

So what can you find behind the doors of the CCO?

Mineralize eye shadows and  items from the Style Warriors LE collection
Eye shadows, quads and pigments galore. Dame Edna, Christmas palettes and Hello Kitty all available.
I didn't spot any Shimmerbricks - sorry!

On the whole, CCOs are typically self-service, you take what you want, brand new off the shelf and go and pay for it. However,  if you want any lipsticks, glosses or brushes, then you need to take the tester(s) to the till first, where you'll be given a brand new one. This can be highly irritating on a busy day when half the stock is in the hands of customers in the queue waiting to be served. 

 Fragrances, Clinique cosmetics & Estee Lauder skincare

Estee Lauder favourite, Doublewear foundation is reduced to £17.50 instead of £25

 Discontinued brand Prescriptives was heavily stocked (there was loads, this is just one snap!), Darphin skincare and Ojon haircare.

That Origins serum has just been released and it's in the CCO already! Loads of Tempting Eye Quads in stock too.

Not forgetting the fellas, there's a reasonably sized section devoted to male skincare and fragrance.
The CCO's in the UK and Ireland are few and far between. At present there are currently six stores dotted around the country which are as follows:

2. Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Harbour
3. Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port
5. Junction One, Antrim
6. Designer Outlet, Swindon

Everybody likes a bargain, but I'm aware that for many a CCO visit requires advance planning, depending on where your nearest branch is. I visited the Bicester branch last year and was pleasantly surprised by the choice of products I found in stock. However, it was ram packed with it being a Saturday afternoon so a weekday visit is advised if you want to beat the crowds.

There's no guarantee of how long an item will remain in stock, so if you see something you like, don't hesitate, buy it there and then. I did however, notice a lot of stock present in the Portsmouth branch last week, that I saw last Summer at the Bicester outlet, so go figure!

If you’re looking for something in particular, I'd suggest ringing the branch you plan on visiting beforehand (telephone numbers should be on the outlet websites - if not, Google is your friend) to check if it's in stock, in order to avoid disappointment or a wasted journey. I hope this has been useful for those of you who've not visited a CCO store before.

24 beauty lovers have sumthin to say:

BeautyGeeek, Kishmat-Lola said...

wow, i need to get myself down to one of these stores. I spotted the Ojon hair balm in your pix...i love that stuff x

Nooberella said...

I really want to go but all the locations are really far from me =0/

mmmmm! x

Charlotte said...

Great post! At my local CCO in York you dont have to take a tester for lip products to the till they are already out, can imagine that queing with a tester would get annoying! x

VexintheCity said...

@BeautyGeeek - Yeah I really like Ojon stuff. My friend got me onto that brand.

@Nooberella@ Bicester's the nearest to you and it's not THAT far really.

@Charlotte - The York branch has sense. At Bicester that do that silly tester queue thingy too.

Leanne OCD said...

Fab post! I love the one at Cheshire Oaks!! It definitely requires a day off in the week for a visit though. Then you can browse unmolested ;o)

Tara said...

Lucky you, i would love to go there, its like a kid at a candy store!

une tasse said...

Urgh I wish there was one in London. I know Bicester is the closest but it's still so long! xx

The Bristol Beauty Blog said...

Ooh - I want to go there. I might treck down to the Swindon one when I get a day off soon. x

Annabella said...

Thanks for the great info! I usually avoid these places as they usually just have perfume and 100 year old Revlon stuff but this looks like proper beauty booty!

dizzy_girl001 said...

I was in York the other day at the CCS and picked up a Love Nectar lustreglass for £8.00 instead of £12.50 :)
I'm pretty sure it was the last one though x

Dreams That Glitter said...

I love the Portsmouth branch, and it's my nearest :).


LilyLipstick said...

I love the CCO in Bicester - I got a gorgeous MSF last time I was there. They can be a bit hit and miss with their stock but I usually find a nice bargain :) x

Anitacska said...

Many thanks for this, I'm going there tomorrow, now I'm really excited!

dempss01 said...

Next time I'm in the UK I'm heading to the one at Biscester. I'm getting excited just looking at the pictures!

missmascara1983 said...

Thats my local CCO! x

K said...

Bicester or Gunwharf Quays, which location do you prefer?

V said...

I was not able to post a glowing comment to your site. I am so done and so not retyping it! #major uber fail!!!

Natalie said...

It's the first place I go to when I visit Pompey! Ha! There is also a really good store at their offices in Fareham (near Pompey) to suppliers of Estee Lauder and you can get 50% off there! :-D

Daisy said...

Ahh I went to this CCO on Sunday! I love Gun Wharf for a day out. We picked up MAC e/s in Jest for £6- bargain!

liloo said...

this is a fab post. i ve always wondered exactly what cco means and what i can find there. the brutal reality is that i'm going to spend more money going to a cco than if i bought the same makeup in a nearer shop.
maybe cheshire oaks is the best bet for someone living in pit of the universe lancaster? x

Sarah said...

This was very useful. I've never seen inside a CCO before and now feel decidedly motivated to make the journey (when I next have some cash!). The Tempting palette there is killing me a little as I have been hoarding mine in the hope that it'll be worth something one day!

Beauty Addict said...

I wish they had CCO's in Ireland!!
I can't believe how much cheaper things are in these stores!

Confessions of a Beautyholic

Sharon said...

awesome post,thanx for sharing,I need to visit one of them probably the Swindon one

MissDollyGal said...

Damn G, I can't believe you were in my town and I didn't know. I actually had no idea they sold double wear cheaply there (I usually only ever look at MAC and Bobbi Brown) so thanks! Luckily, Gunwarf one is never busy, so I've never had an issue with queuing with the testers. xx


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