“Melariche: Shop beauty curated for darker skin tones and curly hair”. Yes, that’s just the kind of shop I need.
Some of the best beauty bargains can be found in the Boxing Day sales. Here’s how I get value for money and stay sane!
You might already know that I went to Stylist Live twice this year, once as a standard ticket holder and again as a VIP. That meant I got to see my favourite part twice – the catwalk show. Yes, I know a couple of months have passed since Stylist Live 2016 but that has just given me the opportunity to see how Stylist curated their show against what the magazines say the trends are. I’m happy to say that my favourites are still featuring in current editions of magazines!
There are several things I like about this time of year and that includes the gift-giving. I just like picking out presents for people and imagining how pleased they will be when they open it up.
I met Abi of Chrystal Images at a Keziah Connections networking event. Abi is a makeup artist and she suggested that we do a collaboration, with me picking the theme. I was at a loss until I spotted a woman wearing gele on the Chrystal Images Instagram page. Inspiration suddenly hit – I’ve never worn gele before and it’s clearly a skill that Abi has so why not base my look on this intricate headwrap?
This year I attended Stylist Live twice – once as a standard ticket holder and once as a VIP. Last year I attended on a standard ticket only and was quite impressed so I expected even more from my VIP ticket. Here are the differences I spotted.
On arrival my wrist was stamped and I was given a little token for one Chambord cocktail and an empty tote bag for all of my purchases.
There was a cloakroom but it was upstairs on the way to the catwalk so I didn’t realise until I was ready to go home!
I picked up my VIP lanyard and a wristband and entered the Secret Garden via the escalator. The lanyard gives you one filled tote bag, a chance to win a prize and three drinks from the Chambord bar.
Inside the VIP Secret Garden there was a lot going on! There was a funfair “grabbing” machine where you could try and win a prize. I failed but Beauty Breaks with Vicky managed to win a Hershesons tourmaline professional waving wand!
I picked up my tote bag from the bag hut which was filled with goodies and put my coat and umbrella in the cloakroom. Unfortunately we were unable to put shopping and tote bags in the cloakroom because it was quite small and I guess everyone was buying very similar things. I think an improvement for next year would be for VIPs to have lockers or a whole cube rather than just a hangar, a bit like what you get a some museums.
There were a couple of places to eat and lots of snacks and there was also a spa area where you could book either a Dyson blow dry, Shavata strip lashes, Nails Inc manicure or Urban Decay makeup.
I liked the full-length selfie mirror but as you know, selfies are not my strength!
On the main exhibition floor there were plenty of beauty stands to get treatments and makeovers. Urban Decay could do eye, lips, contouring or a foundation colour match. I went for smoky eyes using the Naked Smoky palette. As it was quiet my lips were also touched up with a sheer hot pink but I can’t remember what it was called.
Liz Earle had 10 minute facials, Clarins were doing hand massages, Caudalie also had beauty treatments, Lancôme were doing makeovers and you could get your nails done at WAH London. You could get other treatments from other stands, some of which were included in the ticket price.
I didn’t see anyone having a Nails Inc manicure or Shavata lashes on the main floor so I think those were Secret Garden exclusives. Although you could get the blow dry or the makeup on the main floor, the main benefit for me was you could wait for all of the treatments while sitting on a comfy chair.
There were places to purchase food and drink and the food stands had samples and offers.
There was a Chambord bar where VIPs had to get their complimentary drinks. I had brunch at Pip and Nut and dinner at Mac’n’Cheese. There were two food stations and snack and soft drinks everywhere such as water, Bottlegreen, Propercorn, Jude’s ice cream, Graze snacks and much more. Brilliant to keep your energy levels up for the whole day.
I was seated on the third row. The bench was so high I my feet couldn’t touch the ground! Clearly I don’t cope very well when I’m not on the front row.
Front row, of course!
Will you be a VIP next year? I will!
Here’s my quick post on what you must do, must see and the special offers I spotted at Stylist Live 2016.
Get mini makeover (included in ticket price). You can choose from eyes, lips, contouring or a foundation colour match. The Naked Smoky palette is on offer at a huge 30% off so make sure you snap one up if you don’t have one already. You can also pick up the new Full Spectrum palette which is not going to be released for another three weeks. A definite must have for Urban Decay junkies and colour lovers.
Get a 10 minute facial (included in ticket price). Get your name on the list early – you might have time for a wander before your treatment. Also, sign up for the mailing list at get a free 7-day sample of the iconic Cleanse and Polish with a muslin cloth. If you want to buy products, there’s 10% off.
Not only can you see lipsticks being made in front of your eyes, if you buy one lip product you get a limited edition semi-matte lipstick for free. You’d be crazy to miss out! The limited edition may even be the one that you saw being made, making it extra special.
I always keep the press-on nails in my beauty kit. They are on offer at £5 each. I think there was also an offer on the nail polished and nail kits but I don’t really have the time for nail art at the moment. For a small fee you can get your own WAH Nails nail art done. Tempting, but I like my current nail colour!
I spotted someone getting a facial (not sure if there was a fee) and there was 10% off the products. You also have a chance to win your favourite product by tweeting a photo of it.
I didn’t get my makeup done here but I bumped into someone who had their full face done after their Liz Earle facial.
There are special offers on certain shades. Some glitter shades are only £5. Otherwise, you can get one bottle for £9, two for £16 and there’s more money off the more you buy. Time to stock up I think.
The London College of Fashion
Here you can get a voucher for £25 off their courses. They have a selection of makeup artistry courses.
The Dyson Stage and the Stylist Stage
The talks on these stages are non-bookable so make sure you catch some of the talks. I heard from MDM Flow on the Dyson Stage and afterwards on the Stylist Stage was Melanie C and Shappi Khorsandi! To get a seat, turn up 15 minute before the talk. Don’t worry if you can’t as there is some standing room at the back too.
Make sure to stop by and get some samples. I gave myself a boost with the Vitalise powder drink. I just realised I forgot to stock up on tea! Oh no.
There was a discount on gym gear and a chance to win a free gym class(or was it three?) in Covent Garden. I entered. I need to get fit!
Jump on the mini-catwalk then play a game to see what you will win. I got a voucher for £10 to spend at Stylist Live but I met two people who won bracelets!
Stop by Magpie on the Run and Coco’s Liberty for gorgeous jewellery and Sarah Baily for sumptuously soft metallic leather bags and biker jackets.
There is so much more to do and see. Have fun!