Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Bristol Fashion and Beauty Round Up - September

Welcome to the first post in a new series of fashion and beauty round-ups.  I'm hoping to feature all the news, events, launches and special offers taking place in Bristol and the surrounding area each month, so you can add the dates to your diary.

Benefit to Launch in Harvey Nichols

First up, Benefit are opening up a new counter in Harvey Nichols!  They will be opening on Saturday 3rd September to coincide with the launch of two new Benefit products - They're Real Mascara and Ring my Bella fragrance which will be available in store.  The Benefit counter will also feature a brow bar - very handy for a quick tidy up!

Vogue Fashion's Night Out

On Thursday 8th September, Bristol will be taking part in the global Vogue Fashion's Night Out event.  The Harvey Nichols store will be open from 5pm to 8pm to celebrate and will feature a Styling Booth with outfits created by the in-store Personal Shoppers.  Fashion Night Out T-shirts will be on sale as well as a DJ in store and cocktails!

There will also be events in Beyond Beauty, with treatments and activities happening at Paperlash, Violent Lips, Nailease and Blink.

See this link for further details.

Harvey Nichols Fashion Show - Sponsored by Land Rover

On Tuesday 13th September from 7.30pm to 9pm, Harvey Nichols and Land Rover will be hosting a fashion show at the new M Shed Museum.

Parading down the runway will be clothes from the new collections by Alexander McQueen, MaxMara, Diane Von Furstenberg, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci.  Land Rover cars will also be on display.

The tickets cost £20 and they include a Champagne reception, luxury goody bag and a 10% discount card for fashion and accessory purchases in store until 20th September.  The tickts are available from Harvey Nichols.

Bristol Fashion Week 2011 at The Mall

From Wednesday 21st to Sunday 25th September, The Mall at Cribbs Causeway will be hosting a series of fashion shows as part of Autumn/Winter Bristol Fashion week.  Standard tickets cost £8.95 and are available from the Mall's website.

Additionally, if you fancy being a make-over model, styled by Mark Heyes, email the Mall on by Sunday 4th September - see here for more details.

Cabot Circus Autumn/Winter Fashion Tour

On Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September, Cabot Circus will host the Autumn/Winter Fashion Tour 2011, with free fashion shows, fashion offers and free beauty samples.  Click here for further details.

So, there are some dates for your diary - a busy month in Bristol, especially in fashion.  I'm planning on attending the Harvey Nichols/Land Rover Fashion Show and one of the Bristol Fashion Week shows at the Mall.  I went to Bristol Fashion Week last year, and thought it was great!

I'm concious that only larger companies have responded to my round-up call.  Please do contact me if you run a smaller business and have events or news to share - I'm keen to include everyone in my round-ups.  Let me know if you have a September event/offer/launch planned and I will add it to the list, or if you have forthcoming activities planned in October, for next month's post.

Thanks for reading! xx

Friday, 26 August 2011

Bristol Beauty Blog Confesses All

Just a little post to let you know I'm confessing my worst beauty crime over on Modesty Brown's blog today - hopefully you won't be too shocked!

Strip Hot Wax Salon at Bristol Harvey Nichols

Earlier this week, I was invited to Bristol’s newest waxing salon – Strip in Harvey Nichols.  Strip opened its concession on the ground floor of Harvey Nicks on 22 August and is the first of Strip’s boutique salons to open outside of London.  I went along to meet Strip’s founders, Danielle and Maria-Louise Featherstone and to test out the salon for myself.

Strip's products for sale

Danielle and Maria-Louise talked to me about their existing salons in London, their new venture in Bristol and the products they use.  As well as providing a specialist waxing bar, they also provide a spray tan service.  A range of the products are also stocked in the Salon to buy – these include South Seas tanning (which looks really lovely and is paraben free) and Lycon waxing and bodycare products.  As well as the beauty products, they sell a range of high-end undies including Hanky Panky and Mary Green.

Danielle and Maria-Louise are clearly really passionate about the work they do – providing a really specialist waxing service using top-quality hot wax rather than the traditional strip wax that the majority of UK salons use.  And they have an impressive roster of high-profile clients who are happy to put their testament to their skill – including none other than Victoria Beckham and Sienna Miller – high praise indeed.

Shop floor at Strip

I was shown around the salon’s two treatment rooms and they are really quite impressive and very different to the usual salon decor – The Olive Room is decked out in green, whereas the Chocolate Room (which is sure to be a hit with the punters) has massive artwork of a chocolate bar!  Both rooms have flat screen TVs showing films to distract you from your waxing – none of the naff, plinky-plonky music that most salons pipe out. 

Strip's Olive Room

My treatment was performed by Carleigh, who really knew what she was doing.  She immediately put me at ease and there was no embarrassment despite the fact that I was having an extended bikini wax (no, I wasn’t brave enough for a Hollywood!)  The therapists are clearly used to carrying out intimate waxing day-in, day-out so are skilled at putting you at ease and knowing how to do the job quickly and efficiently.  Carleigh took me into the Chocolate Room and used the Chocolate Wax - this smelt heavenly – like Nutella!  The wax itself was warm, but not too hot, and using a thick layer of wax, Carleigh removed my hair in an efficient and relatively painless way.  Because oil is applied to the skin prior to the wax, the wax grabs only the hair and not the skin.  There was a small amount of pain, but certainly nothing like a normal bikini wax.  Also, there was no residue left on my skin, like traditional waxing leaves behind.

Almost edible - The Chocolate Room

I was really pleased with the results of my wax.  Carleigh really made sure that it was clean and to the desired shape – no stragglers were left behind.  I’ve had a few “wonky” bikini waxes in my time, but she clearly knew what she was doing, and I’m pleased to say I’m very symmetrical!

I can clearly see the benefits of going to a dedicated waxing salon, especially one using hot wax.  Particularly, if you have never had your intimate regions waxed before, I would definitely go to Strip, as they are really professional and expert in their approach, whilst being discrete.  I was very impressed and I will be heading back there for more waxing.

Strip offers a “menu” of specialist waxing options, as well as Vajazzles.  I’m not sure if Bristol has anywhere else that offers this service – do let me know, as I’d be interested to find out!  They also offer a full range of treatments for men.

Clearly for a premium waxing service, you do pay a premium price – I took a price list away with me and the prices are more expensive than the salon I usually go to, which I already think is expensive!  However, they do allow you to buy in bulk to lessen the impact on your wallet – I quite like the idea of buying a year’s worth of waxing in one go so you don’t need to worry about it again.  However, in my opinion, the quality of the salon is worth the money.  I once spent two hours getting my legs waxed and I wasn’t 100% impressed with the result – for a quick, less painful wax with an excellent finish at Strip, I would happily fork out the extra money.

Watching a film whilst getting smooth

I think that Strip is a really good addition to Bristol’s beauty offer, and I’m pleased to see that we are attracting companies like Strip to our fair city!  I’d be interested to hear of anyone else’s waxing experiences – let me know if you have any stories!

Thanks for reading! xx

PS - I'm really sorry about my crappy photos - I had to borrow a camera from work and it did not like the lighting in Harvey Nichols at all!

Friday, 19 August 2011

NOTD - Chanel Peridot

Hi Ladies!  You know that I can't resist a bit of Chanel bling, especially when it comes to nail polish.  With the launch of their A/W collection today, I had to get my hands on Peridot...  Luckily, with a bit of forward planning, I had rung John Lewis in advance and got them to put one aside for me.  I'm very glad they did, as apparently, after all the reserved Peridots had gone, there were only two left, and they were both sold out by the time I got there!

It's a kind of stunning, shimmery green and yellow polish with blue tones as well.  It's a surprisingly wearable colour, and I can see myself wearing it a lot over the next few months.  However, I do see it as more of a summer colour, rather than A/W, but I'll see how I feel about it as the nights draw in.

One coat is sheer, but with two it becomes opaque and I think two is enough.  I've made a mess of the application, largely because my nails are in terrible condition at the moment, and because I couldn't wait to put it on and didn't use a base coat.  However, I'm somewhat impressed with the formula.  There are some brush marks, but it wasn't too thick and it didn't bubble, something I've had issues with with every other Chanel polish I've tried before.

By the way, this is a shimmery polish, with none of the "hidden shimmer" Chanel trademark so well.  So, I think it'll be an easily dupe-able polish.  I shall wait to see who can make the closest dupe!

What do you think?  Will you be shelling out £17.50 on it?

Thanks for reading!  xx

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

What's New in Fashion and Beauty in Bristol in September? Let me Know!

Hi all.  I've been thinking for a while that I'd like to do something a bit more geographically specific with my blog, given that it's named the Bristol Beauty Blog, and I've recently met some lovely people in Bristol who are involved in the beauty industry, specifically because my blog is geographically relevant.

So I've decided to try to have a monthly round-up of what is new in the world of fashion and beauty specifically to Bristol (perhaps I might expand it to the west country).  I get a few press releases from larger companies, but I'd like to feature fashion and beauty from everyone from the largest department store, to the newest boutique opening, or a mobile beauty therapist.

So, if you work in the fashion and beauty industry, or know someone who does, please let me know.  Let me know what you are up to in September - do you have a new product launch, perhaps you are running a special offer, maybe you know about a new shop opening that you think everyone should know about!  Feel free to promote yourself or anyone you know that you think should be promoted.  Also, if you run your own business, perhaps you are running a special offer or discount that I can share with my readers.

I'd love for you to email me at if you do know of anything happening.  I think that this will be a great way to provide a round up of what is happening in Bristol every month! 

Thanks for reading!  xx

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Flash Review of Clarins Beauty Flash Balm

Hi ladies!  I had an email yesterday from Cheap Smells offering £10 off Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for a limited time and I thought it was about high time I reviewed this product.

I got this in a goodie bag at Bristol Fashion Week last year, and for a long time I didn't know what it was or how to use it.  Basically, Beauty Flash Balm is a bit of a hybrid product - a sort of moisturiser, primer, radiance booster and wrinkle filler combined.  I don't use it as a moisturiser, but I do find it makes a good primer and does help to smooth my skin.

I apply it once my moisturiser has sunk in. It's quite a thick cream, but you really don't need very much of it.  You spread it over your face, but you don't rub it in a lot.  After the cream's application, you have to immediately apply your makeup.  I usually put on my concealer before my foundation, but when I use Beauty Flash Balm, I put my foundation on before concealer and before the Flash Balm sets and then do my concealing.  Once it's on, it's on - even cheapo foundation won't budge.

The thick, peach-coloured cream

So as a primer, I really rate this cream.  As for its wrinkle filling qualities, I have a few minor lines around my eyes and between my eyebrows, as well as folds in my neck.  When I use cheaper foundations (and some more expensive ones), over the day, the foundation does tend to pool, especially between my eyebrows and on my neck.  However, I've found that Beauty Flash Balm eradicates this problem. I'm not sure how well it would work for more mature skin, but for someone with the first signs of ageing (i.e. early thirties), it works really well and certainly gives you a smoother surface to work with.

Spread on my skin, evening out my skin

As a radiance booster, I find that this does even out my skin tone to a degree - not so much that anyone else would actually notice, but it does slightly.  It also gives you quite a dewy look - as your foundation won't budge, you don't need to set it with powder, so you can actually enjoy the dewiness without having to powder it over.  I'm quite into the dewy look at the moment and I have a view more reviews to come on other dewy-boosting products, so watch this space.

I don't use this every day - I save it for special occasions, nights out, and when I know I've got a grueling day of travelling and I want my look to last all day.

Cheap Smells are offering it at £17.50 instead of £27.50 until Sunday, and they have a voucher code you can type in at the checkout which is 'ClarinsWeek5'.  I'm very tempted... will you be buying any?

Thanks for reading!

I'm not affiliated to Clarins or Cheap smells.  I just saw this offer and thought I would share with you all!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

And the Winner of my Blog Birthday Giveaway is...

Drum roll...

...It's Ms Red!

Congratulations to you!  I will email you in a second!

I'd like to thank all my followers and all who entered for all your support over the past year and into the future! 

Thursday, 11 August 2011

NOTD - China Glaze Sea Spray

Hi ladies.  Just a quick nail of the day today - Sea Spray by China Glaze.

I bought it as I heard it was a close-ish dupe for Chanel Riva.  Unfortunately, as I don't own Riva, I can't really comment on that.  It does have a touch of the trademark Chanel 'Hidden Shimmer', but just a smidgen, and it's really much more of a 'flat' colour.  However, it's a lovely, pale blue toned colour - pretty inoffensive for wearing to work, and a good holiday colour!  I wore it a lot on my holiday (back in March - sigh)!

Application wise, I found it a bit heavy and creamy.  It bubbled slightly (although not on this hand) and took ages to dry.  I found two coats was just about enough, but it really needed three to get rid of any streaking and to have a totally opaque finish, which adds to the drying time.  However, it was pretty long-lasting, and I managed it a week on my toes whilst I was on holiday before it chipped - pretty good going, considering I was flip flopiting around on the beach!

So, although I like the colour, I wasn't that wowed by the formula.  This is the first China Glaze colour I've tried - I would try others, but I'd have to really like the colour.  I can live with crappy application and drying time from £3 nail polishes, but at around £10, I expect better!

Thanks for reading! xx

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Don't Forget to Enter my Blog Birthday Giveaway... Featuring Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, Avon and Body America

Just a little reminder to enter my Blog Birthday Giveaway... that is, if you haven't already entered!

It's running until Midnight this Friday, so get entering!

Thanks people! xx

Wedding Outfit 2 - Ideas and Styling - Please Help Me!

If you regularly follow my blog, you will know I'm going to 4 weddings this year!  2 down so far, only 2 more to go!  One coming up is my sister's wedding, so I want to get the styling right, as the photos are likely to be sat on my Mum's shelf for years to come...

I've bought a dress from Phase 8 and it was very expensive.  I do like it, but I'm not 100% sure about it.  I might need to try it on again, or carry on looking to see if I find a dress I like better.

Anyway I've had an attempt at styling the dress - really only to get ideas for jewellery that would match, as well as shoes, accesories and makeup colours etc.  If anyone had any other suggestions as to what would work with this dress, please help me!!!  I find styling outfits, especially formal outfits soo difficult!  I'm relying on you ladies to work your magic...

Dress - Phase 8
Shoes - Nine West
Jewellery - Dorothy Perkins, Next, Warehouse
Scarf - Vintage (my Granny's)
Nail Polish - OPI
Eyeshadows - Accessorize and Mac
Eye pencils - Eyeko and Avon
Hair Feathers - Independent shop
Cat - blogger's own

Thanks ladies - all your help is much appreciated! xx


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