Harvey Nichols

Festival Beauty!

British festival season kicks off soon and with this in mind I thought I would give tips, tricks and product recommendations that have always seen me through 3-5 days of living in a field, drinking too much cider, with no showers yet still managing to look ok on the obligatory "look! we are having more fun than you!" photos that follow.

A couple of years ago my lovely fellow artist and all around gorgeous human, Aly Hazlewood asked me to do a review of some festival beauty products over on her wonderful blog The Truth About Beauty so take a look at this too. Her blog is wonderful so give her a follow and join in the conversations on her comment sections.

The Prep Work


There are so many things you can do in the build up to festival time to minimise what you have to do while you are partying away. Low maintenance everything will help you stay feeling fresh and look your best leaving plenty of time for hedonistic wonderment. I only get about 15/20 hours sleep the entire 5 days of Glasto and the last thing I want to do upon waking is worry about how I look.

Wax your hairy bits. 


This includes getting your eyebrows threaded or shaped a few days before you go. Shaving will do nothing because within a day or two you will need to do it again and for anyone who has tried shaving their legs with moisturiser in a tent, they will tell you it is not a good idea. Especially as (if you are like me) your blood alcohol level will never be at a safe enough level to brandish a razor. NEVER. My favourites are Nad's Hair Removal Gel and good old Nair. Both available at Boots or Superdrug!

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise!


By getting your skin in tip top condition before you go and party, it will not only hold a tan better but it will also hold up better without being exfoliated every day. Normally you slough off all your dead skin cells in the shower of a morning but you won't have this luxury at a festival so the better condition its in before you go, the better you will look throughout the weekend/week.

Tanning


If you don't like being the pale and interesting type like me, then about a week before you go get your tan done PROFESSIONALLY. I cannot stress the importance of going to a good, well recommended salon enough. Its the difference between looking like Giselle vs Snooki. Good salons don't charge the earth for spray tans anymore and its worth spending a few extra pounds to not have orange palms and streaky legs.

Hair Care


As with your skin, the better the condition your hair the better it will stand up (not literally we hope!) against the elements. A good hair mask or treatment at your salon will keep the ends frizz free and make long hair less likely to tangle.

Nails


Paint your nails a dark or very opaque colour before you go. There is nothing more upsetting that seeing the amount of grime that gets trapped under there from mud and dust and general festival mucky shenanigans. Shellac colours done by a salon are great for festivals as they wont chip and your nails will look fabulous the entire time!

Tinting


Get your eyelashes and eyebrows tinted before you go so you dont need to carry any eyebrow pencils or mascara. This step is a time saving must! If you prefer you can do it yourself at home with Eylure's Dylash Kit available at Superdrug. Super easy to use with no mess or fuss. Get a friend to help if you feel a bit shaky!

The Festival


Ok, so now you are bronzed, smooth and utterly Venus like. You have your cute dresses, designer wellies and a special flower garland for your hair. What needs to go in the teeny tiny makeup bag you can fit in your rucksack?

1. Sunscreen


This is SO important. Even when its cloudy the high summer sun can burn you to a crisp without you even realising. I always take a spray lotion as you can apply it to your hard to reach bits when you are off exploring by yourself. Take a look at the Superdrug Solait range. Affordable non-sticky sun protection.



2. Dry Shampoo


This stuff is always my saviour. Spray some in the first morning you notice your roots looking a little greasy and it will sort your hair right out. I had always used Batiste until I discovered Klorane's version and now I am a convert. Its available for £3.10 from John Lewis amongst others!

3. Baby Wipes


Any kind, any price. I take two packs with me and use them for EVERYTHING. Cleansing my face, all over wash of a morning, cleaning my hands, cleaning the loo before you sit down etc etc. 

3. Tinted Moisturiser


Multi use products will save the day (and space) at festival time. After cleansing your face you can pop a tinted moisturiser on with no hassle and get a nice even complexion and soft skin all at once. My personal favourite is Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser. Its beautiful. You can build it up for more coverage if you need it and it lasts and lasts and lasts. Plus it has a decent SPF so no festival red noses! Available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar in Liverpool and online at John Lewis. Another favourite is the recently revived (I cannot even put into words how happy I am at this) Revlon PhotoReady Skinlights. Beautiful shimmery shades that give a nice even cover plus light reflecting particles to make skin shine with radiance. For anyone needing heavy duty cover but still wants a multi-use product go for Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. Its pricey but my dears, you will thank me for introducing this into your life. A tiny grain of rice size blob will do your entire face. It will conceal and smooth and plump out your skin making it look totally flawless from morning until you pass out on your air bed/in a field/up at the stone circle.

4. NARS Multiple


These little wonder sticks have been a staple in my pro kit for years and years. Highly pigmented, easy to use chunky sticks of colour that you can use on your eyes, lips and cheeks. Gives a beautiful monochromatic look to your makeup and is foolproof to apply. They come in 16 shades so you are guaranteed to find your perfect colour. Nars describes them as "* Mistake-proof color; quick and easy to apply * Sheer, natural finish for eyes, cheeks and lips * Enriched with Vitamin E and açai oil for antioxidant benefits" Check out my personal favourite shades in Orgasm, Laguna and South Beach. Available at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar and SpaceNK.

5. Lip Balm


Whatever your personal favourite is. Vaseline adds a nice glossy shine over the above mentioned multiple or my own favourite is Embryolisse Essential Dry Skin Balm. You can use it anywhere from dry patches on the cheeks, lips, elbows and cuticles. Its in a teeny handy little tin and comes everywhere with me. I always take a bright lipstick in the season's hottest colour for a bit of night time glamour too.
Available at Love Makeup for £12.50


6. Gas powered travel straighteners


I have short hair that is very, very wavy if it gets wet or exposed to any kind of humidity. If you have long hair these probably won't make much of an impact. They might help tidy it up a little but thats all. On short/fine hair however these are a must have. After the dry shampoo has gone in, running these over the front and back means I can go hat free the entire festival if I want to! For longer hair I recommend hair bands, cute hair accessories and clips for keeping hair looking groomed and gorgeous in all weather.
I use Babyliss straighteners available for a bargainous £20 at Argos!


7. Deodorant/Body Spray


I am loving the new eco cans that Sure have just released. Tiny cans that contain just as much sweat proof protection as the larger cans (or your money back apparently). I love the cotton scent as it keeps you dry and doubles as a body spray ensuring that you smell fresh throughout all of your debauched antics and gig bouncing fun times without the need for carrying your beloved glass encased perfume. Sure Cotton Fresh available at all major supermarkets for around £1.50.

8. Hand Sanitiser 


Pretty sure this is self explanatory...but if not you need this for every single trip to the loos. EVERY SINGLE TRIP. That is all.

9. Tissues


Travel packs of tissues are great for spills, nose blowing (you know who you are and I am not talking about the hayfever afflicted...) and also much needed loo roll because there is NONE. You have to have your own or suffer the very disgusting consequences.

10. Toothbrush/Toothpaste/Mouthwash.


Essential. Buy travel sizes of all your favourites in Asda, Superdrug or Boots.

Please share your tips and favourite festival products in the comments below!

Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar Opens in Liverpool...

...cue lots of fan girl like text messages and phone calls to my fellow artist and friend Sian Davies!


Beauty Heaven

To get the full picture of the excitement build up we need to go back in time a little. I first heard of Harvey Nichols plans to open the Beauty Bazaar back in the summer when I was researching beauty retail concepts for a personal project. To say I was excited would be an understatement. The reality is, I squealed and almost did a wee (keyword: almost.) I was also a tiny bit bummed because the personal project I was researching was basically this concept and I wanted to open it myself. The business plan was finished, I had confirmed brands and I was just about to start looking for funding. Finding out Harvey Nics with all its millions and millions of pounds, flawless reputation and celebrity following was coming to town soon made me shelve the business plan and decide I wanted to work there. Long story short, I applied for Personal Shopper (scream!) and I didn't get it (BOO!). For a few hours after finding out this sad fact, I was going to boycott the store. Few hours...Then I became, once again, ridiculously, fat-kid-sees-cake excited again. Such is the power of capitalism and my penchant for shiny, beautiful, exclusive makeup brands.


So, we arrange a girls day. Me, Sian and my age old friend Andrea who is not a makeup artist but has an increasingly concerning but ultimately brilliant QVC beauty addiction. Sian is late due to some hilariously unfortunate mishap...actually I don't know if that's true but this is usually why she is late for personal appointments more often than not. From choking herself in public with her headphones, ransacking a local Boots or losing her bra when she had already left the house (these have genuinely happened) it makes me love her more than most other people because she is a hoot. So we have to go in without her because we literally can't wait another minute and Andrea has abandoned her boyfriend -who just so happens to be wearing a Manchester United football shirt- in the middle of Liverpool so we need to get a shift on. 



We came, we saw, we shopped.
We walk through the big, showy glass doors and are instantly warmly welcomed by a rather large doorman who wouldn't have looked out of place outside of The Sugar Hut. He greets us with a smile and a genuine sounding "Good Morning ladies, hope you have a great experience..." which is a word that flows around the place like the champagne in the "Wow Bar" on the first floor. I will explain this more later and it is so worth the wait!

The first word out of our mouths is "WOW!" and "OMG!" not "oh my god" but literally "OMG!". Its so beautiful in there it makes you regress to a teenage girl just seeing One Direction for the first time or Rylan Clarke meeting all of the Spice Girls at once and being offered a 6th member spot. It glitters and shines and sparkles in the most inviting way possible.


Directly to your left as you walk in is a huge MAC concession. In a relatively small (albeit major) city that already has a very large free standing MAC store, it comes off as a bit weird and also a waste of beautiful Harvey Nics space. Not because MAC isn't ace just because it makes me wonder if they wont be watering down the profits of the free standing store. I understand the reason its there and that's because Estée Lauder can afford the biggest and most prime spot in the place and really, that's what matters most lets be honest. Directly to your right as you walk in is the holy grail of beauty at the moment, Tom Ford Beauty. I was more excited about this than any other counter they had but they don't have the full range and the girls on counter were disinterested and snooty.




The store leads you around quite nicely and the lower floor is kind of horse shoe shaped. After MAC we get to Nars with a Shu Uemura right opposite (girly screams!). Even though Liverpool is really fashion forward and has a lot of spending power when it comes to beauty this is the first time we have had these brands. In the past I have had to order online or go to Manchester (about an hour train journey) to buy them. This section ended up being were we spent most of our time and money. The Nars counter must have truly loved us as all three of us spent quite a bit there. Sian bought pretty much the entire counter or maybe it just felt that way. I think I could happily run a full kit of just Nars products but this wasn't the only reason we stayed there so long. The girl (I now know to be called Mia. Everyone go and book in with her, shes ace!) that served us was an absolute sweetheart. She was attentive and well groomed. Her makeup was beautiful and she clearly loved her Nars as much as we did. She had the balance between selling and genuinely caring just right. The same cannot be said for the girls on Laura Mercier. They occupy the same spot on the opposite side of the horse shoe shape. Andrea and I went over there before Sian arrived because she was looking for a good primer and I love the hydrating version they make. After I showed the tester to Andrea and we chatted about it for a minute, we stood waiting for someone to ask us what we wanted for a good 5 minutes. Eventually an unkempt looking teenager approached us without so much as a smile. She opened a draw under the counter and literally stared into it for what felt like an hour then the next draw then the next and so on. Then she disappeared entirely only to come back to us with a "Sorry we haven't got it." That was it. She just looked at us until I offered up "Oh well you have a counter in John Lewis, will they have it there?"....Guess what she said people?! Yeah she went with "Dunno!". This was their second day open to the public and this girl seemed like she had already lost the will to live. 

The rest of the lower floor is occupied by the usual brands. Clinique, Benefit, Bobbi Brown etc but for me, the real magic of Beauty Bazaar is on the 1st floor. Having forcibly carried Sian away from Nars and me resisting the urge to squirt every kind of mousse Shu Uemura make all over myself, we went up the very glittery escalators into beauty and nail heaven. Within two seconds we had lost Andrea to the Nails Inc Champagne Bar (yes, this really exists!) while myself and Sian spent a good long while browsing the amazing BeautyMART. I nabbed myself the last bottle of Bioderma Créaline and we had a brilliant chat with one of the girls there who is known only as "HW" on my receipt. She showed us the counters built in iPads that meant we could browse their blog to find out about products and post our own comments while we shopped. She took a genuine interest in our freelance work and even chucked a few compliments our way, mainly about Sian's eyebrows but they are bloody good eyebrows so I wont hate.




When we caught up with Andrea she was having her nails done (for free) by one of the Nails Inc girls. I wish I could remember her name because she is one of the loveliest girls I have ever spoken to! We were offered a glass of champagne while she demonstrated their new set "Bling It On". Seeing the beautiful blue jewel like shine coming off Andie's ring finger nails tempted me to sit down and try it out. 
Andrea kindly snapped the results!
Its two colours of polish complete with a brush and two pots of very sparkly and fine milled glitter. There is even a little tray to pour glitter into so you can just roll your still tacky polish in the tiny crystals without excess mess. The brush helps to clean it all up. They had the "Midnight" set, which Andrea purchased and the "Hologram" set which I tried. I am still not sure how I resisted it. It was on offer at £20 and is absolutely beautiful. If you spent over £35 you got two free Nails Inc polishes too! Sian treated her kit to a set of mini Nails Inc polishes and we browsed Organic Pharmacy and then spoke to a lovely lady about some miracle serum called Cellex-C. The before and after shots were astonishing but they lady wouldn't let us buy it because we were under 35 and she said we would be wasting our money as the effect wouldn't be worth the price. Refreshing or what?! 


This is when we saw the Wow Bar for the first time. Elegant and plush as you expect from Harvey Nics, the bar is lined with iPads complete with Internet connection and twitter/facebook access. Perfect place to dump partners/parents/grans with a glass of champers or a very deluxe and delicious Latte. You can even park yourself there and let the stores dedicated Personal Shopper do all the hard work for you even though they wont be nearly as good as me and that sucks for Harvey Nics. Just kidding. Honest. No really, jokes!

We didn't go up to the next floor as this is where all the treatment rooms, medispa etc are situated. Next time I go in I will pay it a visit to get price lists etc.


All in all Harvey Nics has created a wonderland for beauty addicts. It truly is The Hub of beauty not only in Liverpool but in the whole UK. Its a testament to Liverpool women and how much they pride themselves in looking good that Harvey Nichols chose my beautiful city to showcase this unique, exciting concept. I DO wish they had more "exclusive in Liverpool" brands and in particular more French pharmacy brands. I also think that individual counters could really do with training their staff more and follow the example set by all the Harvey Nics staff we met that day who were brilliant, helpful and made our "experience" a very pleasant and indulgent one.


Everyone within a 100 mile radius who loves makeup and beauty as much as me and my two Warpaint Warriors, Andrea and Sian should make the pilgrimage to our very own place of Beauty Worship or go just because you Love Thyself! 

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