When BeautyMART hold an event, it is ALWAYS worth going. ‘Brand Experts at BeautyMART’ on May 30th 2013 was a ticketed event that allowed beauty lovers to get advice, try products, chat, laugh and swig Prosecco with Beauty Industry Geniuses.
Many of London’s leading beauty halls have put on similar events recently, but for me, BeautyMART did it best. Why? Partly, because they’re so democratic where pricing is concerned – the ticket price for this event was £15 (redeemable against purchase). And for that £15, you were rubbing shoulders, exchanging compliments and learning from a really great mix of experts: Daniel Sandler, Mary Greenwell, Paul Yacomine, James Read, Chris James and Simon Ford of Melvita. The expertise in that line-up covers every part of your body from your head to your toes and your insides too, and works out at less than £3 an expert! Compare and contrast with other, stuffier events that charge far more to meet just one brand representative …
The informal friendliness and great curation that is BeautyMART can’t be faked, and nor, it seems, can it be easily replicated by other retailers. Readers who know that BeautyMART is somewhat bijou might be wondering how five experts and a sell-out crowd could be accommodated in such a small floorspace … the answer is: with ease. The same ease that BeautyMART bring to all that they do: a lovely mix of confidence, charm, exuberance and panache. Daniel Sandler described it perfectly with this tweet:
Love that @beautymartuk can mix beauty loverswith beauty Pro’s and make it a party.
— daniel sandler (@danielsandler) May 30, 2013
When you arrive at a party, a good host will put a drink in your hand and introduce you to a fascinating stranger … and the BeautyMART team are good hosts. Millie knows all about my hair struggles and introduced me to the impeccably groomed and ruggedly handsome session hairstylist Paul Yacomine, who persuaded me to pull out my ponytail and show my follicular damage. So within minutes of arriving, I was quite literally letting my hair down. I left Paul having received some sound advice, a boost to my resolve to improve my hair, and a bottle of his ultra-light Microfinish: a product I’ve been coveting for a while due to the wonderful packaging. Paul rubbed a little of the serum into my dry ends and I could see the difference there and then.
The Youngest Great Beauty (the YGB) had turned up bare-faced, all the better to benefit from the amazing make-up expertise on offer … but her first make-over was neither with Daniel Sandler nor with Mary Greenwell. To our absolute delight, the young Miss Kendall was looking for faces happy to have some lipstick applied. You might have to crouch to have your lips done by Miss Kendall, but it’s so worth it. She took her time choosing just the right colour, and although initially tempted by a matte nude, plumped in the end for Revlon’s Fire and Ice: a classic choice that she applied from the bullet, to astonishingly great effect. Ms Millie Kendall then took up assistant duties, tidying up the YGB’s lip-line and passing on her brilliant lip-liner trick (which is to anchor, geisha style, rather than to fully outline).
Fire And Iced to perfection, the YGB accosted the delightful Simon Ford: representing French natural beauty brand Melvita. The YGB suffers from Heavy Leg Syndrome, which is scoffed at in Angleterre, but treated with due seriousness in La Belle France. This is not a cosmetic issue (indeed the legs concerned can be as long and coltish as the YGB’s) – it is a serious medical complaint** The legs ache in a way that is quite hard to describe, although those afflicted still manage to complain about it endlessly. The YGB claims her leaden lower extremities sometimes keep her awake at night. I had assured her that if anyone would understand her suffering, Melvita would, and sure enough, Simon Ford came up les trumps. He recommended Melvita Tired Leg Gel, massaged in an up-the-way direction, towards the heart, along with Melvita Circulation Herbal Tea. BeautyMART don’t stock these items from the Melvita range (as I’ve said, Les Jambes Lourdes are very much a niche concern in this country), so the YGB couldn’t take them to the till straightaway. However, the joyous expression on her face made it clear that if her legs felt no lighter, her heart did, having found in Simon Ford a man who understood her torment.
Joy of joys, both of us were able to get a quick touch up from the brilliant make-up artist Daniel Sandler. Daniel took the shine off my face, drew in the most perfect set of brows and applied Gigi from his own cosmetics line, (the hot pink lipstick so good it’s guaranteed to spoil you for all other hot pink lipsticks). Daniel’s make-up skills really are something … earlier in the evening I’d been sneaking peeks at others who had graced his chair, and was so impressed. He really is quite magical to watch: a few graceful passes with his hands, and abracada: your very best face is revealed! You look just like you … only better. A lot better! I then swapped places with the YGB, who’d been watching my transformation with keen interest. Daniel gave the YGB a brief master-class in using brushes (the YGB has hitherto been fingertips only for make-up application) and made up her brows to balance her Fire and Ice lips. Now, as I am her Mum, I persist in thinking that the YGB looks most beautiful when she is wearing no make-up whatsoever. It’s a Mum thing, a (Good) Boyfriend thing, and a Nun thing. A person who loves you best of all for your soul, will always think you look best unadorned.
But I have to say, Daniel made the YGB look very lovely. I had to curb a strong impulse to sieze her in a vice-like grip, whilst shouting “I made that! Me! This is my DNA everyone!” Here is the YGB giving it her best Blue Steel outside Harvey Nichols. The slightly dreamy look in her eyes suggests that she is thinking about our purchases: the Models Own brush set she’d just invested in, or contemplating how many applications of Melvita Gradual Tanner it will take for her to look as golden as The Happy Prince … But I think she is thinking the Happy Thought we all think when leaving BeautyMART with our purchases: ‘Next time … next time I’m going to try … next time I’m going to buy…’ That’s the joy of BeautyMART: as soon as you leave, you’re dreaming of your next visit!
** Heavy leg Syndrome is a genuine medical complaint in France. The French are also particularly marvellous on feelings of liverishness and the perfect hair pin.
Sign up to receive BeautyMART mail to ensure that you never miss a BeautyMART event
Click here to shop online at BeautyMART