Autumn Beauty Done.

In a world where we are all too busy to sometimes text that friend back, post that birthday card or arrange those drinks with old colleagues. It is getting increasingly harder for brands to convince, engage and spend time with customers. Making in-retail events very hard to succeed at.

Do customers want to give over hours or even half an hour of their day to a brand, a store? What is the excitement for them if they turn up?

What is the magic algorithm to success? I’m sure there is a numbers geek out there that could apply some logic to the psychologies, but without access to this I would say after attending Selfridges recent Autumn Beauty Event they have come close to cracking the code.

A year to the launch of Selfridges Beauty Workshop concept, the store opened up the doors to the beauty set for an evening of education, make-up, fun, sugar and prosecco.

With a £10 coveted ticket price, which you have to apply in advance for. You are adorned with a golden wristband – the access to the fabulousness.

You are transported into Selfridges amazingly unique way of making events a must-attend show. With complimentary branded candy floss, pick-a-mix stalls (this guy had a queue as long as those for a launch of a new Chanel nail varnish!), snow cones (with real vodka toppings), DJ’s, manicurists, make-up artists, skincare gurus… Free gifts, free prosecco – lots of free prosecco. It was no wonder that despite the sheer volume of ladies – it was fun, giggly, girly, purely and unapologetically fun and frivolous. A night to dip in and out of brands you love, or those you want to discover without the pressure sometimes felt by stepping onto a luxury beauty brands counter.

A perfect launch platform for brands to start a relationship with new customers. Especially for the likes of Charlotte Tilbury whom was unveiling her new capsule make-up collection exclusively at Selfridges. However, with the economic downturn still pinching our pockets, the FREE aspect is key here, it was very interesting to see that even the big players joined in the fun. With super GWPs for high spending clients, juice bars, international make-up artists. Even Jo Malone had a lady making free felt brooches for those whom spent on counter. It was the apple version of a beauty event. Exquisitely planned, superbly executed. Dynamic and emotive.

This allows customers, myself included feeling more at ease at buying luxury products. We are investing in the quality rather than quantity but we do need to feel we are getting an amazing deal.

So as you can probably tell we had a great time. This may of course be down to the company I was in. However, looking around us all we saw and heard was excitement, giggles, smiles and good times.

Yes this is hard work to achieve, and without being privy to Selfridges bottom line, I dare say its an investment but I truly believe that investment in your key clientele is the best thing you can put your money on these days.

If your customers go away having had an amazing night that’s made them happy, chances are they tweeted about it, blogged about it, put it on facebook, instagrammed it. And even if they don’t pop back though your doors for a week or two the people they shared it with just might.

I have been to events, launch parties, make-up lessons, skincare workshops. You name it. With all of these things sometimes the fundamental element gets forgotten. Fun.

This was about a girly catch up, a bit of competitor snooping but ultimately celebrating what’s great about being a girl, make-up, trying every pinky red lip shade on every counter until we find ‘the one’ scouting out the hottest nail colours from the sea of choice. Daring to try a new look, a vamp goth lip a daring red…

Ultimately a night of escape with girl friends, of rewards with free goodies, a sense of enjoyment, a little chip away at re-claiming your ‘me-time’ away from family, work and other life commitments.

Whilst I think we’d all love it if these evenings happened more often, what is so special and desirable about them is their surprising arrival. Plus the effortless detail that does not go un-missed.

Thank you Selfridges. A pinnacle of light in today’s doom and gloom retail landscape.

Discover Selfridges Beauty Workshop concept in the Oxford Street store.

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Hot on the High Street….

Girls (and guys) it’s time to get out your diaries and make some room for some all important beauty perk up time! Whether you’re a 5 minute lunchtime treat shopper, a sneaky online buyer at work or simply love a weekend trip around the beauty and fragrance aisles

Here’s my top pick of what not to miss…

Find your Mr Bright at Benefit – 19 March

Benefit Finding Mr Bright

This spring is dominated by hot brights as seen on the catwalk and now hitting the high street but the thought of really living this trend can be a bit daunting especially for those of us like me still clinging to their safe dark (aka black) winter wardrobe, now there is an answer! Thanks to Benefit you can give your make-up bag a spring over with their latest offering Finding Mr Bright.

My photo does not do the dayglo palette justice,  the oh so cutely named ‘brightening MANual’ comes with all your Benefit faves:

Girl Meets Pearl (which I love to twin with Nars Orgasm Blush – the two in combination give you a gorgeous pink flush with a pearly luminous glow!)

Posietint – I prefer this version than the original Benetint its shade is far more wearable and I find much easier to blend too, again you can easily mix this with Girl Meets Pearl for a similar effect as above.

Erase Paste – I like to think of this as industrial strength concealer, I tend to save this concealer for those post work drinks or nights out you know you need that bit extra coverage or brightening! Can be a god send on those mornings after the night before too….

High Beam – this product is the one that is in my most memorable make-up line up, it was THE thing to own when I was buying premium make-up for the first time.

It is a very cute palette and has a great dating make-up lesson that comes with it too, however I do have a few negatives namely that the palette isn’t that portable, it’s not huge don’t get me wrong, but for it to be a carry around palette I would have substituted High Beam for an Ultra Shine Lip Gloss – maybe even California Kissin’ to cover all your needs on the go – however this is just my opinion and does not distract from the fact this is a fab & fun little kit!

If you have time do check out the really fun dating video on Benefit UK’s YouTube Channel

(I picked James from Finance for Gabbi… you’ll understand when you watch it!)

Step into the world of CHANEL exclusively at Selfridges Oxford Street – 22 March

Keira Knightley for Chanel

I am always in awe of the truly amazing Chanel installations and creative design and to bring every beauty gals dream to life from 22 – 30 March you can step inside a supersized bottle of CHANEL’s Coco Mademoiselle – where you will find Chanel’s very own cinema!

You’ll be able to be one of the first to see the new Keira Knightley Chanel film for Coco Mademoiselle and take part in their interactive journey for your chance to take away samples of this coveted fragrance.  For Coco Mademoiselle lovers you can also get your hands on the limited edition 200ml bottle exclusive to Selfridges

I saw the amazing new film last month in a private CHANEL boutique courtesy of Chanel UK HQ and enjoyed being transported on a Parisian adventure… if you can’t wait till the 22nd you can also find a mini preview on Chanel.com and Chanel’s YouTube Channel