Monday, 20 April 2015

Instyle Best Beauty Buys 2015 event at John Lewis, Southampton - March 2015

It's no secret that I'm no whizz when it comes to makeup. I know the basics - I can make myself look presentable for a night out, I love a little eyeliner, and can't resist a slick of red lipstick.

However, I struggle with the basics of contouring, can't cope with concealer and am still getting to grips with using a foundation brush instead of my fingers.

This is something I'd love to change - I'm gradually trying to teach myself using blogger tutorials and Youtube videos, branching out with my purchases and reading reviews and advice. 

So back in March, when a friend asked if I wanted to attend the Instyle Best Beauty Buys 2015 event at Southampton's John Lewis, I couldn't wait! I'm always looking to harvest information from professionals, and this was the perfect opportunity.

We gathered a big group of girls together, and set off for a night of beauty. Upon arrival we were given a mysterious little bottle and spritzed with Miss Dior (which, by the way, smells divine!). We then entered the room where the event was being held and immediately headed towards the bubbly and canapés, as anyone would!

The view from the top floor of John Lewis was absolutely stunning and made sure it was the perfect venue.

Before the talk we were given the chance to talk to a few brands - Clarins, Liz Earle, Sisley and MAC. It was really interesting to hear about some of their new products. The girls at the tables were all so friendly and helpful and I learned a lot - though I'm not sure I'll be treating myself to the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask which is nearly £100! 

Once we had settled down, the talk began, lead by Cassie Steer (Beauty Director) and Catherine Scale (acting Beauty Assistant), who were both lovely and engaging and very, very glam! We were told all about some of their favourite products which had been chosen as winners of the 2015 awards, and given the chance to ask them some questions afterwards - which I loved.

As a fan of the high street, with my funds favouring Superdrug and Boots, I wanted to know what their recommendations were for beauty on a budget.

Catherine and Cassie both recommended mascara from L'oreal, Borjouis eyeshadow quads, and Rimmel Apocolips for fail-safe options. This was good news for me as I adore the Apocolips range, and I'll definitely bear the other recommendations in mind when I need to top up my makeup bag.

When asked for a suggested non-sticky lipgloss, they suggested the MAC Lipglass, or Dior lipgloss, and Sechevite was a winner for best topcoat.

The ladies also recommended MAC and Revlon  for good quality brushes, but suggested the Beauty Blender sponge for a perfectly polished look.

The most interesting thing for me, however, was the news that the same technology is often used for high street brands as more luxury products if the brand comes from the same cosmetics house. As someone who really is a novice with cosmetics brands, this was excellent news, and something I will definitely look into before my next shopping spree.

After the talk finished, we snaffled a few more canapés and headed down to the makeup department to redeem our £10 ticket against some products and pick up our goody bags.

And, oh! What goody bags! I couldn't believe some of the gifts we received - so many from brands I never treat myself to! But more on that at the end of this post.

This is where the mysterious little pot came in. We were advised to head over to the Dior counter to have our skin matched with a sample to take home. I've never ever treated myself to a luxury foundation so this was a true experience and so far I've really enjoyed using my sample. Maybe I will invest in the future.

I used my £10 ticket against a new MAC lipstick to add to my collection - I couldn't resist! Instead of my signature read, however, I wanted a neutral shade to wear on a daily basis. I opted for Fanfare, and it's the perfect my-lips-but-better shade. I like to think it only cost me £5! 

Once the evening had finished, the girls and I made our way to the local Thai restaurant, Mango, for some Pad Thai and jungle-themed cocktails, which made the perfect end to a great evening.

When I got home, I had to rifle through my gift bag. I couldn't believe some of the goodies they had supplied for us to try! Yves Saint Laurent, Clinique, Clarins and Elemis all make an appearance, and the best part was that they are all usable products in my daily routine. So often with gift bags you find you're gifted products which you're unlikely to use everyday, but these are all indulgent essentials and I can't wait to try them all. So far, the YSL serum and Clinique eye cream are winners for me.

You can read all of the Instyle Winners on the John Lewis website if you're interested. I will definitely be taking on all of the advice I was given on the day!

I'll now be keeping an eye out for local events similar to this so that I can learn even more and expose myself to new products and ideas. I really enjoyed the John Lewis Instyle event!

Did you go to the Instyle event? What are your failsafe beauty products?

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