It’s a fun filled week of beauty events to kick off February! Between all the launches, looks, products and partnerships it’s becoming apparent that 2015 is the year that the consumers have found their voices and the brands are responding! And thankfully, I’m the person attending and testing what’s coming up…a difficult job, yet someone has to do it.
Wednesday, 4th February 2015 – Priceline Beauty School
Priceline took media back to school – yet it was certainly unlike any school I’ve attended. We arrived to the Ivy Sun Room to be greeted with our school table numbers and offered breakfast canapes with iced tea. Among the books, globes and blackboards was a beautifully arranged self-serve breakfast station that would rival some hotels. Gluten-free muesli with fruit and yoghurt seemed to be a crowd favourite, while I kept stalking the mini scrambled egg cups.
The school bell rang and we were called to take our seats for the beauty school lecture. Unlike my old uni lectures (those I actually woke up in time to attend) we were offered chocolate milkshakes before finding our places, which of course were labelled in a teacher’s apple. We heard from General Manager Mark O’Keefe, who educated us on the most amazing facts about Priceline and the combination of health and beauty. From Priceline offering 650 shades of foundation (more than ANYWHERE else you’ll find) to fun facts like every minute a pair of false eyelashes are sold in Priceline (so glad it isn’t just me), it was both astounding and exciting to hear that women know what works for them and luckily for Priceline, they sell it. Actually, they sell over 16,000 products, boasting Australia’s largest range of beauty and cosmetics under one roof. Hearing about the top ten sellers for 2014 had students in the crowd either nodding with fierce approval (like I did when I heard Bondi Sands Dark Foam right up there – woo!) or quickly glancing around the room to see who else had Lucas’ Paw Paw Ointment or Bio Oil in their bathroom cabinets.
After hearing the exciting news that Priceline have signed as the official sponsors for the VAMFF (exciting because that means all the looks you’ll see on the runway would have been created from Priceline!), we heard from an expert panel, make-up director Rae Morris, hair director Kenneth Stoddart, and Priceline Pharmacy beauty director Rachael Brook . It was wonderful hearing that Rae’s make-up kit has around 80% of products from Priceline and likewise, Ken mentioned that his big volumizing hair looks come from Priceline-sold powders and sprays. It also quickly takes away the excuse of ‘oh I don’t look like them because they have a team of people with expensive products’, because the experts shop in the same spot we all do.
Before we were dismissed, we had a run-down of what’s coming to Priceline in 2015, just in case they weren’t nailing the beauty industry enough. In terms of hair, expect to see:
NEW Models Prefer haircare
OGX Vitamin Infused Shampoo and Conditioner with Vitamin E and Vitamin B5 – March
OGX Scentuals Shampoo and Conditioner with Tsubaki Blossom extract and Cherry Blossom extract – March
Schwarzkopf Stylist Ultime Range – Late March/April
NEW Fudge Big Hair Range – April (at Priceline for 12 months exclusivity)
Charles Worthington Range – May (at Priceline for 12 months exclusivity)
In the world of lips from Feb to March:
L’Oreal Colour Riche Privee Nudes
Revlon Ultra HD Lipstick
Maybelline Colour Drama Lip Pencil
Rimmel Appocolips Matte
Models Prefer Moisture Lust Lip Tints
For your eyes from Feb to March:
Maybelline Colossal Pumped Up Mascara
Rimmel Scandaleyes Kate Moss Mascara
Rimmel Jumbo Liner and Micro Liner
L’Oreal Miss Manga Mascara
And for your face:
We then grabbed our brown paper lunch bags, filled with Priceline’s best sellers to test and try and one of the best 4-square contact/fact cards I’ve seen in a long time. If it told me who I would have been taking to the formal, I would have been even more impressed.
Wednesday, 4th February – MAC and AVEDA Backstage Preview for David Jones A/W15 Runway
The pressure backstage before a runway show is exactly what you think it is – busy, crowded, hot, loud and completely and utterly exciting. Nerve-racking for even a bystander, as you feel torn between wanting to get out of the way and pushing in to be completely involved in the chaos. The only thing that disappointed me, was that the models were so well behaved – I was really hoping for some Brazilian beauty pageant style-drama. I was lucky enough to head backstage with official make-up partner MAC and exclusive hair partner AVEDA for the David Jones A/W15 Fashion Launch, getting to see first-hand the looks, trends and styles we’ll all be sporting soon enough.
In the AVEDA room, we saw two gorgeous styles that reflected DJs collection theme, ‘City Scape’. Mixing the strong with the feminine, we saw a strong middle part with wavy hair that had grit and texture and certainly not ‘too perfect’ that complimented the looks on the runway. Using the 3 AVEDA hero products of the night, Pure Abundance Style Prep on the roots, Phomollient Styling Foam throughout and spritzing with Air Control Hair Spray, if you were lucky enough to get close to the models, you could smell the gorgeous hints of pine coming from their flawless styles. The next look, was pulling the volume and textured hair back into a strong side part, with the rule that ‘the side part will generally start slightly to the left of the highest point of the eyebrow’. Hair was then pulled back into a low pony tail, covering the top of the ear. A small piece of hair is then wrapped around the hair elastic (a lovely detail!) and set with Control Force Hair Spray, then spritzed with Air Control Hair Spray to allow for hold, but still some loose pieces to keep hair soft yet edgy. It was difficult to fault the two gorgeous styles, as they are easy to recreate, suit many and using the above products, smell absolutely amazing.
Under the spotlights of MAC, otherwise known as my idea of heaven, we saw the craziness of the make-up artists creating the most gorgeous faces in an environment that was so hot and exciting, I was exhausted just watching them do their thing. Led by internationally recognized MAC Director of Makeup Artistry James Molloy, the looks created beautifully reflected Australian beauty, in Molloy’s words the looks were “designed for women who have self confidence but don’t want to look too ‘done'”. One look, had warm brown eyes with jet-black mascara, that allowed the colour of the eyes to pop through with the edginess of the dark lashes. Skin was sheer and light and lips were patted with a nude lipstick (hug me sheertone) allowing the eyes to be the star of the show. The next look was a little edgier, with eyes lined in black kohl pencil and mascara that showcased the beautiful shape. The lid appeared wet under the lights with a blackened gold pencil and shimmer cream – a real sign of a make-up artist thinking outside the square and creating a look that gives the impression of being out partying with make-up that is still holding up.
Then, we took our front row seats for the preview of what certainly ended up as one of DJs best shows yet. Jessica Gomes led the way, followed by the beat of drums that not only drummed up excitement, but had us all tapping along to the beat. Not only were the clothes and the show itself amazing, but watching the creations of AVEDA and MAC in full flight made me eager to get home and attempt to look like one of the models. (I’m still trying, but the products are amazing regardless).
Wednesday, 4th February – Designer Brands
What a delight it was to learn about the wonderful new arrivals for Designer Brands over a beautiful dinner at Sydney’s QT Gowlings Bar and Grill! My first time at the venue was outstanding, with a buzzing environment, amazing setting and even better food. On arrival to our private dining room, we were given champagne and seated at the dinner table to listen to Designer Brands founder Tony Rechtman speak passionately about his brand; a passion that was quickly transferred over to the rest of the beauty media in the room. We heard from Melinda Ayre who consults for DB, following over 10 years as beauty editor at Body and Soul where she first came across DB and was so impressed with the brand’s ability to compare to expensive, designer brands and still maintain a low, affordable price point.
Then, we were given permission to play at the dinner table – between meals we opened our gift boxes and tested the new releases, the Longwear Lipstick, Moisturising Lipstick, Beyond Amplifying Mascara and Blur Skin Perfector. With all products certified vegan and never tested on animals, the formulas of each are studied under a fine microscope. The new Longwear Lipstick is available in 12 shades, boasts rich and intense colour pigments and is formulated with Vitamin E to boost hydration. The Moisturising Lipstick leaves a beautiful sheen across the lips with Vitamin E and aloe vera to help repair damaged lips. The newly updated packaging shows a transparent cap that reflects the colour of the lipstick, making it much more simple to find your correct colour when in your handbag. The Beyond Amplifying Mascara is formulated with Argan oil so lashes feel smooth and conditioned, while tubing technology ensures each lash is coated and lengthened. All 3 products available this month for you to head out and play with colours, while fluttering your gorgeous lashes! Finally, with the excitement of blur products on the market, DB have responded by creating a wonderful compact Blur Skin Perfector; an innovative 3-in-1 balm that blurs fine lines and pores while eliminating shine. On counters in April, this product excited me the most, as I became quite obsessed with blurring products from doing my own make-up in the traffic chopper and needing to look flawless and calm, despite being stressed and actually sweating.
Thursday, 5th February, Eylure
If there’s one beauty product that can completely transform your look from ‘expected’ to ‘wow’, it’s lashes. For over 65 years, Eylure London have been at the forefront of the eyelash game. The relaunch event was held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the spectacular Quayside Room, overlooking the harbour bridge and opera house which was very fittingly, eye-opening. Beauty media entered the room to breath-taking while floral arrangements, offered an array of juices, smoothies and delightful breakfast canapes.
As the world of false lashes can be confusing (not to mention time consuming – I’ve literally run late for weddings because of lashes), Eylure are making this process easier for the consumer, with colour-coded effects ranging from Naturals, Lengthening, Texture, Dramatic, Volume, Definition, Exaggerate and Pro-Lash. Along with options with glue, they also offer lashes with a pre-glued strip, that saves SO much trouble when you’re in a rush. Media were lucky enough to be given the chance to choose a falsie to try and have it applied by artists standing up at the stations set up around the room. I had to try ‘Dramatic’, which stayed all day and delivered me so many compliments I was devastated to take them off at the end of the day…thankfully I was able to get another few wears out of them, as they last up to five wears, and I really enjoyed the compliments that only false lashes will get you.