Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Benefit Boutique blogger event

In December I was invited to visit the newly launched Benefit Boutique in Debenhams Norwich, and with the events of the past month it got delayed - so better late than never.

Benefit was founded in 1976 by the Ford sisters - Jean and Jane. There are now 12 independent boutiques and Debenhams is the first in-store one they have opened.

Over the years they have developed some cult and must have products in the beauty market, among  to those are:

Benetint - a subtle cheek tint that was original made to enhance the nipples of burlesque performers!!

That Gal Primer, There are Real mascara, Hoola bronzer, Smokin Eyes and The Pore-fessional are all best sellers.

As well as stocking the full range of products the boutique offers a wide range of beauty treatments - brow waxing and tinting, spray tanning and a full waxing service.  They have a room dedicated to Make-up Masterclasses where you can book for up 5 friends and learn how to use all their lovely products.

I had my eyebrows waxed and tinted - the lovely ladies who all have to have NVQ level training and have 6 weeks training before they can work on in the brow bar.  They gave me a perfect vintage arch to my brows and the tint covered up those little grey ones that have suddenly started to appear (eek!), they then concealed the redness with Boi-eng which contains tea tree oil so I could go out into the world with anyone knowing my brows weren't my own!!!

Benefit has a fabulous vintage feel to all the products and the packaging but they are not gimmicky the products actually work.

If you get a chance go along and check it out.

 Just one of the yummy nibbles we ate.
 The funky chairs in the Masterclass room.
 Me and a va va voom Benefit Lady,
(Outfit in case you were interested - Suit made from original 40's pattern bought at Anglia Fashion Fabrics and vintage beret from Looses)
 The price list.
 The make-up counter,
Where they do their magic to your brows!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Inspiring Ladies - My Mother

At the end of 2011 I lost one of the most inspiring ladies I had the joy to know - my Mother.

I was always a daddy's girl being spoilt rotten by him at every opportunity but when I look back on my childhood and the influences that have made me who I am my mother is there every step of the way.

She was born in 1930, survived a machine gun attack on her hockey field at her school in Hove during the war, she gave exhibition ballroom dances during the late 40's  - maybe that is where my love and talent for dance comes from?

My mum was always a career women during the 50's she worked for Rank Film Organisation and was as glamorous and stylish as the stars that went through the studio!! Although she hated shopping she loved clothes and was a skilled seamstress - only one thing though Mum - why didn't you keep all your fabulous clothes???? She worked from home throughout my childhood so she was always there for me when I came home from school.  As a secretary all her working life she was so organised and past on her love of making lists to me, she was a hard worker and believed that if you put your mind to it you can achieve anything you want and that is something I will never forget.

My Mum ran play schemes for kids during the summer, I remember years of 100's of children having the time of their lives playing, running on the beach and creating a making great stuff during the summer holidays.

She loved to cook - and always put on a fabulous party - another skill I get from her!!

Her fascination an love of history led her to trace her family tree back to the 1600's in France and she made me promise to continue adding to and researching - I will.

My Mum has impacted on so many aspects of my life and I owe the success of all the events that I have organised to her - and will continue to honor her with even more fabulous ones that she would have loved.

Barbara Evelyn James (ne Denne) 1930 - 2011 RIP