Last night, Harvey Nichols Edinburgh very kindly invited me to their Beautiful Mind Expert Panel Discussion. Nestled high up on the Forth Floor, the newest and best products for Spring and Summer were discussed by some of the stores experts, and I have to say, I had an absolute ball!
The Harvey Nichols’ Beauty Hall is where I tend to go whenever I’m in the mood to treat myself, so when I had the opportunity to learn from the best, and absolutely jumped at the chance! The evening was hosted in the upstairs bar, and we were treated to the most perfect looking nibbles and copious amounts of fizz! It was a lovely way to meet people as excited about beauty as I am – and I was so excited to meet Debbie Jones, who is the head beauty buyer for Beyond Beauty.
As well as being a serious beauty buff, Debbie gets to introduce the best and newest products to Beyond Beauty, so if you’re like me and are addicted to EOS lip balms or at-home beauty devices like Tria’s or Clarisonics, you have Debbie to thank! It was fascinating to learn about what’s popular up in Edinburgh versus elsewhere in the UK (EOS lip balms are a very big deal) and I loved learning about what’s coming up. London’s Beyond Beauty are going to be the first in the UK to open up a sculpting bar with Rodial, as contouring has become such a popular technique, and Debbie also talked about how important cleansing and at-home devices have become.
Jacqui Fenner from Harvey Nichols’ Beyond MediSpa then shared about the incredible range of treatments which are available at the in-store spa. It’s one of the corners of the store I keep meaning to head into, but learning about their incredible treatments means I am booking up ASAP! Rather than the typical whale-music beauty salon, the Beyond MediSpa is far more futuristic! Instead of relying on products alone, the spa is focused on intelligent skincare and body treatments. Jacqui talked us through the Hydrafacial which is a new treatment which was introduced last year. The process includes everything from lymphatic drainage, hydra-dermabrasion, a mild peel as well as red light treatment.
She also talked about CoolSculpt which is the newest treatment at the spa. It sounds amazing! Basically, it’s a non-invasive way of getting rid of any areas which you can’t target with exercise. The treatment can be used on arms, tummy and thighs, as basically the fat is sucked and then frozen, and the fat cells crystallise and die. It’s a permanent solution, and one treatment can make you drop an entire dress size!
Gillian from Tom Ford then explained about the brand’s rather impressive fragrance collection. She is so passionate about the brand, and it was fascinating to learn more about the thought process behind the perfumes. Rather than having delineated ‘male’ and ‘female’ scents, they are unisex and you really do need to take the time to see which fragrances really appeal. Gillian explained that Tom Ford doesn’t want his fragrances to appeal to everyone, but I think that once you find your fit, you really love it. We got to sample a little of the Neroli Portofino Body Oil (my favourite) and we all had serious scent envy!
Michael Becman is a top Laura Mercier makeup artist, and has ‘made-up’ everyone from models to celebrities. He talked us through the top trends he is seeing with makeup, and was even kind enough to perform a demonstration of contouring. Since the Kardashians have become so popular, more and more people want to learn how to contour.
The Laura Mercier Contour Palette has been swiftly added to my wish list after seeing Michael work his magic! He recommended to start contouring after applying foundation, and rather cleverly, the Laura Mercier kit has no warmth so whatever you contour gives depth to your face. Depending on your problem areas, contouring can shorten your forehead, slim your nose or lift your cheeks. Unlike the rather distressing Pintrest contouring tutorials I’ve seen, Michael’s work was like magic! He pressed the cream into cheek bones and chin, and instead of looking stripy, his model just looked well rested. It was incredibly subtle but so beautifully done. After working the kit to add depth, he used a highlighting shade to add some life to cheek and brow bones (always blend up!). Then, to finish off the natural look, he added a swirl of blush. To find your perfect flush, he recommended pressing just underneath your fingertips to see what colour suits you best!
If contouring sounds like a little too much, he also shared what he loves for an easy, everyday look. Rather than just popping your regular moisturiser, Michael likes to apply a moisture mask for all day hydration, and he recommends attending to your brows rather than adding mascara if you want a bit of a lift. A touch of bronzer is then all you need to look beautifully natural.
Manda Gunion from Nails Inc then talked us through what’s new from one of my favourite nail brands. Harvey Nichols Edinburgh has a Nails Inc manicure bar, where you can enjoy a glass of champagne alongside your mani or pedi. I love visiting before I have an event to go to, since it’s so fun getting to enjoy some bubbles alongside your pampering! This year marks the brand’s 16th birthday party, and Nails Inc are in the middle of rebranding their old style bottles from round to rectangular. The new bottles are incredibly well thought out – they are made of Venetian Glass, and the brush designs are patented to be as easy to use as possible. We got to see the stunning collaboration with Victoria Beckham which resulted in two exclusive colours, as well as new colours which are being released for Spring and Summer. Manda recommending plumping for the Judo Red, turquoise and yellow if you want seriously on-trend nails. She also talked about what’s new and coming for the brand; Alexa Chung has been signed as the newest face (or nails), and there is a new formula which easily washes off the nail. There is even a halal formula in the works which allows water to fully penetrate the polish! In store, there is also going to be an unlimited manicure card, which means, for £99, you can enjoy as many champagne manicures that you can squeeze into 8 weeks! This summer, the nail bar is also introducing a new pedicure treatment which sounds divine – it’s inspired by crystal, and as well as your regular moisturising treatments and massages, there is a warming jelly which deeply nourishes feet, leaving them toasty for hours after you leave the store. It will cost somewhere around £65 and it sounds amazing!
Last, but certainly not least, was James Hoffman of Electric Hairdressing’s Edinburgh salon. It’s a relatively new edition to the Edinburgh store, and you can find it tucked in beside the MAC makeup counters. It looks super slick, and I’ve been meaning to head in and check it out! I’ve tried and loved Electric products in the past, so it was great to hear from James. He explained that the UK-produced products are more universal than brands like Kerastase, so they sort multiple hair-related issues. And, unlike a lot of salons I’ve been to, Electric also believe your hairdresser should be both your stylist and colourist so that you get a really bespoke look and service. If your in the mood for a seasonal change, James is seeing shorter, blunter looks and hair colour is getting lighter, with a move towards more ashy blondes.
After the experts had finished telling us about all of their wonderful departments, there was time to mingle, and get some one-on-one attention. I had such a wonderful evening, and I feel like learned an absolute tonne. Not to mention that my wish list has grown considerably! As if the evening wasn’t fabulous enough, everyone went home clutching the most generous of goody bags courtesy of the evenings’ brands.
I would like to say a huge thank you to Harvey Nichols for inviting me – I had an amazing time!