Christmas Party Beauty Sorted With Blow

Blow Ltd has been called the Uber of the beauty world, able to deliver fabulous hair, nails and beauty makeovers in the comfort of your own home, simply by using a downloadable app. But now, just in time for Christmas, a Blow Ltd salon has opened in Debenhams in the Bullring, Birmingham, ready to perform those express miracles for all your Christmas party needs. I went along last week to check out the blow dry service, and couldn;t believe the transformation that was achieved.

The new salon is large and bright, with stations for hair, beauty and nails. Blow Ltd offers a menu of services, with a range of different blow dries and updo’s for the hair, manicure and pedicures for the nails and make up looks that range from a healthy daytime golden look, to an after dark cocktail hour makeover. In addition, it also has a quick fix menu for eyes, mini mani’s and braids.

I opted for Starlet waves, an old style Hollywood hair makeover in the style of Veronica Lake and other 1940s goddesses. The beauty of Blow is that it really is designed for the modern woman who may have just a short period of time to get their hair/nails done etc before moving onto the next task. So blow dries can be done on dry hair, but there is also the option to have your hair washed beforehand if you wish.

I had washed my hair that morning and was on a strict time frame due to another event that day but was pleased that my hair was totally transformed in 25 minutes. And when I say transformed, I mean transformed. My usually poker straight locks was a mass of film starlet curls in the style of Marilyn Monroe, it was totally unrecognisable from when I went into the salon. The 25 minute no wash blow dry costs £25, which makes it an affordable treat if you have a special night out planned.

If you want to find out more about Blow Ltd, their salon and their mobile services, visit their website here.

 

 

Deathtrap At The New Alex Theatre – Deliciously Chilling

A famous, successful writer now suffering from writer’s block, a young student who has written the perfect play and a wife who is worried that her husband is about to turn killer. This is the exciting premise of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap, which opened at Birmingham’s New Alex Theatre last night. It was a deliciously chilliing night of theatre, with shocks and jumps galore, and enough twists and turns to keep the audience constantly on the edge of its seat. I loved it.

Sidney Bruhl is a successful writer who is now struggling to write a new play after the failure of his last effort. Married to the supportive Myra in a seemingly happy union, he receives a play through the post from an ex student who attended one of his seminars. The play is Deathtrap, and Sidney believes it to be perfect, and wishes aloud that he had wrote it as it is likely to be a big hit. When he finds that there are only two copies of the play, and that he already has one of them in his hands, he invites the student, Clifford Anderson, to his remote home to ‘work on the play’, but really has murder in mind. But who’s murder? The issue is made all the murkier by his neighbour, Helga ten Dorp, a famed clairvoyent with very strong extra sensory perception, especially when she enters the Bruhl’s house, where she has a strong sense of death. Deathtrap twists in one direction, and then another, as cross and double cross, surprising revelations and shocks galore lead to a satisfyingly macabre conclusion.

Deathtrap is made up of a cast of just five characters, and the ensemble cast in this version is brilliant. The Eastenders contigent of Paul Bradley (Sidney) and Jessie Wallace (Myra) have a fabulous chemistry that rings true as a married couple. Paul plays Sidney as a man who is deceptively cheery, amiable man who has an edge, when he loses his temper you can see that he could be capable of acts of violent. it is a great performance of someone who could turn on a pin. Jessie Wallace shows her range playing Myra, she is a world away from brassy Kat Slater, starting out the play with understated calmness, but becoming more frantic and then terrified as she faces the fact her husband could be a murderer. Only at the end of the terrible events of Act 1 does she show another side of her character, another surprising twist in a tale full of them.

Sam Phillips is also very good as Clifford Anderson, playing the character with idealised charm and innocence, until he is revealed to be anything but. Beverly Klein is hilarious as Helga ten Dorp, divinely overacting her ESP, and given all the best one liners that she delivers with perfect comic timing. The cast is round out by Porter Milgrim as the lawyer Julien Ball, who proves to be another character who has more facets than you immediately sense.

Deathtrap all takes place in one room, but the set never feels claustrophobic. This is due in no small part to the excerpts of classic movies that break up the scenes, and are a clue to what is really going on – a really clever device to move the action along.

Deathtrap is clever, cunning and utterly calculating. All this makes it a devilishly good night of theatre. Go See.

Deathtrap New Alex Theatre

Wednesday 8th – Saturday 11th November

Click here for ticket information

 

The Night Before Christmas at John Lewis Birmingham

“Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house”, well, all through John Lewis in Grand Central Birmingham actually, but you get the general picture. Christmas arrived in Birmingham last week, as a group of very lucky bloggers (myself included – yay!) were invited to a Christmas launch event after hours in the flagship Grand Central store. There was fizz, there was delicious looking food, and there was everything that says ‘Christmas’, It was amazing.

The night was all about getting a taste of John Lewis Christmas, before the much anticipated advert is released. There was an opportunity to look at specific promotions, including a set of very special Christmas tree lights that work by App. These lights have all sorts of combinations when it comes to colour and shine, and can even be set to come on, or to go off after you’ve gone to bed.

Twinkly 175 LED Christmas Lights Extra Large Set, Multi L20.5m £85 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis is always the place to go for new Christmas decorations. It gives you ideas and themes for how to dress your tree, putting together colour schemes that you may not have thought of as strictly Christmasssy – pinks and oranges are not associated with Christmas, but they make a wonderful colour combination on a ‘Tales of the Maharaja’ styled tree. Folklore, Russian influenced Winter Palace and Highland Myths are amongst the other, wonderful themes in store this year.

Winter Palace

John Lewis Winter Palace Bauble £12 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Winter Palace Babushka Bauble £6 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Olivia Tree Topper, Silver Blue £12 Click to visit John Lewis

Tales of the Maharaja

John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Lion Head Bauble Click here John Lewis Tales of the Maharaja Leopard Head Bauble £8 Click here

John Lewis Lima Llama Flamingo Clip On Tree Decoration £8 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Lima Llama Flamingo Snow Globe £18 Click to visit John Lewis

Lima Lama As well as the best decorated trees around, John Lewis also had a brilliant range of decorations for the mantlepiece, tables and shelves, as well as a wonderful array of indoor and outdoor lighting solutions.

Coppenrath Victorian Christmas Houses Advent Boxes, Pack of 24 £15 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Highland Myths Festive Owl Decoration, Small £18 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Winter Palace Artificial White Twig Tree £15 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis LED Christmas TV Scene £25 Click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Highland Myths Festive Deer Room Decoration £18 Click to visit John Lewis

One of the new products for 2017 that elicited lots of excitement was the Scentsicles, scented twig like sticks that you can hang from your Christmas tree and leave the whole room smelling of Christmas. These are just £6 and are frankly amazing, a new Christmas must have.

Scentsicles £6 Click to visit John Lewis

There were food treats to sample too, with an advent calendar full of pork scratchings proving to be a surprise hit. My personal favourites were Prestat popping pink prosecco mini truffles which had a lovely Prosecco flavour combined with the hint of popping candy – a blast from childhood combined with bubbles has to be a good thing.

John Lewis truly is a Winter wonderland during the run up to Christmas, and in terms of decoration, they are hard to beat.

*With thanks to Shani from John Lewis and the Brum Bloggers Group for the invitation.