A makeover with Sascha Jackson of Stila UK

Sascha Jackson is one of the UK’s most renowned make up artists, and last week she took a trip to Birmingham to promote Stila UK and their range of festive products and shades. I was lucky enough to be invited along to the stunning Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox in order to try some of the new products and get a chance to chat with Sascha, picking the brains of a bona fide beauty expert.

Even though I’ve had many years of practice at putting my face on, I still feel like I have a lot to learn when it comes to make up. Sascha was full of advice, recommending products from the Stay All Day range that is a godsend for mom’s who don’t have time to keep reapplying their make up. We also chatted about the Stila brand, a brand which was very familiar in the UK quite a few years ago, but then disappeared, only to make a comeback a few years ago, launching the brilliant, multi-coloured One Step Correct, which is a total hero product in my book and perfect for creating a base for your make up, or just correcting your colour so you can get that natural, ‘effortless’ look.



I wanted a natural make up look as I was off to do the school run after my pampering session. Sascha started with the Stay All day foundation, and then dealt with both eyes and cheeks with the ‘Perfect Me, Perfect Hue’ eye and cheek palette. Sascha explained that blush can double as an extra eye colour, as it can be swept both on the eye and below. We also looked at my eyebrows, which are plucked, but have not been threaded recently as I have decided I like them slightly thicker and more natural. Sascha’s tip for shaping eyebrows was that you draw your ultimate shaped eyebrows before you pluck to avoid taking out new, but actually wanted hair.


Stila Perfect Me Perfect Hue Eye & Cheek Palette £28.00 Click to view


STILA Morning to Moonlight Waterproof Eye Liner Gift Set 1.06ml £30 Click to view


Blusher is another product that I have trouble with, so much trouble I only started wearing it this year. Sascha’s advice is that if you smile slightly when applying it, and then just lightly brush over your cheeks, it should appear dewy and natural. I’ve been trying this and it definitely works. We then turned to lips. I really love the idea of a darker lip, but tend to stick to coral/orange shades. Sascha tempted me with darker violet shade, although I still balked at the beautiful plum lip that I really wanted to try. I really loved the shade used on my lips, and the effect a really good lip liner can have.


STILA Stay All Day® Liquid Lipstick Gift Set (3 piece) £18 Click to view


Finished Face



With Sascha Jackson


It was a pleasure to spend time with Sascha and to learn just a little of her beauty know how.



The Art of Scent at Harvey Nichols

Having the world’s worst cold which has totally eroded all sense of taste and smell is probably not the best thing to be suffering with when you attend a night dedicated to perfume. But, unfortunately, that was exactly what I was suffering from when I went to the beautiful Harvey Nichols store in Birmingham’s Mailbox to enjoy The Art of Scent. Not being able to actually enjoy the fragrances did not mean I didn’t enjoy the night, it was a fascinating insight into the world of perfume, and, with the Q&A session with Alice Lavenat, there was a real opportunity to learn all about the life of a perfumer.

Throughout the store there were special treatments, treats and offers that made this a perfect night for a pamper and an early bit of Christmas shopping. To encourage people to download the Harvey Nichols Rewards App, there were complimentary and very pretty floral headdresses and garlands available from the Style Concierge. I didn’t get one myself, but the lovely Ting and Emily showed these off to perfection, as you can see from the photograph below.

DSCN9265[1] DSCN9272[1] DSCN9270[1]

As previously mentioned, I was feeling pretty dreadful, and left earlier than I would usually, but that was not before I attended a masterclass in perfume from the award-winning French perfumer Alice Lavenat, hosted in collaboration with The Perfume Society. Alice was the winner of Young Perfumer of the Year in 2014, and her perfume, Le Parfum D’Alice was created by Nejma and is now on sale at Harvey Nichols.


Alice talked about her influences and favourite fragrances (Prada and Narcisco Rodriguez), along with describing how she chooses the base and top notes for her own fragrances. She also gave advice on how you can choose a new fragrance for yourself, you shouldn’t buy a new perfume straight away, but should first get a sample that you allow to dry on a card. If you still like the fragrance after it has settled for some time, then you should spray it on yourself, and then allow it to dry and mix with your natural body scents. If you still like it once it has dried, this might just be the one for you.


With Alice Lavenat

With Alice Lavenat


With Amy PYT

It was so interesting to hear Alice’s passion for perfumes and scents, her explanation of fragrances that seem to enter the room before you do, or the more intimate ones that people can only smell when they get up close. Le Parfum D’ Alice itself is stunning, a warm fragrance with blackcurrent and pink pepper mixing beautifully with Turkish Rose. This might just be my next signature fragrance.

Nejma D'Alice Eau De Parfum 100ml (1983064) Availability: In stock £165.00 Click to visit Harvey Nichols

Nejma D’Alice Eau De Parfum 100ml (1983064)
Availability: In stock
Click to visit Harvey Nichols

*With thanks to Lisa Piddington and Harvey Nichols for the invitation.


An afternoon of Luxury at Harvey Nichols

On Saturday I was part of a small group of bloggers who were treated to an incredible afternoon in the stunning ultra modern Harvey Nichols store in Birmingham’s Mailbox. Brunch, beauty, hair and a tour of the very special store were all included in a busy afternoon, one which gave a real insight into what an absolute jewel in Birmingham’s glittering crown Harvey Nicks really is.


We started the afternoon with brunch in the new restaurant, sitting at the chef’s table overlooking the open kitchen.  The brunch offering was a sneak preview of a new menu that will be available in October. With dishes ranging from Ulster Fry to Homemade Corned Beef Hash served with a fried Duck Egg, this menu is sure to be a real crowd pleaser, but I opted for the sweetest dish on the menu. This was the pancakes with maple syrup and berry compote, and a dollop of cream for good measure. I have to say this was absolutely delicious, the American style pancakes were fluffy and buttery, the compote was just the right side of sweet, the berries not being tart as they can often be, and as for the cream – the word yum was created for this. It was just divine, and washed down nicely with a pot of English Breakfast tea.

DSCN8872[1] DSCN8871[1] DSCN8873[1] DSCN8874[1]

Tour of the store

With changing rooms more akin to movie star dressing rooms, with cameras that allow you to take a 360 degrees photograph that can then be sent to a friend through social media to garner their opinions, Harvey Nichols Birmingham is quite a store. Adding in features such as a sofa based on Mae West’s lips a la Salvador Dali, and incredibly eclectic ranges that include vintage Chanel jewellery, and a very special capsule collection by Roksanda Ilincic comprises 10 of the designers most memorable pieces, you can see that Harvey Nichols is truly a destination when it comes to shopping with style.




I’m a little ashamed to say that, before Saturday, I’d been too frightened to have my eyebrows threaded. But when I was asked to choose a treatment, I decided to take the plunge and have my eyebrows threaded by the best – the team from Shavata. I have to say I was astonished at just how quick the whole process takes – about 15 minutes, that it was mainly tingly rather than painful, and the difference it makes to the definition and appearance of your face.

The threading costs just £17 and this can last for up to 6 weeks depending on the rate of growth, an affordable treat that can make a huge difference.




Hershesons Blow Dry Bar

Hersheshons is hair styling with a difference. The concept is a hair bar that concentrates on blow drys, offering a menu of 10 different sorts of blow dry that can be done quickly – in your lunch break, after the gym, before or after work. I was treated to a 30minute blow dry and style with stylist Drew. This left me with a full head of curls that lasted until the next morning. This is such a great idea for anyone wanting a quick hair fix, or a new, temporary style for a special occasion.



Langleys Gin Pop Up Bar

No afternoon is complete without a cocktail, and the Red Sole, a mix of Langleys gin (produced locally in Birmingham), elderflower and rose was just delicious, and much needed after a hard day being pampered and looked after…


I had the most wonderful afternoon at Harvey Nichols, and if you haven’t yet popped into the new store, you need to do it now.

*With thanks to Lisa Piddington and Harvey Nichols for the invitation and treats.