Many of you will already have heard about the new M&S Beauty Halls in London, bringing previously inaccessible brands to the High Street, so it was a huge treat to be invited to the opening of Ireland’s first - at the Abbeycentre store just outside Belfast. I arrived 20 minutes before the event close after driving like a mad woman and running up the escalator panting. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised the turquoise liquid eyeliner I’d stupidly tried for the first time in my rush to leave the house was smudged over my lid and that ‘subtle’ new blusher looked like orange stripes on my cheeks (here’s hoping no-one judged me!).
I’m not really a giddy kind of girl, but I truly felt like a small child in a sweet shop in the new M&S Beauty Hall. Brands I’ve sampled briefly, or simply read about, were beautifully displayed before me: such as Murad, Philip Kingsley, Leighton Denny and Roger & Gallet… Rows of sparkling brand new testers cried out to be sampled - and sample I did - my arms were a rainbow of scent and colour by the time I left.
Here are my highlights…
Les Senteurs Gourmands - a brand I’ve only read about before. Beautifully presented bottles of eau de parfum, generously priced at £22.50 for 100ml, which to me smelt like they cost three times that. Figue Savage - I fell asleep to your sweet fragrance on my hand - I’ll be back for you baby.
Roger & Gallet - a French fragrance brand already close to my heart, so the chance to play and test it in all its glory was a joy. I need to spend more time at this counter, but was rather smitten by Gingembre (not a new scent), which I think will be gorgeous for AW.
Apivita is a Greek skincare brand that I’ve been interested in for a long time - and it didn’t disappoint. I especially loved the Orange & Ginger Energising Body Milk, Chamomile & Honey Shampoo and the cute kiddy products (bottom left of my pics) with their gorgeous packaging.
Leighton Denny lusciousness - wow… another brand I need to spend more time with. I’m currently sporting Coral Reef on my toes, but need more of these gorgeous colours and definitely want to pick up the fast dry spray.
Storage - somewhere pretty to store all these beauties? I couldn’t resist sharing these two designs, which I thought were very pretty - particularly swaying towards the bows & polka dots.
“Service and customer advice is a key part of the new beauty departments. The aim is to make beauty buying simple, fuss-free and enjoyable with no hard sell. This includes skincare, hair care and makeup training, practical make-up application for all occasions and skin analysis.”
I’d definitely recommend a visit - and if you live elsewhere in Northern Ireland, keep an ear out for details of the new beauty hall opening near you!