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Published: 13th April 2016
Author: Georgie Owen

Backstage Live 2016

On Saturday 9th April, I went along to Queensgate Shopping Centre’s Backstage Live event…I wanted some inspiration for this season’s trends and to gather hair and beauty tips, which I did. The event started at 11am, finished at around 4pm and gained huge interest from members of the public. Throughout the course of the day there were hair, beauty, makeup and fashion demonstrations; there was also the opportunity for people to have one to one sessions with some of the experts from stores around Queensgate. These included: Michael John Hair, Pkai Hair, John Lewis, The Body Shop and Lush, as well as Fiona Florczak, a freelance makeup artist. There were fashion items on show throughout the day, from John Lewis, Primark, Next, Warehouse and many more – with so much going on, it really did feel like I was backstage at a fashion show!

Here’s what was going on throughout the day, and what I got up to:


Fiona Florczak:

Firstly, I had an appointment booked with a freelance makeup artist named Fiona Florczak, and she gave me some invaluable information on what sort of makeup I should use to suit my skin type. As I have eczema, and extremely dry skin, she gave me some amazing advice on where I should be applying makeup, what types of makeup I should be using, and a different skin care routine. She applied some foundation, lip gloss, highlighter, blusher, eye shadow and mascara, and I must say, my face has never felt so good!

Freelance Make Up

The Body Shop:

I had a chat with Vicky from The Body Shop and she gave me some advice on what sort of things I should be using on my dry skin; she suggested the ‘Drops of Youth’ moisturising cream, which is enriched with three main ingredients from plant cells for maximum moisturising. The Body Shop were showcasing their new ‘Oils of Life’ range, which includes a facial oil, creams and lotions which contain 99% natural oils from different parts of the world. Vicky told me that it replenishes and revitalises skin, and helps to reduce the effects of aging – honestly, the oil smelt and felt so amazing!

The Body Shop

The Body Shop 2


At the Lush booth, I met Jade and Ula, who were offering hand massages with the Lush range of massage bars – which all smelt amazing! Ula gave me some advice on a huge range of their items, from day creams to body conditioners, and foot creams to bath bombs. One thing in particular that Ula mentioned, was Lush’s ‘Charity Pot’ cream, of which all profits go to a mixture of charities that support animal welfare, human rights and environmental causes. The ingredients are also sourced from sustainable and ethical sources, and include Fairtrade cocoa butter, olive oil and vanilla absolute, which I thought was wonderful!

Lush 2

Lush 1


Benefit beauty artists Lily and Jade were showcasing Benefit’s new ‘Hoola’ bronzing range – including a bronzing powder, body bronzer, a contouring/bronzing brush, and more. This all comes in tropical Hawaiian packaging, which really gets you in the mood for summer!




Toni and Jack from Pkai Hair were showcasing their hair technology called ‘System Professional’; this gives your hair an ‘energy code’, and suggests exact products for you that match all your hair needs. They do this by asking a series of questions like; what do you love about your hair and how dry is your hair… it’s all very clever really. I was a code H1 R2 L4 – B5 R6, which means that I need a hydrating shampoo, a repairing conditioner, and a deep hair strengthener repair mask to use every now and again.

Pkai Hair 2

Pkai Hair

Pkai Hair 3

Michael John:

Amber from Michael John was demonstrating how to wear their hair extensions, as well as offering hair styling, which I gave a go! I had my hair curled at the ends, and pulled to the side using some ‘Catwalk Salt Spray’.

Hair Extensions

Here’s a before of my hair:

Hair Before

And after:

Hair After


John Lewis

Stylists from John Lewis offered some insight into this season’s styles, using brands such as Ted Baker, Mint Velvet, Phase 8, Calvin Klein, Kin, Jigsaw, DKNY, French Connection, and Oasis. This season is all about minimalistic and simplistic dressing, and here’s some inspiration as to how you can style yourself this season:

Outfit Collage 1

Outfit Collage 2

All outfits above consist of Calvin Klein Jeans, a DKNY bag, and a White/Cream Mint Velvet Vest Top, with different combinations of other items of clothing.

From clockwise left to right the additions are: Jigsaw Coatigan, French Connection Statement Jacket, Mint Velvet Trench Biker Coat, French Connection Jacket and French Connection Blouse.

Other styles that are in this season are stripes, florals, denim and pencil skirts.

All of these looks shown on the model show how versatile minimalistic dressing can be, and how just minimal additions of accessories can really set the outfit off.

John Lewis also showcased a gorgeous floral print Ted Baker dress; which was an exclusive print to John Lewis:

Ted Baker Dress

Goody bag:

And finally, I was lucky enough to have been given a wonderful bag full of amazing goodies from stores at Queensgate, this included: Boots, Tiger, Paperchase, Thorntons, Lush, The Body Shop and handmade burger Co. – I got to enjoy a delicious burger on them! Yum!

Goody Bag

Backstage Live was a fun day, jam packed full of fashion and beauty inspiration, I definitely enjoyed myself and learned a lot. If you attended Backstage Live, please do let us know how you found it and share any images you have of your day! Keep up to date with future events at Queensgate by visiting the what’s on page.


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