I woke up on Thursday 10th January super excited, with a day of styling and beauty pampering ahead for me, how could I not be! I approached this with the fact that this was a gift to me and I planned to enjoy every minute of it!
As a stylist myself it was kind of nice to have a little attention for me – I was keen to see how I would be styled, wondering would I like it? How would I feel about being taken out of my comfort zone – I was determined to to put on something I would not necessarily pick for myself.
I arrived at the agreed time of 10am at The Experience Desk to be greeted by Maria and Meghan, both of whom set me at ease as soon as I arrived. They talked me through my exciting day; I’d be with Lindsey for my personal styling session and this would be for two hours, I would then head to lunch at Benugo’s which is on the ground floor. At 1pm I would be taken to the &Beauty counter for my brow and gel manicure treatments. And directly after that I would head for my beauty makeover (you get to choose from a selection of brands at the time of booking) and I chose Charlotte Tilbury.
Whilst it was not part of my own experience, it’s important to note that when you purchase The Complete Style & Beauty Experience for £100 at John Lewis & Partners Oxford, either as a gift or for yourself; your gift card is pre-loaded with £35 to spend on beauty products, yep that’s right the day experience is then truly just £65!
My day finished around 4pm and with a few purchases I decided to make (the leather skirt below being one of them) I left feeling super happy and tremendously pampered. The Experience Desk team made sure that I was not left on my own, they escorted me to each session. I was offered refreshments in my styling session and I enjoyed a glass of Prosecco whilst having my nails done; so even though you are in-store, the team couldn’t have done anything more to make me feel special.
2-HOUR IN-STORE PERSONAL STYLING EXPERIENCE
My style and beauty experience, kicked started with a 2-hour Personal Styling session with Lindsey, I had a choice of five different themes I could pick from – Holiday, Wardrobe Refresh, Workwear, Special Occasion or Perfect Pair of Jeans!
Keen to give you, my readers, some variety and inspiration I opted for Special Occasion with a brief to Lindsey that this wasn’t necessarily just for the evening, but to consider a casual date say for Valentines, a night out with the girls celebrating a birthday or maybe a lunch date for Mothering Sunday – Outfits that would appeal across different ages but keeping ‘an elevation of style’ in mind to make it special.
Meghan escorted me to Ladies wear which is on the ground floor, there I was greeted by Lindsey and taken into my own personal styling room. A room that was in two parts – the first had a couple of seats and a coffee table and then a dressing curtain separates the room, behind it has a big mirror with a clothing rack (preloaded with Lindsey’s initial ideas) and another chair to make it easy for you to get changed.
In 2-hours we came up with five fabulous outfits – We both hope you love the five looks we created together.
Lindsey was keen to show off my hour-glass frame and with many of the outfits being separates, this gives you versatility to wear them with pieces from your existing wardrobe to ensure you get your cost per wear.
Now I know you would want the details of each outfit, and you can! I have put it all down on another blog A STYLE SESSION WITH JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS’ PERSONAL STYLIST – here you get the explanation of why and where we suggest you wear it.
TONAL VIBE FOR CITY CHIC and THAT COUNTRY PUB LUNCH were two outfits that took me personally out of my comfort zone and into patterns, colours or garments I wouldn’t necessarily pick for myself.
Since my session, I’ve adopted a few tricks on the tonal trend that Lindsey gave me – so even if you are not keen on the final finished look, there will be elements of it that will make you rethink what you have been doing.
A DELICIOUS LIGHT LUNCH
After my styling session, I was escorted by team to Benugo, a cafe on the ground floor as you arrive into John Lewis & Partners Oxford. Here waiting for me, was a reserved table by the window.
As I was lunching alone, I had brought a magazine with me, keen to have a little ‘me time’ and catch up on the forthcoming Spring trends.
Should you not be keen to dine alone, then you can (for additional cost) have lunch with your partner or friend, as The Experience Desk team can advise exactly what time you will be there.
The lunch consists of either toasted sandwiches or something from the Deli with either a hot or cold drink. I chose bacon, sweet onions & chives quiche with butternut squash, apple, rocket and quinoa, with a bottle of Rose Lemonade by Fentiman’s.
&BEAUTY BROW AND GEL MANICURE TREATMENTS
At 1pm I was escorted from Benugo’s and taken to the &Beauty counter for my two beauty treatments; an eyebrow wax and a gel manicure.
Hannah was my beautician and no sooner I sat down I was offered a glass of Prosecco – how lovely!
A gel manicure includes nail shaping and cuticle maintenance, and then using OPI GelColor gives you gorgeous glossy nails! I opted for red, I think this is because we had been talking about ‘going out’ themes and there is no other sexier colour than this!
I did get my eyebrows waxed, but there is nothing glam about hair removal so I have spared you the imagery around that!
A BEAUTY COUNTER MAKEOVER PLUS £35 TO SPEND ON BEAUTY PRODUCTS
The final destination of my pampering day was at a beauty counter, of which I chose Charlotte Tilbury, for my makeover.
Why Charlotte Tilbury? Well firstly I have never tried any of her product ranges, and I hear great comments all the time about her skincare and beauty products but also on previous visits I had noticed that you can select from up to 10 different looks, and this appealed to me.
I’ve never had a full smokey eye with black eyeliner, and as I mentioned before, this was all about taking myself out of my comfort zone! Plus I wanted to leave the day as glam as possible.
Somia was my beautician for this and she had tremendous knowledge about the full range, explaining how Charlotte Tilbury had made her own ‘magic cream‘ at home to use on the models at catwalk shows. The models thought it was that good they wanted to buy it! I found it lovely on my skin, it gave me a really good base for my transformation.
So here are the 10 looks you can become! It’s such a great way for you to pick what make-up you want. You can (like I did) say I would like this from The Golden Goddess and the eyes from The Dolce Vita – and I got exactly that!
I specifically asked for a nude (with depth) for my lips – so here I am with their most popular lipstick ‘Pillow Talk‘ I loved this and one I plan to add to my make-up collection in the future.
On the film below (you may need to click here if you are an email subscriber) you can see Somia from Charlotte Tilbury in action doing my eyes and finishing off the whole look.
HOW TO BOOK
This is the important information you need to pass on to those who you think may gift you this. I would start talking about it now especially if you like to be treated for Valentines or are a mum wishing to be pampered for Mothering Sunday! If your partner has trouble hearing (like mine (LOL)), then mention it at every opportunity (I have to!)
You can book by calling 01865 268313 or visit The Experience Desk in store at Oxford.
Not in Oxford? Then there are a number of John Lewis & Partners stores that also offer this, however just note that Cheltenham and Westfield charge £125 but this does include a blow dry treatment. To find out which locations offer The Complete Style & Beauty Experience then click here.
If you fancy treating yourself and in need of some ‘Me Time’ I can highly recommend this, I personally plan to book myself in later this year as I’ve done the maths and this is far cheaper and more pampering than I would get on a Spa Day (plus I’m not so keen on getting wet!) You have my blessing to book in, because busy ladies forget about time to themselves and we certainly need it.
WHAT I WORE
A pampering day is special and so mix your look with something relaxing but which a little dressed-up chic and I find leopard print usually ticks this box for me!
So I opted for black jeans, heeled boots, with a leopard print top and a thin blazer – a layered outfit as I was going to be indoors all day and this gave me flexibility to stay cool or keep warm.
The post THE COMPLETE STYLE AND BEAUTY EXPERIENCE WITH JOHN LEWIS & PARTNERS was on Loved by Lizzi first.