Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June marked the arrival of Frenchgate Doncaster’s first ever Beauty Lab – positioned just outside Debenhams. From 11 till 4 on both days, the Beauty Lab Crew (who sported THE best beauty pun t-shirts, I might add) celebrated 50 years of Frenchgate with style. Beauty tutorials, product demonstrations and expert advice helped to support stores in the centre – from well known ones like Boots and Debenhams, to Donny’s own little gems, Dazzle and Trending. These guys proved that you don’t need to spend a fortune to look absolutely amazing.
Exploring iconic looks from the past 5 decades – make up artist, Rowena Valentine, showed the people of Doncaster how to perfect the Twiggy-esque 60’s, with pale blue eye shadow and a thick flick of black eyeliner. Boho 70’s introduced us to the browns of a sultry, smoky eye – whilst the 80’s upped the glitz ante with heavily shimmering eyelids and a sparkly glitter lip. Bringing us right up to the sedated glamour of present day was a strongly arched eyebrow with natural eyes and a bold red lip. Hijacking the event with my camera, I managed to get plenty of behind the scenes photos.
With simple yet effective tips like: only after accomplishing your desired eye shadow blend or eyeliner flick, do you apply any base make up – that way you can easily wipe away and cover up any mistakes. As well as the idea of blending bronzer and blusher together on the cheekbones to provide, in particular pale skin (like mine, as well as model, Fem Sorcell), with a very natural looking layer of colour. I personally learned a lot – even how to apply fake eyelashes after struggling to do so right up to the ripe old age of 24.
Big players from the day came from some big names, like Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation, available from both Debenhams and Boots, that has over 25 different shades with incredible non-slip coverage. As well as the insanely affordable brand W7 (whose nail polish from Dazzle – my friends and I swear by) their Vegan Eyebrow palette was favoured in almost every look. Finally NYX, whose extensive range in Boots provided the finale statement red lip, along with eye-popping shades in their colour palettes and stunning tubs of glitter.
After each make up look was finished, we were introduced to Jo Wilson, the stylist, who completed the time travelling experience with garments from stores like Topshop, River Island, Debenhams and New Look. Colour block dresses were combined with coloured retro shades, floaty floral scarves transformed into bohemian head bands, double denim complimented big hair perfectly, and candy stripes emphasised a timeless summer glamour.
Every hour introduced new giveaways – the main being the Beauty Vault. Passers-by were given sample size freebies from the likes of Clarins, perfume samples from Dior and vouchers for all sorts of makeovers (I managed to nab one for YSL!). The event also brought out workers from Benefit, No.7 and The Fragrance Shop who gave out even more samples and vouchers. The main Beauty Vault prize was replenished every hour. People could try their luck using scratch cards containing 3 numbers that either would, or wouldn’t, unlock a box filled with up to £50 worth of full-size beauty items. We’re talking incredible brush sets, skin care, make-up palettes, hairdryers, nails vouchers and more.
The Beauty Lab was just one in many events the Frenchgate has lined up in the coming months to celebrate their 50 years. We can look forward to a nod towards retro gaming and technology (thanks to GAME and HMV) with the likes of Space Invaders, Super Mario and Kerplunk. Followed by Frenchgate’s true 50th birthday in October, where Doncaster can celebrate together with a giant cake, entertainment, competitions and giveaways. So if you missed out on this one – make sure you catch the next.
This post is sponsored by the Frenchgate Centre.