Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Ladies' Night Report: Embarrassing Moments, Red Lipstick and Being a Cover Girl

I don't like shopping with other people, being a staunch believer that 'she who shops alone, shops fastest'.  Last Thursday then, I was looking forward to a night of just me and the shops, at the now annual St David's Ladies Night - late-night shopping at their huge centre, with the added bonus of free gifts, discounts, treats, demonstrations, drinks, nibbles and so much more.  Now, while my main love is vintage, I love looking out for vintage inspired pieces in 'normal' shops, and I am always on the look out for new red lipsticks, so I hope that explains why someone who's into vintage would be interested in a night like this!

The Pre-Shop Meet Up
At the start of the evening, myself and some fellow bloggers were invited to the VIP area for a mingle.  I bumped into fellow blogger Leanne from Slice of My Life but didn't really get chatting to anyone else or see anyone else I recognised.  I am always on my own at these things and it's quite hard getting chatting to groups of people who obviously already know each other, but I did have a nice chat to the lovely ladies from Grayling PR, comparing tips on hosiery and so forth.  We were treated to a tomobola, pick and mix, a beverage and the opportunity for a make-up touch-up by Georgio Armani, who have a new counter in Debenhams, and L'Occitane had a stand also for you to try out their products.

Finding THE Red Lipstick
I asked the lovely Georgio Armani staff if I could try out a new concealer, as those shadows under my eyes are fairly prominent these days!  The helpful make-up artist (who I've found out in retrospect was the Giorgio Armani 'Face Designer' Cesar Santos!  That's Cesar and I in the right hand picture below) gave me a good dose of concealer not just under the eyes but on the lids, and around the nose and mouth.  He then gave me the best set of red lips I've ever worn, using a true 1950's red, rather disappointingly just called '400'.  I had to have it, and after the make-over, headed straight to Debenhams to pick one up.  The longevity was superb, and it was the most moisturising lipstick I've ever worn, no flaky bits at all, even at the end of the night.  I will blog more on this lipstick, with pictures, because it's too fabulous.
Cesar Santos Giorgio Armani

The Vivienne Westwood Bag Breaking Incident
We very kindly had little goody bags from the VIP area, including samples of things, our wristbands for the evening and lots of blurb from shops and restaurants, all in a Vivienne Westwood bag, you know, one of those thick paper bags with the string handles.  Walking happily into Debenhams, my goody bag burst open, showering the floor around me with lipgloss, flyers, tiny tubes of make-up samples and little pots of things that clattered as they hit the tiles.  It seems the bottom of my bag had gotten wet - a spilled drink perhaps.  A bit mortified, no less than three lovely fellow shoppers who'd witnessed my plight very kindly helped me pick up everything, and I was fortunately carrying a spare bag to transfer it all into.  What an entrance(!).  I managed to get my lipstick and a moisturiser without further mishaps, and left the store much more quietly than I had entered.

Missing Out On the Trip To New York
I happened to be wandering past the Capital FM stand when a lady told me I had 30 seconds to enter the prize draw to win a trip to New York.  I scribbled an entry and posted it in the box, then waited around a bit for them to draw out the name of the person who was to play a game, to see if they could win the big prize.  Next to the stage, there was a pile of about 15 boxes.  In three of them, was a St Davids flyer - if you found all three, you could win the trip to New York!  If you found the Capital FM flyers instead, you won a runners up prize.  A name was drawn, and called out.  Nobody answered.  Another name was drawn.  They weren't there either.  And another.  And another.  After about five names resulted in no-shows, they called my name!!  A bit flustered, I had to go and stand on the stage, which was mortifying, as I had to indulge the DJ with some banter about where I was from and such.  I bet my cheeks were crimson!  It then came time for me to play the game.  I chose three boxes quickly and waited for them to be opened.  In the first box, was a St David's flyer!!  I was in with a chance.  In box two, aww, game over, it was a Capital FM flyer, so no trip to New York for me.  I did however win a runners up prize of a £50 voucher, so I left happy, and keen to get off the stage and away from all that attention!!

The Seductive Shop Employee
Absolutely desperate to just shop with no further attention paid to me now, I wandered into a high end clothing shop and was looking at some bags.  A male shop assistant sidled up to me - trendy, public school type that I find annoyingly young and posh (I probably don't need to mention that I am not a fan of Made in Chelsea or similar) - and started stroking a bag that I found repulsive.  Here was how the conversation went:
Shop assistant: This one is my absolute favourite (said in low, seductive, posh drawl)
Me: (trying to hide my bitter hatred of the bag).  It's...quirky?  Quite '60s.
Shop assistant: (still stroking bag, doesn't seem to show any intuition for what the customer likes?!)
Me: I'm more of a '50s girl myself.
Shop assistant: (Dawns on him) Oh..yeah.. (looking at my red lipstick).
I then went and tried on some shoes, and after I had finished he used the same slow, seductive drawl to say: "If I could...tempt...you...If you buy both pairs you will get a free gift..."
I swear I couldn't look into his eyes because he was possibly trying to use hypnosis or something.  Just the way he said the word 'tempt' made me feel quite uncomfortable, and I felt like Charlotte in that episode of Sex and the City where she finds a shoe sales assistant with a foot fetish.  For about the third time now in the evening I was all flustered, and couldn't wait to get out of the shop.

The Cover Girl
By this point, I thought, 'embrace the spotlight' as it seemed like one was shining on me.  When I heard that St David's was offering shoppers to appear on their very own front cover of Glamour magazine then, I joined the queue.  The photographer was obviously very experienced at coaching nervous people, and even though a few times I got my left and right mixed up, after a few snaps he managed to get one of me with my eyes open and that's fairly presentable!

The Haul
At the end of the night I'd gone £30 over budget, but I'd bought 2 moisturisers, a lipstick and a julienne peeler!  I also came away with an absolute stash of beauty products to try out at home, including a Georgio Armani mascara and L'Occitane hand creams.  I tried on some shoes and skirts but made no clothing purchases in the end.

In case you're wondering what a julienne peeler is, this is what it did to a courgette.  Isn't it amazing?!

Ladies' Night is definitely a winner in my view - a big thanks to the centre and Grayling PR for the goody bags.  I can't wait for the next one, but I'd better start saving now!

Do you go to events like this?  Or do you do all of your shopping online these days?

And don't forget, I'm having a giveaway of John Frieda products - please enter to be one of three lucky winners!

I just found these photos online of me playing the Capital FM game to win the trip to New York!  I look terrified, it really wasn't that bad being on stage!!

 Photos by Huw John, official St David's photographer


  1. I am laughing so much! The bag, the assistant etc! Sounds like a good night all in all!!!

  2. Oh no, I've had that happen with groceries and items from Walmart (they're bags aren't the strongest by any means), but never a fab gift bag like that. I'm sorry that occurred for you, sweet dear. Over all it sounds like you were still able to enjoy the event though, which is good. Love that faux magazine cover - they should really give you a spot on the real deal, too, stylish gal!

    ♥ Jessica

  3. Sounds a bit stressful and fun at the same time. I think putting yourself "out there" is a good thing. Imagine if you'd have won the trip!


  4. You're much braver than me for turning up at these things on your own and actually talking to people - real people! Easy to forget how difficult that is when you do it online all the time.

    Sounds like it was worthwhile - I've never heard of something like this happening in my neck of the woods which is perhaps a shame as I'm the reverse of you and everything I buy is from high street shops, styled to look vintage!

    Looking forward to hearing about that red lipstick... As if I don't already own about 20!!

    CC x

  5. Sounds like you had an eventful time after I saw you!
    My Viv bag broke too, thankfully it only tore a little which I noticed on the train home, I managed to cover the offended rip with a leaflet and carry it safely from the train to the car without any disasters! x

    Leanne - A Slice of My Life


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