A Cinderella Story

Ok, here we go again. If you are sensitive to geeky, personal meltdowns and star-eyed girls, than this is not the article for you. That’s me, by the way, and once again it has taken me some weeks to get this text in order, simply because I needed to, well, get myself in order first.

This is what happened. Yours Truly accidentally found out that Wendy Rowe was in Dubai and had held a master class for some invited press. I’ve told you this before: I don’t do celebrity idols, but I do have some people that I look up to, take inspiration from or just simply adore. Wendy, the Artistic Beauty consultant for Burberry Beauty being one of those people. On the list goes also some astronauts and other names that are known for actually knowing something. 

So I literarily had a meltdown. And started to hunt down the very kind Manager for Burberry Beauty here in Dubai. I just wanted to know how to ever get the chance to sit in on such a master class, given that Wendy would return to Dubai. Long story short: there would be a very exclusive class for invited makeup artists the next following day. When it stood clear I would actually have an invitation to attend breakfast and see Wendy work I cried in the ear of the manager, who then also started to sob on my behalf! Not my finest moment! 

The event took place in the newly renovated and stunningly beautiful store in Mall of the Emirates, which for the occasion was closed down and decorated with flowers, beauty attire, high resolution screens that broadcasted runway videos and all of the latest beauty-ad material. (Burberry shoot with Mario Testino for the Festive collection is a must see..)

The number of invited MUAs (no I don’t claim to be one, I came as me) could be counted on my fingers, and lush velvet chairs stood to meet us in front of a well lit podium. What struck me was how incredibly well organised the set up was. To have the chance to witness a master makeup class with perfect lighting, seated comfortable and being served breakfast doesn’t seem to be all that common for the Dubai beauty industry. Very classy indeed.

First, we got a great presentation of the Burberry Beauty vision, what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. For the Academic in me, this lecture was fantastic and I enjoyed knowing more about the brand. Burberry is one company where Beauty is fully integrated with the rest, a quite unique approach and as a customer you can really sense this. The products that Wendy Rowe creates goes hand in hand with what Christopher Bailey, CEO of the Burberry Group creates. The different collections are launched simultaneously and goes together as a whole.

Another thing worth highlighting is the innovative Burberry Beauty Box, a store concept located in Covent Garden only dedicated to all things beauty and providing high-tech solutions for the customers to view different products together and get a one-one-one beauty consultation. As it seems, we will be able to see more of these stores popping up. One can only wish and hope for Dubai, right!?

Burberry has a digital focus as well, where physical shopping is swapped for an online experience. Together with Sephora there have been limited edition products and live tutorials with Wendy up on both their websites. I love it when a brand make and effort to be accessible for everyone, not only for those who lives in larger cities.

The mix and match philosophy, so clearly stated with the brand can be well noticed with the beauty products as well, and that was one of the well made points that Wendy did, by showing us how almost all the products in the range goes easily together and can be played with as you see fit.

On to the makeup!

As Wendy describe the range as mimicking the Burberry Trench coat’s features: the earthy British country side shades, lightweight and with a protective shield to the world, the cosmetics are also packed with care taking ingredients and SPF. To me, this is one of the winning part of the makeup; that it’s not about heavy duty, but a very subtle face and effortless beauty.  

Starting with a key selling product; the Fresh Glow Luminous Base, a skin priming product that contains of 55% water and reflecting pearls which doesn’t make it shiny or glossy but only let the skin look radiant and awake. It can be used all alone as the only skin-product of the day, under foundation for priming or even as a highlight for cheekbones. It comes in two different versions and goes incredibly well on all skin tones. That seems to be of high importance to Wendy; that her products offer a vide scale of shades. On her runway makeups one can always see models from all corners of the world looking flawless in her products. The base doesn’t leave any white residue or attaches to the fine hairs on your skin. With my olive skin tone it works magic.

Next she started with the eyes (messy eyes first and then clean up the skin). I think she is the only MUA I’ve ever seen, who starts with mascara!? Not the other eye products first. Oh well, obviously it works as those eyes ended up being smashing! The mascara was followed by a dark pencil with thick texture, high pigments and as it is suppose to be well blended, you’ll get some decent playtime with it before it sets. Wendy’s way of application  goes well with my own preference of eyeliner: no neath line, smoke it out, blend it well, push the colour right down to the roots of the lashes and try not to make it a graphic eyeliner! Very European and so I felt right at home.

While really demonstraing how to layer all different products, going for a sheer country side outdoorsy look and up to a more glamorous one, we got to see some extra focus on the AW15 collection and as you all know by know, I’m weak for those dark green nails…

Maybe even more important for this years collection is the Contour Pen. OMG the buzz in the blog-world when they where about to launch. Talk about an organic PR flow.

They come in two shades, small pens/sticks of creamy velvety pigment that blends in so effortlessly in all the right places. Contouring for the normal people, easy fix, easy products and of course in company with a Highlight Pen. I personally believe that one should contour carefully. Less is more and every face is different, so the YT-version of contouring is just not flattering. The great part with practicing your contouring though, is that you learn to know your personal bone structure. A well defined and subtle contour/highlight can lift the whole face. No surgeons needed. These pens are wonderful and so easy to carry with you in your bag for traveling.

The final result; flawless, effortless, timeless elegance. Radiant skin, nude lips and cheek bones to die for. Smokey but modest eyes and a sun-kissed glow. I think very few people wouldn’t look amazing in this look!

If you read interviews with Wendy, she seem to have a statement that she wish people to take on, which she emphasised : her hope is that rather than getting the compliment “wow, your makeup looks great!” she creates products that will make people say “wow, YOU look great!”

 Naturally, this is a huge deal and represents the British luxury brand well, with its roots in the country side and dusty shades, colours and textures. Burberry is not bold, it’s for the everyday woman. It’s not age dependant or only for a certain skin type or colour.

Last, but by no means least, we all got a preview of My Burberry Black; the next edition of this amazing fragrance. I even liked it more than the original and can’t wait for it to hit store sometime next year! Same goes with the brush collection that Wendy was using, which will eventually be available for purchase. Lovely bristles and weight in the handle. For a brush snob like me, I will go straight for the large powder one it if ever comes out 😉

This special morning, it was a dream come true for me. I felt like Cinderella in a good way, to have the possibility to learn from an icon. Wendy was so incredibly down to earth but at the same time opinionated. I love to see successful women being so open and honest about their work and success. As we where so few invited guests it was easy to interact and ask questions and after the class we got even more time to play with the products, look and the equipment and talk to Wendy and the others from the London HQ about the brand. It is clear that they really focus on Middle East now and they are doing it so great and in a professional but still gentle way. I have high hopes of these products to get recognised as a gorgeous high end alternative to more full on makeup looks.

I will show you some goodies as well, but those deserve their own post! Hopefully, you have enjoyed following me to the master class!  ♥

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