Blogger firsts are always exciting. If you’re a creative, you’ll know the thrill of someone liking your work, seeing the little New Comment! notification appear in the corner of your screen, or reaching the next milestone of your project’s journey. A few weeks ago I received an invitation to my first bloggers event, and to say I was looking forward to it is a massive understatement!
The invitation was to CaBella Boutique in Nottingham, to their exclusive Makeup Masterclass for an evening of demonstrations, swapping tips, sipping champagne and all things girly. CaBella is the ‘destination where every girl, woman and princess can sit back, relax and be made to look perfect’, a boutique salon that offer makeover packages of all shapes and sizes, and can be found down Bridlesmith Walk in Nottingham city centre. The lovely — and most importantly, highly qualified — ladies there will not rest until you are walking, talking cover girl material, and if you don’t believe me, check out their gallery — it speaks for itself!
I was kind of nervous on my way to my first event — I didn’t really know what to expect — but luckily I knew one of my blogging pals Robyn from Midnight & Lace would also be attending and we’d arranged to meet outside. It was so great to finally meet her! It’s always a little apprehensive to meet internet folk because you’re never quite sure how they’re gonna be in real life, but Robyn was so funny and friendly and just as excited as I was that she put me completely at ease.
We signed in with a group of other bloggers, were treated to a complimentary glass of bubbles and sat ourselves down. The CaBella girls had been sweet enough to put together a goodie bag for each of us, so we spent a few minutes looking through our gifts and chatting blog-shop before the demonstrations began.
First we met artist and CaBella founder Dannica, who talked us through a pretty smokey-eye look that CaBella excel at, featuring the gorgeous Charlie as model. We all had a handy step-by-step guide that talked us through each technique that put the look together; everything we needed to know, from brush sizes to recommended products, were included, which will make it a lot easier to recreate the makeup looks myself at home. She also passed around a selection of the products they use and sell at their shop, from Milani primers to L.A. Girl concealers and lip paints.
What I found most helpful was when she showed us how best to apply our foundation, and why we shouldn’t be afraid to slap it on a little heavier — although she did laugh at our frightened little faces when she told us she uses sixteen pumps of foundation on herself! She made a very good point that when you think of natural “no makeup” makeup, you think of a bit of concealer, maybe some blush, and a bit of mascara and lippy, but this creates a very uneven layer that’ll soon turn patchy. If you’re gonna wear makeup, she says, you need to really commit to get it to stay on all day and keep it looking even. She also emphasised the importance of primer; it essentially acts as a barrier between the skin and the makeup, and the way to test which one is right for you is to swatch it on your hand and wait five minutes to see if it still feels a bit sticky; that way you’ll know that your skin hasn’t soaked it all up and will stay in place. I never really understood why primer was so important until now, so I’ll definitely be using mine a lot more in the future!
Next we met Jordan, who made up the other side of Charlie’s face. The finished look featured one of CaBella’s very own beautiful loose pigments, which I was particularly happy about. I’ve seen a lot of MUAs on Instagram use loose pigments and I’ve always wondered just how they work and how well they perform, but Jordan’s demonstration made it easy to see just how pretty they can look and how simple they are to use.
She swatched pretty much the entire range on Charlie’s arm and they were just gorgeous. I was so impressed at the colour payoff and at just how many shades they had, from dark shimmery midnight black to the brightest white gold. We were all very kindly gifted a sample size of a random shade in our goodie bag; I received the shade ‘Vegas’, a beautiful true gold, which I’ve already used and absolutely love, and Robyn conveniently got the black shade ‘Midnight’ ideal for her best gothic self.
After the demonstrations, we were encouraged to look around the shop floor and try out the testers. Robyn and I took lots of Boomerangs and selfies with their huge ring light and generally had a poke at all the products they had to offer. One thing I really loved about the studio was how much thought they’d put into the decor. Everything was so girly and princess-themed, with glitter quotes painted on the walls and empowering hashtags doodled on the mirrors. It seemed like the perfect place to go and get pampered and treat yourself to some serious girl time.
Out of all the services and products CaBella offer, I am most interested in their LVL Lashes treatment. I’d never heard of it before the event, if I’m honest, and it’s essentially a perm for your eyelashes. It might not sound hugely impressive, but I was seriously amazed at the results. Using no false lashes, extensions, or harsh chemicals, the lashes are straightened at the root and lifted, completely changing the look of the eyes, and better still, it lasts for up to eight weeks! It’s pretty pricey — at least for my budget — so I might just have to settle for the Milani Shield Face Primer for now!