Filed In: Event

L’Oréal Paris | Le Vernis à L’Huile Event with Tom Bachik

L'Oreal Vernis a L'Huile event opener

Several weeks ago, I was honoured to be invited to attend the launch of Le Vernis à L’Huile – the newest nail polish range from L’Oréal Paris. As if seeing these new lacquers wasn’t exciting enough, this event was made even more special by several other details: meeting L’Oréal’s Global Nail Designer & celebrity manicurist,Tom Bachik in person (crossed off my bucket list), staying at the über-luxurious Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of downtown Toronto, getting a pampering massage at the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie (conveniently located in the hotel), and having dinner at Momofuko’s Daishō restaurant located adjacent to the hotel and above their famous Momofuku Noodle Bar.

A  review of Le Vernis à L’Huile lacquers will be coming soon.

A huge thank you to the entire L’Oréal Paris team for making this magical trip happen.

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Mandatory travel shot

L'Oreal Vernis a L'Huile event Toronto sky view

Hello, Toronto!

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The Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto

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Upon arrival at the hotel and thanks to my flight being a little late, I had just enough time to drop my bag off in my room, then I headed directly for my massage and some de-stressing time. With architecture and decor details drawing inspiration from the Middle East, Paris, & Marrakech, the Miraj Hammam by Caudalie Spa is an oasis of calm – as well as equipped with the award-winning Caudalie product range. The experience began in a soothing room that made me feel like I was entering a harem, and after being met by my masseur, Justin, I was led to another room where I received the most incredibly relaxing hour-long massage. Before heading back to the locker room to change, I was once again invited to once again relax in the ‘harem’ room, where I was also treated to piping hot mint tea, fruit & mini baklava (for the record, all were inhaled).

L'Oreal Vernis a L'Huile event Caudalie spa 1

 

L'Oreal Vernis a L'Huile event Caudalie spa 2

 

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I initially thought this fountain at the entrance was filled with Skittles…

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The ‘harem’ room

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I mean, can’t you just picture this filled with a bevy of giggling women?

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One of the massage rooms

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Post-massage treats

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I’m definitely glowing

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Getting back to my room, I was greeted by some wonderful goodies: a few treats to snack on from Momofuku Milk Bar (the restaurant is actually connected to the hotel) and a lovely welcoming note from my host, Kristina. As to the room itself (which was beautifully appointed & drop-dead gorgeous), I totally forgot to take pictures of it all — with the exception of the bathroom, which was not only vast but covered in marble and even came equipped with a tv built into the mirror, along with the cutest patio/balcony that even boasted its own lovely garden as well.

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The hallway leading to my room: totally museum-worthy

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L'Oreal Vernis a L'Huile event travel makeup

The least amount of makeup I’ve EVER travelled with

I had some time to rest up and get ready for the event, which was held at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a combination salon/spa & cocktail bar located on King St. West in the city’s trendy Fashion District. Upon arriving at the venue, we were welcomed with glasses of bubbly and treats inspired by the nail polish shades (which were actually quite delicious, despite the unusual colours). A long marble bar in the room was transformed for the day with individual nail stations that were personalized for each invited guest, in preparation for the workshop we were about to receive and led by Tom Bachik. I was blown away to find my spot located at the top of the table, right beside Tom himself!

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Top: Denim & Supply ♦ Jeans: Frame Denim ♦ Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

L'Oreal Vernis A L'Huile event greeting 1

 

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Lust-inducing: a wall of the new Le Vernis à L’Huile nail polish range

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After a brief introduction and learning Tom’s story of how he became involved in this industry, we were invited to choose our preferred shade and got to work painting our nails, all supervised by the master himself. I chose Blanc de Lune, a creamy off-white and my go-to colour of choice when testing out a new range (plus I have a thing for white nail polish). Putting some of Tom’s tips into effect, I was able to pull off a pretty decent manicure – considering that I wasn’t in my usual work space. Once the photo ops were done, the event was finished but my day was far from over, as I was invited to have dinner with the L’Oréal crew AND TOM BACHIK at the city’s newest hot spot, Daishō.

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Oh hai Tom & Kristina! (she’s going to kill me for this shot but I think she looks adorable)

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Blanc de Lune, a seriously gorgeous white

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Grabbed from Kristina’s Snapchat

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With Tom Bachik, who is truly such a genuine and nice person

Seated across from Tom at the dinner table was a pinch-me moment, but his humble and down-to-earth personality made it feel more like sitting with a longtime friend. Over a dinner of the most amazing food I’ve tried to date (there was this meat dish served with steamed rice buns that I’m still salivating over) we discussed nails (duh), sports cars (yes, I’m a fan), and family (we both have children of similar ages and have been married to our respective spouses for about the same length of time too!). Leaving the restaurant, we stopped downstairs for Momofuku’s famous Cereal Milk™ Soft Serve (it really does taste exactly like milk at the bottom of a bowl of Corn Flakes) that we enjoyed in the hotel’s lobby area, to the sound of live jazz playing around us. A bottle of Veuve Clicquot capped off the night, then it was finally off to bed, where a gift box filled with 12 of the new shades was waiting for me ∗insert happy squealing sounds

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Beef Brisket served with Steamed Buns, Crab Mayo & Green Papaya Slaw

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Milk Bar’s famous Cereal Milk™ Soft Serve X 6

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……le sigh……

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Ready to head for home

L'oreal Vernis a L'Huile event closer

Bonjour, Montréal

Guerlain | La Petite Robe Noire Fashion Show, Denim Jacket Nail Colour & meeting Thierry Wasser

Guerlain event & Denim Jacket opener

 

A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to meet Thierry Wasser, “nose” and Exclusive Perfumer for Guerlain, creator of so many unforgettable scents (literally, too many to list here) and the genius behind the brand’s latest La Petite Robe Noire fragrance. As charming and funny as he is talented (seriously, we were doubled over laughing at times), this special event was held at Montréal’s Centre des Sciences and the evening featured several launches: the latest iteration for La Petite Robe Noire, Eau de Parfum Intense, along with new shades for both nails and lips in the La Petite Robe Noire Maquillage collection.

After briefing us about the inspiration behind this latest fragrance, we were then treated to an exclusive private fashion show featuring a variety of gorgeous black dresses (literally ‘la petite robe noire’, natch) with the makeup looks created by über-talent and Guerlain’s International Makeup Artist, Maxime Poulin. The breakdown (all using Guerlain products):

  • Skin: prepped with L’Or Primer, followed by Parure Gold Foundation & Precious Light Illuminator
  • Face: Terracotta Classique under cheekbones (to create soft definition), a touch of Morning Rose Blush on the apples of the cheeks and Meteorites Pearls used in the centre of the face and on tops of cheekbones for added radiance
  • Brows: kept soft with just a few pencil strokes, where needed

Eyes (three different looks):

  • Sultry Smokey: using an upcoming Fall palette and Khol Kajal as a base, with the deepest smokey look using the most pigmented black blended even above the crease, black pencil along the lower lash line and layers of Maxi Lash mascara.
  • Iconic: using upcoming new products with the lid kept ‘clean’ and the focus on the sharp liner
  • Deconstructed: Coloured liner used both on top and bottom lash lines, half-way and extended far out with blue or purple for a unique fun look
  • Lips: the 20 dresses seen in the show were all accessorized with a different La Petite Robe Noire lipstick and nail shade in unexpected mix & match ways

The show closed with the La Petite Robe Noire bride and Thierry Wasser riding off into the sunset (well, not really… just backstage) but the party continued and I was able to spend some quality time with my ‘Guerlain Family’, as I think of them all.

A review with swatches of the upcoming La Petite Robe Noire lacquer shade in Denim Jacket is at the end of the post — keep scrolling!

Photo Credits (Guerlain event): Tom Conides, aka: my amazing husband

My look: dress – Free People ♦ shoes – Christian Louboutin ♦ lace cuff – Sappho by Kim Smiley ♦ bag – Louis Vuitton

Guerlain event with Thierry Wasser

With Thierry Wasser

Guerlain event Thierry Wasser

Thierry Wasser for Guerlain

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Scenes from the La Petite Robe Noire exclusive fashion show

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Here comes the bride…

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Thierry Wasser closing the show

Guerlain event with Maxime Poulin

With Maxime Poulin — so grateful to call this lovely being my close friend

Guerlain event with Josiane and Sandrine

With Josianne Gauthier & Sandrine Breathe, Guerlain Canada

Guerlain event with William

With William Lescure, Directeur General of Guerlain Canada (and yes, that’s cotton candy)

Guerlain event with KatieWith Katherine Reusch, Guerlain Canada

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Wanderlust #travelgoals (I’ll take any and/or all)

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How could I pass up an opportunity to play the ‘La Petite Robe Noire girl’ with the creator of the fragrance?!

Guerlain event & Denim Jacket

008 Denim Jacket Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour (CAN $27.00) | A true cornflower blue shade in a luxurious crème formula that can be summed up in one word: PERFECTION. With an excellent flow, density and opacity, this beauty is also self-levelling in application, comes to a glossy finish and is non-staining upon removal. As if all that weren’t enough, there’s the added bonus of it being scented with the La Petite Robe Noire fragrance, coming through once the polish has fully dried and which should last easily 48+ hours, although it can be revived with a layer of the matching top coat.

For those unfamiliar with Guerlain lacquers, you should know that their brush is one of my all time favourites; dense but slightly chiselled so that it splayed beautifully and evenly along the nail, making application effortless and a total pleasure.

Coats: 2, plus top coat

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Guerlain | 008 Denim Jacket Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour

Guerlain Denim Jacket swatch 1

Guerlain | 008 Denim Jacket Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour swatch

Guerlain Denim Jacket swatch 2

Guerlain | 008 Denim Jacket Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour swatch

Guerlain Denim Jacket swatch 3

Guerlain | 008 Denim Jacket Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour swatch

 

La Petite Robe Noire Deliciously Shiny Nail Colour in Denim Jacket will be pre-launched at select Guerlain boutiques August 1, across Canada as of November 1

 

Guerlain event & Denim Jacket closer

A huge thank you goes out to the amazing Guerlain team

As always, all opinions are my own

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal Benefit Gala 2016

Grand Ballets Gala opener

 

Earlier this month I was invited to attend the exclusive Benefit Gala 2016 of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, the prestigious cultural event held every year that is so highly anticipated by some of this city’s most influential patrons (and who are willing to fork over $800.00 per person for). On the brink of Les Grands Ballets’ 60th anniversary, this year’s version was held at the Stade Uniprix and featured a sumptuous pre-dinner cocktail where the Moët & Chandon champagne was [literally] flowing, beauty touch-up stations were provided by CHANEL, and plenty of photo ops abounded.

Upon entering the ballroom, we were greeted with lavish gold accents on the dinner tables with a thoughtfully placed gift bag from Holt Renfrew/Ogilvy at each place setting (which included a fab Diptyque candle). The simple yet elegant menu featured 3 courses, each paired by its own wine duo. There were two stages set up at either end of the room; one featured the live band 1945 by Paul Chacra Entertainment who played a diverse range of music and literally had everyone on the dance floor from the second the dinner was over (my pounding feet at the end of the evening were testament to how amazing the band was), and on the other stage we were were treated to a live performance of excerpts of La Lueur de l’Aube by Ken Ossola — created in 2016 and featuring music by Sergei Rachmaninoff. As if all this wasn’t enough there was also the most amazing grand prize worth over $20,000 up for grabs, but which I sadly didn’t win: a trip to Paris (Business Class) with Air France in March 2017, which included the opportunity to attend the CHANEL fashion show during Fashion Week, a private tour of Coco Chanel’s apartment and the Fine Jewelry Shop at 18 Place Vendôme… and more. Yes, I’m still in mourning over not winning ∗sigh∗. I did buy a raffle ticket for which I won a lovely Aquascutum business card holder, however #consolationprize

While breathtaking to be a part of, it’s also important to note that the funds raised by this yearly event play a crucial role in maintaining the level of excellence that Les Grands Ballets has become known for. This troupe may be renown world-wide and acknowledged as one of the best there is, but what’s not as readily known is their altruistic side and how much they give back to society, from opening up their doors during the holiday season to give young children from Montréal’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods a chance to take part in educational workshops and to attend personalized performances of The Nutcracker, to their creation of the National Centre for Dance Therapy that works with several health and social services to promote the healing benefits of dance, amongst other goals.

All I can say is that this was certainly a night to remember and having met several of the dancers, I am in awe of all that they do and the dedication they bring to their craft. If you happen to be in Montréal, I highly recommend you catch one of Les Grands Ballets many wonderful performances – you will definitely be left emotionally moved.

Gown: Ralph Lauren ♦ Shoes: Prada ♦ Purse: Gucci ♦ Jewelry: Tiffany & Co

 

Grand Ballets Gala photo op

With my amazing husband (don’t we clean up well?!)

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Cocktail

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Grands Ballets Gala cocktail 4

Grands Ballets Gala cocktail 5

With my lovely colleagues Eli Garcia (Eli In The Walk-In) & Catherine Forest (Pearls & Caramel)

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Grand Ballets Gala chandelier

The Ballroom

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Grands Ballets Gala table decor

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Grands Ballets Gala 5

…always working…

Grands Ballets Gala dinner 1

Entrée: Seafood Gratin with Black Périgord truffles accompanied by a Printanière salad of fiddleheads, green asparagus, crab and lobster meat with a white asparagus cream & raspberry vinaigrette

Wines: Chardonnay Rita’s Crown 2011 (California), Sauvignon Quartz Kellerei, Cantina Terlan 2013 (Italy)

Grands Ballets Gala dinner 2

Main Course: Osso Bucco on the half bone with stuffed marrow, purée of Saffron Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetables

Wines: Pinot Noir Hayley 2011 (California), Lolita Ranch Zinfandel 2012 (California)

Grands Ballets Gala dinner 3

Dessert: Feuilleté tout Chocolat over Madagascar vanilla Crème Anglaise and pistachio cream

Dessert Wine & Northern Harvest Rye Whisky, Crown Royal (Canada)

Grands Ballets Gala decor

Grands Ballets Gala 1

 

Grands Ballets Gala dancers 1

La Lueur de L’Aube (excerpt), performed by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal

Grands Ballets Gala dancers 3

Grands Ballets Gala entertainment

1945 by Paul Chacra Entertainment

Grands Ballets Gala with Camille

With the gorgeous Camille (Le Cahier), a Montréal powerhouse 

Grands Ballets Gala with Ton Petit Look twins

My fab table mates, twins Carolane & Josiane Stratis of Ton Petit Look

Grands Ballets Gala Ogilvy's Beefeater

∗eye candy∗

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….and that’s a wrap!

Grands Ballets Gala panorama

Many thanks to the fundraising committee of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal for this wonderful invitation

Kérastase® Fusio-Dose™ Event Privé Par David D’Amours

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I’m a big fan of moisturizing, be it for my skin, body, nails, as well as hair, so when I was recently invited to try out Fusio-Dose™ from Kérastase® at one of Montréal’s top hair salons (apparently Céline Dion is a client), I totally jumped at the chance.

Loved (and lauded) by stylists & celebrities alike, there are many reasons why luxury haircare brand Kérastase® has earned such a devoted following: these products work. They might be priced on the steep side, but the payoff is strong, healthy, and vibrant hair – I’d say that’s a pretty good deal, wouldn’t you agree?

Originally launched in 2011, Kérastase® Fusio-Dose™ is:

‘The first personalized mix of hairstylist-blended super-concentrated active ingredients for treating the surface of the hair without weighing down the fiber. Four concentrated care formulas are mixed with four powerful active ingredients offering multiple combinations for a custom-designed treatment to instantly and lastingly transform the hair’

For 2015, Kérastase® has reformulated the Fusio-Dose™ range to include 20 tailor-made treatment combinations (versus 16 before) that include:

Four Concentrates:

  • Concentré Pixelist – Intensification of radiance
  • Concentré Oléo-Fusion – Instant nutrion and softness
  • Concentré Vita-Ciment – In-depth reconstruction
  • Concentré Densifique – Immediate densification

Five Boosters:

  • Booster Brilliance – Amino-Shine active ingredient, 45 000 PPM + Zinc Gluconate
  • Booster Densité – Body-enhancing active ingredient, 10 000 PPM
  • Booster Reconstruction – Anti-erosion complex, 20 000 PPM + Resurrection Sap
  • Booster Nutrition – Nutrition complex,  60 000 PPM + Iris Royal
  • Booster Discipline – Smoothing agent, 15 000 PPM + Morpho-Kératine™

The beauty of Fusio-Dose™ treatments, is that not only are they tailored to your hair’s individual needs (a far cry from the one-size-fits-all mentality of conventional haircare treatments), but there’s also no downtime: after washing, the treatment is applied, rinsed out et voilà: you’re done, with the effects lasting easily over a month (more, for those who shampoo less frequently). Doesn’t get sweeter than that.

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Opened just over a year ago, Privé par David D’Amours is a salon in the heart of historic Old Montréal and my first surprise was that it’s located at basement level (completely unexpected). The second surprise came upon entering the beautifully lit space, and viewing the stunning decor that while modern, is still in keeping with the ambiance of the neighbourhood, with its concrete floors and exposed stone walls. The club chairs at the washing station are über-comfortable while the adjacent colouring station is expansive and brightly-lit. There’s even a counter/bar area to treat yourself while waiting, along with a seating area that looks like it belongs in a magazine. I absolutely loved the minimalist yet effective layout found at each stylist chair: a floor-to-ceiling mirror flanked on either side by columns of light that also double as hidden storage for all the stylists’ tools and needs, thus avoiding the clutter one usually sees.

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The reception desk with its stunning oversized floral display

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At the entry, the full Kérastase® lineup

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Wash stations

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Colouring station

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Sitting area

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Stylist chair

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With my glass of champagne in hand (a custom drink was created for the event, but I never turn down bubbly!), I was given a consultation to determine my hair’s needs and learn which Fusio-Dose™ treatment would be best for me. Blessed with good hair genes (thank you, parents) and coupled with the fact that I totally baby my locks, it was decided that we would improve my mane’s overall condition via the Reconstruction booster, to add even more strength and protection against the colouring process.

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My stylist for the evening, a charming Venetian-born gentleman named Dennis (yes, Dennis from Venice – and is it just me, or does he also bear a strong resemblance to Gerard Butler?), then led me to his chair and after a few quick questions, he then got to work. I wanted ‘Sexy Hair‘, something with waves and body and so totally a look I never do, mainly because I can’t. After blowing out my tresses using a combination of his fingers and a round brush and then strategically using both curling & flat irons, Sexy Hair, is exactly what he gave me – so much so, that I may have gone overboard with the photos.

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Privé colour 8

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Privé colour 16

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Thank you, Dennis 

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Flanked by my stylist Dennis & owner David D’Amours

Therapiste collection

My recommended Kérastase® range that I was sent home with

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Another surprise that evening, was meeting Chinese-born illustrator Ben Liu and having my personalized illustration created by this talented artist (which I am SO framing).

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Oh….haii, Alexa from www.stealing-beauty.com

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Thank you to everyone involved for such a wonderful event!

Salon Privé par David D’Amours, 360 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest Suite 601, Montréal, Québec 514.303.4777

 

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SPACE.NK | Spring Beauty Edit 2015

SPACE.NK Spring Beauty Edit opener

 

Mark your calendars: Spring Beauty Edit 2015, a hotly anticipated one-day-only event from SPACE.NK starts tomorrow and will be available at all 23 US locations, as well as to online shoppers at spacenk.com (US only). During this amazing event, clients are presented with the latest in Spring beauty (as well as looks from their ‘New Bohemian SS15 Campaign‘ going on right now) and can also meet with experts from some of their finest brands for makeovers, advice and tips (call your local store to learn event times, and featured experts/services, as this will vary by location).

Exclusively for the event and in addition to the one-on-one consultations available, SPACE.NK is also offering this Limited Edition Cosmetics Bag/Foldover Clutch that is filled with 28 well-curated selections of must-have featured brands (deluxe, travel, and full-size items valued at well over US $400.00) to shoppers who spend $250.00 or more.

This is SPACE.NK’s most popular event of the year and I encourage you to reserve your space in advance to avoid any disappointment, as this bag usually sells out at the speed of light (the gift bag will also be available to online shoppers, but you’ll need to act fast).

The oversized Cosmetics Bag is made of a heavy-gauge black nylon with a solid brass zipper & pull, and works beautifully as a travel-perfect makeup bag (guaranteed to hold all your beauty and skincare items with ease), but it can also double as a Foldover Clutch – very minimalist chic – again, turning this bag into an excellent travel essential (no need to drag an extra purse with you).

The selection of products included in the bag, are all brands I have been so curious to try and this is the perfect way to test them out, without committing to full-size versions. Considering how fanatic I am about skincare I may just find my next Holy Grail product amongst these lovelies.

 

SPACE.NK Spring Beauty Edit closed bag 2

SPACE.NK | Spring Beauty Edit 2015

SPACE.NK Spring Beauty Edit open bag

SPACE.NK | Spring Beauty Edit 2015

 

Space NK Spring Beauty Edit 2015 Gift (hi-res)

SPACE.NK | Spring Beauty Edit 2015

 

Included in the Limited Edition Cosmetics Bag/Foldover Clutch:

· 37 Extreme Actives High Performance Anti-Aging Cream (7ml)
· African Botanics Pure Marula Oil (5ml)
· Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm (7ml)
· Bakel Nutriremedy (10ml)
· Bumble & Bumble Repair Blow Dry (15ml)
· By Terry Cellularose Brightening Serum (4ml)
· Darphin Stimulskin Divine Cream (5ml)
· Diptyque Scented Candle (70g)
· Goldfaden MD Fleuressence Native Botanical Cell Oil (4ml)
· Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF15 (5ml)
· James Read Tan Sleep Mask Tan (25ml)
· Kat Burki Hibiscus Antioxidant Face Mask (7ml)
· Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Medium (0.026oz)
· Lancer The Method: Polish (15ml)
· Malin + Goetz Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer (29ml)
· Mio Double Buff Dual Action Enzyme Exfoliator (50ml)
· Natura Bissé Essential Shock Intense Cream (10ml)
· NIA24 Sun Damage Prevention SPF30 (75ml, full-size)
· Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color (15ml)
· Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color (15ml)
· Philip B Oud Royal Forever Shine Conditioner (15ml)
· Radical Skincare Extreme Repair (8ml)
· Ren Keep Young & Beautiful Instant Firming Beauty Shot (10ml)
· Rodial Glamtox Cleanser (30ml)
· Roloxin Lift Revitalizing Facial Treatment (2g)
· Sunday Riley Good Genes Treatment (10ml)
· Tata Harper Moisturizing Mask (7.5ml)
· Verso Day Cream (15ml)

SPACE.NK Spring Beauty Edit zipper detail

SPACE.NK | Spring Beauty Edit 2015

SPACE.NK Spring Beauty Edit folded bag

SPACE.NK | Spring Beauty Edit 2015

 

If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area that has a SPACE.NK store, do yourself a favour and go visit in person, so you can get a jump-start on what you might want to pick up from Spring Beauty Edit 2015 – then make sure to head back bright & early tomorrow to benefit from this amazing one-day-only gift bag (they literally sell out so fast in-store). Or for those who live in the US but don’t have access to a SPACE.NK location, you can also benefit from this promotion via online ordering. Either way, it’s one of the most generous beauty gift with purchase offers that I’ve seen in quite some time, and if you’re going to spend the money anyway, might as well get something fabulous in return, no?

 

SPACE.NK Spring Beauty Edit closer

Press sample provided for my unbiased consideration – this post contains affiliate links.