The weekend of 29th to 31st of October was an extremely exciting one, and possibly the best weekend dedicated to beauty I have experienced so far. A couple of days earlier the celebrity makeup artist Lisa Eldridge announced her pop up studio was opening in Covent Garden. Besides new products being exclusively on sale in the shop, the place was also going to have a display of Lisa’s collection of vintage makeup. However, the most exciting out of all was the promise of Lisa’s presence at the opening.
Just two days after the announcement of the opening, I not only decided to go, but I also booked everything for my imminent departure for London…
As an avid fan and follower of her career for over ten years, I started to have sleepless nights trying to create a plan. Although I live in the UK, a flight to London from Scotland takes an hour and a half and also involves several trains to and from the airport. However, I felt like this was an amazing opportunity and I could feel every fibre of my body dedicated to beauty and cosmetics vibrating and whispering to me to go without looking back.
Off I went, after a very busy week, with just a backpack. I think more than half of my bag was Lisa Eldridge’s makeup and other brushes and things in order to make sure I could create a makeup look worthy of meeting Lisa.
I arrived in London the night before the opening, with just enough time to eat a sandwich and go to bed. But my excitement did not let me sleep. Looking back, it is certainly very funny, but at the time it was stressful, as I kept dreaming over and over again I overslept and missed the opening.
The opening was at 11:00am, so I woke up at 8:30am, to make sure I could arrive early. Of course that did not work quite as planned, as I kept blending my makeup and moving in circles in the room. My makeup had to look flawless! Before the makeup I applied a calming and soothing cream, the Medicalia Gentle Cream. On top I added a bit of the JLo Beauty That Blockbuster Wonder Cream and topped everything up with my favourite sunscreen, the Mermaid Canmake UV Gel 50+. I used a Real Techniques Flat Foundation Brush to apply the Lisa Eldridge Seamless Foundation in shade 03 with golden undertones from the sample card, which according to my swatches would be my perfect match. I applied it in thin layers, and topped the undereye circles with some Maybelline Instant Anti Age Eraser Concealer in shade Neutraliser. I let these products set before applying the Lisa Eldridge Enlivening Blush in shade Mountain Walk. I also used the Elevated Glow Highlighter in shade Crystal Nebula. I applied both with my fingers. I also used some cream contour from Rimmel, the Duo Contour Stick in Light which I blended with the Real Techniques Mini Expert Face Brush.
The overall look was 1990s inspired, with a note of freshness given by the cool toned blush…
For the eyes, I simply added the Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow in Smoke, which is a gorgeous taupe brown with delicate glitter in. I added a very thin black eyeliner line with the Eyeko Magic Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner with a sharp but small wing at the edge of my eyes. The Maybelline Colossal Go Extreme Mascara did not disappoint, and I really took my time to make my lashes as fluttery and as voluminous as possible. I set my eyebrows with the Wet n Wild Megaclear Brow & Lash Mascara. The last step was to add a tiny bit of the Hourglass Ambient Setting Powder in shade Diffused Light. Moving to the lips I used the Enhance and Define Lip Pencil from Lisa Eldridge in shade Fawn, with the True Velvet Lip Colour in Fawn. For my perfume I used the Coco Chanelle Mademoiselle.
I got there at 10:40, slightly later than I planned, and joined the already huge queue formed in Covent Garden, in front of Lisa’s pop up studio. I immediately made a friend and we chatted the whole time we queued, a total of almost three hours. Even queuing was an experience though, as the heavy rain stopped and the sun was shining through. There was lovely opera music in the background, probably passing through the walls of the Royal Opera House.
As I got closer and closer to the entrance of the shop my nerves started to get worse. Lisa could be seen close to the entrance of the shop, chatting and greeting anyone. Suddenly, my lips felt too dry, my fringe seemed to always be sitting funny and I could feel my mouth getting dry.
Once I got through the doors I am not even sure I was processing what I was seeing. There were dozens of people in, all excited and queueing for something. Lisa was chatting to people, attracting all the attention and love from everyone that queued for hours to meet her. I did a round of the museum section of the store, admiring and getting overexcited from seeing some of the iconic vintage items that Lisa mentioned in her videos or in her book, Face Paint. I could not believe that I was seeing all those gems in real life! I decided that the next thing to do was to queue to meet Lisa and get over my nerves which were getting worse by the minute. Suddenly, all I ever wanted to tell her disappeared from my head, and I felt very overwhelmed.
Lisa was friendly and had an extremely warm attitude. She asked me how I was, and what my name was. We soon started to chat about makeup, and she recommended to me the Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour in Kitten Mischief. I told her I was wearing the foundation and I asked if she thought I matched the shade well. She immediately switched into makeup artist mode and analysed my tones and match. I was incredibly delighted to find out that she approved of my shade match. Perhaps the most touching moment for me was when she remembered the review I wrote about Face Paint on my blog, telling me that it was a really good article. She patiently took a few pictures with me and I felt we could have chatted for ages. However, the flow of people was constant and I soon moved away to let others say hello.
Lisa is an inspiration for me, and she taught me so many techniques and things regarding beauty through her videos, her book and her documentaries…
For a while after this I was shaking, and even now, writing this, I cannot fully believe or process the fact that I met one of the most renowned makeup artists, an avid collector of vintage makeup, a connoisseur in all things beauty and a lovely, warm person. As I told Lisa, it was an absolute honour to meet her. My biggest regret is not bringing my copy of Face Paint for her to sign. I have a general love and affection towards books and her autograph would have topped that affection up and made my Face Paint copy the most invaluable book in my collection. Even now, I catch myself thinking If only I brought the book with me…
The main reason I flew to London and went to the opening was to have the chance to meet Lisa. Once I fulfilled my dream, I felt lost in the shop. I tried to collect myself and have a look around. Because it was so busy, I missed some areas of the shop, but I managed to purchase a few things. Of course, I purchased the lipstick and shade Lisa recommended to me, the Kitten Mischief. I also purchased the foundation, hoping that I would have enough time to review it before it goes on sale online (You can watch my review here). I was entirely mesmerised by the brush collection on sale and I felt like I had seconds to decide which ones I wanted. If you want to know more about all makeup and exclusive items available in the shop, please read my review of the pop up store here. In the end, I purchased the Seamless Blend No.8, which is a beautiful eyeshadow blending brush. I think this will help with beautifully blending eyeshadow on my hooded eyelids.
Later that day I returned to the store before closing time, hoping I could go in again. However, in the queue there were still a few dozen people and Lisa was still inside chatting to everyone. I felt a huge respect for her because she stood there all day long to greet and take pictures with everyone. I was ready to go back and purchase a copy of Face Paint and ask her to sign it for me, but I realised I will just add up to the queue of people and possibly take someone’s chance of meeting her. It was 7:20pm, with the shop being closed for over twenty minutes, yet Lisa was still standing there, making sure she greeted everyone that queued to get in the shop. I felt very sad not to go in again but I was sure she must have been keen to have a rest. After the last customer left, Lisa went to talk to the staff and they cheered and applauded as they opened a bottle of champagne.
I took a last look at the shop before I turned away and left…
Next day I was back, hoping it would be quieter and that I would manage to have a closer look at everything in the studio. My makeup routine was the same as in the previous day, with the exception that on my lips I still had the Fawn liner but this time with the Luxuriously Lucent Lip Colour in Kitten Mischief. This lipstick looked so incredible on me, and complemented my colouring and my tones so well! It was like an excellent makeup artist recommended it to me…
Surely, the shop was still busy although incomparable with how it was at the opening. I spent longer than an hour looking at the museum display, absorbing every item. I then spent another hour looking at the makeup and jewellery in the shop, and really longed for a Lisa Eldridge red jumper. Trying to figure out what to get, I soon realised I was getting late for my flight back to Scotland and I had to leave. I still long for that red jumper though!
Waiting to board the plane I realised this was probably one of the most beautiful experiences I had, and I felt energised and invigorated. My admiration for Lisa Eldridge both as a professional and as a person is immense and it felt magical to be able to meet her and talk. I will possibly not manage to go back to the shop before its closure, but I am sure I will keep a very close eye to all the events and happenings there, probably wishing with all my heart to be there and have another look at the museum display – and get my book signed!
I got onto the plane and as we took off, in that speed and feeling of liberation, I started to smile and feel very grateful for everything that happened.
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