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Trendlistr Curated Vintage Popup Shop

You all know that I have my own unique style when it comes to occasion dressing but I also have a bit of a penchant for vintage, as long as it’s good vintage; and that’s the trouble with buying preloved clothing, you never know if it’s any good.

When it comes to styling and dressing, I know exactly what I want.  That in itself can be a problem because sometimes the thing that I want doesn’t actually exist, that’s why I hack sleeves off tees, add in fabric and draw on clothing - I like to look unique. Buying vintage is great because it allows you to keep your individuality - you’re very unlikely to bump into someone wearing the same thing - and there are styles available that aren’t repeated on today’s high street.

One of the tricky things about buying vintage, is that you never know if what you’re buying is ‘good’ vintage, genuine or what it’s history is and that’s the risk you take.  Sure vintage fairs are great, (my absolute favourite, Britain Does Vintage, tours the U.K. seasonally and makes three stops across the North East) but if you’re that person who really doesn’t know what they’re looking for then Trendlistr might be the solution you didn’t know you needed.

Ok, so first you have to establish that you’re interested in vintage clothing, if you’re not, then maybe I can convince you.  Cuts, quality and sizing is different (vanity sizing didn’t exist back then) in vintage clothing, with a focus on quality over quantity, things weren’t sold in high volume so if you find a piece you love, buy it, keep it and cherish it.  Good designer vintage in decent condition retains its shape and its value pretty well on this day and age, with some rare pieces (Hermes Kelly anyone?) increasing in value.

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Louisa Rogers and I have been following each other for some time now and last night we finally met in person at her Curated Vintage Popup Shop in House of Smith.  Louisa spotted a gaping hole in the market for a Curated vintage service that links up clients like you and I, with vintage pieces which have been sourced, checked and verified.  This was the inspiration that led her to start setting up her business Trendlistr.

Louisa is super passionate about vintage clothing, but it has to be as close to perfect as it can be to pass her vigourous testing.  Sourcing from all over the world, she’s built up quite a collection of eclectic pieces and had a small selection of clothing and jewellery on show at her popup.

Trendlistr will operate in a similar way to eBay which offers a marketplace for third party sellers to showcase their vintage items, minus the auction.  Louisa tells me she has aspirations for it to become the ‘ASOS of vintage’ and she has faith in her brand.  She talks about the importance of getting it right first time and is currently in the process of photographing and cataloging the collection ready for the website going live.

I scoured the collection last night and scavenged a preppy zip through Roberto Verino dress and a Moschino tank - picked for me by Louisa herself as she says she’s clocked my style and thinks it’s very me, she’s not wrong.  Amongst the collection I found a pair of very on trend midnight blue velvet Yves Saint Laurent cigarette pants and a flower camo Salvatore Ferragamo pencil skirt, sadly neither were my size. Boo!

Is Curated vintage worth it? Yes, if you’re interested in vintage then it takes all the hard work out of finding really great quality preowned clothing.  If you want to try vintage but don’t know where to start, then Curated vintage is your gateway drug, but be careful, it’s addictive.

I’ll always visit vintage fairs there’s no doubt about that, but Trendlistr offers a third dimension, a way to source items in a particular size, colour or style.  A way to request dealers to look for a particular item when they’re out topping up their hauls, rather than just shopping off the rack.

When Trendlistr goes live in early 2017 I’m predicting a vintage revival of sorts….

Pixie xo

 

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Christmas Night Market at the Grainger Market

Last night I headed over to the Grainger Market in Newcastle for a very special Christmas Night Market.  If you’re not from the North East then let me fill you in…

 

The Grainger Market is something of a local treasure in Newcastle, housed in a square block between Clayton Street and Grainger Street, it’s been a part of the city since 1835.  With over a hundred shops and stalls under the steel and glass roof, it really has to be visited to give life to the description.  It’s the home of a collective of vibrant, small local businesses and some awesome creatives who thrive on their solidarity as a unit and if you visit the market, you’ll see that in spades.

It’s quirky, it’s cute and ultimately it’s well planned out.  From the original aisles which made up the ‘flesh market’ which now houses local food produce, through to the Grainger Arcade which is the younger, funkier end.  Everything in the Grainger Market has a place that has been carefully considered and every Geordie you meet, will have a favourite unit housed within it.

This year, for the first time ever, the Grainger Market played host to a Christmas Night Market with the promise of mulled wine, local food samples and a VIP tour of that famous hidden air raid shelter.  To be honest Voyeurs, I heard “Air raid shelter” and was there like a shot.

When I arrived, the place was buzzing with life, a choir was singing with an audience of smiling faces and Christmas jumpers as lights projected out across the glass ceiling, transforming the Grainger Market into a Winter Wonderland.  I registered for my VIP wristband and map, and headed straight to Pet Lamb patisserie to stock up on festive treats made with a local touch.

One of my all time favourite stores is in the Grainger Market; Ellen’s Cosmetics is a secret staple for many a Beauty Blogger, known for sourcing hard to find items and products, and stocking brands that you just can’t find anywhere else.  It’s my go to for hair toners.  Yup, that’s right Voyeurs, when you see me with my many shades of pastel hair, this is my supplier and I picked up some new ones last night taking advantage of their 20% off offer exclusively for the Night Market. 🙌🏼

I also managed to get a tour of one of the two hidden air raid shelters under the Grainger Market, something I’ve wanted to do since I heard about it in The Chronicle earlier this year and it didn’t disappoint.  I headed into the dark tunnel with fellow Bloggers Ami Littlefair and we were given the lowdown on how it would have been used by the most adorably City Tour Guide.

From the surface, it’s pretty easy to, it’s the entrance despite being wide open & surrounded by metal barriers, it’s hidden in plain sight.  The steps lead down to a chamber which eerily splits off into two narrow corridors, it almost feels like picking your fate….

Filled with vintage props, the shelter has been preserved and still has original drawings on the walls.  Not my usual post but I’m actually super interested in this kind of thing so next on my list is The Victoria Tunnel tour.  I also kind of have to take some responsibility for Rachel bumping her head on a steel joist on the way out, soz dude.

After a good stroll around the market and it’s various entertainment spots, cue buskers, Newcastle Roller Girls Head Coach Kalamity James (and my awesome mate) whizzing around on quads, I headed home feeling slightly less grinchy and munching on a bag of sweet treats.

If you’re the kind of person who seeks to support local business over larger chain stores and you’re in the North East then give the Grainger Market a look.  There are quirky independent stores hidden within those old walls and some great places for food that still remain a bit of a Geordie secret.  Also, it’s looking super Christmassy in there right now, which is always a winner in my book!

Pixie xo

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Why I’ll Never Give Another Personal Interview

Why I’ll never give another personal interview again

Well, that might be overstating it but today, I’m resolute. I’ll never reveal such personal information about myself and my family again. Let me rewind a little Voyeurs and give you some perspective….

A few weeks back I gave a pretty personal interview to Alysha Stirling of student web publication, Fashion North.  We spent three hours chatting over coffee in my second home, the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Newcastle.  Alysha is a student reading Fashion Journalism at Sunderland University and was pleasant, friendly & told me how she had followed my career and held me in high regard.  So far so good.

Now I accept full responsibility for letting down my guard and sharing details about my family when you all know that’s something that I don’t do.  I’m fiercely protective of both Bo and Plankton.  I keep them where they want to be kept which is at home, watching Top Gear and there’s a very good reason for that, it’s to protect my disabled son.

I liked Alysha. I really did. She came armed with pages and pages of questions and we talked at length about a variety of subjects, my career, and how I gave up a senior management position within the NHS after discovering the extent of my son’s multiple disabilities and how this would go on to affect his education and ultimately our lives as a family unit.  I felt relaxed enough to talk with her about this subject and I take responsibility for making myself vulnerable.

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What I didn’t expect however, was the personal attack from a Senior Lecturer at Sunderland University.  Yes, it’s someone I’m familiar with, and yes, it’s someone who for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, seems to have a real problem with me, but this is business, not a playground.  Now I’ve been in this business for a little while now, this ain’t my first rodeo. I’m well aware of the bitchiness that goes with this role.  The blogging community can be tricky, people seem to believe that they’re fighting for work and that their peers are competition which must be eliminated.  That’s just not true; we’re all out there working as hard as each other.  We all have a different audience, reach and serve a different demographic and on paper we should all be able to adapt and get on, which a lot of us do.  Business is about compromise, not fighting to get your own way or force your opinions on to others.

Anyway, I digress.  The Fashion North piece was published and shared as with anything else, and it discussed my role within the fashion industry as a single, self made entity.  There were specific highlights picked out by Alysha from our three hour conversation and compacted into a short 1400 word article, obviously there was some generalising, I guess to fit it into the paramenters allowed.  Within 48 short hours, all traces of the article were removed and I had vanished from the website as quickly as I had arrived and was replaced with an article on another Blogger.

I contacted Alysha - whom I discovered had ‘unfriended’ me on FaceBook - Fashion North, and the University Fashion Programme Leader in that order, to try to find out what had happened, and hit a stonewall.  Completely ignored and unfollowed by of them until I eventually had a cold email from the Programme Leader to simply say that it couldn’t be discussed.  Ouch.

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After tweeting about my disappointment (I tried not to, I really did), I took a call from someone.  Let’s call them W. Blower.   W. Blower clued me up on what had actually happened behind the scenes, saying it was unfair for me to be treated like this without being given the opportunity to have a say on it.  Kudos dude, you’re absolutely right.

What’s shocked me about this most, was not just the absolute bullshit crap stories made up about me,  but the fact that people are stupid enough to be taken in by his horseshit without making a judgement for themselves based on things that they already know.

I felt it necessary to write this post because I was prevented from having a voice.  I’ve not been given the opportunity to exercise my right to an argument after being so spitefully shut down by an individual with an acute dislike for me.  I’ll be honest Voyeurs, I would have expected more professionalism from a large educational institution, the unfriending, the stonewalling, it all smacks of sixth grade.  In what other aspect of life are you shut down for requesting an answer?  None Voyeurs, the University didn’t believe that I deserved, or had the right to an answer.  That’s one of the awesome things about blogging; you have a voice, and a platform.

Sidebar: I’m fine with people not liking me, but when people have convinced themselves that you’re a monster based on their own destructive lies about you, that’s not ok.  Never put up with hate, or people who bully based on hate; it’s definitely not ok.

That Voyeurs, is why I’ll never give a personal interview again.  Except to you guys, right here, in my online home, because you’re all awesome.

Pixie xo

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VS Fashion Show 2016 Paris Photocall

The VS Angels have landed in Paris ahead of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and their first port of call?  The Grand Palais of course!

Tomorrow night the venue will be dripping with glitter, feathers and rhinestones as the Angels take to the stage for the 2016 Paris showcase where a record eighteen rookies will take to the stage for the first time.  In preparation, the girls hit up Karl Lagerfeld’s favourite show venue for a pre-show photocall

As with every VS Fashion Show press call, the girls posed up a storm for the baying paparazzi and the fresh new intake seemed completely at ease, some of them saying they’ve been training their whole lives for this.

Jasmine Tookes will take to the stage in the $3 million ‘Bright Nights’ Fantasy Bra which is a move away from the traditional, prettified, sparkly Fantasy bra we’re used to seeing.  With diamonds and pearls fashioned into cones and spikes, this piece has a real urban and more ‘hard’ feel to it.  I have to admit that on first sight, I wasn’t keen but the more I see this Fantasy Bra, the more I grow to love it, especially with the belt piece that will be worn in the show.

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The 2016 VS Fashion Show can also lay claim to being the first VS show featuring two sisters walking the same show with Gigi Hadid walking for the second time, and sister Bella taking to the stage for the very first time for the brand.  I’m super excited about seeing Bella walk the show, this chica has a walk to die for.

We already know everything we need to know about the show on everyone’s lips, if you need a quick recap the check out this post, and if you’d like to read up on the Rookies before they make their debut, then you might want to consider checking out this post.

I’ll bring you the scoop after the show, but for now, all that’s left to do is check out these images of the VS Angels working the press call ahead of tomorrow night’s show in Paris!

Pixie xo

IMAGE CREDIT: MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images

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Fashion Voyeur: From Nothing to Something

Well Voyeurs, a little while back I told you that I was being interviewed for North East web publication Click here for a recap).

I met up with Deputy Editor Alysha Stirling and we chatted for hours and hours about all things Fashion Voyeur.  From the best things about the North East and its famous exports (Hello Sophie Gradon) through to Fashion Week and my favourite designers (Hello Tom Ford and Vin + Omi)

If you’re interested in finding out a little more about me, after all, you know I play my cards close to my chest when it comes to talking about myself, then head here to see the full interview - although probably not the full three hours.

I sort of remember having a single conscious thought about trying to not say anything too controversial but can’t quite remember whether or not I succeeded, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Let me know what you think, or you know, don’t….

Also, thanks to Photographer Chris Ord for the awesome lead image for the piece.

Pixie xo

 

 

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VS Angel Airlines, Boarding Now

The annual spectacle that is the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is just days away and we know already that the 2016 show brings a season of change for the brand.  To find out exactly what we know so far about the 2016 show, click here.

We know that Jasmine Tookes will wear the most urban Fantasy Bra the show has ever seen, with rhinestones fashioned into studs, cones and spikes.  Want to see every other Fantasy Bra in history?  Click here.

Overnight, the Angels boarded Victoria’s Secret Angel Airlines and took to the skies to head for Paris, but not without documenting the journey, and their excitement, for their baying social media following.

With the Paris show hotly anticipated to be the biggest, best and most ‘street’ show ever delivered by Ed Razek and the team behind Victoria’s Secret, the pre-show build up is certainly delivering.

Now that the Angels have officially landed in Paris, in the days leading up to the show we can expect selfies from the VS store, rehearsal shots, and the infamous beauty room pictures as we lead into the big day.  I don’t know about you Voyeurs but I’m starting to get more than a little excited about this and can’t even think about Christmas until the show is over and the last piece of confetti has fallen to the floor!

I was given the opportunity to attend the Paris show but the stars just weren’t aligned.  Still, I’ll always have London 2014 and if you’re interested Voyeurs, you can read about that here.

Personally I’m looking forward to seasoned veterans Alessandra Ambrosio and Adriana Lima as I do every year, but I’m also excited to see what the Rookies bring to the runway, the youngest of whom is just eighteen years old, you can read about the entire new cohort of Angels here.

So, all that’s left to do is wait for the ultimate showdown;  the spectacle of the year and the last milestone in the countdown to Christmas.  Bonjour Paris, we’re ready for you….

Pixie xo

 

Models walk the runway during the Victoria's Secret fashion show in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Brad Barket)

Introducing The 2016 VS Fashion Show Rookies

We know that it’s just days until the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show takes place at Paris’ Grand Palais, home to the famous Chanel runway show during Paris Fashion Week and with it come a whole new pack of Angels for us to adore.

That’s right Voyeurs, the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will feature eighteen rookies and it’s all part of a plan masterminded by Ed Razek to win back fans and viewers after 2015’s slump.

We’ve all seen the casting videos for the show but who’s earned their wings?  Lets find out…

1.Bella Hadid

Everyone in the world knows that Bella made it through the process and will appear on the runway.  In lingerie.  With her recent ex-boyfriend performing live.  And her sister, who is rumoured to be pissed about the whole thing.  Awks.

2. Alanna Arrington

Super in demand runway model whose stock is rising.  With every runway season Arrington grows in popularity, if you think she looks familiar that’s because she was a regular fixture on the runways of NYC, London, Paris and Milan during Fashion Month SS17.

3. Brooke Perry

Hailing from Montana, Perry is the quintessential girl next door.  She’s been the face of Victoria’s Secret Pink  for just over a year now so was an easy choice for the VS Fashion Show.

4. Camille Rowe

Another girl already familiar to Victoria’s Secret having featured in several of the brands lingerie campaigns and instore visuals.  Looks a little like Behati Prinsloo no?

5. Dilone

Dilone is a force to be reckoned with in the modelling industry.  Ruling the runway by day and rapping by night, that’s right Voyeurs, this girls got skills!  She brings the cool points as the urban choice for the VS Fashion Show

6. Georgia Fowler

New Zealand born Fowler has tried out for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show five times already and cried for two straight days when she found out she’d made it through.

7. Grace Elizabeth

A regular in Vogue, this rising star covers both commercial and editorial modelling work, something only a few can do well.

8. Herieth Paul

You’ll recognise her from the Maybelline New York campaign, she’s no stranger to modelling with six years of experience under her belt.

9. Irina Shayk

As famous for her love life as she is for her modelling career, Shayk is no stranger to the runway.  Famously binned Ronaldo for Bradley Cooper, well, you would wouldn’t you?

10. Jourdana Elizabeth

A recent change to Jourdana’s appearance has seen her propelled into the limelight, much the same as when Karlie Kloss cut off her long locks, Jourdana sheared her long dark curls, reached for the bleach and earned herself a spot in Antony Vaccarello’s first runway show for Saint Laurent.

11. Keke Lindgard

A regular on the campaign circuit, Keke has already appeared in major billboard campaigns for DKNY, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, the Victoria’s Secret gig looks set to push her into the mainstream.

12. Lais Oliveira

Another Brazilian beauty joins the line up, already a regular in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue, Oliveira has dreamt of donning the famous wings since she was 13 years old, which, coincidentally is when her modelling career began.

13. Lameka Fox

Only 18 years old, Fox was scouted through the Instagram We Love Your Genes campaign.  Since then she’s walked the runways of major designers such as Burberry, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Miu Miu.  She also opened the SS17 Yeezy runway show.

14. Luma Grothe

Brazilian, beautiful and with cheekbones and brows to die for.  Convinced by a friend to enter a local modelling competition the rest is history.  Grothe is currently a L’Oreal spokesmodel and has featured in a Dolce & Gabbana billboard campaign.

15. Maggie Laine

After being spotted on FaceBook Maggie was given a model contract and said at the time that she’d set herself a goal of walking the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.  Achieved within two years, this all American girl looks set to go far.

16. Megan Williams

Williams needs no introduction, already known for being a Guess Girl, British born Williams regularly appears in Sports Illustrated.  She’s no stranger to getting her kit off.

17. Xiao-Wen Ju

In July 2012 Ju was ranked 22 on the models.com Top 50 Models list, she’s a seasoned pro and has already walked for Thierry Mugler, Luis Vuitton, Prada, Dior and Kenzo.

18. Zuri Tibby

The first black model for Victoria’s Secret Pink line, Tibby is fun loving and fresh looking.  She was discovered in a shopping mall and says that walking the VS Fashion Show is a dream come true.

So there we have it, a record number of eighteen new recruits have earned their wings in the Class of 2016 and you can watch the full show in early December.  If you’re in the US, CBS will screen the show at 10pm on Tuesday December 8th.  While the UK will have to wait an extra day to catch up on Wednesday December 9th when the show will air on 4Music at 9pm.

In the meantime, if you just can’t wait and need a little VS fix, check out my posts on the 2014 VS Fashion Show, The History of the Fantasy Bra, and Everything we know so far about VSFS 2016.

Ciao for now!

Pixie xo

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Here’s The Rub….

If you’ve been into Newcastle recently you’ll know that the landscape is changing.  Newcastle is actually shaping up to be a pretty damn amazing hub, buzzing with creatives and tribes of fashionistas.  With this wave of new business prospects comes a whole phase of brand new eateries, one of which is Rub Smokehouse.

Housed in The Gate which is undergoing extensive redevelopment, Rub can be found on the first floor and is a welcome addition to the entertainment complex which has seen its popularity dwindle in recent years.  With a relaunch on the cards for early 2017 it’s high time for The Gate to take in some Fresh Meat, and already Rub has opened up to rapturous applause.

Obviously as a smokehouse, Rub primarily caters for the meat lover (although there are vegetarian options), and their preparation methods are sound; following the traditions of the deep American South, all of the meat sourced by Rub is from ethical farmers and is hung in a smokehouse after being ‘Rubbed’ down with a secret blend of herbs and spices known only to Rub chefs.  After which it’s slow cooked to perfection for 16 hours to give the meat that super awesome flavour and a tenderness that’s better than foreplay.

It’s a place that’s been on my radar for some time now due to a member of my Squad literally ‘Rubbing’ it in and sending me photos of food from Rub, every damn day.  (Thanks for that Ashleigh Money Saver).

But Rub is so much more than a smokehouse….

Rub is the brainchild of three guys out to have fun and make some Epic Food and Newcastle is the third branch for the successful trio.  With the Epic Food side of things covered, Cocktail King Joe serves up the fun at the Newcastle branch with a cocktail menu almost as in-depth as the food menu, some of which are his own creations.

Earlier this week, a gazillion Bloggers descended on Rub Newcastle for a night of great food, fun and mad cocktail making skills with the invite promising ‘Cocktail Carnage’.  We were treated to a cocktail making masterclass from a standup guy who competed in the actual Cocktail Making World Championships (it’s a thing Voyeurs, I checked) and boy, did we rack ’em up!

As an interlude, we were served pulled pork sliders, nachos, and burritos, (in order to soak up the excess alcohol I suspect), and damn, they were good.

After a crash course in creating bar essentials (Porn Star Martini, Mojito) Bachelorette Party must haves (Cosmopolitan) and classics smokes, (including one of my all time favourites, the smokey old fashioned), winners were announced.  Long story short, my team won, obvs.

When preparing cocktails for Newcastle’s elite, we were taught that there’s no cutting corners and no cheap option.  Only the highest quality ingredients are used at Rub and that means Titos vodka (my favourite), Chambord black raspberry liqueur and only the freshest fruit - no cheap alternatives, that’s not the Rub way.  We were also taught that shaking and stirring are key, to pull off the best drinks in town, they have to be stirred to perfection and that’s exactly what these guys do.

I’ve got to say a big thank-you  to ELLEfluence for the invite, and a big shout out to Team White for pulling off a massive win; Chloe, WE BE AWESOME!

So, if you’re looking for somewhere that does great food, and knows how to make a really aces cocktail without waiting around forever for it - get you somewhere that can do both.  Rub Smokehouse needs to be on your radar.  Go there once and you’ll see why, go there twice and you’ll know why.

And that, Voyeurs, is the Rub…

Pixie xo

 

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Black Friday 2016 at Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic

Listen up Voyeurs, if you’re a beauty devotee then this Black Friday deal is one for you.  Newcastle Hair and Beauty Clinic are known for bringing pioneering new treatments to the centre of Newcastle and as a Decleor training centre for the North, they’re pretty damn good at their jobs.

Every Black Friday they come up with a series of offers tailored towards their most popular treatments and products at the time, and based on what you, the client, want and need as part of your beauty regime.  This year it’s bigger and better than offer and with deal stacking, it’s about get real over there.  Oh, did I mention that these deals run right through to Saturday November 26th?  So if you’re nursing a Black Friday hangover, you know exactly where to head on Saturday morning….

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3D Lipo Med

So, here we go, first up, you already know about the 3D Lipo Med taster offer which runs until this Saturday, but if you’ve already tried it and would like to continue, then you might be interested in this:

 6 x sessions of 3D Lipo Med for just £599, that’ll save you £400 on the full list price.  Yes, it’s a pricey treatment and it requires some commitment, but it’s medically backed and if it’s something you were already considering, then this should make the deal even sweeter.

you can also add the optional Cryolipolysis Fat Freezing treatment at a discounted cost too, you can freeze one area for £200 or two for £300.  Again, a costly process but if you’re searching for treatments in this arena, you have to weigh up the downtime, with this there’s none.

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Staple Beauty Treatments

If it’s regular beauty treatments you’re interested in, the stuff we do every week that make us feel human, then this one’s right up your street:

This deal works on anything classed as a beauty treatment, from an eyebrow wax or tint, right through to HydraFacial and Caci.  if you purchase 5 of the same treatment, you’ll be given 2 absolutely free. - If, like me, you tint your brows every fortnight then this is well worth a punt.

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Decleor Products

If take home products are more your thing, then I’m sure you’ll be interested in this deal on Decleor products for home use.  The offer is simple:

Purchase 1 Decleor product & get 10% off

Purchase 2 & get 20% off

Purchase 3 & get 30% off

Purchase 4 or more & you’ll bag 30% off and a free gift.

The great thing about this particular deal is that is includes those amazing Decleor Christmas gift sets that Instyle magazine have been raving about.

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Gift Cards

If you’re stuck for gift ideas and want to pamper somebody special, or, you want to take advantage of the Black Friday deals but have no idea where to start and don’t want to miss out, then gift vouchers just became your best friend:

Spend £50 on a gift card and receive an additional £5

spend £100 and receive an additional £10

(Gift cards are valid for 3 months from a date of your choosing)

So, now you’re armed with some awesome in clinic deals, go forth and beautify!

Pixie xo

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Coast Makes A Welcome Return to the North East

Fashion retailer Coast made a return to the North East this weekend with its first stand alone store in over two years.  Nestled in the Platinum Mall of Intu Metrocentre, the brand new concept store held a Bloggers Breakfast on Saturday and I went along to check out the latest from the occasion wear masters….

If you know fashion then you’ll be familiar with Coast.  For a long time Coast was the refuge of middle-aged women looking for wedding guest attire, but not any more.  Gone are the dowdy shapes of yesteryear and in their place, fresh new styles in every vivid jewel tone imaginable.

With a focus on quality and individuality the latest collection incorporates hand painted flowers which have been spun onto flat weave silks, heavy crepe dresses with underskirts and showstopping metallic stripes.

The introduction of fashionista Olivia Palermo as a Seasonal Sartorial Stylist has helped propel Coast back to the forefront of high street fashion and as part of a £2 million expansion plan, the roll out of several concept stores across the U.K. has followed.

“Coast definitely brings something unique to the high street: they believe that dressing up is fun and I can certainly relate to this, teaming up with them for the Autumn Winter collection was a really enjoyable experience.” Olivia Palermo.

In the North East we’ve been starved of a Coast standalone store for some time now and as one of my favourite high street retailers, news of the concept store is music to my ears.

The brand new Coast concept store at Intu Metrocentre is a welcome addition to the Platinum Mall, with a simple set up and soft lighting, the non-fussy store allows the product to do the talking.  The launch is part of the brand’s strategy to launch stores in key cities across the UK with the aim of capturing a larger share of the occasionwear market and it’s been well planned; the results of research commissioned by Coast showed that 86% of occasionwear shoppers buy a new outfit to wear to an occasion, spending an average of £100 on a dress or separates.

“Despite facing ongoing financial pressures, our customers are determined to continue looking great for a special occasion. We’re proud to be responding to this demand with a unique store environment and service experience that turns shopping into an occasion in itself.”  Margaret McDonald, Managing Director of Coast.

The store has been planned with the shopper in mind, from the flow of the floor (clothing - accessories - shoes - Lifestyle - outerwear), to the awesome dressing rooms which take up almost as much floor space as the shopping area; it’s a shoppers paradise and the Sales Staff are the icing on the cake.  With hours ploughed into staff training to ensure that staff are familiar with the product, the Sales Team at Coast Intu Metrocentre are friendly, knowledgable and helpful - a big plus, and the downfall of so many other high street retailers.

We were treated to a phenomenal Carluccio’s breakfast of yoghurt topped with granola, French pastries and prosecco followed by a private viewing of the Fall / Winter collection which we cooed over and tried on in our droves.

I couldn’t leave without topping up my occasion wear collection with a beautiful full skirt from the Limited Edition collection, featuring gorgeous hand painted red and orange flowers with a double wrap front (nobody else on the high street does a full skirt like Coast, they’ve got that on lock). It’s beauts Voyeurs, but don’t take my word for it, feast your eyes on this….

Huge thanks to fellow North East Bloggers Tasha Steele et al for making a rainy Saturday morning so much fun.  And of course thank you to Coast for the invite, I’ve already got my eye on a pair of split side velvet trousers and matching jacket so that second visit is imminent…

Pixie xo

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