Saturday 16 April 2016

intu Metrocentre #intuStyleGarden Event - A Sensory Explosion

Since it first opened in 1986, intu Metrocentre has become one of my favourite place to shop in the North East. Yes I remember the old days the lack of a bus station, Carrefour, amazing ice creams from The Cornish Candy Shop. and of course who could forget the yellow teapot play area, well I was only 8 were the centre opened!

The place has pretty much grown with me and I for one am delighted to have such a fabulous place to shop, eat, and relax right here on my doorstep. When I started to blog all those years ago I never in a million years dreamed that I'd end up working with intu Metro Centre, blogging has brought me so many fantastic opportunities and for that I'm eternally grateful.

I've been invited to a few intu Metrocentre events now but I have to say the one I went to last night was definitely one of the best. The intu Style Garden is an event that is running throughout the intu chain, so whether you're in Newcastle, Stoke or the West Midlands, over the next day or so, you can pop in and find out more about some of they key Spring, and Summer fashion trends.

When I received my invitation to the VIB (Very Important Bloggers) exclusive Style Garden event I expected to see a traditional catwalk show, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of the familiar runway we were greeted with what resembled an art installation - it was almost as if an exhibit from the Chelsea Flower Show had been planted in the middle of the centre outside House Of Fraser.

With faux turf, metal patio tables, white picket fences, and floral displays, a green hedge like construction displayed mannequins showing off some of the key Spring and Summer fashion looks, for men, women and children, as well TV screens which showed experts talking about some of the key trends and must haves.

I love the way that intu Metro Centre embraces the whole blogging community and yet again we weren't disappointed, greeted by Bellini's, mini bottles of Prosecco, and mocktails all garnished with faux flowers, and food samples courtesy of Bella Italia, this really was an event that brought your senses to life.

Unlike previous events that have been very fashion focused, that one really focused on how to look beautiful from top to toe. Instead of a full catwalk show we we're treated to a talk from intu Metro Centre stylist Michaela Dale, who showed us some of her picks for Spring Summer 2016.

We were also treated to a mini fashion show from two beautiful models showcasing some particular trends - stripes,

and formal wear featuring monochrome, brights, lace, and laser work.

I particularly love the monochrome culotte outfit, and the lovely Michael Kors handbags - swoon - there were also some beautiful pieces on the rails, including a striped dress from Oasis - that would have my name on it if I could lose a bit more weight.

After that visual explosion we were given the chance to explore some of our other senses, mainly scent and touch by exploring some of the centre's, and in particular House Of Fraser's best beauty brands, including designer hair care brand Show,

I'm going to be talking a bit more about this brand in a future post, but they take hair products to another more luxurious level, and if you need a quick blow dry, this is the place in the centre to go, even if it's only to smell the beautiful fine fragrances, that they use in the products.

Speaking of beautiful fragrances another brand that we had the opportunity to talk to, was French brand Decleor, who are noted for their use of essential oils in both their body and skincare treatments, There was also an opportunity to talk and try products from a real problem solving skincare brand Murad, and luxury, high end skincare brand Creme De La Mer.

Another skincare brand that  was represented was Kiehls, now this is a brand that I wanted to find out more about, so I had a nice chat with representative, as well as a mini skin care analysis which confirmed what I guess I already knew, I have oily skin in some places and normal to oily skin in others. We were given the opportunity to book in for a bespoke complimentary facial so I can't wait to see what products they recommend. I'm also going to book a complimentary facial with another brand that I talked to Clarins who were demonstrating their new skincare Boosters.

There was one skincare brand though that I gravitated towards as soon as I saw it, Liz Earle. I've used Liz Earle on and off for the longest time, and to be honest I could have probably put on a uniform and promoted the products myself. I didn't know it all though and I was given the chance to try the new Superskin Eye Cream . I'm a bit scared of eye creams, but this was a really light weight, yet nourishing cream that absorbed really well into my skin even over make up. As well as their skincare they were also showcasing some of their perfumes and I'm love with No.100, which was designed to celebrate the centenary of the Chelsea Flower Show, perfect for the Style Garden theme. The ladies on the stand came from the Liz Earle counter in Boots and I have to say they were lovely and so enthusiastic about their products and the brand, and I was delighted when they gave a little goodie bag containing a travel size of my favourite Cleanse & Polish.

It wasn't all about skincare though, there were several opportunities to add a little bit of colour into your life, Nails Inc were offering demonstrations of their Paint Can polishes and Giorgio Armani were promoting some of their latest make up products. Given the price point Armani is one of the brands that I guess that a lot of people only aspire too, but after experiencing some of their products I can easily see why the brand is so popular. Their make up artists talked a little bit about some of the newest products before colour matching me to my ideal foundation, and then one of the lovely ladies then applied the Giorgio Armani Maestro UV Skin Defence Primer SPF 50 PA++  to my face, before applying the Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Smoothing Firming Foundation in 05, before she finished the look with the beautiful Giorgio Armani The Sepia Palette, a combined bronzer and highlighter compact.  Alas I didn't manage to get a picture but I'm completely in love with the foundation, the application was effortless, and it really evened out my skin tone, and left my face feeling silky soft.

I know this post has gone on a little bit but it's so hard to put into words the full sensory experience that I had at last nights event, every sense, from taste to sight, and smell, was enhanced and explored exactly the way that intu Metrocente had intended. On leaving the event we given a lovely bunch of flowers courtesy of The Rebel Flower Company, and a huge goodie bag courtesy of intu Metro Centre and House Of Fraser, that contained lots of lovely beauty products to continue the sensory experience at home.

I'd like to say a huge thank you to intu Metrocentre for inviting me and for hosting the event, and I'd also like to thank all of the other companies and brands that took part. If you're heading to intu Metro Centre tomorrow you've still get time to catch the intu Style Garden event, and to see some fashion presentations from brands including Warehouse, Oasis, Boux Avenue, Yours Clothing and Bonmarche. Were your senses tickled by this post? Let me know x

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