I really love being a girl. It’s just so much fun to be able to play around with fashion and beauty and (bajillions of) products that make you glow and sparkle and feel like a goddess all the way through. Yes, being a girl can also be tiring and bloody expensive (not to mention painful… cough cough); but at the end of the day I am a massive fan of pampering and primping.
So you can imagine my ecstasy this past Saturday in Joburg when my boss swapped me on events and, instead of running a boring wine event in the middle of shitsville nowhere, I was put in charge of the JC Le Roux bar at the Marie Claire Beauty Playground in super trendy, bustling Braamfontein. I lived in The Big Smoke last year and one of my favourite places is The Neighbourgoods Market and its surrounding hotspots like Maboneng Precinct and anywhere Braamies-situated. Father Coffee, for example, is a place I miss all the time and the vintage market in the old hotel has a special place in my heart (and wardrobe). I was reminded on Saturday of just how absolutely incredibly cool Joburg is, especially if you venture downtown on the weekend and meander through the uber cool hangouts and chicest people. You can imagine how happy I was when it came time for our coffee break and I strolled (in heels nogal) a few blocks away to Father Coffee to grab two double shot cappuccinos! Yes, it was a double-shot-kinda-morning.
But back to Beauty Playground. Marie Claire is one of my top two favourite local magazines (I’m sure you can figure out the other) and lately I have been blown away by their content and fashion editorials. They also hold some of the most fantastic events and reader experiences, allowing consumers to engage with the brands and companies with which they are so intimately involved every issue. Beauty Playground is one such experience.
The event was held at Shine Studios – an incredible white space that can be totally transformed into absolutely anything you can imagine, with sweeping views of Johannesburg City and that iconic skyline. The second floor was all beauty; the third floor housed the JC Le Roux bar and tasty treats; like the most sensational red velvet cake pop and cronuts form Belle’s Patisserie.
Beauty Playground is a trunk show of sorts with several massive brands and a few newcomers showcasing their products and services, trading at hugely discounted prices and generally creating awareness amongst consumers and fellow beauty companies. What was amazing to see was how many innovative local brands are emerging and how many South Africans are offering fantastic products within the beauty industry. There were also some AMAZING new design talents on show. Aka I may or may not have fallen in love with a veld and leather oversized clutch from new creatives Harrison Lee & Co.
There were a bunch of stands and exhibitors and everyone clearly inhabits the excellent standard that Marie Claire has established over the years; but of course I had my favourites. The first stand I stumbled upon was Moroccan Oil. Now, ladies, we have all heard the hype and most of us lust after that silky smooth finish that the miracle oil provides but hot dam it is a pricey purchase! That’s why I was thrilled when the sales girl – who was so knowledgeable and friendly it made me want to spend all my money on the spot- highlighted the discounted prices on offer exclusively at Beauty Playground. There were several different packages and gift sets from which to choose, but I ended up with the oh-so-necessary Intense Hydrating Mask (with travel sized freebie) to try to repair this poor old, dry hair of mine. I have already used the mask once and I LOVED it – it left my hair so soft and smooth and most importantly, frizz free. Curly hair struggles to maintain moisture which is why that poofy look is always around. But this mask puts the moisture back your hair in without creating an oily finish. WOOP.
The Inglot stand was across the floor, and I basically stalked them until there was an opening with Lana – one of their top artists and an absolute bubble of fun! Who else would let you sleep during a makeover and totally LOL when you ask them to do anything they want as long as they don’t draw a penis on your face? Lana removed my old makeup (crunchy from no sleep and long days on site) and gave me a fresh, glowing face and beautiful makeup that immediately made me feel a million times better. I am a huge fan of free stuff, especially when it is so enjoyable to go through and makes you feel SMOKING.
Finally, a new skincare range introduced itself to me through the vivacious Roxanne Andrews at Salon Care: a vegetable-based, all natural and locally manufactured line of skin and body treatments that are carefully constructed without any aggressive chemicals so that your skin is naturally inclined to absorb and utilize these stunning products. Roxanne and I hit it off immediately and I am so happy to have met her and the team at Salon Care because it is such a wonderful, expansive (and inexpensive) range that not only supports local business but is also free from animal testing. Ethical and efficient – exactly what we need in this crazy world! Trained skincare therapists ensure that whatever treatment you choose or products you take home with you for your personal beauty regime; everything is tailored to your specific skin type and aimed at combatting any issues in the most natural and cleansing way possible so that your skin is rejuvenated and as healthy as can be.
What is also exciting is the future relationship between Haute Hoodlum and Salon Care so watch this space, ladies and gentlemen.
Being that I was on duty, I did not get much camera snapping done (oh shame I was too busy getting makeovers and buying OPI nail polish for R50). So a lot of the following images are from the Marie Claire Instagram account, my colleague Michelle and my beautiful friend and fellow blogger Safiyah Vally (check out her newly launched site here).
Thanks to Marie Claire for hosting such an excellent event and for bringing us closer to the industry that we all adore. It is these kinds of initiatives that remind me of how fantastic South Africa is and how far up the international ladder of standards we have climbed.
Shoes: Forever 21
** Inglot is also hosting a bunch of beauty workshops this month at Canal Walk (7 November), Tygervalley (27 November) and The V&A Waterfront (28 November). If you want to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your spot and get ready to learn the tricks of the trade and have a huge chuckle doing so. Salon Care will also be there so it is a great partnership born out of a fabulous event like Beauty Playground.
Until next time xxx