Back to Beauty Tue 01 Mar
As I walk into the entrance hall, I am greeted by a host who whisks me upstairs to join the other guests in the elegant function suite. We are greeted with refreshments from the waiting staff at the bar with a selection of teas, fruit juices and cakes (Lola’s Cupakes, my favourite!) The Westbury Mayfair Hotel is the perfect location, a beautiful setting for the day. From my table I can see Vee Chanda busying herself by greeting guests and prepping for the class to start. I have been lucky enough to be invited to the Finished Look Master Class, an intimate session run by the celebrity make up artist and blogger herself.
On arrival to our seats in the conference room, we are provided with books, pens and pencils, all with Vee’s logo, which is a nice detail, proving just how much work has gone in to making this a special experience for those attending. As the session begins, we are encouraged to make notes but told that Vee Chanda will be revealing some of her own trade secrets, therefore, any tips and tricks that we learn in the session must remain with those in the group. Already I know this is going to be good.
Vee asks us in the audience what we would like to learn and we all decide that a natural day time smoky eye would be most beneficial to demonstrate on her model.
The masterclass covers a step by step routine that Vee would carry out on one of her clients, including perfecting a base with colour correction and foundation, how to achieve a stunning set of brows, defining the eyes, false lash application, highlighting, contouring and lastly, finishing off the look by accentuating the lips. Along the way, the guests are encouraged to contribute by asking questions about her techniques and products used, so by the end we have an extensive list of notes, formed by Vee’s advice as well each others. This definitely adds to the relaxed atmosphere, making the class feel worlds away from a formal lecture.
A lunch break is included with afternoon tea provided by the hotel along with champagne and a photo booth (courtesy of Photobooths London) to play with, which gives an opportunity for the guests to mingle and unwind together with Vee and her assistants.
From talking to various people attending, the gathering was made up of Vee’s fans, those interested in a career in the make up industry and other make up enthusiasts, like myself. The session certainly catered to all of the above parties, as well as including a selection of tips for all skin tones and complexions, making it an extremely versatile lesson packed into four hours.
After a final Q & A session, each of the guests leave with a gift bag including a selection of beauty treats such as products from Barry M, Balmi, EOS, Vita Coco, Pop Chips, Lustre Cosmetics, Black Diamond, Simple, Barely, Demure Lashes and ColorBlend Makeup.
At the end of the session I managed to grab five minutes with Vee Chanda for a few pieces of beauty advice that I can share about how to achieve a flawless finish.
First of all, Vee tells me that the most important step is to master the perfect skin care routine. This includes using a face mask once a week, drinking lots of water to keep hydrated and taking care of your body- whether that be eating the right food or exercising regularly.
Follow this up with flawless foundation coverage. Vee recommends that you search high and low to find the right shade to suit your skin tone, because primarily that can make or break your look. Spend some time having a play around, testing out high street and high end brands to find your perfect match.
Finally, the finishing touches – brows and lashes. Vee emphasises that brows are the defining feature of the face and can totally change the way a person looks by the way that they’re treated. Therefore, it’s important to develop a good brow routine. Once you’ve mastered it, rather than trying to achieve what style is currently trending, be sure to concentrate on enhancing and accentuating the shape of your own natural brow. Lastly, make sure that you find the right lashes that work for your eye shape and really accentuate your eyes. Again, playing around with a few brands is a great way to experiment with and explore what’s out there.
“Once you have a great brow, great lashes and great foundation”, she says to me with a giggle, “What more do you need?”
Words by Araminta Pender @mintypender
Images by Samuel Falusi @FLYLUSI
A special thank you to The Westbury Mayfair, Sam Falusi Photography and Reuel Jones GD.