By  on May 1, 2014

BEAUTY SPOTS: Selfridges on Thursday kicked off its biggest in-store event of the year, which aims to look at the business of beauty from a holistic point of view. The Beauty Project runs until June 12, stretches from the Oxford Street flagship — which has a giant, sparkly “Hello Beautiful” sign over the main entrance — to the retailer’s stores in Birmingham, Manchester and

Highlights include the Fragrance Lab, a space operated by The Future Laboratory consultancy and Givaudan, the manufacturer of flavors and fragrances. The lab analyzes customers’ personalities and creates original fragrances based on those traits; a male grooming destination complete with a barber shop; a tattoo and piercing parlor; a face gym — cardio for the cheeks, anyone? — and a series of debates, lectures, yoga classes and workouts that will run for the full six weeks.

On Thursday night, the debate “How To Look Hot at 100” is set to take place, while next Tuesday, the beauty journalist Sali Hughes will analyze the contents of local celebrities’ makeup bags. “Vanity Thy Name is Man,” will feature Nicky Haslam, Dylan Jones Robert Crampton, and Frances Wilson. More than 100 speakers will take part in the Salon program, with Dove as the headline sponsor.

Every brand on Selfridges’ beauty floor has created a special-edition product to tie in with the event, while a series of stands — offering nail art or Selfridges’ edits of the best mascara, color cosmetics, lipsticks and travel items — are dotted throughout the store. Selfridges is also hosting new brands, such as the Dublin-based company Roads founded by Danielle Ryan, which has opened a fragrance pop-up shop on the ground floor.

"We wanted the customer to move seamlessly from fashion to beauty, as both are retail fields about expressing yourself and versions of yourself,” said Jayne Demuro, Selfridges’ director of beauty. “With the Beauty Project, we are pushing the envelope further by offering new, often groundbreaking expertise, services and product selection within each category from face to nails and fragrance."

Demuro said Selfridges is the number one beauty hall in terms of sales. “It is the first time we have ever created a campaign dedicated to beauty on this scale. Given our world leading status, we felt it was high time we celebrated it with bells and whistles,” she said.

On Thursday, Selfridges also unveiled an ad campaign using models of a variety of ages and ethnicities — all of whom were discovered at an open casting. The outdoor and online campaign, has been shot by Norbert Shoerner, and none of the images has been re-touched. Both the campaign and the lectures aim to explore themes such as global beauty, adornment, age and androgyny.

The event extends to the ground floor food hall, too, with beauty foods on offer that are free of sugar, gluten, and dairy. Dieticians are also on call, for those whose beauty comes from the gut. The store has also partnered with Google Plus to enhance the online experience of The Beauty Project. Key debates will be available live online, with video chat technology.

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