Tuesday 17 October 2017

Victoria Beckham enjoys whirlwind visit to Dublin - and she is every bit as iconic as you think

Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Caitlin McBride

Caitlin McBride

The time has come.

After weeks of keeping Victoria Beckham’s trip to Dublin a secret, the former Spice Girl and my childhood idol is standing 10 feet in front of me. She has flown to Ireland for a whirlwind visit on Wednesday to promote her second collection with Estée Lauder. After first dipping her toe into the world of cosmetics in September 2016 and a subsequent sell-out debut collection, she’s back and going bigger than ever.

Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

A small group of journalists and bloggers have been invited to attend a special session at Brown Thomas, where she speaks eloquently and enthusiastically about each of the themes of her makeup range. There’s an LA, New York, Miami, London and Paris – each fitting of the city’s aesthetic and her own experience there at that time.

LA is very glowy (there is no reference made to her questionable, but iconic blonde pixie cut during the LA Galaxy days) and it features a multi-tasking bronzer (which can double as an eyeshadow) and a highlighter that has a waiting list as long as your arm. There’s Miami, where she was inspired by Art Basel and reveals that the Cheek Crème is her favourite; Paris boasts an "it’s as simple as it sounds" Eye Ink Matte Eyeliner; New York has a number of neutrals and London is synonymous with the modern Victoria we know now: the impossibly glamorous, yet seemingly down-to-earth mother of four and thriving businesswoman.

Before we are given access behind the white curtain, a group of us all around the same age, are trying to at least act professional, pretending we're completely cool with being introduced to Victoria Beckham, superstar designer and real-life Spice Girl.

She sashays before us in the Frill Skirt Midi and Heel Boot from the autumn/winter collection of her eponymous fashion line and enters the second floor of Brown Thomas, which has been converted from its natural habitat as home to the Designer Collections into a temporary event space. She thanks us for being there, saying: "I know how busy everyone is". An unfailingly polite introduction, which shows her true professionalism and explains at least a portion of her career longevity.

Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

"I love Dublin, Harper took her first steps here five years ago and I got married in Dublin," she says, before adding it’s a "real treat coming here" and being thankful for the warm welcome she receives on our shores.

Then it’s straight down to business where Sarah Creal, the Global Partnerships Lead for Estée Lauder, who is her design partner and point of contact in the beauty company, leads the conversation on her inspiration behind the second collection, emphasising how hands-on VB was in the process.

“Victoria is obsessed with nudes,” Sarah says. Later on, Victoria clarifies that she is in fact speaking about nude lipsticks and we all laugh more than is socially appropriate. Our interaction may have been brief, but we were treated to a snippet of her famous dry sense of humour. 

"If you see a nude lipstick, you can assume Victoria would have seen about 10 shades beforehand," Sarah tells us, proving that VB does not put her very valuable name to something without being as hands-on as we wished all celebrity collaborations were. Nude lipsticks might be her signature look, but the range is peppered with bright and bold colours.

Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland
Victoria Beckham today in Brown Thomas, Dublin, as she celebrated her second collection with Estée Lauder. Picture: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

Among the best-sellers is the Eye Ink mascara (€43) which is compatible with eyelash extensions and constantly sold out in Brown Thomas, as well as the Skin Perfecting Powder (€75). But the undoubted jewel in the crown is the Morning Aura Illuminating Crème (€87) from her Signature range.

Victoria explains the inspiration from this piece was the fact that she was looking for a product to help her look awake and fresh after an 11-hour flight from Los Angeles to London, acknowledging that a wave of paparazzi will be waiting for her at both airports, so she wants to look her best.

Every now and then, she will mention something about her extraordinary life nonchalantly reminding you that she is in fact Victoria Beckham, superstar, and not actually your best friend. We are assured the matte lipstick in Black Cassis from the Paris range "doesn't budge" and she regales us with a story about the Eye Matte Duo in Bleu Electronique/Nude, explaining that she wore the blue shade to Buckingham Palace while receiving her OBE in April to complement her navy dress.  Today, she is wearing the Eye Kajal in Saffron/Vanille.

Her visit isn’t strictly for press, she makes time to meet some of her biggest Irish customers as well as taking part in a Q&A at the Beauty Hall with Xpose host Karen Koster. And just like that, she is off again and back to London, getting ready to fly in five inch heels.

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