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Personal shopper experience for my birthday

Mr Humdrum is usually extremely good at presents. Whether it's clothes (apart from THAT orange cardigan that I tried to wear for weeks, then admitted it was horrid), make-up (he can even ask for Touche Eclat) or anything else, he's usually spot on. This year, for my 46th, he surprised me a couple of days before with a gift voucher for Debenhams. Yes, you may say, what's so great about that? Well if you buy a voucher for £100, you get a free personal shopper, tasty treat from the restaurant, a glass of wine and an hour makeover from a beauty brand. I was to attend after school on a Friday with my mum in attendance. My mum is usually my personal shopper; I actually think she buys things with me in mind, knowing I wouldn't usually try them, and they says, "It doesn't really fit me, do you want to try it?" Or I just try her clothes on and buy the same. She has just hit the big Ahem-O, but looks fabulous in my opinion. So, how was I to cope taking my personal shopper to My Personal Shopper?

We were ushered into the suite and this is the only complaint I have to make about the whole event (spoiler - it was fab), it was hot. There is NO aircon! Not nice if you're a little nervous and trying on lots of clothes - please listen, Debenhams! Jordan got us settled with a glass of bubbly and a hot drink for my mum. He asked me what I was looking for. I had to admit I didn't really know, though I'd seen some nice orange dresses I maybe would like to wear to my friend's wedding party the next week. Jordan did agree that as this had been "sprung" on me, it wasn't like I had an outfit in mind!

The first thing was to get my bust measured. The last time this happened, I was in another branch and the lady tactlessly said that as I was a larger size, I had to shop from the back of the store. Nice! The bras she fitted me for, well the cup actually fitted around my head! Way out. This time, there was no obligation to buy, but obviously it made sense if you're trying on dresses, a good fit would make all the difference. I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the lady who fitted me, but she had my size immediately. Never these days do I wear padded bras, but she explained it would give me a better shape - it did! No more Fat Back either, perfect fit.

Jordan arrived back with a couple of dresses - the bottom left in the picture, nicer on the hangover than on me. He showed me the pink one - never would I have chosen it, but I loved it. Wallis, and a great size to boost my ego. The frills covered any lumps and bumps and the colours really did suit me. Tick! Continuing the theme, the black dress (similar layered dress again from Wallis) would do me perfectly for a 50th birthday coming up. The skirt was divine on it, beautifully smooth from the bum down. A pair of cropped black trousers, like Audrey Hepburn, I asked Jordan. Yes, these are perfect thank you, with perhaps the top of the orange dress I liked originally! That's the top I wore out that night for my birthday. I had in mind a jacket, tried to describe what I wanted; he came back with the exact ones I already had and one that my own personal shopper/mother had given me! There was only one dress (not pictured) that I didn't like - a turquoise affair - lovely colour but not a flattering style we decided. Jordan had brought in a couple of pairs of shoes to help with the look too, as well as filling up my glass! He knows his stuff, knew exactly what to get me to try on. I know he was good as my mum was impressed! We did giggle during the whole thing, it was a very funny experience. Payment time at the till - I received a discount on the bras (I couldn't resist - hadn't had them so high for years!), opened a Debenhams card too and ended up with them giving me money (well it felt like that). I still had my tasty treat from the restaurant and the makeover to go. Jordan made me feel extremely relaxed and provided such a good service, I can't recommend him enough. I would certainly return if I had to purchase a particular outfit. There is no pressure to buy at all, they are not commission-based.

Two weeks later, I booked in for my makeover. I had confided in Jordan that the last time I was made up in that store, I ended up looking, well like a lady of the night! He looked at me knowingly, saying that we didn't want that, and that he would book me in with Fiona at Bare Minerals. I pitched up on a Saturday afternoon as I was going out that night. Fiona instantly put me at ease; sitting near that Mac thing they have in Debenhams did make me feel a little out of touch! Facialists have in the past been horrified and hidden behind their hands almost when I admit that I have no real beauty regime. I hardly wear make up anymore and when I do, I never wash it off. I just like a nice glossy lipstick. Fiona showed me how to apply the Bare Minerals powder, which I remember having a few years back, and how to achieve the glow I now know I was missing. She let me have a go at the bronzer and the blush, taking my hand when I was going wrong, like a driving instructor pressing the brake pedal! The eyes are more tricky and I let her do them, with an idea to book in for a future free lesson on how to do them. A slick of gloss and wow, I was done. There was again no pressure to buy, but I came away with the powder. I think you'll agree that my photo is an improvement! In fact, I wore the powder and bronzer to school on the Monday, and two children said I looked pretty that day! Result! I can't recommend Fiona enough either; she listened to what I had to say and then used her own experience to guide me. I didn't, I think, look like a lady of the night this time! Thank you Mr Humdrum.

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