Pip J Duma

Beauty . Fashion . Travel . Lifestyle


Back in the day if you ever did Fashion, Textiles or DT at School, at some point or another 
you may have found yourself on your first ever trip to The Clothes Show!

For last 15 years or so The NEC in Birmingham has played host to The Clothes Show, the ultimate expo for Fashion, Beauty and Style. 
Held over 5 days, usually at the beginning of December, every year The NEC welcomes hoards of Fashion and Beauty brands. 
Opening their doors for the likes of ModelsOwn, Lee Stafford, GymShark, Paul's Boutique, Elemis and so many more.
Each brand swarms to the Midlands for 5 days of Clothes Show mayhem, to set up their own pop up shops displaying the best products that they have to offer.

The last time I went was about 3 years ago and I remember dying over the fact that you could grab a beauty filled goody bag with all your favourites for just £10!
It is even better if you head to the Clothes Show on the Tuesday, the last day. 
As around 4pm all the stands tend to drop their prices, sometimes over 50% off as they don't want to go home with loads of stock so it's got to go!
The goody bags tend to drop to £5 too.

It can be a bit of an expensive day out though, especially if you don’t live close to Birmingham and plan on spending some SERIOUS cash once you get there! 
The beauty filled goody bags are a bargain at a tenner each but before you know it you’ve snagged 5 bags and spent £50! 
It soon adds up.

This year I managed to grab a 3 for 2 discount and got the Platinum tickets for £28 each instead of the usual £42, once you include the booking fee.
Considering the standard tickets after early bird prices are £29, this was a pretty good deal!
Especially as you get a special Show goody bag and better seats in the fashion theatre with the Platinum option.

Typically picked probably the busiest day to go though, the Saturday 3rd of December 
but as the title suggests, this was day that loads of uber blogger babes were going to be in attendance. 🙊

So in the end I headed up to Birmingham on the Friday night with my sister, our third mate dropped out last minute so we went just the 2 of us!
As we live in Somerset and didn't want a 3 hour drive mega early on the Saturday morning, 
we headed to a B&B for the night, which was luckily only a 10 minute drive away from the NEC!

TOP TIP: The Coleshill Hotel in Coleshill, Birmingham was a bargain at £55 for the night including breakfast. Recommend if you need to be close to The NEC! 
Check it HERE

Saturday 3rd December played host to some of my faves; Sarah Ashcroft, Holly Boon and Lydia Elise Millen.
Sarah had mentioned over on her snapchat that she had her own fashion show she was styling for the entirety of the event 
and would have Q&As and meet and greets galore during that time.
Unfortunately as the day was whizzing by I didn't get to meet Sarah, only glance at her from afar. 😂
She was flipping gorgeous of course and a lot taller than I thought she would be!
We did manage to catch her show in the morning though which was a mix of all things Missguided, Hot Mess and general Sarah fabulousness.

I potentially could have had an opportunity to steal her for a pic but she was being escorted by a towering bodyguard most of the day
and I didn't want to run the risk of being tackled to the ground for running at her with my phone!  

Now for the best bits I know you've all been waiting for...


Not going to lie this was one of the main attractions that persuaded me to take the trip up to the Clothes Show this year!
The prospect of meeting Holly Boon. 
If you don’t know her already she is a stonkingly gorgeous MUA YouTuber and all round mega babe.
(Check her channel HERE)
I’ve been following her on various social channels for a while now but I think I first discovered her on Instagram, 
back when she had just under 20K followers. (She now has 148K)
I promptly followed her snapchat, twitter and avidly began watching her YouTube videos 
as I was pretty damn fascinated by this beautiful human. #WCW all day. Errryday!

Aside from her incredible makeup skills I think the main thing that keeps me coming back for more is her ‘No shits given’ attitude and genuine personality.
I either die with laughter watching her Snaps or find myself praising the Lord telling the girl to PREEEEACH to me some more!
She does love a good Snapchat rant, either telling the haters to get over themselves and move away from the negativity 
or fighting back with a power speech about how any girl or guy can achieve their dreams if they want to.
Plus the girl can SAAAAAAANG! Pipes to die for and if you’re lucky she’ll break out into a song or too on her snaps. 
(SNAPCHAT - hollyboon1)

I find her twitter is always a fascinating source of juicy content too! 
Plenty of makeup inspo, praise to other girls in the industry and the odd twitter showdown or two when somebody tries to take her on. 😂
She is also one of the few youtubers/bloggers/celebs that actually responds to you on twitter too.
Either with a much welcomed retweet, reply or like and that is what makes her so real and down to earth. 
(TWITTER - HollyBoon__)


So I think I’ve bigged her up enough now! Back to the main point.
I saw a post on her twitter several weeks ago saying that she was going to be at The Clothes Show this year and that she would do a meet up! 
Queue lots of flapping and calling everyone I knew begging them to come with me!

The meet up was at the Dressed By Lauren stand on the Saturday between 1pm & 3pm. 
My sister and myself hurtled over there around 10 past 1, once we’d realised what the time was after trawling through nail polishes for over half an hour.
Anyway there she was, stood at the back near a white satin curtained backdrop. 
A bronzed goddess dressed in a basic plain white tee, tucked into some ripped denim jeans and finished off with nude pointed heels.
Such a simple look and she was ACTUAL PERFECTION.
A few girls were already lined up waiting when we arrived but I was only waiting for about 5 minutes before it was my turn for a chat and a selfie 💁

I swear when you finally get to meet a celeb or someone you idolise, everything that you had planned to say or wanted to say just flies out of your head 
and you end up babbling like a baboon.
I feel that this was definitely one of those occasions as when I walked over to Holly 
I had so many bags to chuck at my sister and in trying to take my camera off from around my neck
the strap ended up getting caught in my hair and a tug of war ensued. 
But it’s ok because she’s so damn cool and down to earth that my flapping just lightened the mood if anything! 😂
I remember her saying on her Snapchat and twitter that she was really nervous to meet everyone 
and she was definitely shaking a little when we went in for the hug! 
Which just made the whole thing even cuter knowing that she is just like the rest of us.


Had a little chat, she said she loved my eyebrows which means I can now die a happy woman 
and my sister tried to take some pictures on my Olympus (failed massively) and my phone. 
There were quite a few other people by this point so I felt like I had to leave even though she didn’t tell me to MOVE it along lady!

So later on after much analysing of the terrible pictures I did have of my encounter with Holly,
 my sister and I decided to go back to get some more!
Holly of course did not mind and said we could stand there all day taking selfies if we wanted to!
Chatted some more, in particular about her unbelievable tan and my ridiculous pastiness in comparison 
(she had been on a 15min sunbed before the show so…) and finally I left feeling more content with my experience. 
So glad I got to meet her and say hello, my girl crush has officially reached new heights!


I just plain LOVE this woman. 
When it comes to Bloggers and Youtubers obviously the market is so unbelievably saturated 
and what really sets them all apart is their personality and uniqueness.
With Lydia she just has this intense likeability that exudes from her and everything that she does, 
I don’t know what it is but you just want to be her to be your best mate!

Something my sister said on Saturday also made me realise that I love Lydia even more!
She said she never knew how she felt about Lydia as she almost seemed too perfect in her pics, Instagram in particular.
But as I said to my sis, you need to watch her snapchat, she's usually sat around in her dressing gown chatting about real life to you and that makes you realise she is still human.
She also has this incredibly relaxed and friendly way of talking to a camera that makes you feel like you're listening to a friend. 
It just made me realise how incredible her content really is and how hard she works to make it pure perfection!
But you can still catch her chilling in her fluffy robe with her cat Lumi, giggling away about life in general.
(SNAPCHAT - LydiaEMillen)

So Lydia had a Q&A at the Olympus Pen Expert Studio on the Saturday at 3:30pm, 
which we just managed to catch in time!
It was great to hear her talk about blogging from the early days,
what inspired her to keep going when people brought her down and tips on how to keep pushing on!
Unfortunately it only lasted about 15minutes as that was all the time they were allowed.
But if we wanted to meet her it was open book, form an orderly queue 😂
There was no official meeting place as such we all just kind of swarmed to the front of the mini stage and tried to get a look in.
Until one of the event crew members asked us all to move to one side as another Q&A with the editor of Glamour would be starting up soon.
Bit of a mish-mash all of us scrambling to one side and Lydia was not too happy with the way the situation was handled.
But she was so genuinely happy to see all of us that it didn't matter
and she spent a good few minutes with each person, chatting and taking pics.
Such. A. Babe.

She is just ridiculously flawless and so lovely, pretty sure she's got these meet & greets down to a T now.
We had a chat about blogging, what it's like starting from the beginning and how much we both love the Olympus Pen cameras!
A Blogger's cliche camera but a favourite for a reason!
She also seemed so genuinely touched when I said that her Youtube videos and editing were just so professional and slick.
Which is wonderful to know that she doesn't let any of it go to her head, still so humble.
It was just incredible to meet her and get some pictures in the terribly yellow lighting 🙈
It was bad, but hey that's what post editing is for!


So that is my round up of probably the best parts of my day at The Clothes Show!
It is always so great to meet people that you look up to and who inspire you,
as it fuels you on even more to continue what you are doing!

Stay tuned for tomorrow and Part II of The Clothes Show where I will talk about the different brands
and showcase a visual diary of the Live Fashion Show!