I like to think I lead a fulfilling, active lifestyle while maintaining a base level of beauty and fashion knowledge which is occasionally put into practice. In reality my limited spare time between working, blogging, gyming, socialising and all those other basic things like sleeping, eating and doing laundry, often leaves me grabbing the most convenient clothing item and skincare potion then praying that it doesn’t result in me mistaking deodorant for hairspray or looking like I got dressed in the dark.
Until recently, my mum and (younger) sisters despaired of my lax attitude toward skincare - I would often research everything I thought I wanted / needed but then fail to purchase any items, or if I did, the bottles would languish at the back of my bathroom cabinet. This year I vowed to change and when launching my blog included ‘have a nighttime regime’ referring mostly to ‘do something with my skin’ in my carefully crafted 30 before 30 list. Time to get serious about my appearance, maybe.
With this in mind, I was excited and intrigued to receive a event invitation launching a range of ‘innovative, active skincare for people with demanding work and home lives’ developed as a partnership between skincare specialist Charles James Harley Street and Bianchi Dama: Women’s performance cycling team. The brief couldn’t have been more perfect and who doesn’t love a fun brand collaboration plus a goodie bag to take home?
Arriving at Here East, a swanky, tech heavy event space in the Stratford Olympic Park, I was surprised to learn that this partnership between elite sports brand and skincare specialist was the first of its kind. Yes, celebrity sportsmen and women frequently sponsor and market skincare, beauty and fashion merchandise but never before had they been so thoroughly involved in the development and design of the products themselves.
Swanning around with a delicious (and nutritious) super berry smoothie in hand from LoveTasteCo or a suitably Italian Menabrea beer, it was fun to hear about Bianchi and its history. Cycling isn’t my choice sport, but I could appreciate the grace and beauty of their top notch frames ranging from a good few hundred pounds to ten thousand a pop. Speaking with the team, I learned that Bianchi is not only a leading brand, but is the oldest in bicycle manufacture and to this day seeks the passionate art of excellence over mass volume, mass marketing. I loved hearing the three romantic variations of their signature turquoise colour’s origin: The glorious hue of the sky above Milan; The piercing eyes of Queen Margherita for whom Edoardo Bianchi made a custom bicycle; Or that surplus military khaki paint had once been mixed with white to make it go further.
The panel led by Charles James Harley Street was a wonderful discussion on the realm of female competitive cycling and how the partnership had came into being, summed up as ‘women’s cycling is the place you want to be’. A smaller market, less adorned by sponsorship and press coverage it was described as ‘far more friendly, engaging, innovative and willing to take on new ideas’; ideal for exploring a skincare range that if it made team members happy might just boost their performance or at least their wellness and wellbeing. ‘More interesting and attacking’ than their male counterparts, it would seem the Bianchi team’s brief for their skincare was much the same. It had to be quick, easy and convenient with minimal fuss and maximum output as well as being appropriate for sensitive skin and stay put while on the go plus exercising under extreme weather conditions.
The final creation was unveiled as two products that pack a serious punch. Gorgeously packaged in Bianchi turquoise the Active Cleanser is designed to remove the need of carting around additional makeup removers, cleansers, toners or exfoliators. The Enhance & Protect cream combines protection against the elements and ageing with moisturising qualities and cell recovery. Most exciting to me, the cream formulation to ensure it soaked in rapidly and completely, so it wouldn’t sit on the surface or slide around in hot weather.
In a world where we are always on the go and have expectations for products to be high quality, high value Bianchi Darma and Charles James may be on to something. Two products that can do everything and an SPF that won’t leave a greasy sheen? It sounds dreamy and suitably exciting that young women have been so highly involved in developing the products that they want to use.
I received the products as gifts and will be testing the Enhance & Protect cream on my trip to Israel in the coming weeks, as an alternative to my usual SPF and day moisturiser. Come check out the results and my thoughts on Instagram @generation_avo !