A couple of days ago I had the pleasure of visiting the AHHH-MAZING new beauty haven that is Athena in Brick Lane to have a fabulous makeover by their dream team!
Matt and I were greeted by the brains behind the venture, Aleysha Mawani. As you walk in, the first thing that jumps out at you is the stunning interior – exposed brick with decadent gold antique frames hanging from the walls, a vintage lips sofa beckoning for you to take a seat with pick and mix an arm’s length away. The attention to detail is amazing! I later learned that Aleysha spent a year finding the right space and months on perfecting every little detail within Athena – from which light bulbs would go above the makeup tables to completing the glittery finish on her walls with her own hands.
What initially looks like a cosy little setup is quickly discovered to be very generous space over two floors. Aleysha led us first to the back to show us the studio they use to photograph their clients, if they’re not taking street style shots against graffiti walls a stones throw away that is! We then followed her downstairs to look at the multiple rooms in which Athena hosts intimate masterclasses for makeup enthusiasts.
After some initial excited chatter and discovering that Aleysha had been my MUA on a shoot several years ago (which I reminded her of to her surprise – hehehe), we got down to business. I took a seat in a hollywood style fold up chair and got to know a little bit more about Athena as Aleysha worked her magic on my face.
Tell me a little bit about Athena in your own words..
Athena is the goddess of arts, crafts, skill and wisdom.
At Athena we teach the art of makeup in fun and intimate classes of 6 or less. By taking a masterclass, you pick up a fab skill but you also have a great time with a bag of pick and mix and a whole station of makeup to play with.
We offer glam for nights out, which we absolutely love to do. We love giving women confidence like you get when you have a new hair do and feel fab, or have your new dress on and you just want to go out and feel great in it. Look good… feel good!
Our photoshoots are so much fun. We do different make up and hair looks, we take studio shots, some with our vintage furniture. We go out onto Brick Lane to take some outdoor, natural light shots. You really get a good bunch of versatile, creative and gorgeous pics!
What was the inspiration behind it?
I started Athena with aspirations to be the go to place for glam. Our makeup artists and hairstylists LOVE what they do, and make people look so gorgeous. And we want everyone who comes in to leave feeling absolutely gorgeous and happy.
I have been a hairstylist and makeup artist for years now, and my clients have always told me they would love to learn how to do certain looks on themselves. So I wanted to create a whole bunch of classes with lots of different looks for everyone.
Why Brick Lane?
Brick Lane in one of my favourite places in London. I love the art and creativity. There are so many fun events. There is a real vintage vibe which is great, and walking along Brick Lane, you see people with so many different styles. It’s a place where people are not afraid to express themselves and be different. Brick Lane is a great home for Athena, with all its creativity and love of fashion, beauty and art.
Once Aleysha had me ready for a night out on the town with a gorgeous smokey eye and nude lip, she sent me over to have my hair done. I was put into the VERY capable hands of Sandra, who gave me the most luxurious set of curls I have ever had in my hair – don’t think my hair has ever looked better!
At this point, feeling like a full fledged glamazon, I was led into the studio to commemorate my makeover with a mini shoot in their studio – complete with fan and diva touch ups (Thanks Sandra!) and then a quick street style shoot in the vibrant atmosphere of Brick Lane.
I loved everything about my time at Athena – from how easy it was to talk to every one there, to the care and attention the girls’ took to making sure I was comfortable and happy every step of the way, to the family like atmosphere amongst the team – it states on their website that they want their clients to leave feeling happy, well I can certainly vouch for that!
Make sure you check out Athena next time your in East London.. Contact details below!
Thanks for reading my lovelies.. until the next post!
PS. How ace are these photos? Thank you Matt!!
188 Brick Lane, London, Shadwell E1 6SA
020 7033 3920