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For my 18th birthday I wanted to have a makeover with my sister but at the time we didn’t know where did them locally and it just never happened. Last year some of the girls from uni had a makeover and photo shoot and the photos were great. I asked them where they had it done and they told me it was at the New<id studio in Newcastle. I decided to look online and at the time I looked there was an offer of 2 for the price of 1. I asked my sister if she wanted to go and have a makeover and she agreed. I was telling my friend who lived in Milton Keynes at the time and she said she wanted to go with me as well so I ended up going twice last year! I really enjoyed both experiences and when I have enough money I would like to do it again sometime in the future!
This review turned out much longer than I expected but I’ve tried splitting it into sections so you can just read the bits most relevant/of interest to you.
What is New<id?
New<id is a company which offers makeovers and photoshoots and they have been established for 8 years and are in partnership with Burlington Hair Studios. New<id believe that “Makeovers can work miracles. They boost a woman's self-esteem; give a glimpse of just how good she can look. With over 41,000 happy clients being made over by us last year and ten lively photographic studios throughout the country, new<id Studios are the UK's premier makeover and photoshoot experts.” (New<id website) • Newcastle • Manchester • Birmingham • London • Cardiff
All the addresses are available on the website for each of the studios. My review is on the experiences I had at the Newcastle studio.
New<id also have their own range of cosmetics which they use for the makeovers. The cosmetics can be bought from the studios or online.
The Newcastle Studio
The studio is located on Saville Row in Newcastle city centre (near Superdrug) and is easily reached by foot (parking is available in the city). The studio has signs outside so is easily spotted and once you go in the building it’s upstairs.
The studio isn’t very big but I think it’s a nice size and the staff make you feel very welcome. On arrival the staff greet you at the reception desk and there’s a few seats where you can sit and wait for your turn. There’s a ‘cloakroom’ for you to leave your things (it’s a large cupboard really). The hair and make-up is done in the same room, which looks like a typical hairdressers and there are a couple of different rooms where you go for the photo shoot.
The studio is decorated with flowers and large photos that have been taken at the studio (obviously as advertising, but they made me more excited!) The Burlington’s hair studio can be used for general hair appointments, you don’t need to have a makeover/ photo shoot.
My Personal Experience
Pictures of New ID Studios
New ID Studios
made both the bookings over the phone – not at the same time. You need to pay a (refundable) deposit per person and then they ask if you want to open an account and put any money on it for photos before you go. You can open this account when you make the booking or any time up to the day before. You can phone up and put more money on the account at any point until the day before. Booking was easy both times but I was on the phone for about 10 minutes giving my details and arranging a time that was suitable. The staff on the phone were lovely and made the experience easy enough.
The first time I went was with my friend Rachael. She was living in Milton Keynes at the time and her boyfriend was in Afghanistan so she needed cheering up. She came up north the weekend of mother’s day and stayed at my house on the Friday night, as our Saturday morning appointment was 8am!
When we arrived we were offered a drink, they offered Bucks Fizz but as it was only 8am we both just asked for a glass of water. Rach had a Bucks Fizz later on in the morning. Throughout the experience they offered us more drinks (apart from when we were in the photography studio). We had to fill out a form, detailing how we wanted our hair and make up and the type of photoshoot we wanted (fashion, nude, portrait etc.)
I had my nails done first, then my make-up, while Rach was getting her hair done. Then we swapped over. This meant we didn’t see much of each other as we were at other ends of the (large) room. I was a bit disappointed as I wanted something we could do together, however we saw each other plenty in between getting the makeover, and the photos being taken. We were obviously in the same room for the photos, and it was a great experience. We posed for lots of photos, single shots and ones of us together. There were a number of backgrounds used as well as props such as chairs, and a large circle which we sat in. we also went outside and had some photos taken on the fire escape, which I thought was slightly strange, but made some good photos!
We took a number of outfits and were left in the room to change. The photographer left the room while we were getting changed and came back in once we opened the door and told her we were ready.
After the photo shoot we had to sit in the waiting room and wait for the photos to be uploaded onto the computer. We then got to look through them, say which ones we didn’t like, which ones we definitely wanted and which ones we wanted to keep for now and decide after we’d seen them all. There were so many great photos that we found it hard to decide. We’d each put £50 in before we went so they doubled that £100. We wanted digital images so we got 7 (3 individual ones each and one of us both) for our money but they wanted another £100, so they kept the deposit (£50) and we put another £50 in. We thought this was expensive but it is cheaper than the prices quoted and we loved the photos we got. They gave us one CD with the photos on.
This time I went with my big sister Joanne. The experience was similar to the one I had with Rach but this time we were more together during the make over part. We had our nails done individually while the other waited. They took lots of photos again but this time without any props (we picked fashion again, but on reflection, looking at the photos I think they went for a portrait version).
We wanted digital images and we’d each put £100 in before we went. As there were so many images we wanted he offered to do us 40 digital images for £1000 and also included a frame worth £500 (complete with photos). I found it hard to believe that the frame would be £500 but however overly priced it is, that is the price in their catalogue. We signed up to pay monthly (interest free for 12 months) for the difference. My parents thought this was a waste of money, and maybe it was but we love the photos so much and it was a fantastic day! We don’t get much time to spend together just the two of us, as she is married and has 3 children so it was nice to spend some quality time together. Granted, we could have done something much cheaper together, but we both feel it was worth it! We gave the frame to our parents for Christmas and they loved it! : ) We got 2 CD’s with the 40 images on.
They touch up the photos and remove spots etc if you want them to, once you have selected the ones you are buying. They can also make them black and white or sepia (although its probably worth buying the colour one and making them black and white on your own photo programme, if you have one)
Products and Photos
As I’ve previously mentioned New<id do their own range of cosmetics which can be purchased online and in the studio. My local beauty salon sell the New<id range of lip gloss so some of the cosmetics are available in other places, so it’s worth keeping your eye out if you’re interested. Hair products can also be purchased online. The website gives more information about the photos, frames and albums etc that are available.
Photo prizes range from £50 for a 7x5 print to £249 for a 20x24 print.
As I’ve said, they can put digital images on a CD. Prices for these are as follows:
1 photo £100 5 photos £450 10 photos £800 20 photos £1400 Full CD: Price on application The prices are so high as you are paying for the copy right of the images.
It really is worth trying to bargain with them, they are salespeople and want sales at the end of the day. They will only go so far though, but it’s worth seeing if you can get any more for your money.
If you put money onto your account before you go they double this on the day of the photo shoot. They call this rollover. You can add money on the day but they only count the amount you pay. So if you put £100 before you go you can get £200 worth of photo products and then if you put £100 on, on the day this would make £300.
It’s worth working out how much you can afford and putting it on the account before you go so that it will be doubled. I know this suggests that the products are over priced but if you put the money on the day of your makeover you just get half the stuff for your money. Obviously if you don’t think you will want to buy any photos don’t put money on before you go! Most of the packages offer one free print. I thought this was a really good deal until I saw how many fab photos there were that I wanted to buy! However, when they do you a ‘great’ deal they take the print off you so you can get ‘more for your money’ (if you are ordering digital images).
A girl from work went to the Newcastle studio and hated every minute of it. She didn’t like the way they did her hair or posing for photos. She refused to buy any photos so she just got the one 7x5 print offered in the deal which she booked. She showed me a photo of it and I think it’s a lovely photo of her but she hates it so I suppose it just depends on personal opinion!
The staff do try and sell you stuff right from the start so be prepared to say no (or buy lots of stuff! Lol). They try selling you cosmetics and they fill in a sheet of the make-up they’ve used on you. I took the sheet and said I would think about it as I didn’t want to say no outright (even though I knew I couldn’t afford them!) Rachael and Joanne both just said no and they were fine – presumably most people say no as they are really expensive products. I don’t think anything was cheaper than £20.
You are not allowed to take to your own photos anywhere in the studio!
Great makeover - we hardly recognised ourselves on some them! :)
Staff are friendly
High sales pressure
I’ve spoken to a number of people who have been to the Newcastle studio for a make over and photo shoot. Some of them enjoyed it as much as I did but some people hated it and said it’s just a rip off. Certainly don’t go if you don’t like the idea of posing for photos (my mam says she couldn’t think of a worse ‘treat’, whereas I’d happily get my photo taken all day long!) I understand that the photos are really expensive but you get your hair, nails and make-up done, have access to drinks throughout the experience, and lots of photos taken. I felt that the whole experience was well worth the money, especially as I got digital images which I can reproduce as many times as I like. It was a good 5 hour experience on both occasions so although the prices are high, part of this is paying for the time/number of staff involved.
I would thoroughly recommend New<id if you are looking for a makeover and photoshoot experience which leaves you feeling like a princess (or prince!) and gets you some fantastic photos! Just bear in mind that it’s expensive and be ready to say no if you don’t want to buy the products or pay extra for more photos etc. At the end of the day the staff are sales people and they want to sell! All in all a great experience! I would love to go back at some point but don't think I'll be able to afford it in the near future!
www.newidexperiences.com check online for more information/last minute offers etc.