The only way isn”t Essex: Sales of 99p vajazzle are soaring in the Cotswolds and West Midlands
It was only a matter of time before the least classy of all beauty accessories began to be stocked in pound shops.
But sales of a 99p vajazzle – inspired by the reality TV show The Only Way Is Essex – have revealed that the craze for intimate body art has spread far beyond Basildon.
Vajazzles are crystal “tattoos” that are stuck onto the skin near very personal parts of the body.
Beauty on the cheap: 99p Stores have started stocking vajazzles and theyare flying off the shelves, especially in relatively affluent areas
They were made famous by TOWIE”s Amy Childs, sho has now set up a beauty salon and made a fortune from the adornment.
Two weeks ago, 99p vajazzles went on sale in 99p Stores all over the country.
They were always expected to sell well in Essex, however figures are already showing that stores in ‘posh’ parts of the country have outsold their counterparts in Basildon and Billericay.
Sales have gone through the roof in both the affluent Stroud store, in the Cotsworlds, and in Sutton Coldfield’s Mere Green store in the West Midlands.
And mobile beautician Valerie St.Claire-Clevette, who is based in Stroud, says business has been booming since TOWIE hit the screens – with vajazzles her top seller.
“Despite its affiliations with Essex girls, vajazzles are actually really popular with upper-class girls looking to spend their inheritance and impress their boyfriends,” said the 34-year-old, who has been selling beauty treatments for the last 11 years.
Bright future The intimate crystal “tattoos” are being promoted as the perfect secret Santa present, because of the anonymity it offers
“Ever since The Only Way Is Essex became popular, I have been inundated with women asking me what vajazzles I do. I probably do around 15 a week.
“It ranges from 18-year-old girls who just want to look like Amy Childs to women my age looking to spice up their relationship.
“They can cost anything from 20 to over 100 depending on what crystals or jewels the girls want, but they are definitely my best-seller at the moment.”
And it appears that the further you go from Essex, the more popular the body art kits are becoming.
Happy customer Gabriella Furlong, 22, a trainee sales trader who bought three of the 99p vajazzles at the store in Mere Green, near Birmingham, said: “I think it’s brilliant that they are selling them in these stores, it proves that they aren’t just for Essex girls.
Setting a trend: Ex-TOWIE”s Amy Child launched her reality TV programme wearing a vajazzle
“I got one for my friend and sister as little stocking fillers and treated myself to one as well. I don’t think we’re that vain, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look nice for my boyfriend.
“TOWIE is amazing, I’ve watched every episode. Just because I’m not from Essex, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out and have fun too. I party in Birmingham most weekends and think we could rival Amy Childs and that lot any day”.
Only two weeks ago, ex-TOWIE star Amy Childs was pictured at the launch of her new Channel 5 reality show wearing just a 70 bikini and a vajazzle – something which the 21-year-old has made popular with young women around the UK.
And despite E4’s new reality show, Desperate Scousewives, predicting their ‘scouse brow’ will be take over from the vajazzle as the next beauty crazy, it appears the Essex girl’s body art kit is still the must-have accessory.
Marketed as the perfect ‘secret santa’ gift, the retailers believe they have struck gold with the intimate body decorations that could be the most popular item at office Christmas parties up and down the country this week.
99p Stores boss Hussein Lalani said: “It has sold just as well if not better in many of our posher store locations – including in the picture postcard town of Lymington in the New Forest, as well as Stroud in the Cotswolds.
“Sales in Essex have been exceptional too.
“We constantly conduct feedback with customers and are being told it is the perfect “secret santa” because of its price, topical appeal at the moment, and near assurance of anonymity.”
More than one-and-a-half million customers shop at one of the UK’s 169 99p Stores each week, with the vajazzle continuing the retailers tradition of offering budget alternatives to “sexy’ products – after recently launching a 99p bikini and a 99p bra.
And although the body art kits are flying off the ‘top’ shelves, Mr Lalani says the most popular sellers this Christmas are the special offer of four Santa hats for 99p, along with family-sized Christmas puddings.