Friday, 24 January 2014

QVC Beauty Bash

What a tiring but exciting few days its been! This week I have been back down in London, for the annual QVC Beauty Bash with the  OPI team. Plus, I was even on air on Tuesday's Morning Show, before heading to the bash to meet all our lovely fans!

The Beauty Bash is a yearly event, where lucky QVC customers are selected at random to join their favourite hair, make up and beauty brands, meet the presenters and chat to industry experts. This is my second year at the bash, and I love every minute of it. It's great to meet our customers and hear their product success stories- plus hear how much they enjoy our shows!!

This week we have been showcasing the latest OPI collection, Spring/Summers Brazil and even some sneak peeks to Aprils TSV! (Today's Special Value to those of you who don't 'QVC' it!)
I adore the Brazil collection,  the mix of vibrant brights and subtle nudes really excited me at the press launch earlier this year and you can read more information on the shades here.

This year at OPI we have lots of new products in the pipeline- including a base coat which makes removing textured and glitter polished a piece of cake, a new zebra print version of our manicure case and a brand new, QVC exclusive shade in Nail Envy! 
But ssshhhhh you didn't hear it from me!! 

In conjunction with the Beauty Bash, this weekend QVC is full of non stop beauty shows! You can catch Lisa and Miglena on Saturday at 3pm for show packed with OPI steals! From Nail Envy in Original Gloss, Matte and Pink, Avoplex oil and our Back My Demand Trios to the latest celebrity collaboration colours with Gwen Steffani. Plus you'll also find a 24 carrot white gold top coat and a kit to repair broken nails! It's going to be a show you and your purse won't want to miss!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Published Pieces

When I was a little girl, my other career dream (apart from being Kate Moss's make-up artist, which is still the ultimate desire!) was to become a writer. The idea of pouring ones thoughts, ideas and visualisations onto paper and creating another world seemed like the career version of a lottery win. 

Little did I know 20 years ago, that blogging would exist when i 'grew up'- and how thankful I am that it does. Expressing my ramblings on here once a week has relighted my itchy palm and now I'm desperate to put pen to paper once more. So much so, that I have given myself a three year goal  to get my first draft of my first novel done and dusted by the time I blow out 30 candles on my cake.

But, in the meantime, I have been lucky enough to see my written work published outside of my blog, and there is no better feeling that seeing your name 'in print'.

A chance encounter in the pouring rain outside a late LFW show last season, with editor Francesca Bassenger has led to my fashion pieces have been published on No Boarders Magazine website. 

You can read my work for No Boarders here.

My work has also graced the digital pages of Inveterate magazine, which is described as a Vintage Guide to Modern Culture. Sounds right up my street!

You can read my work for Inveterate here.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

OCC Lip Tar

Whilst I was in Vegas back in November, I couldn't help but indulge my inner spend-a-holic with a trip to beauty Mecca Sephora.

I've been desperate to get my hands on Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics  Lip Tar's for a good few years now, after swooning over their vibrant shades in various make up magazines and trying them at the yearly IMATS trade show after I'm all spent out. So luckily for me and my purse, Sephora had a fantastic four piece mini set, ideal for my globe trotting kit!

The kit features four shades, a light peach pink, rich fuchsia, pillarbox red and deep dark plum, all of which can be mixed to create customised shades. Each shade is richly pigmented, meaning a little goes a very very long way! 

OCC Lip Tar offers the longevity of a lipstick in the easy of application of a liquid gloss. On application, I noticed how fluid lip tar is, it leaves the lips super glossy until it dries down within a minute or so, to a satin finish. Once dry you can barely feel it, which is exactly what I like in a lip stain! Unlike most stains, Lip Tar contains Hemp and Peppermint oil and vitamin E, meaning lips stay hydrated during wear

I'm really loving the bold red, and think this one is bypassing the kit and straight into my handbag! So, I just need to hurry back to the sunny states to stock up on more shades!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

London Collections Mens: The good, the bad and the stylish.

You may find it hugely surprising but I honestly love London Collection Mens just as much as i love women's LFW. And I swear it's not all to do with those beautiful models and their striking bone structure....honest.
No, for me half of a gents appeal is in his dressing, and I confess (reddened face hidden behind hands) to be majorly 'put off' a date if I disapprove of their outfit. And I'm talking sneak out the bathroom window never to see a second date kind of 'put off'. But then I'm sure some see my cloche hat, brogues and fur coat and cringe at the thought of walking alongside a young women trapped in her granny's hey day. Ah the problems us fussy girls face today.

So back to the trends I've spied at the LCM AW14 shows this week. (From the comfort of my sofa unfortunately, work has kept me in the northern hemisphere this time) And I must admit, hand on heart, brownies honour, that I didn't like all I saw. In fact. A lot I seriously hated. If Instagram had a 'I hope to god I never meet a guy in that' button I would have hit it thousands of times.

Maybe I'm too stuck in the past, where men clothed in their Sunday best every day of the week, or maybe I just seriously hate men in 90s over sized trousers, Disneyland ears and heels (no joke- HEELS).

Let's start with...
THE GOOD (oh how I hate the word good.)
It was raining menswear over at Topman, who showcased a palette of black, bright red and a tone between powder blue and dove grey. With a collection of chunky knits, leather and even a transparent  cape, you can bet this high street favourite will be dressing the majority of twenty something men come October. I am however hoping the transparent cape does not make its way into the Liverpool store.

Onto yet more shades of vivid blue and bold red, and a great collection of casual knitwear. At John Smedley, we saw geometric print and bold striped jumpers teamed with matching tonal trousers. The jumpers I like, the matching trousers however may just be a step too far for the average Joe. But against some slim denims, we may be about to push those awful Christmas jumpers out of the wardrobe for good! Oh what a joy!

At fashionistas favourite Paul Smith, we had what looked like a smart simple collection. But on closer inspection I spied the bold tartan and floral patterns running through the suits, the overly wrapped chunky scarves and the camel print which adorn them. An all round pleasant collection in navy, terracotta and grey, but nothing ground breaking here.
Image- VOGUE

Close your eyes, it's time for...
THE BAD (and the ugly.)
Well lets start with my least favourite...then things can only get better hey. Katie Eary what were you thinking?! Hair reminiscent of Prodigy's Keith in their Firestarter days, with frightening Mickey Mouse headgear alongside red (yes, red AGAIN) leopard and cartoon animal prints. It was all very punk meets 90s- and definitely not my cup of tea!

I'm all for androgynous looks, but for me, JW Anderson took it too far this season. Heels?! For men?! And I'm not talking Tom Cruise style stacks, I'm talking platform loafers.Then theres the bag- a rigid bucket bag, that looks more Jack and Jill than a key accessory. And finally, the sleeveless shirts. No. Sorry, but this is just too far for my liking!

Then its back to Mickey Mouse ears over at MAN. Not only ears, but horns too, and mouth guards, teamed with jumpers featuring the classic Disney font. Whatever magic potion their taking, I think I'll pass thanks.
Image- VOGUE

and thankfully...
Gieves and Hawkes unsurprisingly impressed me immensely. But then given working on their store relaunch last year was one of my favourite jobs, I'm not shocked. With a masculine palette of moss and khaki green alongside classic navy, grey and brown in fabrics such as tweed, shearling and cashmere, our men can still look suitably stylish in the colder British months.
Plus with a new eyewear range and a great selection of accessories designer Jason Basmajian has definitely made this 243 year old Saville Row brand proud.
 This season also saw Thomas Pink's LCM debut- and what a debut it was. A mixture of their heritage classic shirts and office wear, with surprising hints of AW key colours teal and tomato red.

Chester Barrie's satin paisley scarfs, midnight blue velvet loafers and teal roll necks also made me sit up and take note, whilst Hardy Amies was another brand I breathed a sigh of fashion relief at. Yet another heritage Saville Row brand showcasing beautifully cut suits, crisp shirts and tailored coats in an array of classic neutrals with accents of cobalt blue and terracotta. The collection was completed with silk pocket squares and classic Grenson shoes.

Finally, we saw cult high street and mums favourite brand Marks and Spencer stamp their thrifty mark on the London fashion scene. With their third Best of British collection, they drew inspiration from Sir David Frost and Sir Michael Caine to create a contemporary range of classic tailoring, luxury cashmere and Prince of Wales check.

Other brands I'd suggest having your beady eyes on when the leaves fall is Duchamp,Hackett, John Lobb, Kent and Curwen and Pringle. 

Image- VOGUE
So if this weeks shows have anything to go by, this Autumn I'll be hanging around the great British High Street, avoiding those who seem to think its 1992, have visited Disneyland and those whose heels are higher than mine. 

It's certainly going to be an interesting one....

Tuesday, 7 January 2014


Well lets start with an apology, which is very much overdue. I promised I would feature each and every item in my BBB Beauty Box before Christmas was sprung upon us, and now we are here on January 7th and I'm featuring my first products. OOOPS!
My excuse? Well, I'd like to say I ran away to Paris with a handsome French Saxophone player, to train myself to enjoy expensive red wine and fine cheese, whilst lounging in an apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower. But alas no. Instead I have been working my artistic fingers to the bone whilst running up and down the country. And now I have an hour to sit down, enjoy a cup of tea (herbal...its detox month after all) and tell you all about L'Occitane Angelica Cleansing Gel, Facial Toner and Cherry Blossom Hand Cream.

Lets start with facial care! These 50ml sized bottle, featured in the BBB Beauty Box, are perfect for my constantly packed travel bag. Both contain the essential oil Angelica, which is extracted from the Angelica plant, known for its hydration capabilities- perfect for a skincare range!!
The cleanser gently removes a full face of make-up (yes, even those dark sultry eyes we all love) and transforms into a light foam when massaged into dampened skin. I then took my Liz Earle muslin cloth and removed the cleanser in a outward sweeping movement, but you can of course simply rinse away. Finishing with Angelica Face Toner, which is thankfully alcohol free, leaves skin feeling refreshed, moisturised and looking radiant. I'm not usually a fan of toner, but this has definitely become a favourite!
Lastly, the beautifully scented Cherry Blossom Hand Cream, which finishes off my OPI manicure perfectly! Containing Shea butter and Cherry extract from Luberon, Provence, this  leaves hands feeling nourished but thankfully not greasy!
Definitely three products I will be purchasing again! Thanks L'Occitane and British Beauty Blogger!