Busy family Sunday yesterday, running around after my three girls, catching up on homework, making sure everything was ready for Monday morning, having a bit of fun, sorting out ‘sister’ stuff …. all the working mum things we know and love (sometimes).

The UK Vogue Festival was running under my radar a lot of this weekend too: Twitter gems from Michael Kors (bone dry funny as per), Mario Testino talking about his weight loss (250 grams apparently), Natalie Massenet on everything Net-a-Porter and Victoria Beckham still has four children (I was sure I’d heard that somewhere). Got me thinking. Did I want full on glamour with hand massages and Dior goodie bags at Vogue? Or did I want to be makeup free mum and expert on trench warfare? Well a bit of both (WW1 comes up in conversation more than you’d think).

Here are five fast fixes for some instant glamour and a quick hit of that ‘I’m still gorgeous after all’ feeling everyone needs from time to time – even La Beckham, or so she claims.

1. New Clinique Chubby Sticks for Eyes
chubby eyes
Really does work slick of smooth, instant colour for eyelids, updated smokey eye for spring/summer, metallics for swift glam and subtle for sun-kissed definition. No creasing, long-lasting, colour building controllable and 12 shades.

2. Clinique Chubby Sticks for Lips
chubby lips
All lip looks (grown up and serious, 60’s, beachy summer etc.) in controllable, easy to use crayons. Not so new but tried, tested and addictive. Street photographer and voice of style reason Garance Doré admits to prowling NY’s late night chemists when her Chubby Stick runs out

3. Soap and Glory ‘One Heck of a Blot’
soap and glory
I’ve got this in my personal and professional kit permanently now. Soaks up shiny but still leaves skin velvety and no nasty powdery residue. Slightly colour correcting and soothing too.

4. Illamasqua ‘Paranormal’ Séance UV Nail Varnish
Illamasqua have just released the Paranormal range and this rich, intense purple nail colour is a real glamour essential for those ‘binary maths’ homework’ moments.

5. Egyptian Magic Cream
I love this packaging and the cream is a great go-to solutions for all sorts of stuff from skin soothing to hair taming and eyebrow grooming.

cream and varnish

May’s mantra is ‘can’t compromise, won’t compromise’. My five favourites might not sort everything but think of it like a work in progress, get in touch and share your own fixes.


brigitte bardot

Where do you stand on stripes?

st. tropez 3

Well if nothing would make you happier than spending days cycling on the cypress lined roads of La France in a matelot jersey (sans les oignons) or tripping around 24/7 in a Petit Bateau onesie, this spring is the one you’ve been waiting for.

swimmies 1.

Stripes are everywhere on everything and everyone. And the good news is, even if you hate the things there’s a soothing solution to stripes to calm all but the very worst phobias this season.

marni 1

philip lim 1

Will you wear stripes? Or will you stay inside till September? Just remember ‘Terms and Conditions Apply’ – don’t go all out stripey it’s too Dr Seuss; horizontal widens; vertical narrows; and always, always, always go for perfect fit.

And if you’re still feeling the fear, get in touch, together we can get through it.


matte velvet No. 32 la ravissante

The M’s have it this month: Marathons, Mad Men and Matte Lipstick.
Well I’m sticking with yoga but hat’s off to the 36,000 who’ll be lining up this Sunday for the London Marathon – Green Park will never have looked so good! Betty with brown ‘helmet’ hair and Peggy in knee socks makes me a bit nervous about the Mad Men frenzy at the moment so I’m hoping it’s Megan’s 60’s ‘free spirit luxe’ influence that rubs off this season – that and Joanie’s v. grown up, classic red, matte mouth.
My recommendation for perfect matte red is Chanel Matte Velvet No. 32 La Ravissante and here are my 5 top tips to make matte lips work – because it’s really easy to get it wrong. Matte for 2013 is lush, seductive and serious not dull, flat and dated.


  1. Exfoliate your lips – DIY with some granulated brown sugar in a little liquid honey, gently work into lips at night as part of your routine and you’ll be matte ready in no time.
  2. Moisturise – whatever lip balm you use now just double the dosage, good old Vaseline Lip Therapy works wonderfully.
  3. Use a lip liner – once your lips are in great condition the trick to good matte is keeping it all in one place. Use lip liner in the same shade as your lipstick, line the contour of your mouth and then fill your lip too. This gives your matte lip a great base and it means you get strong shape without a nasty, hard outline.
  4. Use a lip brush – in my Mad Men fantasy world I can just whip out my pristine lipstick and slick it on. But on planet reality the perfect matte mouth is precise and that means a good Lip Brush. Not only do you get a neat finish, you can colour build so you have the density and richness that are matte essentials.
  5. Concealer trick – bleeding and feathering at the edge of your lips will kill your matte look instantly. Prevent any possibility and lightly blend the tiniest bit of concealer (with a brush) round your lip line – defines your finished mouth and fixes your matte lip for longer.


I love a strong, red lip but if it’s not your colour there are plenty of alternatives with the same matte signature. Choose pinks wisely though, they are very 60’s and very on-point this summer but can look wrong if the colour’s too chalky or sweet – go for more natural pinks. And the rouge noir’s are dramatic as ever but watch out for Goth tendencies, never good.