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BACKSTAGE WITH BODY SHOP AT LONDON FASHION WEEK

belle sauvage comp.

Where else would I have been this week but LFW AW 2013? Working on The Body Shop team with Lan Grealis for FAD, Belle Sauvage, Runway Collection and Ashley Isham was long, long days and lots of great energy.

belle sauvage final 2

finished 3

AW 2013 highlights for me had to Belle Sauvage’s take on classic tailored suits, their ‘Capes: The Next Generation’ and those fringes. I love Ashley Isham’s ethereal ball gowns with miles of skirt, a complete contrast to his urban warrior coats worn with dense matte lips and hi-gloss visors. And Lan’s ‘Lace Face’ for Runway Collection was an inspired take on AW 2013 statement ‘feature’ make-up.

finished 4

finished 5

THIS WEEK I FOUND ………everything they say about The Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge is true

oriona finished 1

LFW is so stressful on so many levels; it’s completely frantic backstage, really busy, no time to eat, rushing around like mad, trying to do a million things at once and still seem calm and in control because the models are mostly nervous enough as it is.

With all this in mind, last month I signed up for The Bikram Yoga 30 Day Challenge! I know, it sounds insane.

Great news is, I did it – 30 mornings in a row at 0645 – and I think it made this LFW my coolest and most collected ever! I was energetic, focused and clear headed plus I didn’t feel as much of the usual stress. I’ve decided to try and fit an early morning class in every day now because I really missed them after the Challenge was finished, hard to believe but it’s true – didn’t hurt that I lost 4.5kg over the past month either.

Have a look at www.bikramyogauk.co.uk.

RELAX, IT’S NEARLY VALENTINE’S DAY

GIFT IMAGE 2.So last minute? So what? He won’t care because he won’t know. And whatever anyone says, it’s not the thought, it’s the gift that counts. Here are five of my favourite quick pressie fixes for Valentine’s Day, you can even leave them to the 14th if you want. Just remember to wrap them yourself because nothing says ‘I forgot’ faster than store wrapped.
1.
Aesop ‘New York’ Parsley Seed Skin Care Travel Kit. Every long haul essential is on board here in one neat bag. Stay refreshed and hydrated in-flight and scrub up quick just before touch down. No one in the world will ever know you haven’t had 8 hours sleep tucked up safely in your own bed. £47.00, Aesop, 91 Mount Street, London.
2.
Perricone MD Face Finishing Moisturiser. All the refreshing, soothing, healing, anti-ageing excellence of Perricone MD in extremely non-girly packaging. From £54.00, Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London.
3.
Moleskine Notebooks. Force gadget man to go old school and write down his thoughts for a change. Technology was never as romantic as the notebook of choice for the likes of Hemingway and Chatwin. From £9.99, Blackwells, Charing Cross Road, London.
4.
Roberts Revival DAB Radio. Retro styling looks good and still has Roberts’ world class engineering plus it plays nicely with all his other music technology too. From £160.00, Selfridges, London
5.
Personalised cakes, pastries and patisserie are available all day long in Selfridges Food Hall on the 14th February just in time to make you look like the most thoughtful present giver on the planet.

THIS WEEK I FOUND …….
paper-crane1
Shock, Diane Von Furstenberg plays iPAD Solitaire, 10,000 games a year to be exact (and those are the ones she admits to). So if the wonderwoman who invented the wrap dress doesn’t think twice about de-stressing with a bit of mindless nonsense, I’m going to feel very virtuous about my find this week. www.origami.org.uk uses a simple animation to show you step-by-step how to make your own Origami creations. Since it’s all about fashion this month, you can make the teeny wee cute shirt if you want. But for me it has to be the Peace Crane; not only does making the Crane float away all your stress and disharmony, if you make 1000 of them you’re granted a wish. I’m thinking I could manage at least 1000 by Christmas so I’ve got something for the tree and a wish. The added Origami bonus is how much fun it is for kids too and it’s constructive so no guilt for me.

Do you like the new look from Chanel?

spring2013_chanelhaute001

                                                                Photo by Vincent Lappartient

This is my  most favourite theatrical look created by Peter Philips, Chanel’s global creative director. To achieve this gothic twist with smokey eye you will need to follow the steps of the Master and of course pick up few bits from makeup store. This is what Peter Philips said about his creation :

“New Vintage” was the theme of this Haute Couture show, and that was for me a starting point for the makeup look.  I took some basic makeup classics and twisted them in a subtle way. “Smoky eye”, “Eyeliner”, “Blush”, “French manicure”

 

The focus was mainly on the eye. I did a soft, blue/grey, metallic smoky eye, using OMBRE ESSENTIELLE “Furtive”. On that, I applied a thick, almost bulky eyeliner with LE STYLO YEUX WATERPROOF “Noir Intense”. A few layers of black mascara INIMITABLE WATERPROOF “Black” and the CRAYON KHOL “Clair” in the eye.

I placed the blush JOUES CONTRASTE “Rose Initial” a bit higher than usual.

On the lip I used our lipliner LE CRAYON LEVRES “Natural” and ROUGE ALLURE “Evanescente” lipstick.

When we were playing around with the idea of doing a nail polish, Karl evoked the idea of using two shades on one nail. I combined a vintage shade “Silver” with an existing one “May”. Instead of doing a classic French manicure, I painted the whole outline of the nail in a lighter shade with LE VERNIS “Silver” and used LE VERNIS “May” to cover both the center and the tip of the nail. LE VERNIS “May” is the full nail polish shade, and LE VERNIS “Silver” is the outline shade .

Will you give it a go?

It’s February – all things fashion and the oscars too

I’ve always been a big fan of foundation. Recently though, I’ve gone from fan to cheerleader to head over heels in mad, passionate love with the stuff. There are some supernaturally great products on the market just now and the finishes can just about honestly claim to be flawless. So what’s changed?

I think it’s a lot to do with how much professional make-up artists have had to re-think the way they approach camera-ready faces. High Definition is the enemy of anyone over the age of 16. It’s ruthless, shows up every line and flaw and makes traditional make-up look as if it’s been plastered on with a trowel. Brands had to respond.

The good news is that mere mortals who don’t have to worry about the cruel camera too much get the trickle down effect. So here are five of my favourite new generation foundations at the moment.

LIGHT REFLECTIVE
Perricone MD ‘No Foundation, Foundation’
As far as I’m concerned Perricone MD can do no wrong. I’m a pushover for their Parapharmacie packaging and the good doctor himself seems like the soul of common sense. No Foundation, Foundation isn’t a totally new product but it’s one of the best anytime foundations that uses light diffusing Mica combined with pigment for weightless, even coverage.

DIOR ‘Airflash’
This literally airbrushes your skin with a super light mist of foundation. The spray is surprisingly easy to apply straight up but you can use a Kabuki brush instead if you prefer. Mother of Pearl pigment diffuses light and – huge anti-aging bonus here – it actually, visibly evens skin tone. Great for a ‘finished’ look.

FOUNDATION AND SKINCARE COMBINED
Chanel ‘Lift Lumiere Firming and Smoothing Makeup’
If you’re a Chanel devotee you’ll love this. It has amazing coverage for such a light texture and gives an instant soft, natural glow – there are another two Lumiere products as well so this is quite a versatile choice.

Clinique ‘Even Better Makeup’
Designed with active ingredients to permanently improve uneven skin tone over time but gives you the appearance of smoother, balanced skin instantly.

TRANSPARENCY & COVERAGE
Armani ‘Maestro Fusion Makeup’
Clever Mr Armani is my personal choice for foundation ever since his team developed Luminous Silk Foundation. Now they’ve brought out ‘Maestro Fusion Makeup’ and I’m a convert. The ultra fine oil pigmets diffuse light softly across your skin giving you that transparent ‘Armani Glow’ plus coverage.

THIS WEEK I FOUND……..

ysl remix

I hate waiting around so I’m always on a mission to find things to do when I’m stuck in a holding pattern and I don’t have time to ‘do something constructive’.

This find is almost so good I can see it sneaking into my day when it really shouldn’t. So beware, discipline is needed to restrict this to ‘Waiting Time Only’!

www.vogue.fr/lookbooks let’s you create your own LookBook from seasons/styles/trends/accessories/archives/designers. Just select what you want and scroll through the hundreds and hundreds of thumbnails, use pause and play and when you find what you want just add the image and your own caption (if you want) to pinterest or tweet it or share it. Et Voila, your own personal inspiration/lookbook/style grab/shopping list/fun toy …… and it works in English and French.

I’m channeling YSL ‘Le Smoking’ it’s my personal tribute to February, month of Fashion Weeks and the Oscars. I’d love to see what inspires you!

FOUNDATION COURSE

I asked a client the other day how she chose her foundation. She didn’t miss a beat, ‘Oh, the woman on the make-up counter recommended it.’ I wasn’t surprised. It’s pretty much the same for most of us. But think about it; we’re buying a product we wear on the most visible part of our anatomy every day from someone whose job it is to sell us a brand. What are the chances of that foundation being ‘the one’?

So in the spirit of never settling for second best I’ve put together a guide to what our faces should be looking for in 2013. What products are making news and why. Brands I can personally recommend (only as suggestions, sadly no one’s giving me any freebies or cash). And a broad spectrum idea of what might actually suit you. Who knows it might save your skin next time someone’s trying to sell your face something it doesn’t need, want or even like.

First Up – BB’s (Beauty Balms)

Think of BB’s or Beauty Balms as your make-up bag’s little perfectionist.

I don’t use BB’s to replace foundation. In most cases I like them as a base for foundation and personally I think this is when BB’s really come into their own.

Designed to moisturise, protect and correct skin BB’s were originally developed for post-procedural use so they started with a pretty good reputation. Add to this the fact that they have taken the Asian make-up market by storm (Asian women focus more importance on skin and complexion than anything else, so a product they love is going to be good) and it’s easy to see why BB’s are big news.

They smooth skin, work progressively to improve skin texture over time, reduce oiliness without drying, even skin tone, calm break outs, give sun protection, correct minor flaws and they’re lightweight.

BB’s work with skin type and they’re great as a starter base, instead of foundation, for younger skins.

And I can see BB’s replacing Tinted Moisturisers simply because they do provide skincare combined with light coverage and the overall look and feel is non-greasy.

But, I’m going to hold on to my foundation. And next post I’ll tell you why you should keep the faith too. Until then here are some tried and tested BB’s (to use on their own or otherwise).

1.

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35

Broad spectrum BB in 5 shades. Great for correcting uneven skin tones pre-foundation.

2.

Clinique Age-Defense BB Cream

Broad spectrum SPF30 BB in 3 shades. Good fit for your regular skincare regime and excellent instant reviver.

3.

Diorskin Nude BB

Broad spectrum BB in 3 shades. Mineral water base gives a light, reflective finish, nice on its own for barely there coverage.

4.

Garnier Skin Renew

Broad spectrum spf15 in 2 shades. Slightly more coverage so works as a light alternative to foundation. V. good value.

Let me know what you think.

 

FIRST DATE EIGHT

Here’s the first of my new blogs on our favourite (and least favourite) pastime, dating. Starting with the notorious First Date, of course. I might be stating the obvious here and there but it never hurts to be reminded.

No shopping. The last thing you need to worry about is a brand new look. You want to be channeling ‘relaxed and confident’ NOT ‘it didn’t look this short or bright or glittery or awful in the changing room’.

Go with what you’ve got. You’re not looking for perfection. You want to find at least three things you already own you know you look good in, make you feel great and fit like you’re wearing them – not the other way round.

Now you can shop (just a little bit). Update, sharpen or tone down your final look with accessories. But keep it simple and don’t do shoes — more on that later. You want to stay true to yourself, so if you don’t wear it normally now’s not the time to experiment.

Don’t even think about changing your hair. Chances are you’re going on a date in the first place because you’re you.  Wear your hair the way you like it and add some polish. Have your hairdresser wash, dry and style that way you’re still you – only better.

A manicure says great grooming effortlessly. And if you’re nails are normally short don’t even think about talons. A good manicure makes long as chic as short. Consider your toes too. You might be the only one who sees them but a pedicure is priceless for your confidence.

Don’t leave your make-up to the last minute. Way back in the heady days of disco Bianca Jagger, Queen of Studio 54 and wife of young Mick, used to put on her make-up then have a bath for a ‘dewy’ final finish. Today’s products are so good you don’t need to go to that length. But give your make-up some time to breathe and avoid looking too ‘done’. Then touch up just before you head out.

Be sure of your shoes. Wear ones you’ve worn before, watch your heel height, have a practice walk if you’re not totally confident and avoid anything pinchy or fussy. The ‘my feet hate me’ face is never a good look.

BE YOURSELF! You’re the one who was asked on the date so don’t take anyone else. Relax, smile, feel confident and have fun.

YOU LOOK AMAZING!

NEW HAIR TRENDS SPRING 2012

In this season defined by minimalism and natural beauty, hairstylists channeled easy elegance for spring. The sporting life was a popular theme with styles that looked fresh from the ocean or outdoors, and classic American glamour had a big moment with polished ponytails, graceful braids, and bouncy blowouts. Still, nothing was too perfect or impeccable—deconstructed waves and undone knots and twists proved that having a bit of an edge is as chic as ever.

Wearing beautiful clothes makes you walk tall

I promised to let you know how the fashion show went – it was fantastic.

As you can imagine, it was organised chaos in the changing room as there was just about room for 8 models and dressers, Margaret and her staff, racks of fabulous coats, gilets, and wraps, incredible umbrellas, boxes of shoes and boots, a plethora of handbags and matching gloves, and an amazing array of wonderful hats and jewellery that we were to show.

Most of us hadn’t met before the day itself so we were soon bumping bottoms and brushing bosoms with complete strangers who quickly became our friends! One of the dressers in particular took great delight in ‘rollering’ us all down with sticky tape from head to foot as we were divested of the latest ‘fluffy’ coat or gilet. It certainly made us giggle and then we got a good telling-off for making too much noise! It was like being a teenager again, but without all the angst.

We primped and preened, shimmied and sashayed, and entertained the audience so much so that the morning just flew by. Each one of the models found that just by wearing beautiful clothes we all walked better, we looked marvellous, and we all felt wonderful.

The beauty of knowing your darkest neutral(s)

After my  of wearing a skirt for the trying-on session which necessitated me absorbing an enormous quantity of gin when I finally staggered home, I finally decided that I was going to stick with wearing just black trousers throughout the event, and to have just a couple of changes of tops for one or two special looks.

The Little Black Dress

This is often where the ‘little black dress’ (LBD) is a boon for most wardrobes as you can dress it up or down with good accessories.

For your season, change ‘black’ into something a little more flattering for your skin tone:

  • • SPRING
Change ‘black’ into chocolate brown, bright purple or clear navy
  • • SUMMER
Change ‘black’ into charcoal grey, mulberry, or plum
  • • AUTUMN
Change ‘black’ into deepest brown, aubergine or forest green
  • • WINTER
Black is good, or try violet or burgundy

Purple power

There are plenty of purple shades to choose from this season, too, and the ‘little purple dress’ could soon put black in the shade.

Everyone can wear purple – it’s just the shade or tone that will decide if you look healthy or need carting off to hospital forthwith! Just choose the most flattering shade of purple from your own colour swatch wallet, and all the other items from your wardrobe will mix and match easily.

According to Indian wisdom, purple is the colour of the soul, making those who wear it peaceful and calm. I don’t know about you but, from now on, I shall be drenching myself in purple.

Purple also helps you to command respect without being overly forceful so is a good alternative to consider for your darkest suit for work or formal occasions.

However, I’d stick to a more conventional colour for interviews – purple will set you apart as an individual on these occasions; not such a good idea if you are applying to be a member of a team.

Walk tall, look good and feel fabulous

Wearing beautiful clothes certainly does make you walk and look better!

ANTI AGEING TIP AND TRICKS

Everyone wants to look and feel as young as possible, for as long as possible. Luckily, even with our hectic modern lives, there are plenty of natural anti-aging remedies and activities we can easily integrate into our lifestyles.

1. Drink water! The human body is composed mainly of water. Every time we exert energy, water gets used and extracted as urine, sweat moisture as you exhale. This is why it is advisable to drink at least 8 glasses a day, which is great for your skin.

2.Exercise in all of its forms is an essential anti-aging task. Activities that don’t put too much stress on the joints like yoga, martial arts or even cardio activities like the elliptical trainer are all greet options.

3. Moisturize! Dry skin just looks old. Moisturizers hydrate the skin and protect it from the environment. The paper-thin skin around the eyes is especially prone to fine lines and wrinkles because there are no oil glands there. A rich moisturizer slows down the appearance of wrinkles. Night creams give the skin a chance to heal overnight.

4. Find out what is your skin type.

Knowing your skin type is very important in choosing an anti-aging product because this will determine what products and recommended brands and ingredients are best for your skin type. You can do this by having an appointment with a dermatologist or by conducting your own self-test.

 

5. Choose anti-aging products that contain Vitamin A, C, and E.

When choosing any anti-aging product, it is best that they contain water-based Vitamin A, C, and E because these are the most effective ingredients that can help reduce the signs of aging such as wrinkles, crow’s feet (laugh lines) and other fine lines.

 

6. Choose anti-aging products that have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients.

Consider choosing products that contain the antioxidants for the skin such as Ascorbyl Acid or Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin A or beta carotene and Flavonoids because these can help you to achieve firm and younger looking skin while nourishing, strengthening and moisturizing your aging skin and making it look radiant.

 

7. Look for anti-aging cleansing products that contain fine crystals or “grit”.

Fine crystals or micro-spheres can help exfoliate the skin while removing dead skin cells that contribute to your skin looking dull and lifeless. These anti-aging products may include wrinkle erasers, facial and body scrubs and cleansers, toners, eye creams, hydrators along with moisturizers.

 

8. Remember to use anti aging products on all sun and weather exposed areas of the body. It has been said that the first signs of aging appears on the back of the hands. So take a look at your hands, elbows and knees and see if they could use a bit of anti aging “love”.

 

9. Sleep. We have always heard health experts say that people should get at least 8 hours of sleep. I know that this may be hard but it really is necessary so that the body can help to repair itself. The body repairs when you are sleeping so with too little sleep you body is never quite as good as it could be.

10. Apply mascara and liner only to upper lashes, to eliminate under eye smudging, which can make you look tired.