Friday, 18 January 2013

Generation M

Aside from my obvious and much (self) publicised love of lipstick, I am also a lover of photography. It's a side effect of the job. I see everything as a picture. This has it's upsides (natural art direction skills, ability to make my shoots the best they can be, gives a workaholic impression), but it has downs too. I've bought many a useless piece of detritus at a market because it looked as if it should be captured and framed in my hallway, or sent as a picture postcard. In reality maybe one or two pieces have made it onto one of my shoots, the rest I hoard for future moments of creative expulsion.

It has also led me to buy and often lose many a good camera. I resolved the issue by buying my other half a Canon SLR for his birthday, so it was his you see, but also mine. Thus I can use it but I can't take it on trips, so I can't leave it on the plane like last time, or expose it to too much sun like the time before...

Apparently this secondary love of pictures has made it out into the further reaches, as far as the ears of Canon themselves, who made me part of Generation M. We are an elite crack team of creative professionals (ok, you can take out Elite), whose job it was to test drive the new Canon EOS-M and use it to reinterpret and document a certain style of photography. I'm well placed to test this one if I do say so myself, since I blog as well as art direct and style, so I can appreciate the details of a hybrid hand held that points, shoots, has detachable flash and lens, can fit in my normal handbag and, well, looks very cool too. Not to mention the photography capabilities. It can be as complicated as you like, but manual automatic mode does it for me, and as my professional photographer friend pointed out when I used it on my honeymoon safari, "nice camera pet, it really does well on the blues" (captures the sky nicely to you and I).

So here it is, my reinterpretation of still life photography using the Canon EOS M. Yes I built a whole project from the ground up and will hereby be adding makeup artist, photographer and TV presenter to my CV... (click on the image)

Friday, 25 November 2011

Karl Lagerfeld does Makeup

AHEM! This is the most exciting O M (for makeup) G news I've stumbled across in a loooong time. If like me you're a bit shamefully obsessed with Karl Lagerfeld and his monochrome, slightly cartoonish caricature iconic genius version of himself, you will be wondrously overjoyed to hear that Dear Santa has answered my letter and delivered Karl designed makeup and accessories to Sephora, just in time for Xmas.

I mean look, an eye palette where each of the shades is a mini silhouette (post extreme weight loss, which is a shame when you consider value for money) Karl. nail varnish duo's, cute makeup bags and my personal fall off my chair favourites, a doll and a SNOWGLOBE. Snow globes will always hold a special place in my heart, especially when they contain Mr Chanel standing among fluttering gold. swoon...
Available from next week on the french website which delivers all over Europe.
And the hotline +33 892 70 70 70 can accept orders to be placed as well;jsessionid=1FCBD9F6027A791F23F0A8EB5647445B.wfr2c?csrSub=commandeCout&csrSection=commande 

BEST TIP OF THE DAY: Use this to cut n paste translate all the french bumpf. Genius...

Friday, 4 November 2011

S is for SHOES

it's not uncommon for me to commandeer a camera and shoot my shoes. On my iPhone whilst sitting on the bus, a particularly sparkly sun ray glinting off my glitter boots, mid-walk across a rope bridge in Northern Ireland in green soled brogues, yes even at Katie Selby's wedding where she found about 12 shots of my shoes, her shoes, collective groomsmen shoes, nestled among her official photos.

It's a combination of an extreme love bordering on obsession with shoes, and an appreciation of the birdseye perspective.

Imagine my utter delight at being asked by (another love bordering on obsession) to take part in #ASOSSavvySunday project, a nationwide discussion about my mastermind subject, shooooes (wonder why they asked me?)

I'm blogging today in these leopard print platform lace ups, my boot du jour, but I have three important pairs to talk about:

My First Pair: Bear in mind fashion changes, I am very close to my mother who dressed me till I was 13 and attractive high heels just did not exist in 1993. Nevertheless I loved my chunky heeled Dune Mary-Janes. Even though they had a boat-like quality and a checkerboard pattern in navy and beige, I wore them with pride, ok I'll admit it, right up until university. My style didn't kick in till I ditched my specs and de-frizzed my hair...

My Uplifting on a Bad Day Pair:
Just one glance at my shoe collection has the power to lift my mood. Sometimes I feel bad at my level of neglect, I haven't been able to go out as much as I used to, and I have a stupid problem with wearing my most beloved ones in case something happens to them, so they stay tucked in dust bags in boxes until something very important and fabulous comes up. Or I'm having a particularly bad day and need some fluro orange Louboutin Lola's in my life. These aren't like Loubs I'd seen before. There's nothing posh spice or ridiculously vertiginous about them. They're patent, 80's, so bright they could guide 747's in to land and about as mood boosting as a shot of tequila.

My Fail safe Glam Pair That Make My Outfit:
Two words: Bicester Village. I went, I saw YSL, I conquered. A pair of pencil boots in my size for about a fifth of the RRP. God I love that place...

A Day In The Life Of My ASOS Shoes....

Try hard not to miss the next #ASOSsavvySunday sale which starts at 6pm on the 6th Nov, you can vote your favourite shoes into the sale and then find some more hidden treasures for one whole pound. Sign up here - easy! 

Friday, 21 October 2011

Laced Up

The nail wrap thing is still going strong. We've had offerings from Bespoke Look Rebel Nails, to Gallo Wine scented Merlot ones, and having covered them in the mag (er, not those ones) on many an occasion, I thought I'd be a bit bored of them by now.

Seems not, I love how easy they are and since I am generally a bit  crap at my own beauty maintenance, anything easy is a winner.

I also love the ring finger manicure trend that is sweeping the industry - since I am slightly nail art shy, -so having eyed up these Sally Hansen Salon Effect wraps on my desk for the last four days, I tried them out and yes, do so love the effect.

Although I am very nearly 32. Too old for art?

 My dad will give me his verdict over a plate of pasta tonight. He is very aware of the state of my nails, finds chips abhorrent, trendy grey tones 'dead' and a mix of colours 'weird'. (I go home with test nails regularly - whereby I get a desk drop and try every single shade on every single finger). Who knew a 68 year old male could throw fear into my fingertip choices?

Other nails: Nails Inc Porchester Place

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Introducing: LOOK MAKEUP! Yes you heard me right...

I am beyond excited to finally be able to tell you about this culmination of a project I've been working on throughout my illness, Look is launching its own makeup range!! (worthy of both those exclamations).

The very best thing about this range, and contrary to the opinion of a lot of cynics out there, is it is basically mine and Katie's dream makeup. As in we developed the range and worked on every aspect, but especially the colours and formulations, to get the makeup we want in our makeup bags, and we hope everyone else will want too. Much like Victoria Beckham did with her clothing range. I'm pretty sure that makes us the Victoria Beckham's of the makeup world, right? We used such intricate techniques as matching pantone references or bits of cardboard we quite liked. Really.

The Ashley Isham print that runs throughout the range (some more prominently than others) is a nod to our fashion standing in the magazine world and our readers (OK, and our) obsession with all things fashion. The pink is a classic LOOK love. The chunky packaging is value and aesthetics in one and the makeup is as the tag line says; designed, tested and worn by the beauty brains at LOOK magazine.

I feel a bit funny saying that, since I have read celebrities waxing lyrical about their own fragrances or ambassadors for ranges expounding the virtues of their 'favourite' lipstick, and not been entirely convinced. So I realise it sounds like I'm endorsing a product that happens to be born of my employers. BUT, having had the opportunity to develop it with pretty much a free reign, is like someone saying - here, take all these resources and make your absolute dream shoe. You'd be quite excited to get it on your foot? Yup, me too.

So, 30 mono eyeshadows, triple hit compacts, foundations (including a BB cream), primers, eye kohls, liquid liner,  lip duo's, glosses, lipsticks, bronzers, blushers, 30 nail polishes and entire looks in a box, complete with step by steps. A pretty comprehensive range, and happily a percentage from sales go to a cause close to my heart, Look Good...Feel Better

THESE are my picks for personal hero products. I have actually stolen the samples. Er, sorry LOOK team...

Oomph Lashes, in Blackest Black. Aside from having the cutest packaging in the whole range, this volumising mascara is the popular choice among the makeup artists I've forced it upon.

Loud Lips in Tangerine Cream. This is the Lara Stone of lipsticks. I SO love this shade. So far I am wearing it every day. I promise it wasn't me who made it sell out in Superdrug Westfield...

Nail Pop in Mink and Dusky. One is my perfect opaque candy pink (hard to come by in polish world), the other is I kid you not, the colour of my amazing cat Desmond. Desmond is my favourite colour, for nails, shoes, dresses, mushrooms, anything.

Nail Pop in Mink
Make Me Blush in Flush and Pinch. I love the cute names of these (um, I did name them), and the colours are very exciting on the skin. These two are good for pale people like me - just the right amount of glimmer - and I;m fussy about shimmer blushes fyi - to make cheeks look dewy and plump, and the colours are prrretty pretty.

Holiday Glow in Rio. It looks dark but I use it for contouring. Unusually matte and a perfect shadow shade for amazing sculpting skills, I wear under cheekbones, with the blush on my apples.

At the moment LOOK Beauty is available in Superdrug in the new Westfield in Stratford, but they're rolling out to all Superdrug stores in October, with more lines added in November. Prices from £4 to £18

Loud Lips in Tangerine Cream

tangerine dream
Nail Pop in Dusky
Make me Blush in (top) Flush and (bottom) Pinch

Friday, 26 August 2011

Going Stella

There are a lot of things Stella that I tend to love. McCartney - of course, goes without saying. she loves sharp shoulders and chunky cable knit and all the animals for goodness sake.

Tennant, the supermodel - so much so that I drew her in charcoal 6 feet high for my A-Level art piece and, ahem, got an A thank you.

The name in general, I wonder if I can sway Dadjokes in that direction when the time comes to name my own (100% must be a ) daughter.

The beer, not so much - I'm more Corona with a hint of lime.

The perfume - maybe the most of all. I love white floral scents, I love girly rose most of all, and I love powdery musk - all of which are in abundance in the original EDP.  The new ltd edition Print Collection just tips me over the edge. Taken from McCartney's Spring collection, the three floral prints are out of this world, embossed onto cute handbag sized bottles (reassuringly heavy ones though) and are only £35 each in Boots.

The only downside is the choosing. And the fighting in the office over who gets the one with the bumble bee...The winner was fashion news ed Lucy Wood who also loves Stella to the point that she gets through a 100ml bottle, oh about once every two months. I have no idea what she does with the stuff, although I've heard those fashion types are prone to divaism; very pungent baths perhaps?

Monday, 8 August 2011

I Love Lip Mix

Mac professional do these amazing tubes of super bright pigment paint, which can be mixed to make an oil paint masterpiece worthy shade, most suitable for shows and editorials.

My extreme love of lipstick has seen me hoard a few of these over the years to make my own bespoke colour at home, but as with most pro products, they're more suited to shoots than every day wear. They're a bit drying - in fact, they feel a bit like real paint on your lips, but the effect is definitely worth it.

The new lip mixes on the beauty block though are absolutely wearable, ever so cheap (£4.99 a pop) and just all round amazing. Although I hate to undermine a well established and much loved product, by telling you about the bargainous alternatives, but on this occasion, well, I will.

Sleek makeup have launched Pout Paints. Yes, an almost direct rip off, but I can't help loving them anyway. They're non sticky, highly pigmented, long lasting, (i mix them on my hand and can't bloody get them off), and non drying.

Get the white shade, cloud 9 as your staple, then build the other colours around it to suit your taste. Available at Superdrug.

My colour is Mauve Over and Cloud 9
Katies is Lava and Cloud 9