Thursday, 25 February 2010

BOBBI BROWN PRETTY POWERFUL CAMPAIGN 1ST MARCH 2010






















When the credit crunch body slammed the nation and crept into all of our lives whether it was being made redundant, having to do the job of 3 people or having to give up on your weekly high street shopping treat the world suddenly changed.

As a beauty journalist I do lots of lovely teas and lunches with beauty PRS. I remember a couple of years ago in the Wolseley seeing a group of bankers celebrating their bonuses, ordering oysters and champagne like it was going out of fashion doing their best to channel Gordon Gekko from ‘ Wall Street’. If any bankers were to do that today I think they would be lynched even in the posh Wolseley. Anyway, this mood this ‘rage against the machine’ attitude has crept into beauty too, as women are over being fed the garbage that 14 girls who have just hit puberty represent working woman and mothers in their 20s, 30s and 40s in beauty ads.

Bobbi Brown has known what woman really want and she has been giving it to us for years with her beautiful neutrals and wearable colours, which make you look like you only better, that’s a Bobbism by the way. Another one is always applying a pop of blush on the cheeks at 4pm to freshen up your look. Now that’s the stuff women trapped in moisture sucking air con/ heated offices and at home mums with screaming kids feeling crap really want to know.

Now thankfully I have been blessed with high self esteem when it comes to accepting and loving my pretty.  God knows I needed to because in my teens walking around beauty halls was like being part of a beauty apartheid, as I was turned away from make up counters with make up artists saying sorry there is nothing here for you. Bobbi Brown was one of a handful of beauty brands whose make up screamed you are accepted, you do deserve to play with make up and feel and look beautiful. I interviewed Bobbi once on the phone while I was in the cupboard of a Marco Pierre White restaurant (I wasn’t doing a Boris Becker at Nobu but just had to nib out of another launch to do my transatlantic telephone interview) and I gushed to her, “thank you Bobbi for making me feel accepted and not like a freak and for catering to black beauty, it meant a lot to me growing up”. She was very sweet and gracious and I felt like a strange make up groupie all huddled and whispering in the cupboard- but you get my drift. 

In true Bobbi style she is trying to make us all pretty from the inside out again with a new campaign launching on the 1st March called Pretty Powerful to help celebrate the diverse beauty of real women. Shockingly Bobbi Brown UK conducted a survey asking over 1000 British women about perceptions of beauty and only 50% of them said they were happy with their looks, which is really sad. Bobbi has used real woman, friends and family to champion all types of beauty with her new campaign and explains, “Pretty Powerful symbolizes my belief that all women possess natural beauty, and with the right tools, are empowered to a higher level of pretty… Pretty Powerful, Pretty Amazing, Pretty Gorgeous. Everywhere women look; they are confronted with the same kinds of fashion and beauty images – ones that showcase a perfectionism that’s not realistically achievable. It’s not feasible for women to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to emulate an airbrushed photo. But it’s very real to feel this kind of pressure. I always tell women to be who you are. This means everything from learning to love your lines to appreciating your unique features”. Bobbi again I find myself saying thank you but instead of whispering it in a cupboard I am shouting- you go girl!

Monday, 22 February 2010

BACKSTAGE AT VIVIENNE WESTWOOD RED LABEL A/W 2010 WITH MAC










They say you should never meet your heroes or in my case make that heroine with Vivienne Westwood. Thank God that old adage doesn't apply when it comes to Ms. Westwood. Tonight I skulked along the dark, rainy streets of the Strand and headed to the Royal Courts of Justice (oh Viv that’s so you -genius, a subversive yet beautiful fashion show in a British institution). It took all my courage to talk to her last season but tonight I went for it in the polite stalking stakes. She is not only the most exciting artist and designer she is also very, very warm and cool.

I loved the look at the show as the inspiration for hair and make up was very ghostly with the fabulous Gordon Espinet, Vice President of Global Make Up Artistry for MAC behind the look. Gordon said each girl’s look was very individualist and is based on black and white photos with a high contrast like Richard Avadon’s photography, as if the some girls were lit from the front and others from the right and left. The ethereal look was achieved by sculpting the face along the forehead, side of nose, cheekbones and upper lip with MAC’s lip pencil in Stone and a palette of taupe eyeshadows such as MAC’s Satin Taupe, Copperplate, Quarry was used on the face. With the models with darker skin tones, Gordon used aubergines and navies to get the look with MAC eye shadows in Shadowy Lady, Prussian and Fig. 1. The hair was created by Peter Gray using L’Oreal Professionnel products and he wanted to create textured hair like Mohair, which is very soft, ghostly and romantic. He backcombed the hell out of the hair and tonged it with a big barrel and then spread out the heated hair with his fingers to create the look. The nails by nail expert Sophy Robson also rocked and she said they were based on her mannequin manicure she did last season at Louis Vuitton and used a beige nail colour and matt finish top coat to get the hands to look dead. Darker skin tones should try a dark matt chocolate shade.

Being backstage at LFW you can really feel the fashion- beauty divide, it’s like the East coast v West coast rap beef of the late 90’s with Tupac and Biggie smalls. Lots of my old school friends have gone into both fashion and beauty and let’s just say all the mean girls went into fashion, you know the ones I’m talking about they would whisper, “what the f**k is she wearing?” behind people’s backs. On the other hand, beauty girls like myself would be the ones to try and make people feel and look better, by taking girls to the bathroom and saying, “let’s tone down that blush, have you ever tried a soft pink lip stain, it would really bring out the colour of your eyes”. Being backstage is no different than school. Among the roar and heat of hair dryers and screaming hangers on and models running in late from other shows the most talented and genius people hair stylists/ make up artists/ nail experts and designers always have the time, grace and good humour even under immense pressure to have a chat and giggle. It's always the Hollyoaks and socialite Z- listers and jumped up wannabe hungry (they can’t afford food and wouldn’t eat it if they could) fashion interns, who live in damp bedsits on the edge of the cool bits of East London, armed with a snarl and a clipboard on the door, who are rude and diva like. I always get bewildered stares as I march through the backstage area waving my pass from MAC

Yesterday at a show someone clocked me and yelled security (wanker) because I'm black and well over a size 6, make that a galaxy over a size 6. Fashion can be fascist, elitist and painful but what I love and appreciate about it is the ideas, the art and the craft. Only a handful of people really have that gift where their clothes express ideas, a cultural mood, a statement and that's why I love Vivienne Westwood. Whatever her collection she always has a strong theme running through all her work, which is the ultimate oxymoron in that she is an anarchist and monarchist. This odd mix embodies British culture in my opinion. No one in the world understands how the British are so free -thinking (swinging 60s), avant garde (Alexander McQueen) with a sarcastic sense of humour and can produce the punk movement. However, we as a people we still have respect for the Queen, cream teas, institutions like the House of Lords and Claridges and the Rule of Law. Englishness equals British reserve with a stiff upper lip but after a few beers or mention of a knees up, the straightest of men can be seen dressing up in drag a la David Walliams faster than you can say Alex Reid. My American friends can’t believe how Walliams is engaged to Lara Stone, who is all woman and I tell them he’s bloody British-that’s how we do! Unlike France we have never had a revolution, we praise individualism, respect other people’s cultures and choices but in a lovely structured way. It’s this crazy and dotty Englishness, which I see in every Westwood collection from her use of heritage tweeds (very home counties) with a sexy twist, corsets and boudoir feel, pirates and general naughtiness. 

Westwood is forward thinking and uses historical references (me likey) to understand the world around her. She loves the Wallace collection in central London. Growing up the Wallace Collection was like a church to me, dripping in 18th Century paintings and furnishing. When I found out Westwood also went there and was inspired by the art, the place became holy to me! I find Westwood very interesting in the way she sees the world. The past is there to help us understand the future and understand our nature. Nothing really changes that much because human nature doesn't change.

Backstage at Westwood there were a real mix of girls with dark models and I mean, proper black girls. Beyonce and Halle Berry are beautiful but I hate it when people use them in magazines to represent darker skin tones, as they don't really embody all of black beauty. They are ethnic enough to be mainstream but not too dark and African looking like Alek Wek to scare people. I love the fact Vivienne showed all sides of beauty with her choice of models. I asked her why she chose such dark models, as you don't see them on the catwalk that often and shamefully it feels controversial to have them in a show. She said, “we choose the prettiest girls for the catwalk. We look for girls with nice bodies with good attitudes and it doesn't matter whether they are black or white, they are simply the best”. I loved her even more for saying that tonight, for her colour blindness and I said, “bless you that's how it should be, thank you very much it's great to see”. Look around in ads and TV, everyone thought Naomi was going off on one when she spoke about racism in the industry but out of all the 90s supermodels how many beauty, make up campaigns has she had? God bless Vivienne Westwood for her ideas, inclusiveness (she goes up to a size 16) unheard of for high fashion and her diversity and the fact she doesn't see her model choices as diversity but simply as being pretty. Viva la Viv!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

BLACK CAB BEAUTY


As a freelance beauty journalist lots of my time involves going to product launches and fancy central London hotels. In any given day I can be in the Dorchester for a fragrance launch, in Soho Hotel to see new Spring/Summer make up colours and I can end my day in Claridges having tea with some lovely PRS. Today was one of those hectic days and I decided to jump in a black cab (the rain and thought of frizzy hair pushed me over the edge). As I sat in the cab I said, “St Martin’s Lane hotel please” and then it came. The nudge nudge, wink wink and old twinkle in his eye.

Have you seen Billy Piper in ‘Secret Diary of a Call Girl’? She describes this moment perfectly as every time I jump in a cab at 3pm in the afternoon all black cab drivers assume I am a pro and by that I don’t mean a freelance journalist who has been working for a decade in the beauty industry but a P for prostitute.

Every bloody time I get the same banter from male black cab drivers and today was no exception. The conversation went something like this- he goes, “business or pleasure, darlin’”, and I go, “business”, which makes me look like a right slapper. Then he goes, ohhhhh I hope it’s more pleasurable than just business”.

Now what really makes me angry is not that this man thinks I’m a ho but that in 2010, the only reason a woman in her early 30s is going to a posh hotel for work is because she is working on her back. At this point I then say,” I am a journalist, a beauty/ fashion journalist”, because saying just beauty gets confused, dazed looks. They wonder is that really a job or is this prostitute in the back of my cab really inventive

Anyway, today after I convinced him I was not an escort he asked me, “what is beauty?”. We had a really interesting chat about this highly controversial topic, in the end I said that depends on who and where you are asking the question. In India, being fair is still seen as the height of beauty, I personally get stalked by Nigerian traffic wardens because of my gigantic boobs and junk in my trunk and up North the pale and interesting look just doesn’t wash, it’s fake tan all the way. I also said beauty changes with time because 60 years ago if I showed him a picture of JLO or Alek Wek he wouldn’t think they were that attractive but culture and historical changes also shape our perceptions of beauty. The taxi driver’s response to this was really interesting in the way he rationalised what I was saying as he said, “what you’re saying is that if you look at someone long enough your perception of beauty can change, like when the new Mini came out, I didn’t like the look of it but now I quite like it”. I loved our chat and my black cab beauty discussion, hopefully if I ever get in the back of his cab again the first thing he assumes won’t be that I’m a happy hooker with well applied make up on.




Tuesday, 16 February 2010

CHANEL: YOU LOOKIN' AT ME?


I love it when the worlds of Beauty and Film collide and it’s happened again with Chanel. Today Chanel announced a really exciting collaboration with the Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese, who has produced some of the most iconic and visceral films of our times with ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Taxi Driver’, ‘The Departed’ and ‘Gangs of New York’. Marty (that’s want his hard nut friends Bob De Niro and Leo Dicaprio call him) is set to direct the latest commercial for Chanel’s new men’s fragrance launching September 2010 with the French actor and rising star Gaspard Ulliel. I can’t wait to see what they do, perhaps Gaspard can pistol whip someone across the face with the new bottle of cologne. Have it!


Monday, 15 February 2010

LADY GAGA- M·A·C ATTACK



God bless Lady Gaga and all who sail in her. I love the fact this lady pushes the boundaries of her beauty and fashion boxes and I love this look where she is literally dripping in pearls at the amfAR gala last week in New York. She looks like a modern day Miss Havisham crossed with one of those creepy undead sea pirates serving with Davy Jones from 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest'. I love it! La Gaga is the new M·A·C Viva Glam, www.maccosmetics.co.uk, spokesperson along with Cyndi Lauper and I’m so glad she didn’t disappoint with this look at the M·A·C sponsored event. Now don’t try this at home kids but if you want to recreate the look for say, an evening meeting your potential mother-in-law, job interview or an evening down the pub, it took make up artist Billy B an hour and a half to create using M·A·C white micronized airbrush formula avec pearls and the look was designed by artist Terence Koh. Bravo.

CHANEL HYDRAMAX + ACTIVE NUTRITION LIP CARE


As you all know I am a huge Chanel fan and I also am a bit of a lip balm fanatic, as there is nothing less appealing and uncomfortable than cracked up dry lips. So I’m not ashamed to say I did let out a little squeal of delight when this new Chanel Hydramax + Active Nutrition Lip care, £26, www.chanel.com (that’s Chanel speak for lip balm) landed on my desk. It’s a really nourishing product without any sticky tackiness. The balm helps to soothe, plump and protect the delicate skin on the lips with rose wax, cottonseed oil and ceratonia PFA, the key ingredient in the HYDRAMAX +ACTIVE range, which helps to boost the skin’s own natural hydration mechanisms. Apart from that, the Barbie sized dinky packaging is fabulous, smells of white peaches and berries but not too much, as I can’t stand over perfumed products and will look chic when being pulled out of any handbag. Look out for it when it launches on the 23rd April. Chanel you are class all the way! 

Friday, 12 February 2010

FAREWELL ALEXANDER MCQUEEN











It was such a shock to hear of Alexander McQueen’s passing today. I am such a huge fan of his work and his talent, vision and his genius will be missed. It feels so odd that we will never see another theatrical show, another set of ideas and his take on the world. Any art is about ideas, expression and soulfulness and McQueen’s work screamed originality and excellence. I loved McQueen’s hard-edged S&M approach to romanticism and for me he belonged in a romanticism trinity along with John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood some of my other favourite designers. The world has lost an interesting, creative and talented soul. RIP.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

REVLON'S VALENTINE'S DAY




I saw the fabulous Andrea Fulerton celebrity nail expert and spokesperson for Revlon, www.andreafulerton.com today. I love Andrea and apart from being really talented and wicked company she’s super fun and a cracking lass.  Andrea works with all the A-listers such as Penelope Cruz, Lilly Allen, Sienna Miller, Kim Cattrall, Victoria Beckham and I was lucky enough to have a manicure with her. Over a cuticle clean up Andrea told me she had done Jessica Alba’s nails in preparation for tonight’s Valentine’s Day premiere. Guess what colour Alba went for? One of my favourite shades Valentine, a really cool toned and sexy 50s pin up esque red, which was very fitting. Jessica Alba rocked her nails and updo on the red carpet and looked fierce. Well done and thank you Andrea!

MERCI BEAUCOUP LAURA MERCIER






Last week was very exciting as one of my favourite make up artists Laura Mercier was launching her S/S colours at the Dorchester with an array of new products. Laura works with a dazzling number of A-list super stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Liv Tyler, Sienna Miller, Angelina Jolie and Jessica Alba. Meeting ladies like Laura is why I love the beauty industry as she is ballsy, outspoken, talented with lots of integrity and creativity.

The last few times I have met Laura I have asked her to please go darker with her colours and I’m so pleased she has extended her range with her light weight sheer coverage foundation Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 by 3 shades with Bisque (for light to neutral complexions with pink and yellow undertones), Caramel (for light tanned and olive complexions) and Mocha (for darker skin tones with yellow and red undertones) with a plan to add 2 more darker shades! I’ve always wanted to use this tinted moisturizer but until the Mocha shade there was just nothing to cater for my skin tone. The mocha leaves a dewy finish without leaving an ashy film on the skin, which you often get on darker skin tones when SPF is in the product.

Laura’s iconic Secret Concealer, £18, www.lauramercier.com, has now also been extended to 6 shades and now caters for Asian and Black skin tones. The three new shades are No. 4 for medium skin tones with light golden undertones. No 5 is great for medium to deep skin with neutral/rose undertones and No. 6 is great for darker skin tones with rich caramel undertones.  It’s great for concealing dark circles and is packed full of vitamin E and A to protect the fragile skin around the eye area. The new Under Eye Protector in orange/yellow, £18, is also a genius new product and is also excellent for Asian skin tones as hereditary dark circles are often a problem for this skin tone. The creamy colour corrector won’t cake or slide off but helps to cancel out grey and purple imperfections before your concealer and foundation goes on.

I’m really excited about the new line extensions as it’s my personal beauty bug bear that many companies (you know who you are) don’t cater to Asian and black skin tones. I have heard all the excuses under the sun such as there is not enough room on the shelves in store, the colours for darker skins don’t sell well (that’s because there is always only a token dark shade, which suits Beyonce or Halle Berry and nobody else). The funniest one I have heard as to why there are no dark shades is that the company is not sure if the market is right in the UK for darker skin tones- er take it from me there are legions of cash rich and ignored beauty mad Asian and Black women in the UK. Extending the range was obviously very important to Laura as she said, "it means the world. It is an achievement that should have been done a longtime ago. When the range was first created we had dark shades included and then they were taken out and I have been fighting to get them back ever since. They make the line complete".

Congrats Laura on the new shades and thank you x

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

ESTEE LAUDER BRONZE GODDESS 2010



What the hell is up with the snow? If like me, you are over it have a look at the new Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 2010 collection and think happy Spring/ Summer thoughts. As usual the limited edition Estee Lauder collection was bang on and will have people in a frenzy, when it launches across Estee Lauder counters in House of Fraser from 29th March 2010 and then nationwide from the 26th April 2010 while stocks, www.esteelauder.co.uk. Keep an eye out for the new Limited Edition Bronze Goddess Liquid Eyeshadow in Ultra Violet, Aqua Flash and Molton Bronze, £15, which you can use as a liner for a peek a boo hit of colour or as a creamy eyeshadow. It’s lightweight and metallic and doesn’t have that tacky feeling you get with some creamy eyeshadows. Another shout out has to go to the Sumptuous Waterproof Bold Volume Lifting Mascara in Rich Black, £18, which is actually a kick ass volumising mascara first and water proof mascara second, in that while being great in all humid and wet conditions, it lifts and makes lashes look long and luscious.

Another must have is the Limited Edition Bronze Goddess Solid Perfume Pendant, £55 (you know what I’m like I love a solid perfume), which is a gorgeous piece of jewellery in its own right, which will go with all your floaty summer dresses. However, the statement orb also contains the Bronze Goddess classic fragrance, which smells of holidays with its sun soaked, beachy, coconuty, creamy sun lotion esque notes but it is actually built around golden amber notes. Have fun bringing out your inner Bronze Goddess!






SUPER BOWL BEAUTY 2010 WITH KIM KARDASHIAN AND HER BUSH




The Super bowl in the U.S. happened last Sunday and is a huge cultural and sporting affair, with most of the country watching the big game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts. Ok, that’s quite enough of that, not that I care about the Super bowl but it was quite fabulous for the beauty and celeb spotting with Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore as well as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt who were putting on an Oscar worthy performance of ‘we are not breaking up people’. Personally, I think the lady doth protest too much.

Anyway, the real celeb who was on full WAG duty was Kim Kardashian, who I love for being dark haired and big bummed while growing up in LA LA land- she must be so hard. Anyway, she was there supporting her off but back on again boyfriend Reggie Bush, who was playing on the winning side with the New Orleans Saints. Now, Kim’s nails were quite something as she had them painted gold and black, Bush’s team colours with his name and Jersey number on them. Now if I was watching ‘High School Musical 3’ and a cheerleader was doing this for her quarterback beau, I would think this was to be expected but from a 29 woman???? What do you guys think- is this nail empowerment and fierce or is it totally WAG-a-licious?


Monday, 8 February 2010

CALVIN KLEIN ETERNITY FOR MEN AQUA






























Last week I went to a rather fab fragrance launch for men by Calvin Klein, www.calvinkleinfragrances.com at the new bar/restaurant /club Aqua on Regent street. I met the new face of the fragrance model Ben Hill who was totally charming and lovely. The legendary photographer David Sims shot the campaign in the Hamptons. Rather fittingly Calvin Klein’s latest reincarnation of Eternity is also called Aqua and is a modern aquatic woody fragrance. The fragrance has a outdoorsy, elegant and refined feel (think Daniel Craig as Bond by a pool with a G&T in his hand) with top notes of clean, fresh chilled cucumber, water lotus and drenched green leaves with heart notes of classic Mirabelle Lavender, Szechuan pepper and warming sandalwood, patchouli and Guaiac wood. Grab a bottle for the man in your life but I can’t promise he will turn into Daniel Craig!

CHANTECAILLE: SEXY LIPS FOR VALENTINE'S DAY



Valentine’s Day is hurtling towards us and getting a good bit of slap with a new lipstick and gloss is all part of the fun. If you’re in a beauty rut and want to give your look a revamp in time for V day, go to the Chantecaille counter at Fenwick’s for a glass of champagne and chocolate now until the 14th Feb, where experts on counter will help choose a new lip look. Chantecaille do some of the best lip colours on the market, as the textures are high tech and feel really good on the lips, are packed full of pigment and looks good on all skin tones. Pre-book your appointment by calling 0207 629 9161 and appointments cost £10 redeemable against a Chantecaille purchase and every guest who books a make over will receive a complimentary full size lip gloss worth £21. Happy Valentine’s Day.


Friday, 5 February 2010

FROM THE HILLS TO JERSEY SHORE



I am a freelance beauty journalist as you know and I work from home and that means I watch lots of TV. I'm one of those people who like to work with a bit of background noise, so an ideal day for me is booty shaking to Beyonce's top 40 videos while working on a deadline. I also love watching E! News and ‘The Hills’. 

Now lots of you have been emailing me telling me you loved my ‘I heart Britney and Modern Beauty’ post so thank you and it would be great to see what you think about this beauty observation! 

As I said I love ‘The Hills’, the reality show about young 20 somethings working at Teen Vogue magazine, in fashion Pr, events pr and partying in LA at the best night spots. The show focuses on female friendships such as bitching, hooking up with your friend’s ex-boyfriend as well as the support and the kindness women offer each other, which you never see on TV. No matter your age, female friends and relationships are extremely important to women in a way men often don't understand or get. Look at the long suffering Toni Terry and her wayward husband footballer John Terry. Out of all his women and conquests his supposed shagging of her friend and fellow WAG Vanessa Perroncel had to hurt the most. Oh to a fly on her wall at Toni's house when she gets back from Dubai, as her girlfriends gather round to support her and bitch over coffee. 

‘The Hills’ have made stars of young blonde barbie esque girls such as Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port and Heidi Pratt. However, ‘The Hills is sooooo yesterday as ratings are falling due to the credit crunch. In boom times, it was fun to see 21year old girls launching their own fashion lines, driving in BMWs and toting Chanel and Hermes birkin bags. However, our American cousins like us are tightening their belts and most of us are now shopping at Aldi rather than M & S everyday. As a result people in the US have turned to the new reality show ‘Jersey Shore’, about young Italian Americans in Jerrrsey baby, who live to party and fist pump in the air on the dance floor. The show’s stars are girls such as Snooki (she looks like Amy Winehouse if Tony Soprano was her dad) doing knickerless cart wheels on the dance floor, she also got punched in the face while at a club by a drunk random (classy). The guys or guidos such as 'The Situation' (that's his actually name) hunt women to take home, fake tan and use enough gel and hair spray in their rather 80s throw back hairstyles to create their own hole in the ozone (again that's the boys), it's rather fabulous watch it!

I think it's really interesting in boom times it was all about the LA west coast blonde beauties and in the economic downturn people have been put off by their excessive consumption for East coast dark haired Italian Americans, whose lifestyles seem more real and relatable, in that we all remember shaming ourselves back in the day. I remember trotting about in a silver mini skirt, it was the whole space man thing in the late 90s over broken glass bottles in open toe heels at 3am waiting for a nightbus in Leiceister square with my home girls-you know who you are. Oh those were the days...... 

What do you think? 

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

ELEMIS 20TH ANNIVERSARY!















Last night I went to the 20th anniversary party for Elemis. The party was packed full of loyal followers of the brand and celebs such as Yasmin Le Bon, Lisa B and Trinny Woodall. I have always been a huge fan of the very British brand as the treatments are not your average rub down but are a truly holistic experience for the mind, body and soul. I love the day spa just off the hectic and busy Bond street in central London and it’s only after an amazing treatment, which is medicinal as well as luxurious where you get to unwind, tense muscles are soothed and you have a chance to quieten your mind, that you realise that London living can really leave you feeling a bit battered and exhausted.

I also love Sean and Noella the driving force and heart of the well loved brand as they really are soulful people who deeply believe in the giving back, creating great quality products and spa experiences. In true Elemis style after 20 successful years the beauty company is giving back with  two 20th Anniversary limited edition products with the iconic Skin Nourishing Milk Bath which is great for dry skin with its soothing oat extract and Japanese camellia oil, repackaged in an Italian glass decanter. The ultimate anti-aging face cream Pro Collagen Marine Cream has also been pimped out with a Limited edition 100 ml jar and a special silver lid. The most special part of the 20th Anniversary limited editions is that a percentage of the profits will go to the charity Mothers4Children founded by Yasmin Le Bon and Lisa B, which supports existing charities such as Kids Company and F.R.O.D.O, the foundation for the relief of disabled orphans in Romania.

Well done and congratulations Elemis!














Tuesday, 2 February 2010

I HEART BRITNEY AND MODERN BEAUTY


























Hello my name is Ateh and I love Britney Spears. There, I said it and I am not ashamed. I have always loved her from the beginning. I loved the marketing juggernaut behind her image and brand, which actually made the public believe for just one second, she was an innocent teenage virgin and not the Britney we now know. Genius. Respect .

I also love Britney’s dancer’s body, which in her heyday in the ‘I’m a slave for you’ video was like a race horse, all lean yet muscular and healthy, as you couldn’t dance like that if were a weak size zero Rachel Zoe wannabe only eating green salad. I also love Britney the survivor and how she has bounced back after her multiple melt downs, divorces, pink wigs and babies. She’s a grafter I like that too and also the way her hair changes from Blonde Britney I’m a pop star to Brunette Britney I’m being introspective, so please take me seriously or I will flip and lose it again. On her road back to mental wellness and pop stardom the Baptist Britney has released her latest song '3', all about threesomes- praise be! The video is fab and I was watching it on my i phone the other day when I noticed they seemed to have used a very old trick to make Britney look more starry and prominent in the video.

It suddenly hit me that a few frames of the video reminded me of a 18th century fashion trick where rich ladies of quality would be painted with their black maids/slaves next to them to make them pop, look fairer in the picture and also show off their wealth due to the fact they could afford an exotic black maid/slave.

In Britney’s video she is flanked by hot black and Hispanic dancers, which does make her pop with her white swimsuit and blonde hair. However, unlike in the 18th century Britney is fake tanned within an inch of her life but the comparisons do seem very similar. Britney does look good, the dancers do look good but it just reminded me of the times when Asian, Black and Hispanic beauty was not considered beautiful but comical with big lips, boobs and bums. Thank God for JLO’s bum! In terms of making ethnic bodies and sensuality acceptable and desirable we have a lot to owe to Ms Lopez. Without JLOEva MendesJessica Albathe Kardashian sistersNicole from the Pussycat dollsBeyonce or other ethnic women wouldn’t be seen as the goddesses they are but as ladies who need to tone up. Now women like Heidi from 'The Hills' turn to plastic surgeries like lip collagen injections, boob jobs and even butt implants - the world has certainly changed.

What do you guys think?

DIOR HAUTE COUTURE SHOW






















I was really blown away by the look at Dior’s Haute Couture show in Paris last week. Pat Mcgrath the legendary make up artist who created the looks really is a visionary and is a bit of a rock star in the beauty world. Other beauty journalists like me, get a bit silly and overexcited by her work and her down to earth personality. I love the drama, romanticism and historical referencing in the look. If you want to give a nod to the look, reach for Diorskin Nude Foundation in Ivory or if you have darker skin think matte and powdered, with plenty of black liquid liner and on the lips Rouge Dior Replenishing Lipcolour in Red Premiere or Celebrity Red. Bravo Madame McGrath and Monsieur Galliano!
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