Wednesday, 30 December 2009

How To Style Your Hair Like Blair Waldorf

When I was flying home from Athens last year there were delays at the airport and while I was looking round the duty free zone a girl stopped to ask me how to get 'Blair Waldof hair' like mine. Again, my mother came home from a trip to our hairdresser last week telling me a very funny story of the girl with thin flat hair who came in with a photo of Ms. Waldorf asking to get hair like hers. Our stylist proceeded to tell the girl she only knows one girl who she could do (and does do) hair like that for; me. Moral of the story is? Only try this at home if your hair is naturally able to pull off the style. It will NEVER work trying to get a hair style that does not suit your hair type, unless you get extensions. However, if you have mid-length to long hair with at least a bit of body you can really make Blair's style work.
What you will need...
  • Curling tongs. I find that even if you know how to curl your hair with straighteners, use tongs as they give a better shape for the look you're going for. 
  • Heat protection spray
  • Volumizing mousse (not necessary if you have naturally thick hair)
  • Hair wax or texturing paste specially designed to enhance curls (I use the green L'Oreal Playball)
  • A round headed hairbrush

1. If you have naturally thick hair you can skip this step. While hair is still wet brush through to remove all knots, towel dry and rub in about a walnut size globule of hair moose (a bit more if your hair is a bit longer than in the below picture) from your roots to the tips of your hair. Either blow dry while brushing your hair out to gain volume, or allow to dry naturally depending on the eventual effect you want to achieve. 

2. Brush out your hair again until it is smooth and silky, and is 100% tangle free. Separate you hair into two sections, either side of your face and evenly spray from just above your roots to the tips of your hair with heat protection spray. Brush, yet again until smooth. 

3. Starting at the front curl small sections of your hair around the tongs and hold for about a minute each. Do a side at a time until your whole hair is in full but stiff ringlets. 

4. Carefully brush your hair until the curls look natural, but take care not to brush them out. If your curling tongs have a heat brush attachment, use that. 

5. Rub a small amount of wax or texturing paste into your palm and rub it into your curls very carefully, I find squeezing handfuls of curls to set them works well. I find texturing paste gives a softer finish than hairspray, which I find makes my hair feel brittle. Paste works just as well. 

6. Don't brush it once the paste has been added, that will destroy the curls. Comb through and style with your fingers. I find adding a bit of hair oil to your hands and rubbing it over, or spraying it with something like Alterna's finishing spray gives it a lovely Blair like shine. 
blair2 copy
Sometimes Blair wears her hair loose, but she is famous for her headbands. When she wears an Alice band she either sets it straight on her head, as above or she draws her hair back, as below. To do this take two sections from the front of your hair, one from either side, draw them back and pin them with two bobby pins at the back of your head, not pulling it back too tight so it softly frames your face. Then place the hair band over the top.

A lot of Blairs headbands you see in the first few seasons of the show come from a designer I absolutely adore Jennifer Ouellette, but if you're looking to wear them every day and have lots of different ones to go with different outfits I suggest you go to Forever 21 where they have loads of different colours, styles and finishes all for only a pound or two each.

Who is your Gossip Girl hair crush? 

Thursday, 24 December 2009

How To Choose Your Signature Scent (Part 2)

With Love by Hilary Duff
Right. Something I generally have a problem with is celebrity perfumes. Not just the artificial celebrity-ness of it, but because they're creating their own signature scent and bottling it up as a commercial venture to sell to the general public. That's why I have even more of a problem with celebrity's who release more than one perfume - how can you have more than one signature scent? Also if you're wearing X celebrity's signature scent, your not wearing your OWN signature scent. However, apart from loving the pretty bottle in Hilary's With Love music video I actually liked the smell of this one so I decided to give it a go!
And also, yet again it had pretty packaging which I've still got as well as the nice bottle and the great smell (spicy, a very me smell which I discovered over at Ralph Lauren). However, which I think was the reason I didn't buy it again was it was quite weak - I don't think it gave off as strong a scent as any of my previous designer perfumes. Also, call it brand snobbery, but unless directly asked I never admitted what perfume I was wearing, just because it was a celebrity scent. But, as someone just pointed out to me, if Leighton Meester launched a perfume would I seriously be telling myself that I wouldn't go out and buy it?
I still love the smell but I won't buy it again.

So why did I wear it?
I spotted it in the music video, and then my friend Yasmin told me how great it smelt and I loved it too!
Rose by Paul Smith
I've still got a little bit of this left actually. I loved the idea of a perfume that smelt exactly like roses, and I decided I wanted it when Lipstick Royalty's Music Editor Catherine brought it and I saw the adorable rose patterned bag the bottle comes in inside the box. Also she was living in a room with my best friend at the time, she hates floral smells and it drove her crazy! I remember reading about it in Vogue, and then as I didn't believe it would be perfectly accurately like roses I went to the store for a wiff!
I love the smell, but I don't think I'll be getting it again when I run out!

So why did I wear it?
I loved the bottle bag. And the idea of a perfect rose scent appealed to me.
Black XS by Paco Rabanne
This is my current perfume, and I love it. Cool bottle and really spicy. I'd actually wanted this perfume for a very long time after catching a whiff on a smelling spree (one of my favourite pastimes) and kept on spraying myself with it every time I went to the store but I kept of getting side tracked by other scents with flashier ad campaigns. I finally brought it for myself about a month and a half ago after getting a hold of some extra spending money from my parents for achieving a rather splendid (if I may say so myself) set of exam results.
I'm still totally in love and I think, even though I'm still only half a way though the bottle I'm getting another for Christmas!

So why did I wear it?
I went to the store, smelt everything there and fell in love.

Chloe by Chloe
This one I'm wearing at the moment, and I got it as a sample size free with Tatler magazine. I'd never smelt it before and I wore it because it was free. However its grown on me and I really like it.
I love it and would buy it again; however it has a pretty hefty price tag so we'll have to wait and see.

So why did I wear it?
It was free with Tatler. I do quite like it though.

As I've hopefully shown above, the best way to choose your signature scent is through trial and error. However if you need to buy the perfect scent on the spot make a list of all the scents you like and look at what you can find in common with them. Are they all spicy like I tend to lean towards? Or heady or floral scents? That will make sure you like the perfume and it suits your personality.
If not all year round scent, suits your personality, every time of day. Not a fashion scent. You need to make sure you'll still want to wear a perfume day and night, whatever your wearing and whatever the time of year however hot or cold it is. Before purchasing think about all these very carefully.
Another thing that can put you off is if you know someone else with the same scent. I was slightly put out when I caught a whiff of Black XS on someone else the other day. However I love the scent too much to give it up and the fact she's a really good friend of mine and a model with a top agency softens the blow a little bit. That's just one perfume though; your signature scent should be individual to you. There was nothing individual about where I can remember back to practically everyone reeking of Juicy Couture.

Friday, 18 December 2009

How To Choose Your Signature Scent (Part 1)

Around December, as doubtless many of you would have already seen, there is an influx of perfume adverts on television. I've always wondered about these; fine they look great witht the models and locations, for example I really love the campaign for Miss Dior with the trip through Paris which is an extension of the balloon adorned print ad campaign, and the new incarnation of the Chanel no.5 ad featuring Audrey Tatu (of Coco Before Chanel fame) was just a stroke of PR genius.
However, one flaw that I always seem to come up with is the fact that your watching television, not scentovision, and you can't smell any of these campaigns while you are watching them on the box. Magazines solved this problem by allowing the companies that were prepared to pay an arm and a leg for it to add inserts to this page which you can either fold over to smell the perfume, or lift a tab for the waft of the sample. Or you could go a step further like Chloe did in the recent issue of Tatler magazine and give a little sample bottle of your scent as a free gift. Last time I was at the perfume counter in Fenwick I'm pretty sure I got a waft of this scent and decided I didn't fancy it (or it could have been the price tag I didn't fancy) but now I've worn it a couple of times, thanks to the sample, I think I may be in love.
The different array of scents that adorned my dressing table this morning when I got out of bed to put my make-up on got me thinking. How do you exactly choose your signature scent? How do you know its the right one for you? I took a look at all the different perfumes I've had over the years...

Clinique Simply
As many of you may already know if you shop at Clinique they often have a 'bonus time' where if you buy any two products while the offer is on you get a little make-up bag full of samples free. Over the years, because my Mum and I both use liberal amounts of Clinique (though I seem to be switching over to Benefit recently) we have accumulated lots of make up bags, and when Clinique were launching their first perfume, Clinique Simply we got a lot of samples. This therefore was my first perfume.
I still like the smell today and as my Mum liked it more than I did I brought her a proper bottle for Christmas the year after. I like the smell but I wouldn't buy it now. And, finding a sample the other day it actually goes off a lo quicker than any other scent I've ever used.

So why did I wear it?
It was a free sample bottle I enjoyed.
Eternity Moment by Calvin Klein
I've always loved the smell of this perfume. And again, so has my Mum. This is another one of the scents we've both owned a bottle of over the last few years. Now while I think of it, lots of people may be horrified to wear similar clothes, were the same make-up and wear the same perfumes as their mother. But I must explain that my mother is my greatest fashion icon; if I was the same shoe size as her I think she'd find several pairs of Jimmy Choos and Manolo's missing from her wardrobe, and I'm still waiting for the moment when I'll be able to whisk away her black Diane von Fustenburg gown.
Anyway, back to Calvin Klein. I first caught a waft of this in one of those pull out tabs in my Mum's copy of Marie Claire. We both loved it. Later that year we were on a Mediterranean cruise and in the perfume shop on board (you've got to love duty free beauty products) with the express intent of buying a bottle; and we did. But my Mum stole it. They only had one bottle left on board and occupational hazard of not living in the same house, and her being the one paying for it I lost out. My next encounter with Eternity Moment, asides the squirts I stole off of her dressing table on occasion when I was going out was when she was wrapping Christmas gifts, and she'd accidently crushed the box of an Eternity Moment scent bottle/ shower gel gift set. Now my mother is the type of person who always gives perfectly presented gifts. Doing anything else would upset her greatly. I can see through to our Christmas tree in the hall right now and you can tell all the gifts she's wrapped. Big perfect bows, creaseless paper, co-ordinating gift tags... She was so upset the gift box was broken she gave the box to me. That's how I came by my first bottle of Calvin Klein.
I still love the perfume now, and I really want to get my hands on another bottle. I've had another bottle since my first, and I think that want the fastest of any perfume I've ever owned, even if it was a small bottle.

So why did I wear it?
I always loved the smell, and I always wanted to wear it ever since the magazine tear out.
Hot by Ralph Lauren
This was another scent I fell in love with from the pull out in a magazine. Glamour this time I think it was but Ralph Lauren advertised it some much the summer it launched I could have smelt it anywhere. I liked the spicy scent of this perfume, though an exclusively summer scent I kinda had a feeling that spicy was me.
I still like this scent, but I know someone I always smell it on now and it kinda puts me off it. I still have the bottle though; its very pretty!

So why did I wear it?
I fell in love with the smell, the ad campaign but it was a passing faze.
Sunset Heat by Escada
This one I fell in love with at the perfume counter. And the bottle was pretty. Another summer scent like the Ralph Lauren (its a year on now,  had another bottle of Calvin Klein in the interlude) but this time very fruity rather than spicy. This was an impulse buy with my birthday money I think it was at the time, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and it suited me thought the summer. And yet again I still have the bottle. And the box. However something I must pull up on for this one is that every scent in the collection smells the same. My friend and model Milly wore the one in the pink and blue bottle at the time (and I think she still does) and I always thought they smelt the same.
I didn't buy this again, I can hardly remember the smell without referring to the bottle first, but I enjoyed it while I wore it.

So why did I wear it?
I fell for the overly sweet seasonal smell, clever packaging and pretty bottle.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

What's In My Bag? (17/12/09)

I've always wanted to do one of these 'what's in my bag' posts, so as I've got my camera out today to do some ISO (the amount of light you allow when your taking a photograph) examples I though  - why not?
(From left to right)
I got this golden brown scarf off of the market a few years ago, and though I have loads of them from there (3 for £5) this is my favourite one and its wearing out! When I'm not wearing it with an outfit in the colder months I always keep it in my bag as it goes with most of my outfits and I don't want to get cold by going without!
M.A.C, Satin in Capture. I love my lipstick and the two I wear the most is Satin in Brave which I put on every morning when I get up as its the perfect tinted nude, but this is the bright red I wear whenever I go out or I want to jazz up an outfit. However, as its such a solid bold colour that stains I always need to make sure I have a mirror handy and a blotting tissue when I put it on. And I can't put it on in the car!
Clinique Superbalm in 02, Raspberry. I either wear this over lipstick to give a glossy shine, on its own to give a bit of colour or by itself as a lipbalm as it works as that and I find Vasaline and chapstick dry my lips out even more!
Tickets & Business Cards
I have run out of my Lipstick Royalty magazine business cards and I really need to get some of my own printed, but I have two for the make-up artist and Lipstick Royalty columnist Emily Rose so I a) have her contact details to hand, b) I did the photography for the cards and I can give it as an example to people. I also have an old train and London tube ticket from Canterbury East to London Victoria, so I always have the ball point for the journey and I can just show the ticket when I'm buying them as its my regular journey.
I ate most of it when I went to London on Saturday but I always try to keep something to eat in my bag!
Purse & Tube Map
I keep the tube map in my purse, as well as all my cards, loyalty cards, cash and change. My purse is one of the old style Cath Kidston ones, red with little white polka dots I got in my stocking Christmas before last.
Mobile Phone
Samsung Omnia with integrated Microsoft Office. Though I'm an Apple girl I don't have an iPhone yet so I put up with this; the Microsoft Word and easy touch screen typing means I don't need to carry a heavy notebook for my creative writing, and I have my emails integrated onto this too. I used to have the Dolce & Gabbana phone, but I now prefer having a touch screen mini computer!
iPod touch with pink rubber case (with clear stripes to show the silver on the back) and yellow gummy earphones. I also have loads of books to read on it such as the entire works of Shakespeare, Alice in Wonderland and Wuthering Heights. I also have my favorite episodes of Gossip Girl and the first half of the 1st season of Lie To Me.
Books & Magazines
Novella's are thin and light so I try to carry open to read in my bag for if I don't fancy reading off of my iPod screen. I'm studying The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald so my current novella is A Diamond As Big As A Ritz by the same author. As far as magazines are concerned I like trashy ones like the current Cosmopolitan which I have currently, or Glamour in handbag size instead of my usual Vogue, NYLON, Harpers Bazzar or Tatler.
Hair Scrunchy
Green ruffled silk; I like high ponytails and its good if I have to keep my hair out of my face last minute. Also my hair goes fluffy and tangled in the rain and high wind so I try to tie it up in such conditions to make it more manageable.
In case I do need to scribble something somewhere. I love the funky patterns of the £1 pens from Paperchase.
Brown suede, my favourite Deliciously warm and stylish. They're my second pair; I wore holes in the fingers of my first pair!
USB Drive
I used to lose these like crazy but I got this one as a gift last Christmas and its still going strong. I usually use it to transfer photos to models and MUA's after shoots (its quite large) and to carry back ups of my book.
and finally...
The Bag Itself
Black leather with patent embellishments, yet another last year Christmas gift from my parents this time, Ted Baker.

What do you keep in your handbag?

Love & Raspberry Macaroons

Monday, 28 September 2009

I Want To Be: A Band Photographer

Ok so I have the whole fashion photography thing covered but something I've always been interested in is concert photography. A possibility. But now my fave bands website has made me come up with another dream career which makes the voice inside my head scream "DREAM ON GIRL!"
The thing I am most looking forward to in life at the moment (sad I know) is Maroon 5's new album which will be out early next year. Their music has done so much for me and I know new songs from them will change my life for the better. So anyway back on track I was checking out some of the photos of the band recording in Switzerland and they are such bloody cool photos! I WANT to be a band photographer... just hanging with a group and capturing their process...
Bass player Mickey Madden
Front man, rhythm guitarist and lead vocals Adam Levine
Drummer Matt Flynn
Front man, rhythm guitarist and lead vocals Adam Levine

Which band would you love the chance to capture?

Monday, 31 August 2009

How To Find The Perfect Concealer

For ages, I've been on a mission for a brilliant concealer. On thats flawless; one that makes your skin look flawless and one that makes it look like your not really actually wearing any concealer at all.
However there is one fatal floor to my quest, one floor that makes the mission in hand all that little bit more complicated: the said concealer has to be hypoallergenic. That and the palest colour has to look flawless on uber pale skin.
First up comes MAC's Studio Stick Concealer. Not strictly hypoallergenic, but it didn't give me any problems like MAC's eyeshadows do. Studio stick had an almost perfect, but not exact colour match and it lasts a long time. It was quite a heavy formula so therefore gave good coverage but could look quite caked on. Good, but I didn't buy it again.
Next in line comes Clinique's Airbrush Concealer. This one came with beauty awards so I was pretty confident. I use a lot of Clinque - eyeshadow and mascara as well as skin care products (body butter, eye cream, face cream, hand cream, face scrub etc.) as they are a really good hypoallergenic brand. And I really liked it. It looked flawless, had easy application (it comes in a pen like YSL's celebrated Touche Eclat) and was fabulous for use under the eyes. In fact I still use it there! However I find it didn't gave enough coverage everywhere else...
So we've got Clinique for under the eyes... but what about the rest of the face? Thats when my obsession with Benefit Cosmetics comes in... Benefit make 3 types of concealer... Boi-ing (industrial strength), Erase Paste (paste in a jar) and Powderflage which is under eye powder. Well I already had the eyes covered so I buzzed over to the Benefit counter to take Boi-ing and Erase paste for a test run. First up was Erase Paste. I know my friends use it and love it but I found it too, well, paste-y and it didn't match my skin tone though it gave great coverage.
Next up was Boi-ing. This could be applied with a concealer brush or with a finger. Good skin match and next to perfect coverage. Not too heavy and gave a flawless look. We have a winner! The three skin tones mean they can match to almost any caucasian tone.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Vogue Cover Memories

Will doing some work for my internship, I came across a pretty cool archive of Vogue covers that got me looking for my favorites. Instead I found ones with memories for me... I have a pretty sizable mountain of old Vogues in the Lipstick Royalty office (as well as many US Vogue, Harpers Bazzar, Sunday Times Styles, Tattlers and Paris Vogues) but its always the covers that make me remember things...
March 1993 - I don't exactly remember this cover, as it was from the month I was born. Apparently its also a collectors item, as it was Kate Moss's first ever Vogue cover. I feel honoured to be born in such a month!
June 2005 - My first ever issue of Vogue. I wanted to be a fashion designer so my Mum brought it for me and we sat in the conservatory together one afternoon and read it together. Quality mother and daughter time. I started drawing dress design illustrations that day!
December 2006 - Vogue's 90th birthday issue. I brought it because it was big - good value for money! The first ever issue I brought myself, and I brought it with a bar of Lint milk chocolate and sat in bed all afternoon, eating chocolate and reading it cover to cover!
September 2007 -I had started reading Vogue every few months by this point. My favorite ever Vogue cover - I LOVE that dress! This is the cover that made me turn back to the fashion industry as something I may be interested in after all!
December 2007 - The most important cover in Lipstick Royalty history. My Mum brought this as a gift for me when I came home for the weekend and it was sitting on my bed next to me (I'd just finished reading it) when i founded the magazine! [Anyone who owns this copy should check out page 35. Thats exactly how much inspiration I drew from this issue when founding Inside Out!]
May 2008 - I remember sitting in the Lipstick Royalty office with both this, and the then current issue of Harpers Bazzar taking tips from the work of Alexandra Shulman and Lucy Yeomans on the best way to write my editors letter. I ended up writing it on how they were both my heros in fashion.
October 2008 - Another Kate cover. I only remember this issue because my friend Steph is obsessed with her, and she was so happy with me when I gave her a picture form the insert! She stuck it on her wardrobe next to the Kate Moss for Topshop poster I had picked up for her in store.
December 2008 - Kate again. I read this on the sofa while watching music channels and doing Lipstick Royalty work on my laptop. I remember getting ideas of what to write about when I was reading it it the kitchen making noodles. Rihanna is modeling swimwear for Gucci in one of the first ads and she came on in her Disturbia music video while I was eating/ reading/ writing. The video, along with the Victoria's secret Witches ad campaign I saw next day was the inspiration for the yearly Gothic December issue. Rihanna is also wearing the Witches collection in the video.
January 2009 - I sat reading this on the train and it made me think of my first ever Vogue, again a Cate cover. I was on the way to/ back from the Battlefront launch party at Channel 4 in London!

What are your Vogue memories?

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Ten Questions With This Charming Girl

When I noticed that This Charming Girl, the jewlery designer was one of the top posts on this blog I just knew I had to grab an interview with Jackie, the brains behind the operation...
When was This Charming girl founded, and how come you started it? 

I started This Charming Girl in October 2006. I wasn't able to find unique, quirky jewellery on the high street. The only websites selling the unusual vintage style jewellery I liked were American and I wondered if I would be able to make some myself and open a UK based shop to fill that niche in the market. I had been making jewellery for myself and friends and family for some time and after a good response, thought I'd try my hand at selling it online.

What did you do before This Charming Girl?

When I started This Charming Girl I was working as an Administration Assistant. I was then made redundant and got a job as a Project Administrator - then a while later I left that to become an Audio Typist. This Charming Girl started to really take off so I quit my office job to run it full time in September 2008.

Where did the name come from? 

I'm a huge Smiths fan so it came from their song "This Charming Man" and also because the jewellery was centered around charms.

What inspires your designs? 

I draw inspiration lots of places - old costume jewellery, music (I'll often use song titles to name jewellery pieces), fairytales, nature - I love animal jewellery, for example at the moment I stock jewellery featuring birds, snakes, horses, dogs, bears, bees, peacocks and octopus - to name but a few! Also flowers and leaves, peapods, branches, watering cans and feathers. I'm also a big fan of lockets, the more unusual the better - I have lockets in the shape of love letters, books, purses and treasure chests as well as chunky cameo lockets. I'm also inspired by romance so I have a lot of love and heart themed jewellery - such as the Love Predictors, the various love themed charm necklaces (Long Distance Love, I Love You More Than Yesterday, Mon Amour) and kitsch, tongue-in-cheek love pendants (Slave to Love, I'm In Love With, Reserved For and Oh Sweetheart).

What's your favorite part of running This Charming Girl?

I just love being able to do something I enjoy and be creative on a daily basis - after four years of being stuck in 9-5 office jobs it's complete heaven! Knowing that I'm my own boss and can make my own hours is very liberating - scary at times too - but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Who makes your designs and where?

I design and make everything from the comfort of my flat - often in my pjs!

How did it feel, making your first sale? 

It was a great feeling, the initial response was overwhelming and I was very lucky for it to have been successful. It's lovely to think that somebody is willing to spend their hard earned money on something you've created yourself.

What's the most memorable experience you've had running and designing for This Charming Girl? 

Seeing my necklace in Elle magazine! They had requested a sample months previously and told me it would be in a certain issue. I ran out and bought it the day it came out but it wasn't in it and I was really disappointed. Then the next month I was in Asda, casually flicking through the April issue when I saw my necklace and I ended up running round all the aisles grinning like a loon trying to find my sister to tell her!

Have you seen any celebrities wearing your designs? 

Not yet (that I know of!).

What's next for you, and This Charming Girl? 

Just to continue making fun, affordable jewellery for all - we have lots of new designs coming soon which I can't wait to launch!

Thanks to Jackie for the interview!