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