Random Shoe Lust: Nike Flip FLops

Ever get random article of clothing lust you cannot explain? It’s happening to me right now! I am lusting for these weird, minimalist, rubber flip flops by Nike named the ‘Benassi’ Sandal. Black on white? White on black? Arrrgh choices. That’s why I will just leave you with a pic of them, a price and a link to the website then slowly skulk away….

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‘Benassi’ Sandal (Women), £14, Nordstorm and JD Sports

SJP + MANOLO = #SHOEFAIL

This month Sarah Jessica Parker cashes in on her typecast alter ego Carrie Bradshaw and partners with one of the most well known shoe makers in the world, Manolo Blahnik, to create a rather middle of the road, or should I say Middle-America, collection of strappy footwear.

I was really excited to hear about this collaboration – I expected sex appeal, New york city chic with and the quirky twist SJP is known for in her roles as she stilt-stomping Bradshaw. On or off screen SJP always threw the style guide out the window and wasn’t shy to break the rules. She was one of the first gals to put joggers with strappy T-bars and a denim jacket and somehow NOT look like trailor park trash. Instead the collection is a sexless not sex-y, these shoes wouldn’t look out of place on the sale rack at New Look.

SJP says “I’m a firm believer in quality and timelessness and have created this collection with the hopes that women will love wearing it for years to come”, noted, but on the whole I think the collection is too safe. It is a wholly feminine offering but there is no sense of “now” about the shapes she’s used.  Maybe it will excite American palettes but I don’t see the collection doing well in Britain. SJP cites the 70’s and 80’s as design influences, but these styles are reminiscent of the more forgettable shapes and colours from these decades,not ones we would like to relive as retro says.

Okay, maybe I am being too harsh, but like many young women I lusted after every feminine and eccentric “Carrie” ensemble on TV. I can still re-run the box set and admire her brave and free approach to style. So where did it all go wrong? This collection should have been mind-blowing, a sell out like every H&M / Designer collaboration, break my bank desirable, camp out side the store, crash the website lust-worthy.

WHAT?!

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WHY??

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JUST NO.

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IS THIS SOME KIND OF JOKE? IS THAT A SHOE OR SOCCERMOM ROADKILL?

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OKAY, if you are twisting my arm I would actually wear these cute, patent mary-janes but HELLO??? If you know your SATC episodes you will know these are a complete rip-off of the pair off MB Mary-Jane’s Carrie tries on in the Vogue closet! Imaginative.

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The collection is available and exclusive to Nordstorm on February 28, although British shoppers can buy it online at Nordstrom.com as well.

New Hair Trend: The Clavi-cut

LONG HAIR FATIGUE. You’ve seen it, hell you’ve probably had it/have it now; the way we swan around with a sheet of hair like a cloak of protection? Like it’s a sheath of armor making up for a boring outfit, covering lumps and bumps that we should really just diet off. Long hair is no longer liberating, it is boring. I’ve sensed the tide has been turning for a while, but it’s a slow turn and understandable seeing as we all took years trying to grow our locks down past our bosoms. The answer to your hair fatigue is none other than a mid length cut. coming in many shapes and form known  in beauty circles as The Clavi-cut.

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Let me educate you: the word Clavi-cut comes the English word “clavicle” which refers to the collar bone area on the body. This is where this styles longest length of hair stops at.The Clavi-cut suits any type of face shape – whether oval, round or heart-shaped. Importantly the cut must be perfect and the hair must be slightly longer front, otherwise the Clavi-cut looks too plain. The Clavi-cut goes one inch or two beyond the Lob and epitomises 2014’s trend for more informal and less-styled hair. Choppy layers are rough-dried to create a naturally wavy, salt-spray texture. At the other end of the spectrum, the Clavi-cut also looks so so chic when it’s artfully blow dried into a bouncy sex-bonnet or even straightened into a sleek graphic style with a high-shine finish.

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Model’s and Actresses alike are upgrading to the Clavi-cut and it’s time you grew a pair and did too.

   Marani-bbt-F13-011-a590e244cf199844      keira-knightley

Colour of the year: Radiant Orchid, Pantone 18-3224

 Radiant Orchid, Pantone 18-3224, has been named Pantone Color of the Year for 2014

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Radiant Orchid for Beauty

“A modern and surprisingly versatile shade, Radiant Orchid enlivens the skin, making all who wear it feel more healthy and energetic.” – WGSN 2013

I much prefer Pantone’s colour of the year choice for 2014 in comparison the murky and dull Emerald green hue of 2013. Radiant orchid is an inspiring hue of purple that seduces when pairs with reds and crimsons as well as sister shades of purple and pink. In cosmetics I expect to to see this shade crop up in eye shadows and blushes with matching lipsticks. It will provide a vibrant and fresh update to high-summer, tropical inspired make-up palettes. Radiant Orchid’s liveliness also acts as a brilliant finishing touch to nails and will embody fragrances in the form of lilac and violet aromas.

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 To translate this vibrant colour into a modern beauty look use it on the eyes, lips or cheeks as against a nude face with just a fresh layer of base and a slick of mascara.

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  1. Thakoon for Nars Nail Polish in Ratin Jot
  2. Mac Lipstick in Heroine
  3. Make Up For Ever Eyeshadow & Blush Refills Satin in #111
  4.   MaxMara spring/summer 2014 catwalk images

Product Review: Serum Science

Every prestigious beauty counter is paying extra special attention to skin care, more importantly skin science. Last year the beauty market saw an influx of skin serums launch in the market so I have written a run down of what I believe the be the market leaders. These products are trying to manoeuvre their way into everybody’s daily skin care regime, as a necessity, by offering more benefits and innovations. Skin promises include: skin re-syncing; skin resurfacing, evening of pigmentation, with day, night and weekend options available. Although traditionally an expensive and luxury item due to their potent properties the masstige offerings are not to be ignored.

 

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The Big Hype: YSL –  Forever Youth Liberator £61, John Lewis

  • Science: FOREVER YOUTH LIBERATOR is the first anti-ageing skincare containing the Glycanactif™ complex, a combination of 3 glycans, to help stimulate skin’s youthful capacities.
  • USP: helps to correct the appearance of uneven skintone by acting on dark spots, uniformity, translucency, and radiance.
  • Marketing: 100 YEARS OF RESEARCH – 7 NOBEL PRIZES – 1 DISCOVERY: GLYCANS, YOUTH KEYS

 

I am excited about this product and its big promises. It has a opalescent sheen to it and a rich texture which dries quickly so you can continue with your make up regime. Leaves skin visibly tightened, plumped and dewy. My facialist raised a concern with this product which I am inclined to agree with; primarily as a cosmetic brand she believes the YSL serums are primarily a cosmetic and a skin product second and the temporary results are, well, more temporary like your makeup.

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The Commitment: Chanel –LE JOUR, LA NUIT AND LE WEEKEND £62 each or £172 for the set, House of Fraser

  • 3 COMPLEMENTARY SKINCARE PRODUCTS THAT RESTORE SKIN’S FUNDAMENTAL FUNCTIONS AND RESYNCHRONIZE ITS NATURAL RHYTHMS EVERY DAY.
  • USP: 4 criteria’s to define exceptional skin quality: LUMINOSITY, PLUMPNESS, EVENNESS AND SMOOTHNESS.
  • Marketing: Chanel are marketing the set as a tailored daily “Ritual” all women should take on so it looks its best no matter what environment your face experiences.

 

There is something so chic and indulgent about using this set, the fragrances are typically haute-Chanel and there is something very decadent about using 3 serums on your face. The price tag alone is a commitment! I’d say I enjoyed using these serums the most because I love spoiling my myself when it comes to skin care, but it isn’t ideal for the busy working woman who favours a multipurpose product. However, if you do have the time you have 3 very good serums which produce great results and contains Salicylic acid and Glycoli acid which strips away the crap and indulgent and moisturizing elements like rose, jasmine and frankincense. Although they are marketed as a trio, if you can only afford the one I would recommend Le Jour as it has more restorative properties as well as plumping for the day ahead.

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The Scientific One: Estee Lauder – Advanced Night Repair £44 

  • Science: The new serum combines purification technology with cellular synchronization to maximise skin repair during sleep. This features two key technologies: catabolysis (purifying) and chronolux (natural synchronizing).
  • USP: The new formula also includes anti-pollution technology, claimed to aid in reducing the appearance of visible damage caused by environmental factors, as well as antioxidant and hyaluronic acid to provide hydration.
  • Marketing: Estee Lauder has created a digital roll out for this innovative product by placing interactive ipads in store for shoppers to use which has brought the brand to the forefront of the digital beauty trend.

 

I do like this serum and I believe it does what is says on the bottle. Every night I used it I woke up looking “well-rested” and dewy and my makeup went on flawlessly as my skin felt well rested and prepped for the day ahead. the texture is similar to YSL serum, silky to apply but not as fast drying. For me, and this is a purely aesthetic thing, Estee Lauder has never interested nor spoken to me as a brand, that’s not a reflection on this product, because it is good, but there’s something a bit dated about their offerings. Not excited.

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The Innovator: Lancôme – Dreamtone Serum £69, Selfridges

  • Lancôme carried out research in China, The USA and France to find that wrinkles weren’t the primary issue when it came to skin worries; the main concern was skin tone.
  • This dark spot corrector is designed to correct the appearance of dark spots, uneven skin tone, and visibly corrects colour irregularities such as dullness, sallowness and blemish marks.
  • USP: 3 different formulas for different skin tones: light, medium and dark.
  • Marketing: Lancôme are using the tagline “2 out of 3 women would dare to bare their skin”* after using the serum. *Consumer use test 209 women

 

At 25 pigmentation isn’t a primary concern for me. I do enjoy the idea of separating out the serums into skin tones as it is common knowledge that different skin tones have different concerns. the idea is innovative but I’m going have to age a few decades before I comment on this one. Apparently sun worshiper Kate Middleton is a fan and if you like your beach holidays this could be the one for you. If you have tried Lancome, Advanced Night Repair I would be interested in hearing your thoughts in the comment box below.

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The Budget Friendly: L’Oreal – Skin Perfection Advanced Serum £14

  • Science: A powerful formula enriched with Perline-P and patented LR 2412, helps transform the appearance of skin quality.
  • USP: Pore minimising, more even tone, skin texture feels silky-soft caused by stress, fatigue and an unbalanced lifestyle can affect skin quality causing the satin-touch serum helps boost hydration and refine skin texture.
  • Marketing: “A promise to pixel perfect your complexion” Cheryl Cole fronts the campaign wearing no makeup.

 

I am first and foremost impressed at the branding here – very relevant to its selfie obsessed target audience. In an age where we are constantly photographed, marketing jargon; “pixel perfect”, speaks to young women who are avid users of social apps like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The pixel perfect tagline parallel’s the popularity of filters on photos to create flawless glowing faces. This product would benefit from a smart 360 digital campaign to follow through on the “Pixel Perfect” strapline.

My sisters uses this product, after downgrading a price bracket from her Bobbi Brown serum, and reports she is really impressed with the results and would not pay the additional £40 she was paying out previously. She reports an even skin tone and a prepped base for her morning moisturising and makeup application. My sister is also an Air Hostess for BA so needs a reliable serum in order to prep her skin for the dehydration she experiences during long-haul flights.

My Hair-story

I am tired, sick sick and tired of my hair.

I don’t need to preach to you guys about how important hair is to a woman, it’s her crowning glory!

I actually once liked my hair; twice in my life this happened. Once when I was 14 and my long locks were  silky waves, sunkissed by the Puerto Rican skies. I believe hair dressers call it Virgin hair, then I discovered bleach….and then only 12 months ago until it all went wrong and the hair gods decided to turn their wroth onto me.

Hair timeline

2005 – Virgin hair, enough said.

No Photos – being tagged in pictures was but a seed of an idea

2006 – TOTAL WASH OUT

Gwen Stefani is a huge influence on me – I bleach my hair white. I thought it was a good look but in hindsight it really didn’t suit me and made my already rosey skin pinker. Only a good look if you don’t mind wearing foundation everyday.

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2007 – A TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

I discover extensions. My already bleached and dried out hair is breaking and won’t grow. I get bonded extensions to thicken up my highlighted hair. The result is fabulous and sexy, unfortunately I had embarked on a toxic relationship with my extensionist.

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2008 – A VICIOUS CYCLE

I got to uni. Already addicted to the fullness and length that extensions gives me I’m on about my 6th round. I take them out I put them back in.

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2009 – FASHION STUDENT CHIC

Alice Delall is seriously cool right now so shaving the side of my head seems like a pretty cool idea. This look I really loved but didn’t really work unless I had the long flowing tresses of a weave to pad out my mane.

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2010 – BOB’S YER UNCLE

Enough is enough. I have a small tuft growing out the left side of my head and the rest of my hair is ruined due to repetitive weaves. I get a bob. Not just any bob though, Chloe Mortiz cover look on LOVE magazine inspired this look. I really loved it as well but this was at a time when long tresses were trending everywhere. it wasn’t long before the bleach made a come back as well.

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2012 – HAPPY HAIR DAYS ARE HERE

Almost 2 years later, 5 empty bottles of supplements and frequent trims I have “dream hair”! My mane is all one length, a lovely bright blonde, its bouncy, healthy and I’m feeling good. I’m even experimenting with a kind, temporary crazy colours like lilac and blue.

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2013 – WTF

My hair is falling out. Why? Why is this happening? Clumps in the shower, strands hanging off my finger tips, my hair brush needs purging everyday of what looks like a full toupee. 6 months pass and it shows no signs of stopping. I Googled the shit out of hair loss and it could be a number of things. I am stressed at work, and I did just change my contraception but we are 8 months in now and I’m considering those bastard extensions again. SOMEBODY HELP ME.

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2014 – TAKING CONTROL

It’s January and the time of year that people make the most changes in their life. I am getting a hair cut because I can no longer cling to this semblance of long hair anymore. Give me the chop and give it to me good.

New hair post coming soon!

Nude Eye Palette by Collection: Review

After a winter of sultry make up looks, heavily made up eyes and lips, an optimistic, slightly impatient gal might already be looking towards spring for her next beauty influences. I love the smoky eye look for its timelessness and sex appeal and usually favour shades of deep purple, black and grey hues when making up my party eyes. With the new year in full swing I have fridge full of fresh veg and a list of resolutions as long as my arm I am craving a fresher face to match. Nothing heavy or too complicated but something that still wows and looks like I have made an effort.

Cue the Nude Eye Look – lots of brands are bringing out a nude eye palette. Why? It suits everyone, is easier and more mistake proof to use than your darker hues and it is demure enough for day time and with a little extra eyeliner takes you through to evening. Perfect.

I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about the Urban Decay Naked Palettes. The Naked Basics Palette is a good place to start (6 matte nude shades which are interchangeable and buildable depending on your look) but as I don’t always make eye shadow part of my everyday look I am not wanting to spend £20 on this palette. Collection cosmetics recently launched a rival Palette: Work the colour: Nude Eye Palette might just be Urbans Basic rival and at a tasty £3.99 this one is definitely worth a try.

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It comes in Collections standard no frills, shiny card packaging with magnetic click closure. I will say you are going to have to use your own brushes with this one as the double ended foam applicator just wont be up to the job.

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Ease of application is superb. There are 8 nude colours in total (3 x matte and 5 x with a slight shimmer) and a creamy highlighter for the brow bone. On the back of the packaging it very clearly explains where each shades should go on the eye so in total it’s a 3-4 step process. Each shade has its step number imprinted in it – totally idiot proof. For my trial I chose the middle line of colours. I also added a thin slick of liquid eye liner and mascara to complete the look.

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The over all look is really fresh, soft and feminine with a side of sultry. By missing out the 1 shades and using a mixture of the 2’s and 3’s shades you can get more of an evening look. The top shadow from row 3 has larger chunks of glitter which I imagine would very alluring for a party look. The product is really nice and buildable. I prefer the matte shades so it would be nice if there was an even split between the mattes and shimmers. The highlighter is really creamy and finishes the look if you want a more “done” look but this palette would also be great for a quick on-the-go eye as it’s pretty much mistake proof. Just make sure your BYOB (bring your own brushes).

Comparing it to the Naked Basics palette I’m really not sure what Urban Decay can offer that is better than Collections palette, other than sleeker packaging and a mirror – which is always handy on the move. So if like me don’t always use shadow and you are looking to work a nude eye this year but aren’t fussed on aesthetics this really is worth all 399 of your pennies! Otherwise, if you are a bit of a eye shadow junkie then I would recommend the Naked 2 or 3 Palette by Urban Decay (RRP£37) might be more your thing as there’s no denying these palettes have a dreamy rainbow of seriously juicy hues. Buy at Debenhams or House of Fraser.

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http://www.collectioncosmetics.co.uk/

http://www.debenhams.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/prod_10701_10001_123932010699_-1

http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Urban+Decay/BRAND_URBAN%20DECAY,default,sc.html