Bobbi Brown Studio Make Over

This week I got the chance to check out the brand new Bobbi Brown cosmetic studio located in Manchester’s Harvey Nichols. As you all know I am the worst person when it comes to make-up, I’m so impatient a bit of powder, mascara and tons of lippie and that’s about it. Don’t get me wrong I love a new product as much as the next girl, I have a stack of nail polish and fancy eye shadows I play around with for a night out but for everyday, I tend not to bother. My biggest nemesis is foundation, I really never got to grips with it, hating anything heavy on my skin. My other pet hate are product that don’t stay put, who has time to reapply their entire face after a few hours from crumbly eye-liners to clogged creases. With all this in mind I decided to take a look at Bobbi Brown, learning all about the brand from their easy to use, interactive website.

The tools used to create my look

The first thing I found intriguing was that Bobbi still works as a make-artist, many of the looks on the catwalks at New York fashion week at her hands. Bobbi first set out to create her make-up range after being left disappointed that there was nothing on the market that gave natural results. Her philosophy is still the same, make-up should enhance your natural beauty and it should be easy to do! At the studio you can pick from a wide variety of make-up lessons all tailored to suit your needs be it eyebrow styling, teenage beauty, evening drama or make-up facelift. I opted for the 10 step lesson which is designed to let you be your own make-up artist, a natural fresh everyday look which is easy to do, yes please! Bobbi is still the driving force behind her brand, she loves to interact with customers and is passionate about social media she tweets constantly @justbobbibrown and writes her own blog ‘Everything Bobbi‘. As part of the new studio there is an interactive blog wall where you can read Bobbi’s latest updates and learn all about the brand (or sit your boyfriend in front of it out of the way whilst you get your make-up done, it will keep any gadget geek entertained for hours).

My face map

Through out the lesson my make-up artist Kelly explained all the products being used and how to use them. Armed with a hand mirror I was able to see how she was applying the products so I could easily do it myself at home. My face was primed with the most divinely scented cleanser ‘Hydrating face tonic’ and moisturiser/ primer ‘Vitamin enriched face base’, each of these packed with essential oils which made it feel like having a facial, I could get used to this on a daily basis. The ‘eye repair cream’ was used on my eyes to sooth and hydrate the area and prep it for eye make-up. The first part of the make-up was concealer, hiding any discoloration under the eye by counteracting the colour. I have to say this made the biggest difference to me, my eyes always give away how tired I am and I had previously only used YSL Touche Eclat which brightens the eye area but doesn’t cover or conceal. I had always thought concealer would be too heavy under the eye but the Bobbi Brown formula was ever so light. The concealer was set with a tiny dab of powder, again something I had previously thought a beauty no-no but I was proved wrong, my eyes looked so bright and perked up my whole face. I tried out the new ‘Long wear even finish’ foundation which really feels very light and fresh whilst brightening the face for a dewy glow. The foundation itself comes in a fantastic range of colours, I have trouble finding a good match being so pale but here I was only the second lightest, not an orange tint in sight, all set with a light dusting of face powder. My eyes were further enhanced with the new ‘Uber basic’s collection’ eye-shadows Stone as the paler sand colour and Dark Chocolate as the deep, shimmering brown. My brows were swept with ‘Mahogany’ shadow and defined to perfection. A pop┬á of rosy pink blush and a deep pink lipstick in Mod Pink with Sailor gloss topped off my look.

You will have to excuse the harsh lighting I took the reveal photo’s under, I did these when I got home and there was no natural light left. I did get my photo taken by Manchester based photographer Sven Eselgroth who was there to shoot the evenings events however so will share that one when I get the press release. The light is striping the warmth out of the pink lipstick and disguising the blush. But I do think you can see how perfect the finish is on my skin, it looks airbrushed. My favourite part of the look is how dramatic my eyes looked from the under eye concealer to the defined brows.

Am I am Bobbi Brown convert? Yes I am! Will I put my money where my mouth is? I certainly will, products I will be buying are the foundation, concealer and eye-brow taming shadow and brush. With winter coming too my skin will need all the help it can get so I would also like the cleanser and moisturiser. The price points? Most products are around the ┬ú20-30 mark, whilst not cheap I have never been one to scrimp on beauty. Whilst you can pick up cheaper brands for nail colours, eye shadow and lipstick I personally think it is worth going for higher quality where the essentials are concerned. I really liked the pigment rich eye shadows from the ‘Uber basics’ range too, I usually run a mile from glitter but this was more subtle yet still enough to make an impact. There are also some other Bobbi Brown products I would like to try out too such as the BB cream, Long wear gel eye liner and a wonderful turquoise blue eye shadow that caught my eye.

You can see more photo’s from the evening on in my Face Book album

Have you tried Bobbi Brown? What are your favourite products from the brand?

Spur of the Moment Shoes Purchase!

Y3 shoes from TK Maxx

You know when you are just out browsing, just having a look, killing some time and all of a sudden you decide to buy something totally not your usual style just for the hell of it? Well that! I saw these super cool Y3 shoes, that’s the label by Adidas and Yoji Yamamoto and I had visions of myself all spots-luxe a bit Alexander Wang street sports cool! Obviously I get them home and realise I have absolutely nothing to go with these shoes – or are they trainers? But hey I do like a challenge, I’m thinking maybe the Wang blazer, slouchy t-shirt, tailored trouser possibly even a baseball cap…? I also have to mention how comfy they are, seriously the are actually like trainers, so soft and padded, why more heel’s don’t come with that I’ve no idea. They are almost bouncy!

What do you think, are they keepers?

Escapism – Inbar Spector

Escapism

The name of the collection truly says it all. For A/W12 Inbar created a fantasy dream world. Intricate tulle with laser cut metalic faux-leather in candy colours of the rain bow. Some of the looks were paired with soft, grey wool coats which reminded me of childhoods, being wrapped up warm in a duffel coat with party dress underneath. The bejewelled masks, with huge gobstopper crystals created an air of mystery, who were these beautiful visions before us?

For her Autumn / Winter 2012 collection Israeli-born Inbar Spector takes inspiration from the theme of escapism. ┬áThis collection deals with the question “where does skin end and body start”? By not accepting nature, we are trying to force it to look like what we see as ideal. Inbar Spector has created her AW12 collection using visions of fairytale, manga, dreams and circus clowns. The collection incorporates lace, silks and perforated faux leather in a palette that includes: smoked pink, light green, nude colour and gold. Inbar Spector also uses ruffles for detailing to represent the utopia nature of her collection. Inbar Spector’s eccentric patterns are capturing the imaginations of London’s most cutting edge scenesters with her “outrageous” constructivism, crinolines and corsetry. Inbar Spector comments, ÔÇÿdissatisfaction from our body drives us to change it, I see this as a way of escapism. I was always fascinated by plastic surgeries and I wanted to make a collection that will mix the body and the garment and to deal with this way of escapism.’ The headpieces are designed specifically for this collection by Lara Jensen to complete the desired fairytale look.

You can see the full collection in my Facebook Album

Girl Crush – Emanuelle Alt

(Michael Perry patent boots, Rupert Sanderson ‘Bessie’ heels, Kat Maconie ‘Camilla’ boots)

I have a confession to make, sometimes when I’m out shopping I shop for a tiny Emanuelle Alt who lives in my head. She is the version of me and how I would dress had I been born with an extra 9″ and thin as a rake. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with my body but sometimes there are some trends I love but alas cannot pull off! How I would love to be able to rock a pair of skinny jeans and a baggy t-shirt like Emanuelle, she has the perfect figure and attitude for dressing simply. She always dresses it up with either a statement jacket, think leather or shoulder padded blazer or a killer pair of heels favoring designers Isabel Marant and Balmain. I was just checking out the new season shoes on offer and spotted some gorgeous pairs, for some reason blue is appealing to me. Here are three of my favourite and whilse I’m not sure if they are my own style I think they would be perfect for Emanuelle. I can just imagine her in the Michael Perry patent ankle boots with their rows of tiny buckles. The kitten heel Rupert Sanderson’s are typical of her style, she often favours a black court shoe but the navy detailing adds a nice splash of contrast. I have a pair of Prada kitten heels which are similar to this which I can’t wait to get out again this season although it will be with skirts not skinny’s for me! Finally I chose these midnight blue velvet Kat Maconie boots, they are just so beautiful and the velvet seems so luxurious for winter. They are a little different to what Emanuelle would wear but hey every girl needs to try something new every now and again. As for me I really think shades of blue and navy will be my think for autumn / winter.

Do you ever ‘Shop’ for other people?

(Image of Emanuelle Alt via Stockholm Street Style)

Faster and Faster – Mark Fast

What better way to spend a wet, windy and chilly Bank Holiday than getting into A/W mode. The Mark Fast AW12 collection really appealed to me, lots of shaggy knitted layers mixed with sleeker body-con silhouettes, paired with slouchy hats and sky high heels for a chic take on grunge. I particularly like the cropped, cut-out layers worn over tight dresses, layering with out the bulk. For evening azure blue dresses were draped with delicate jet beads and crochet work. Summer I’m so over you, bring on the woolies!

View my full album on Facebook for all the looks and the celebrity studded crowd

Outfit: The Rain and Other Problems

(Wearing: Vintage Burberry trench, vintage leather boots)

Apparently it’s summer, I’m not at all convinced! What exactly are you supposed to wear when it’s chucking it down but really muggy hot? One minute it’s boiling the next you are covered in goose-pimples! Ah yes I know so British moaning about the weather but as a Northerner I do feel cheated that the only nice day of summer I’ve had was when I was in London. Just one day I got to wear a summer dress and sandals, sigh. So I’ve given up, I give up on you selfish Summer!!

Ok, ok I’m really still hoping we will be blessed with an Indian Summer, at least when I am in London for Fashion Week because there are beautiful things hanging in my wardrobe which desperately need an outing. First and foremost this Elie Tahari beige suede jacket, oh yes BEIGE SUEDE, I know what kind of crazy buys such a high maintenance jacket, but look at it!! It’s got more tassels than an 80’s table lamp how could I resist? Who care’s if I an only wear it one a mildly warm and extra dry day, I freaking LOVE IT! It was one of those things where I saw it, touched it, tried it on, pretended not to see the price tag and ran to the check out, hugging the carrier bag all the way home, where I promptly spent the evening dancing around in front of my mirror it it! I’m thinking since it’s short sleeves now might be the time to admit weather defeat and try wearing it underneath anther coat like my trench. What I think will be perfect with this jacket are the Missoni shoes I got ages ago, oh yeah equally as impractical in multicolored crochet but oh so pretty!

Jacket Elie Tahari from TK Maxx, Shoes Missoni from Spartoo

You see the real problem I have is buying and wearing practical clothes. The above outfit for example, sure it follows all the ‘rules’ of classic, chic style. I am forever being told that a trench and tall leather boots are on the ‘ten items every woman should own’ list and all that but OMG I FEEL SO PLAIN!! Sorry I know, I know I should be embracing the stylist mantra but I really, really struggle to wear an outfit like that. Same goes for blue jeans and a white t-shirt, yes it is an easy base for an outfit, yes you can dress it up with shoes and jewellery but it just doesn’t feel right for me. Sometimes I flip through the pages of Vogue and see all the cool French fashion editors in their jeans and Breton tops and look at myself in the mirror and feel like a bit of an overdressed Peacock. Yet for some reason I just feel more comfortable rolling around in a vat of Vivienne Westwood. I find it quicker and easier to get dressed in some insane Westwood outfit in a rush in the morning that I do in a plain t-shirt and jeans. It doesn’t make much sense I know, in theory it should be the exact opposite. So yeah I could probably throw on the the Tahari jacket and Missoni shoes with a white tee and blue jeans, it would look great but it wouldn’t look like me. I could wear them with a little black dress and say the same but there is some tiny fashion-crazy inside my head screaming AZURE BLUE DRESS!

I think perhaps the problem I have with simple, classic, call-them-what-you-will, clothes is that you can’t really hide behind them. When you wear a plain white t-shirt you don’t really notice it, as opposed to when you wear one with a crazy print or slogan blazoned across the front. I guess I feel more ‘naked’ wearing something simple than I do wrapped up in some fantastical, OTT fashion, more vulnerable. My clothes are my armor. They also offer a form of escapism, you can be Dorothy of Oz in a red pair of heels or even the Wicked Witch in a long black gown. Life is more fun if you get dressed up. Clothes can be comforting too, I am sat writing this now in an appalling dark grey hoodie, yet it is fleecy soft inside, I can pull up the hood and snuggle into it, it is almost like wearing a hug. It is my ‘ill hoodie’, it just makes me feel that tiny bit better, comforted and secure as my body acts like a total jerk.

Thank you to everyone asking how I am doing on my new medication, it is too soon to say if it is having any positive effects and so far only minimal side-effects, however this week I have been plagued by so far unexplained muscle-cramps (like when you pull a muscle in sport but it doesn’t go away after hopping up and down for 5 minutes). So that has slowed me down a bit this week and involved the dreaded hospital but other that I’m ok.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

Do you have any strange fashion habits? Are you a simple or pile it all on kinda person?

What to do When Sunglasses Season is Over

Vintage YSL and Mary Quant (below) sunglasses, part of a huge bug-eye phase I went through

If you are anything like me you will have been obsessed with sunglasses for the last few months. You know what I’m like I can’t resist starting a new collection and every year I get to the end of summer with a whole new stash of sunglasses! Besides their obvious use – scowling at people behind them protecting you from the sun – I really like to wear them to add something extra to my look . You can really create a sense of character from movie star to vintage queen, funny to glamorous. But what do you do when winter sets in, with no sun in sight you need to find an alternative accessory. I mean sure with winter comes scarves, gloves, hats even ear-muffs but they don’t really transform your face the way sunglasses do.

Outfit: Silver Bomber

(Wearing: Versace from TK Maxx bomber jacket, Markus Lupfer ‘Saint’ t-shirt, Lanvin for H&M skirt, Ann Demeulemeester boots)

Can you believe the last two photo’s are iphone photo’s! My friend took them as I didn’t have my DSLR and the batteries ran out of my little point-and-click after the first shot. I can’t get over how good they are since my Blackberry only gives little fuzzy things. I have heard a lot of people debate the need of even having a DSLR when they have an iphone, I don’t think they are that good but definitely a great alternative to carrying around a separate pocket camera.

Any way here I am wearing for the first time my Markus Lupfer t-shirt with the crazy story and Lanvin H&M skirt both of which I’ve had for ages but for some reason they haven’t seen the light of day. I don’t know why but sometimes I will buy something and have it hanging in my closet for a while before I wear it. Not to be confused with the sad ‘regret buys’ that end up in the charity shop, more like they are just waiting for the right time. I don’t know I am so weird with clothes! I also pulled out my Ann D boots,which I wore to death in the summer I first started this blog, then put them away for a bit and gave them a rest! Sometimes I will wear something like mad then chuck it on eBay and buy something new. I did debate it with these but I tried them on and was like ‘wow I freaking love you’, I had just forgotten how much! I topped it all off with this crazy silver bomber jacket which is Versace, I picked it up in the High Street Kensington branch of TK Maxx when I was down in London, it is such a good store. I really enjoy walking around the area on a sunny day. Since the jacket is perforated leather you need it to be fairly warm but not boiling to wear it so I’ve been waiting for some decent weather to bust it out.

Do you have any strange wardrobe habits, are you a hoarder?

Painting Rainbows, Aminaka Wilmont

Aminaka WilmontAW12

‘Vitro’

What could be more exciting for the dull days of winter than painting rainbows as you walk? Aminaka Wilmont created these striking digital prints from gems, quartz and crystals contrasted with serpents, water lilies and molten glass. Hard and soft. The beauty of nature.

Note the finger tips, dyed in glittering dark black as if they had crushed coal in the palm of their hands to create diamonds, or dipped their fingers into the ash of a lava pit.

View more photo’s in my FaceBook Album

New Companion

Oh Hello, my new little friend, my chum, my everyday companion. I am a bit funny when it comes to handbags, I get attached to one that I can use everyday, throw all kinds of junk in laptop, brolly, notebook, make-up, even spare shoes. Don’t get me wrong I have a fair few other bags but they are mostly clutch bags or occasion bags. When it comes to my everyday bag it has to be big and roomy, yet still comfy to carry. As we move into Autumn/ Winter I started to fancy something more structured and smarter than the soft canvas sack bag I’ve been hauling around all summer. When I saw this Vivienne Westwood Derby bag in the New Exhibition tartan, with its nice sturdy shoulder straps and rectangular body, I knew it would be perfect. I will give it a proper showing off soon, but couldn’t wait to share it with you. It was fresh out of the box this morning, handfuls of junk flying from old to new and slung over my shoulder. Then of course in my haste as the day went on I realise all the things I forgot, but hey I’ve got a new bag who cares if my hair is a mess (forgot the brush) or the bus driver got mad at me trying to pay with a note (forgot my loose change).

Do you get attached to one bag or are you a swapper?