Sponsored Video: Always Restless Mercedes Benz

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Georgia May Jagger comes alive in this short film for Mercedes Benz. She parties all night dancing in the street as the headlights bounce off her silver heels, casting her in the spotlight. Neon lights buzz. The midnight streets of New York create the edgy, urban backdrop. The film is intended to recreate that time of night which is about to turn into the next morning, those crazy nights you just don’t ever want to end. Featuring the new Mercedes Benz GLA, the car is all about adventure and excitement. As the official sponsor of London Fashion Week Mercedes Benz have become synonymous with high fashion and cutting edge technology which shines through in their designs.
Georgia May is styled to look like she has been up all night, her make-up is dewy from dancing in a club. You can recreate the look by using a glowing primer before foundation and a highlighter over the top to finish off the look. I use Clarins Beauty Flash balm primer and Benefit High Beam liquid highlighter. Then smudge on eyeliner for a smoky eye and top with a vibrant red pout, leave off the lip-liner for an edgier look. Her outfit is simple, she wears holographic silver pointy toe stilettoes with a black and white printed mini dress, a transparent mac completes the look. Hair is left soft and wavy, like she could have just let it down to carry on the party.
The short film really reminds me of New YearÔÇÖs eve, I hope you all get to dance the night away!

This post was sponsored by Mercedes Benz, all thoughts and words are my own

First Thoughts Bobbi Brown Holiday Collection

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Pretty little shiny black boxes stamped with silver crests… yep it’s the Bobbi Brown Holiday and Old Hollywood Collection! Hitting shelves just in time for Christmas and New Years celebrations. I have been testing out the collection and have already shared some of my looks created on Instagram (@SuperElevated). I don’t have any special skills when it comes to make up but have always found Bobbi Brown products straight forward and easy to use. This is one of the main reasons I have been happy to support the brand over the past few years. I also appreciate that you can stop by any counter and get expert advise with no pressure to buy. I find myself going back on a regular basis to see what’s new and ask for tips on how I can use my products in different ways.

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Old Hollywood Collection

‘This season Bobbi Brown introduces a collection that celebrates the glitz and glam of iconic American screen sirens. This sultry collection offers something for every type of woman, ensuring that you will always be red carpet worthy.’

As soon as I heard whisper of this collection I got super excited, my favourite every day red lipstick is Old Hollywood red (┬ú22) so I couldn’t wait to see what Bobbi had envisioned. I wasn’t disappointed all dressed up for parties was my classic red, same lipstick but in a limited edition glitzy gold case. Accompanied by the new precision Ink Liner (┬ú20) for the perfect cat eye flick. To make a sultry smoky eye the Old Hollywood palette (┬ú59) has shades ranging from grey to gold and three Long-wear Cream Shadow Stick (┬ú20) colours are just the thing for a sweep of shimmer. There is an array of lips glosses (┬ú18) one in slick Siren Red and three High Shimmer glosses in pink and golden sparkle. For nails there are four shades in Tuxedo Black, Siren Red, Chrome, Solid Gold, the latter two are limited edition Glitter Nail Polishes (┬ú11).

I’ve been lucky enough to have been given the Palette, Ink Liner, Lipstick and Tuxedo Black Nail Polish to put through their paces. I confess I usually run scared from palettes, I have had countless where I have only used one shade the rest going to waste. Determined this would not be the case again I consulted the girls at Bobbi Brown and the amazing Goss make-up artist’s Youtube channel and paid close attention. Now I am still no expert however I am now behind the concept of building up the colours and blending. I have managed to create a lovely golden sunset eye, a smoky dark brown eye and a shimmer soft silver eye – as soon as I can manage to get both eyes to match I might show you some pics! All in all I think this is a really fantastic palette for using everyday it even included my beloved Sparke Eye Shadow in Chocolate Brown which has been my go-to everyday shade for over a year. The Old Hollywood lipstick will need no introduction to regular readers, since Chanel ruined my life when they discontinued Fire I was left in red lipstick limbo until I discovered Old Hollywood. Since then I have gone through countless tubes and I wear it most days. It is that perfect shade of red with slightly blue undertones, long lasting and well everything you could ever want in a red lipstick. I have a love-hate relationship with eye liner, I love how it looks but hate having to apply it, getting two even flicks is no mean feat! This liner was easy to use, it was just the right consistency not too wet, not too dry and didn’t run or smudge. I found the tip gave a nice sharp tail to my flick too. I have also sang the praises of the nail polishes before, they are a long wearing formula and chip resistant. The Tuxedo Black is actually more of a dark grey, really perfect for winter.

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Holiday Collection

 In contrast the Holiday Collection is a real winter wonderland mix of shimmer and sparkle for day and night!

‘Looking to glitz it up? This holiday season, Bobbi offers a beautifully edited collection of luxurious lip and eye palettes, lip glosses and brush sets for the beauty enthusiast who wants to get – or give – the gift of glam. Featuring an assortment of shimmery shades in silver, bronze and golden tones, Bobbi’s Holiday 2013 Gift Giving Collection is a must when it comes to stealing the spotlight.’

It really is full of perfect gifts, my mum really agreed, so much so she took half the products off my hands to test out for me. The full range includes Twighlight Pink Lip and Eye Palette (£59), two Eye Shadow Palettes in a choice of Smoky Cool and Smoky Warm (£37), two Lip and Eye Palettes in a choice of Everyday Pretty and Date Night (£24), Lip Gloss Trio in shimmery sugar shades (£18), Sequin Shimmer Brick Eye Palette (34.50), Nude Glow Shimmer Brick (£35), Old Hollywood Travel Brush Set (£89) and Old Hollywood Mini Brush Set (£55).

My absolute favourite thing from the entire collection is the Date Night Palette. Forget saving this baby for nights out, I’ve had this with me all day. It is such a great array of colours, the Ivory shadow perfect as a base or highlight, Storm Cloud is a heather shimmer and Caviar is a rich black which I have used as a liner or a smoky over tone. The lip colours are Sandwash Pink a natural shade and Berry Punch a lush hot pink so you can dress it up or down. To top it all off is Diamond Pink a minty fresh shimmer gloss. This has been my constant handbag essential and I think it would be a fabulous gift too. The Nude Glow Shimmer Brick I am all over too, it features a range of gold and bronze shimmers to warm the skin and leave a halo of golden glow. I have been using it as an all over high lighter but you can also use the individual shades as eye shadow too.

All in all I can really recommend the new collections, do go down to your nearest counter for a play around. I can promise you one thing though, if you buy any as a gift you will find it hard to part with them!

Outfit: Bargain Jimmy Choo’s and other things

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Today I’m Wearing: Jimmy Choo boots, Maxmara Cardigan, Fendi clutch, Vivienne Westwood Gold Label dress

These are my Jimmy Choo boots, I’ve had them for years and they still have to be one of the best bargains I’ve scored. They were reduced from ┬ú750 to ┬ú49 in the sale! The cardi-coat and clutch are beloved old treasures too, whilst the green dress is new. It always feels good to get out old favourites and love them as much as you did when you first got them. For similar tan heeled boots I love these by Pare Gabia.

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That Perfect Inch-of-Sock-Reveal-between-the-Cuff Ratio

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This photograph pleases me immensely. Why is it so satisfying? It is a prime example of a perfect fashion ratio. Exactly enough shoe-sock-cuff in the constraints of an Instagram. The fact that it involves a turn-up is all the more appealing. I know there is a strong divide between sock lovers and haters, but I just can’t look at a naked ankle with the same fondness. It is all about the socks. Even with a peep-toe? Especially with a peep-toe, if they are sheer and show a pop of colourful nail varnish more the merrier. Always with heels, of course, I will never be a flats girl no matter how hard I try.

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I thought perhaps socks were having a moment, a little fashion rebellion as they crept in the back door, smattering the pages of Vogue in a subtle way. Alas only the exact, fashion trend correct socks are allowed. White, pastel, frilled, nod to school days socks. Most definitely not tiger striped odd socks, clashed with tartan and red shoes. Defiantly. The Christmas sock, why not? Since the once ridiculed Xmas jumper is now, so bad its good chic.

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That’s it, my week in socks. Long may they reign.

Getting Fit for the New Year?

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Gyms across the country are preparing for their busiest season of the year, with thousands expected through the doors of fitness centres everywhere come January. Getting fit or losing weight is top of many peopleÔÇÖs New YearÔÇÖs resolution lists, from those that have fallen off the health wagon previously, to those who are trying fitness for the first time. But why leave it until the New Year? If you are really serious about getting fit then there is no reason to delay. Sign up in December when the membership fees are often lower and there are less people crowding. If you havenÔÇÖt done much exercise in the past stepping into a gym for the first time can be a bit scary, but the staff will be on hand to help show you the ropes, and this guide will make sure you have everything you need for your first visit.

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Footwear
One thing you will want to splash out on a little is a good pair of well fitting sports shoes, as exercising with incorrect footwear can cause a lot of damage to your feet. If you only intend to work out at the gym, then buy a pair specifically for gym use, but if you want to take the odd run, or play tennis too, then a multi-purpose pair of trainers is a better idea. If youÔÇÖre heading to the gym as your resolution, then wait until the January sales to get a great pair of trainers for less than retail price.

Swimwear
Find out before you go what facilities your gym has, and decide which of these you will want to use. Some gyms have pools, saunas and steam rooms on site, all of which you will need swimwear for. If you are going to be swimming for exercise rather than for leisure youÔÇÖll need an all-in-one, or a tankini or bikini designed for swimming. To just hang out in the sauna or for a few casual lengths of a pool a normal bikini is fine and can be reused on holidays in the future. Check out George’s range of swimwear for some low cost swimwear options to save cash.

Clothing
You donÔÇÖt need to look like youÔÇÖve just stepped off the catwalk to go to the gym. WhatÔÇÖs important is that you wear breathable fabrics that are close enough to your body to avoid getting caught in any machinery. For classes like Yoga and Pilates you will want to make sure your clothes donÔÇÖt hinder your movements, but are tight enough that you donÔÇÖt accidently expose yourself when contorting. To start with, leggings and a cotton t-shirt will do fine – you can invest in more specialist gear when youÔÇÖve worked out what you like to do as part of your workout.

Extras
You donÔÇÖt need much else for the gym, but do remember to pop a towel and a drink in your bag. Towels are needed not just for swimming, but also for wiping down machines after use, and mopping your forehead when youÔÇÖre working hard. ItÔÇÖs also wise to take a few coins with you, in case you need them for the lockers or you fancy a sports drink after exercising. I find taking a few toiletries such as face-wipes, deodorant and shower gel essential too if you can’t go home to shower right after a work out.

Taking the first step on your journey to fitness is the hardest part, Women’s Fitness has some excellent articles to get you started. Once you get the habit you will wonder how you ever managed without it. Get as much info as you can from your local facilities and choose one that will fit your lifestyles and aspirations. Ask as many questions as you like when youÔÇÖre starting out, and soon others will be asking questions of you ÔÇô like, ÔÇÿhow did you do it?!ÔÇÖ

(Image credit, Gym bag Werd.com)

Pearl Hearts Shadowlands #2 – Confetti

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Details:┬á Sunglasses – Shadowlands After Hours in Confetti; Necklaces Vivienne Westwood; Make-up Bobbi Brown LongWear foundation, Retouching powder in white; Illamasqua Fundamental eye pallet, Raven Masquara, Kate / Ambition blush duo, Mahogany eyeshadow for brows, Nude pink blush, nail varnish in Pink Valentine┬á

Here is Part 2 of my Pearl hearts Shadowlands posts. We saw the dark and delicious Highway in Cherry Cola in Part 1, today let me introduce the ultra glamorous After House in Confetti. From the 50s vamp triangular frames to the wonderful Tuti-Fruti inclusions, I have to say I am crazy about these sunglasses. I can just see myself pairing them with a flirty vintage frock and heels this summer, all to sip Martinis in of course.

N.B. The first photo is for my mum, talented photographer and mocker of my unsmiling ways!

Pearl Hearts Shadowlands #1 – Cherry Cola

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The Details: Sunglasses Shadowlands Highway in Cherry Cola*; Vivienne Westwood bone necklace; Make up -Nails: Chanel Malice nail varnish, Lips: Tom Ford Cherry Crush lipstick, Eyes: Illamasqua Fundamental pallette and Chanel Mirifique Illusion d’ombre, Illamasqua Raven masquara mascara; Face: Bobbi Brown Long Wear foundation, Retouching power in White.

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In the first of two post I want to introduce my friend Pete Woodwards amazing sunglasses label Shadowlands. The brand ethos is to offer boutique quality without the extravagant price tag. Those who are regular readers will know I am the pickiest person in the world when it comes to sunglasses. Due to my wonky nose I can’t wear any that aren’t correctly balanced, light and well shaped on the bridge or it is very painful for me. None of those issues here, both styles are perfectly comfortable. The other thing which is hard to find with sunnies is crystal clear quality lenses, good lenses should be so clear that you forget you are wearing them yet still offer high protection from the sun’s glare. These have incredible clarity and I got to test them out in the glorious winter sun we had here this week.

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What is most exciting about Shadowlands are the innovative designs and ‘colours’ available. Colour is perhaps the wrong word, rather the way the material of the frames is made up, the last photo here shows really well what I am talking about. The Cherry Cola (here), Tuti Fruti (see next post), Graphite and Tortoise shell are made with this remarkable technology. Each style is offered in a variety of colours so you can customise your look. The frame designs too are certainly not something you would find on the High St! The quality surpasses many of my designer pairs with 3x the price tag, even the velvet lined cases are pure luxe. The best part all styles retail at ┬ú90 – no I couldn’t’ believe it either, I wouldn’t have blinked at a ┬ú200 tag. Since Shadowlands is so new and exclusive they are only available in the UK at Kokon to Zai, London. If you aren’t local and NEED a pair you can email me and I will put you in touch for lookbooks / if you are lucky you might talk them into a custom mail order, you can also stalk designer @_stpeter and search
#Shadowlands on Instagram to see more styles / ask questions. We would love to know what you think of the sunglasses and stay tuned for part 2.

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*Disclaimer: I’m sure it was obvious in the post that my friend sent me these as a gift, I loved them so naturally wanted to blog it. Due to the ridiculous ASA regulations I now have to point that out. I’ve no idea how complicated blogging Xmas gifts is going to be!

Return to Buying Fashion Magazines

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I know I had sworn off buying fashion magazines but when I saw this shoot of Cara Delevigne for ID recreating the famous Sara Stockbridge one I knew I had to get it. I also picked up Tank since it was the 15th anniversary special, yeah I know I don’t know who I am trying to kid. Thanks to Tesco clubcard points I’ve got a Grazia and Harpers Bazaar subscription for free too starting this month. It will be interesting to see if I’ve missed them. For those of you that don’t know I went from buying around ten fashion mags each month, Grazia and Look weekly. Besides the fact it was costing a small fortune, I went from gobbling up every single word to having a vacant flip through, until I got to the point where I was just bored of them all. So I went on a fast, only reading Style.etc because of course I write for them. Did I miss them? Not really, I started watching Youtube videos in my down time instead. I didn’t really think much of my magazine break until I announced it at a talk on street style a few months back, to the sharp intake of breath of the audience. A fashion blogger who doesn’t read fashion magazines! OMG! It will be interesting to read these and see what I’ve been missing. The Cara shoot is utter perfection, especially the maroon velvet crini look. I must scan the original Sara shoot for you as most of the images are never seen, if you can’t wait check out my Instagram feed @SuperElevated as I snapped them a while back.

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ID Priceless issue images courtesy Vivienne Westwood

Bell Jar Shoe Display

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I have been looking for further ways to display some of my most special shoes, I like to have my favourites around the house outside of my wardrobe and bookcase. Only problem is that they gather dust so I’d been looking for some huge bell-jars like this as a solution. The only ones I could find were super expensive so I was really surprised to see these handmade glass ones in Home Sense for ┬ú9.99. They had lots of different shapes from really tall cone shaped ones to little tiny ones. This was the first time I managed to pay another visit to the store since I went to the grand opening back in May. They had a winter theme going on this time with lots of lust worth home ware, it is definitely my favourite home store now – sorry Ikea. There is another new home store opened in the Triangle in Manchester, I can’t remember what it was called, but it has the most fabulous great big curtain tie-backs I’ve ever seen. Will try and sneak a pic next time I go in, they also had dramatic ornate mirrors. What I really need is something to display my jewellery in so that is my next treasure hunt.

Nana Magna & Vivienne Westwood Illustrations

The first issue of Nana by Ai Yazawa

┬áI have been rediscovering the Nana manga books I got into a few years ago. I first met the two Nana’s on the recommendation of a friend who knew my passion for Vivienne Westwood. But what do Vivienne Westwood and manga comics have in common? Well let me explain…

Nana Komatsu

The books are about the lives of two young girls who both happen to share the name Nana. Their paths cross by fate as they both embark on new lives away from home. Though they are both very different characters their lives seem inexplicably entwined. The stories of their lives will ring true for most women through tales of love, friendship, jobs, fun and also sadness, I can easily see anyone enjoying the stories. Yet it is the graphic illustrations which first drew me in and made me fall in love with the books.

Nana Osaki

The author and artist Ai Yazawa cleverly uses the fashion the characters wear to instantly help us understand and feel at ease with the new faces being introduced. We all have inbuilt reactions to stereotypes, people often talk about how we need to break them. In some cases we do, yet they also help us understand and interact with the world around us.

The two Nana’s with their very distinct styles

Nana Osaki is the wild punk singer in a band, her look mainly consists of ripped clothes and studded jewellery, further emphasising her ‘devil may care’ attitude. Whilst Nana Komatsu (nicknamed Hachie) is slightly naive and a terrible romantic at heart. Her character is shown through her very girly and lady-like attire, pretty dresses, pearl jewellery and dainty handbags. When Nana K gets a job in an office her style changes to reflect appropriate work attire – pencil skirts, neck scarves, but it also shows us that her character has changed too. She is maturing with her new responsibilities.

Nana K wearing a feminine handbag, full skirt and head scarf

Nana K in her office attire

Both girls and many of their friends wear Vivienne Westwood. There are two things about this which I find especially intriguing, firstly that the author chose to use Vivienne’s designs. Choosing to illustrate a certain brand is quite different to the style process for a film or magazine shoot. Here the author could have chosen to draw her own ‘fictional’ clothes yet she chose to use a brand. Vivienne Westwood designs have been popular in Japan for many years. Her early designs are the essence of Punk and so very fitting to use to illustrate a punk band. Yet Yazawa very cleverly includes the other styles of Westwood’s designs to illustrate other characters. She uses softer aspects such as pearls and mini crinoline skirts to show pretty and playful characters.

Nana O in her trademark Vivienne Westwood heart jacket

There are so many other aspects of Westwood’s designs intermixed with Japanese culture which is something I am currently exploring for my own academic research. I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to the world of Nana and how we can learn more about fashion through unexpected sources, I am sure this won’t be the first time I write about it.