Is there a cost to being beautiful?

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The unloved pile including – Dior,Chanel, YSL, The Body Shop, Benefit, Topshop, Clinique, Butter, Cargo, Illamasqua, Bobbi Brown

I hold my hands up and admit I am a total beauty junkie. I can’t resist a shiny new nail polish or the perfect lipstick to update my look each season and also as a little treat. Even designer make-up products don’t come with the eye watering price tag as a pair of shoes from the same brand so I never feel guilty about it and I never really see it as a big purchase. You can buy a lipstick and┬áyou hardly notice the money going out. In fact I always protest I hardly have any make up, in truth I should really say I hardly use any make up. It wasn’t until clearing out my dresser this week, when I emptied out all my make up stash onto my bed and saw it all there in one huge pile that I realised how much I really had, and how much it must have all cost! Granted the majority of things are in current use, I tend to use things up before I buy new but I do like to have a good selection. What I did find annoying was the pile of unloved products, ones I’ve bought and been disappointed with or simply didn’t suit me. The slippery and smudgy YSL lipstick, the crumbly Bobbi Brown eye shadow, the gritty Dior lip gloss, the pore settling Illamasqua highlighter…┬á it all adds up to a fair amount. I’ve since learnt that one of my favourite brands Bobbi Brown will actually exchange unsuitable products, putting them even higher up on my hits list but I don’t know any other brand that does that. So even though I know all these products won’t get used, because they were so expensive I can’t bring myself to throw them away.

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My life in lipstick!  Bobbi Brown, Chanel, Tom Ford, YSL

On the other hand there are all the products I absolutely love! Above you can see my rather predictable choice in lipsticks, the majority Chanel for their incredible colours, 2x Bobbi Brown which are my everyday essentials, 2x YSL my summer brights, 2x Tom Ford for special occasions. I don’t know what I would do without my red lippie!

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Empties! Much loved products from past and present

Before lipsticks I was a gloss girl through and through, this Clinique Cherry Spritzer was my absolute favourite and must be about ten years old, the Dior pretty pink and Chanel shimmery bronze also much loved all nearly empty but still hoarded. The Benefit Rush Hour, Chanel concealer, The Body Shop lip line fixer (please restock this) and Hemp lip balm are all empties that I really loved – why keep them empty tubes I ‘ve no idea!

I’ve now managed to bin the empties and those which are well past sell by date, apart from the few mistake buys I have to say that yes beauty comes with a cost, but a girls make up bag is about far more than buying beauty. Its that extra bit of confidence a dab of concealer can bring, that pop of colour a bright lippy gives an outfit, those carefully manicured nails polish off your look, sexily flicked eye liner, super fun nail art. There are many things that money can’t buy, but a little cheerful make up treat is always worth every penny to me!

Are you a make up hoarder?

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.

The Tale of Lianne and the YSL Bag

I heard my phone ringing but I was eating my tea (dinner if you are not a Mancunian), but it kept ringing so I though I best at least check caller ID. It was my friend Lianne so I thought I best answer in case it was an emergency. “Where the hell have you been?” Me: “Eating my tea”, “But I need you it is an emergency, a fashion emergency!!!!”

Brief Interlude: Now I had been expecting some kind of phone call, since it was the first day of Selfridges sale and I had, with nerves of steel declined to go. Lianne was determined to go after repeat visits to fondle this cerulean Yves Saint Laurent clutch. We had also been on a few trips to take a good look at these Prada wedges, you might recall seeing them in this post. As it was so close to sale season and the fact L has size 3 feet I convinced her it would be prudent to wait for them to go on sale – oh yes the irony I know, I know. Any way sale day comes and L decides she absolutely wants the cerulean YSL clutch, nay needs the cerulean YSL clutch after debating its necessity for months.

“Do you think I should get a navy or turquoise Marc Jacobs bag, you know in the same style as the black one I have?”, Me: “Erm what about the cerulean clutch?”, “I was too late they sold out, so I thought I should get one of the MJ ones instead but I can’t decide which colour.” Me: “Well is it a dark navy because it probably won’t even look any different to the black one.” L: “But the navy has gold hardwear and my black one has silver”. Me: “Ok well that makes a difference, what outfits have you found that don’t go with the silver?”. L: “Ermmm” *thinking*. Me: “Ok well how about the turquoise, what do you think you will wear that with?”. L: “Erm, well…” (At this point I should tell you L has a phobia of mixing colours, everything has to match or I think she will contract plague or something equally terrible).

So to cut this part of the story short, L can’t really think of anything she would wear a navy or turquoise bag with, beside the fact that they are both fairly summery and the summer bags she already has don’t see that much use (we live in Manchester, we have come to accept this). Whilst interrogating a sales assistant about the cerulean clutch she had asked about the Prada wedges. Last time we were checking them out they didn’t have her size in store but there was one last pair ‘on the system’ but the system wouldn’t tell us in exactly which store they were. Turns out it was maybe a mistake of the sale assistant as this time the inquiring discovered they were at the Trafford Centre (about a 45 min drive away from the city centre).

At this point L tells me this is all my fault, which in fact maybe slightly true. When we met in Egypt I most likely came across as a fairly normal person, unclad of designer trappings. Only upon getting to know me does the full extent of my obsession become clear. L was never into designer stuff until she met me, I created a monster, an addict who was it need of a hit. L: “You did this to me”. Me: “Yes, but where am I? At home, not freaking out in the sales.” L: “That’s why I need you, you give me a little now I want more…. we end up in hysterics over this for a few minutes. Me: “Ok you are only wanting a MJ bag because you are in the sales and feel the need to take home a ‘bargain’, put both bags down and leave the store. Do it, do it now. Save your money for the Prada wedges.” Finally we get L out of the store and on her way to the other one right away across town.

The next phone call I get and we find out L has the Prada, pieces of perfection, shoes and she is just having a look around, when low and behold she comes across another table of bloody MJ bags. We go over the entire pros and cons conversation again when we decide it would be worth double checking this store for the cerulean YSL clutch. She locates a sales assistant and from the muffles I guess she is going to have a look, next thing I hear is screeching down my ear, I guess she has found one. Turns out they had been put away as they were not going into sale. I don’t need to point out that this is the perfect example of when and why you should be buying something. In my experience when you have to umm and ahh over something then really you should let it go. Then when you find the things that really make you jump around and squeal for joy, you can snap them up without a doubt. Me: “Get off the phone and go pay for your bag…” duuurrrrrrr *click, end of call*

A couple of hours later I get this photo,
Pearl

Simplicity is sometimes more exciting than Drama

Two of my favourite collections from Paris were Chloe and Celine. Again I am somewhat surprised by this, never having been a ‘Chloe Girl’ before. I commented on both houses regarding the S/S collections and still think that both Hannah McGibbon and Phoebie Philo really have this deep understanding for what women want to wear, but also what they will wear it with. There aren’t many looks in the following images which I personally couldn’t recreate from my own wardrobe, with a new belt or styling detail. I think there is quite a skill in creating a collection that women can alreadys see themselves wearing.

Celine A/W 10


Chloe A/W 10

Stella McCartney also has this outlook, I am always surprised by her ability to make me lust after something retro, such as S/S 10 denim skirt and the ski-pants in this collection.


Stella McCartney A/W 10

Not saying that it is only the women who can work this charm, Stefano Pilati has become synonymous with classic, well cut womenswear at YSL.

YSL A/W 10

This season Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton went all prim and proper with classic cut jackest and billowing skirts, paired with elegant kitten heels.


Louis Vuitton A/W 10

So that’s it Fashion Month is over! Now at least we can get back to S/S !
Pearl

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