Prada Minimal Baroque Eyewear

18 May

Oh Prada – another visual feast of wit and whimsy. And some hot sunglasses to boot. Here are the new images from Prada’s Minimal Baroque ‘From Drawings to Pictures’ eyewear project – enjoy.


Maison des Talons on film

15 May

Another designer presents their new creations with a sultry video on YouTube. ‘An Obsession’ features the beautiful Katrin Thormann and the shoes of up-and-coming label Maison des Talons. Directed by Sandro Suppnig this little film is veritable shoe porn*. And it’s in French – delicieux.

*I love the bit when she’s reclining on the mantlepiece.

Apostle: online natural beauty site

13 May

For green beauty bods like me, Apostle has gathered premium organic and all-natural beauty brands together on one gorgeous shopping site. Handy. Emma and Paul Denham launched the site at the end of 2010, and it’s already got 19 beautiful brands in stock, including several, like Rodin, which have previously been pretty hard to get your hands on if you live outside of London like me. Emma created the site after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the beauty industry’s synthetic ingredients, and the difficulty to establish which brands are truly natural.  “I also became aware that there had been a real change in the quality of natural skincare products available.  Brands like Antipodes have been doing in vitro trials with fantastic results, helping to dismiss the belief that natural is not as effective as non-natural.  I wanted to create a place where people could shop in complete confidence that all the hard work of ingredient checking had been done, somewhere you could come and find great products which really work and which are natural too.” And there are more ranges in the pipeline. “We have a couple of brands lined up to launch in the next few months and we will always be on the look out for great new additions to our range.”

It’s got a whole bunch of my favourite products in stock – go fill your wicked basket with their skin-friendly goodies.

Luv AJ launches at NYLA Boutique

11 May

Love it when a slice of LA cool makes itself over to us in breezy Britain. The latest? NYLA Boutique have just exclusively launched LA jewellery brand – Luv AJ. The statement pieces are the work of LA designer, Amanda Thomas, combining raw urban spirit with a boho sensibility.

See for the full range.

Mulberry’s new baby: Taylor

9 May

So once again we see the Pre-Collections from the great fashion and accessory houses, and the first little gem I’ve come across is Mulberry’s new legend in leather: Taylor. This collection of satchels was inspired by our countryside – details point to our heritage of design, colours are straight from nature’s palette (‘mole grey’, ‘deer brown’…) and a ladylike shape which our dear Queen could happily nestle in the crook of her arm. So very ladylike. Taylor Satchel, Mini Taylor Satchel and Oversized Taylor Satchel are now available on

Dior moves on with a new face: Mélanie Laurent

6 May

There’s still no official head of the house today, but Dior are ushering in a new muse to their beauty compound: the exquisite Mélanie Laurent. She is the French blonde siren from Inglorious Basterds, and this year will officiate as Master of Ceremonies for the opening and closing of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. Who could be better to represent Dior’s Hypnotic Poison?

Delvaux AW11 Handbags

3 May

Delvaux has launched a ‘heritage’ collection for AW11, a range of beautiful vintage styles that would look quite at home on Jackie O’s elegant arm. The house of leather goods, founded in 1829 in Brussels, has a concession at Dover Street Market, so run along now for a chic slice of history.

Artistic Gel Manicure at Lanes Health & Beauty

1 May

I can’t seem to achieve that elusive ‘life-proof’ manicure – one that lasts longer than a couple of days without cracking, peeling or less-than-cute cuticles. I wash up, I clean, I tap away on my laptop, I do other peoples’ nails, I pull hairs out of the drains – life goes on, my nails go off. So when my friend Julie mentioned her new Artistic Gel treatment, I jumped at the chance to try it. Although I have investigated and seen the chip-proof marvels that are Gellish, Axxium and Shellac, I somehow missed out on actually trying them for myself. But they’re all very similar, so Artistic Gel it is.

I plumped for ‘Vogue’ (natch), a mid-tone lavender-grey with the subtlest hint of shimmer. I love it. And the good news is that after a gel base coat, two gel paint coats and one gel top coat, all sealed in with UV lighting, it should last around 2 weeks. The pictures really don’t do the colour justice, so try it for yourself, PRONTO.

Top tip: Don’t forget your SPF hand cream for the light treatment.

Two weeks later… I’m about to get the nail colour removed but I’m pleased to say I have just one tiny chip – seriously, it’s barely visible – and definitely keen to do it again.

Happy Birthday, Topshop Makeup!

27 Apr

On May 5th, Topshop’s makeup range will have been with us for a whole year. And what a year. I now see the products being used alongside the big cosmetic houses by make-up artists and editors alike. The cream blush is a total hero product, and the kohls – just soft enough without being too greasy – are storming the market. It’s not just appearing in magazines either – I’ve spotted them in several editor’s makeup bags too.

The makeup collection’s designer, Lizzie Dawson has actually worked for Topshop since she graduated over 7 years ago, but designing blouses. She came to the makeup launch with a fashion head on, as Topshop really wanted the brand to reflect their founding tenants of success, originality, fun and that newness that has girls and women all over the country queueing up the latest editions week in and week out.

“They wanted something that was easy to use and really conducive to play,” says Lizzie, “It’s not about precision and time-consuming grooming, they’re as playful, fast and cool as the clothing we go to Topshop for. It’s about experimentation and having fun with colour, mixing it up to make statements about your personality, like you do with the clothes. In fact that’s why trend-led pieces like the eye mousses and nail polishes are small – it’s an affordable way to try something out for a season before moving onto the next. It’s for those girls who go into Topshop once a week to see what’s new – little things they can mess around with.”

Lizzie’s not only a Topshop thoroughbred, and a loyal customer and most importantly a makeup obsessive, so she knew what the Topshop girl would want to buy and how good it would have to be to satisfy other cosmetic junkies too.

“The nail polishes alone went to and from the manufacturers in Italy 10 times before I was fully satisfied,” she remembers. “I wanted the best formulas, things my friends would use. High street makeup can be really bad – I was aware we needed to be sure of the quality before it went out there!”

So she had the 350 girls on the shopfloor trial the products, as well as the designers and directors, to make sure it passed Topshop standards at every level. “These people are fashion-forward and right at the heart of Topshop, which made them the ultimate judges really.”

And I think it’s Lizzie’s obsessive attention to detail that has seen the collections blow a lot of other high street brands out of the water, and really exceed everyone’s expectations.

In a great coup for the beauty world, the makeup is actually designed and produced before the clothing collections, so Lizzie’s makeup actually inspires a lot of the clothes. So for once we’re actually starting fashion trends rather than complementing them! “I do use a lot of fabrics like satin, silk and cotton as swatches for the make-up too though,” Lizzie says, “Mainly to ensure the manufacturers get the textures spot on – the silver polish from the Sandstorm collection was actually based on a piece of metallic leather I found, and the spearmint colour came from a vintage dress I found in Austin.”

So what will the Topshop makeup guru wear for the range’s 1st birthday on May 5th?

“A bright lip – nothing screams sophisticated charm more than a ‘look at me’ statement lip. I’ll go for Infrared, the new vivid orange. If you want to tone it down at all then just pat with your finger and it’ll take the punch out of the colour. Or the birthday nail colours we’ve released to celebrate – precious metals for your nails.”

How to pick Godparents…

25 Apr


I was recently asked to be godmother to my cousin’s gorgeous baby girl, Tilly. I had to explain my non-church-attending status, but agreed it was such an honour to have a role in Tilly’s life. My husband was surprised they had asked, his reasons being: 1. you don’t like kids; 2. you definitely don’t have any recognisable religion in your life; 3. you quite often lose things.

And so I did start to wonder why I’d been asked. And had been asked twice previously for other children. My first godly duty was to my mother’s friend’s son when I was 12. Beyond my friendship on Facebook and presents, I’m not sure I’ve ever offered him a whole lot of godly support. Then years later, I became ‘supporting adult’ (that’s what you get at a secular naming ceremony, rather than godparents) to my friend’s baby boy. I do send him good presents, but doubt I am among those anyone would call on for babysitting duties. I was a riot at the after-ceremony-party though, of course. So then I asked my husband and friend, what criteria would we have should we ever have a kid and decide to call in extra support (which I’m fairly sure we would need from day 1 based on my propensity to lose things). My husband’s friend then revealed the strategy he had decided would be in place for his offspring.

1. One must have money. At school, a friend of his totalled £1000 a year from his godparents. Enough said.

2. One must have influence. His friends now employed at law firms, recruitment firms and in finance have all had a ‘good word’ from their godparents to seal the deal.

3. One must come with perks. Someone who works in film, for example, and will be able to supply autographs, trips to the movie sets and stage-door meetings with the latest heart-throbs. Or even better, one who has a boat or property abroad for a lifetime of subsidised holidays.

Might go some way to explaining Elton John appointing someone like Lady Gaga as godmother. While I agree this is a callous approach, it does make a semblance of sense. And explains why I’m no longer in regular contact with the majority of godmothers I chose at the age of 10: a colleague of my dad’s (pretty), my babysitter (made good forts), my neighbour (proximity). My husband is still scratching his head as to why I’ve been asked 3 times when I have neither perks, influence or money to speak of, but as I told him – I can only assume it is by merit of my sparkling personality. And in Tilly’s case, possibly my shoe collection.