My Blonde Ambition

My Blonde Ambition

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Lip Service - Why We Should Celebrate National Lipstick Day

I make no secret about the fact that I LOVE a good lippie. Usually red, almost always Topshop's amazing Rio Rio.

But why should an item of makeup have its very own day?

Yeah yeah, I know, there are national days of celebration for everything from bikinis to doughnuts (though not the same day, that would just be cruel!).

Yet this is one day I'll be celebrating with relative enthusiasm. And obviously treating myself to a new shade in honour of this.

Here's just a few reasons/justifications why lippie should be celebrated today...

1 - Anyone who's anyone has had a lipstick shade created for/by them. Kate Moss for Rimmel, Rihanna for MAC - even The Queen had her own shade created for her 1952 coronation. The Balmoral Lipstick was named after her country home and matched the colour of her coronation robes. Oh to be queen for the day...

2 - It boosts morale. Fact. Apparently there was a movement to ration it during wartime, but it was thought to keep the spirits up so that idea was hastily quashed. In times of sadness, chaos and modern women warfare (ie man troubles) a slick of red lipstick is guaranteed to make you look wonderful on the outside, even if it's a different story on the inside.

3 - Lipstick doesn't descriminate: there really is a shade for everyone.Unlike cut-out dresses, mini skirts, crop tops, any shade of brown and denim hot pants, there will be at least one colour that helps enhance your best features and complement your skin tone.If you haven't found the one yet, have faith - I guarantee your lipstick soulmate is much easier to find than the male version. And will probably stick around longer too.

4 - Lipstick is always fun. Even on items of clothing!





As if you need any more excuses to treat yourself to a new shade... swoon over these shades ladies


Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Today I Love... Topshop Gloss Ink

I have a slight addiction to the Topshop makeup range that means I can't shop online or instore without picking up a little something from the now extensive range.

More often than not it's a new nail varnish shade but, inspired by some cosmetic looks I'd seen at London Fashion Week, I decided to try the new gloss ink range.

I fancied a change from my usual bright red satin matte lipstick (Topshop Rio Rio) and classic pink creme (Estee Lauder Crystal Baby) so I decided to look for a deep berry shade.

I've always found berry shades tricky. Too light and you're verging on frosted '80s heather that instantly yellowfies teeth. Too dark and you've crossed over to the dark side with almost black lips that scare boys. Where is that berry inbetweener?

So after what seemed like a million swatch tests, I decided on the new Gloss Ink in Cruel, a deep berry shade with a hint of pink.

Topshop Gloss Ink in Cruel

I'm a sucker for names so that was a factor - I imagined that Sarah Michelle Gellar would sport something similar in her Cruel Intentions days (15 years ago!!), most probably while she was hatching some elaborate plot to wreak havoc amongst her friends.

Sarah Michelle Gellar in Cruel Intentions


Other inspiration on colour choice comes from more '90s screen icons, all with a dark side:


Nancy (Fairuza Balk) in The Craft

Brenda (Shannen Doherty) in Beverly Hills 90210

Abby (Monica Keena) in Dawson's Creek

Rayanne (AJ Langer) in My So Called Life

And here's what a lipstick looks like when it's inspired by '90s teen witches and all-round bad girls...

Topshop Gloss Ink in Cruel, inspired by '90s TV stars

The best thing about the gloss ink is that it goes on as high shine gloss colour and fades into a long-lasting stain. When I say long-lasting I mean hours - my first application lasted through two cups of tea and a bottle of water. By lunchtime I was amazed that I still had any colour on my lips never mind one with impact. 

It also manages to be non-drying on your lips, which is quite an achievement given how long it stays put. For £8, this is truly value for money in a chic black matte tube.

Definitely a new makeup bag staple and I'll be stocking up on more colours for spring.


Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

Monday, 3 March 2014

AW14 Fashion Week Roundup: The Trends You Can Wear Right Now

It always seems a bit of an anticlimax watching next season's trends strutting down the catwalks of New York, London, Milan and Paris when we've barely had a chance to try this season's hottest looks.

I was just getting my head round rainbow pastels and printed bomber jackets when I started to get excited at the prospect of orange coats (next winter's bolder version of AW13's pink coat) and quilted everything.

So if you're like me and too impatient to wait on next winter (yep, this winter is still with us I KNOW) is any of this stuff actually available in the shops, like, now?

Fear not... here's some AW14 trends that have appeared as if by magic, on the high street, 6 months early. Even better - they work when the sun shines too! Makes you wonder why we bother splitting the seasons...

ORANGE

It wasn't just the coats that were orange, as designers including Antipodium, Burberry and Preen chose blood orange to bring their designs to life. Next season looks like a tangerine dream so try the trend while the sun's out and you've got a hint of a tan.

Elizabeth and James Ursula Orange Collarless Jacket // KG Kurt Geiger Cara Orange Low Heel Court Shoe // Warehouse Orange Lace Detail Swing Dress// Valentino Rockstud Orange Leather Clutch Bag // The Row by Linda Farrow Orange Wayfarer Sunglasses// Topshop Orange Flower Lace Top

THE BOMBER JACKET

The '90s obsession continues into AW14 and this season's must-have bomber jacket was a key feature in collections from Giles, House of Holland and Jonathan Saunders, who gave us a double-trend treat with a quilted version (more on that in a minute).

Markus Lupfer Printed Satin Bomber Jacket // Balmain Quilted Bomber Jacket // Marc by Marc Jacobs Satin Bomber Jacket // Mint Velvet Pearl Grey Bomber Jacket // Schott NYC Floral Bomber Jacket 

QUILTING

Again House of Holland and Jonathan Saunders were leading the way with this '90s-inspired texture trend, but Christopher Kane and Peter Pilotto also worked quilting into their AW14 collections and Dior's standout piece was a fuchsia quilted baby doll dress. The appeal of the classic quilted Chanel bag never wanes anyway but a vintage version of the eternally chic arm candy is the ultimate statement piece next season.

Balmain White Quilted Nappa Leather Biker Jacket // Boohoo Heather Selfie Quilted T-Shirt Dress // River Island Pink Quilted Bralet Crop Top // Warehouse Black Quilted Mini Skirt // Topshop Neon Yellow Quilted Jumper // Chanel Vintage Pink Silk Quilted Shoulder Bag

MATCHY MATCHY

Another '90s-inspired trend that moves away from the more grunge-based looks of recent seasons, this trend takes our current Clueless obsession to new levels. Skirt and short suits in matching colours and prints are where it's at, so take your cue from Cher and Dionne and parade in head to toe plaid or coordinate your colours.

Moschino Vintage Tartan Check Skirt Suit // Moschino Jeans Vintage Skirt and Jacket Suit // Ted Baker Filica Bow Pocket Suit Jacket // Ted Baker Metallic Suit Shorts // Topshop Betty Boucle Suit Jacket //

ASYMMETRY

While matching prints and colours were a popular choice at the AW14 shows, symmetrical garments were ousted in favour of the lopsided look. Irregular shapes and hemlines on dresses, tops and skirts are sure to be everywhere next season. From Dior's outlandish quilted asymmetric hem baby doll dress to the avant garde asymmetry at Gareth Pugh and Viktor & Rolf, uneven style is in for AW14.

Saint Laurent Pink Silk One Shoulder Dress // Alexander Wang Cotton Pique Top // Topshop Black Chunky Zip Wrap Skirt // Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Cobalt Blue Leather Jacket // Vanessa Bruno Athe Coral Silk Front Dress // River Island Bright Pink One Shoulder Dress


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Fashion Event: London Fashion Weekend AW14





London Fashion Weekend takes place straight after London Fashion Week at Somerset House and what a setting it is for an event. Overlooking the Thames, it was a perfectly sunny day when I attended and the building looked magnificent in the winter sun.

Somerset House makes the perfect venue for London Fashion Weekend

We arrived quite late on into Friday morning's session which meant no queues by the time we turned up but a general lack of common sense by the event staff meant we missed the start of the Elle beauty presentation we were looking forward to.

An event 'helper' told us we couldn't enter via what I know as the main entrance (the one that faces the Thames) and so we were directed to walk round the building to the other side so we could collect our pre-booked tickets. Why there was an issue entering via this door I have no clue. It seemed to me like it was closest to the ticket collection area but maybe that's just me...

The silver spaceship-esque trailers you can see in my photo above were where we collected the tickets, with some difficulty. Bearing in mind that no one else was around, we walked up to one of the windows and were told that window was for 'silver and gold tickets only. The bronze window was the one beside him. In the same cabin. Where his friend was stood. So we had to make the ridiculous side shuffle to the left and wait for his friend opening said window...

There may be a need for that level of 'organisation' (or more like segregation) if there was a hint of a queue but really, there was no need for the robotic response we got from the event staff.

Anyway, enough complaining about the rules and regs, once we were finally inside the event it was fashion overload.

The Vodafone Lounge at London Fashion Weekend

The Vodafone Lounge appeared to be where all the action was happening so we headed inside and fought our way (really, we did) to the front of the queue to see the Elle magazine beauty presentation. ELLE's beauty director Sophie Beresiner and fashion TV presenter Antonia O'Brien talked us through the must-have makeup and hair looks for SS14, even the ones we're never likely to attempt - I'll only ever be rocking the wet-look, slicked back hair trend for five minutes after my morning shower, thanks.

ELLE's beauty director Sophie Beresiner explains why the sidesweep is a hot hair trend for SS14


Inspired by our beauty masterclass we headed back into the main part of the Vodafone Lounge where Maybelline had set up a stall packed full of SS14 colours. My only disappointment was that other cosmetics brands hadn't done the same - it was all very nice and looked appealing but there was no real incentive to buy the products on offer, no free samples and no makeovers on offer. Yes I'm living up to my blogger/blagger tag here but you do expect to get something for your entry fee (and a bit more than the cheap Julien Macdonald-designed tote we got).

The Maybelline stall had stacks of lipsticks in SS14 shades

In truth the Vodafone Lounge was way too small for the amount of designer stalls setup inside and it was an endless stream of people bumping into us so we ventured into the main building to see what was on offer there.

I got most excited by the Prosecco bar but swiftly disappointed when there wasn't even one free drink to be had. As great as it was to have a nosey at all the designer goods on offer (with some brands claiming to have discounts on the items) nothing caught my eye. Lots of designers were showing off their wares - Lulu Guinness, Radley, Muubaa, Amanda Wakeley, French Sole, Kat Maconie - but the price tags were still mighty high for an exclusive shopping event.

My look for London Fashion Weekend - Topshop Selma sunglasses// Topshop lipstick in Rio Rio// Warehouse Leopard Print Dress


I'll be back in September but I don't think I can say it will be for the shopping - the best part of the event was the Elle beauty presentation as that's the sort of thing that makes you remember why you love the fashion industry and all its glamour.  And it will be silver or gold tickets next time - our bronze tickets got us an empty tote bag and no admittance to any of the designer/trend shows, which I think would've made the day all the more exciting.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience but organisers take note - more access to exclusive shows, more samples included for our ticket price and a bit more common sense would make it an event to remember for the right reasons.

For more information visit http://www.londonfashionweekend.co.uk 

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Review: Spa in the City, Glasgow



For someone that loves to beautify themselves I've never been one for pampering. Beauty treatments, for me, are always more of a necessity (waxing, threading and the occasional sh*t-I-need-to-get-my-legs-out spray tan) than a luxury that I have time to enjoy.

But after a hectic Christmas and January I was determined to check myself into a haven of calm for a couple of hours of pure relaxation.

Checking out prices for spa days and treatments I was amazed at how expensive these things are. Maybe because I'm not usually looking at these treatments when I'm in a salon, but dear me, you could literally buy a designer handbag with what it costs to book yourself in for a spa day at some places! And yes, I want to relax, but no, I do not want to think about which Marc Jacobs lovely I could've bought and paid for with the cost of a massage and a facial!

So after assessing my finances and checking out the options on 5pm.co.uk, I opted for Spa in the City, a handily-located day spa situated conveniently above Toni & Guy on St Vincent Street, Glasgow.

I booked a hot stone massage and aromatherapy express facial, which sounded like heaven! Call me a snob but I always judge a salon, both hair and beauty, by the products it uses. So I was pleased to see that ESPA was on the menu.

When I arrived at the reception I was greeted by a friendly member of the team who got me to fill in some details since it was my first time at the salon. Then I was taken through to the tranquil treatment room by my therapist, Laura.

The low lights and soothing music soon got me in a state of relaxation and Laura got to work on my tense muscles. The hot stone massage is like nothing else I've ever experienced - you know there's warm rocks being pressed onto your skin yet it's the most relaxing feeling. During the 40 minute treatment Laura moved all the way across my back and really paid attention to the areas that she could feel were in need of some relief. The hot stone massage for me was medium pressure given it was my first time but this can be tailored to more seasoned connoisseurs who want a deeper massage.

Once the massage was over it was onto my express 30 minute facial. The combination of an exfoliant, cleanser and moisturising mask met my neglected and dull winter skin in an attempt to revive it to its former glowing glory. In addition to the ESPA products on my face, I also received a dry scalp massage (without products as I was going shopping afterwards, but you can have oils applied if you wish).

Although it would've been nice to go for a nap after all this, it was alas time to get dressed and venture back outside. Laura brought me a glass of water and told me to take my time, which was nice as I'm sure the salon would've been busy, but I never felt rushed at any point.

After I paid for my treatments, which were worth every penny, the receptionist asked me if I wanted to join their loyalty scheme that entitles you to a free treatment after so many paid ones. I didn't hesitate to say yes!

Hot stone massage, £40, and aromatherapy express facial, £30, Spa in the City, Glasgow
www.spainthecity.co.uk 

Labels: , , , , ,