Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Burn Baby Burn

Burn Baby Burn..

I had the chance to catch up with Gill Sinclair, co-founder of at the recent Monty PR press day at Liberty. She saw me lurking beside the glittering display of candles from the A-List's favourite brand Votivo. Votivo candles are loved by the likes of Madonna and P Diddy (ie the uber-rich and uber-famous). Loved for their ability to scent a room exquisitely, there's a new Christmas Collection to lust after as the nights grow longer. Actually, who needs the excuse of long nights and cold weather? These beauties are worth splashing out on simply because they smell divine and will make you the envy of Martha Stewarts the world over. Votivo candles were previously only available to buy in the UK via Liberty, however, have snapped them up, so get clicking! Gill confided that most of her candle deliveries end up being squirelled off to her own home. If Gill Sinclair is burning Votivo candles then you know they're a winner - this woman is like a walking beauty bible. Her favourites from the new Christmas Collection are the Red Currant and Christmas Sage candles. Consider going native with the Christmas Sage candles - Native American Indians burn sage sticks to clear their homes of negative energy. I can't vouch for whether this works on annoying in-laws and relatives but you can always try! Alternatively, have a very berry Christmas with the Red Currant candles. They're a gorgeous festive red and also double as the perfect gift.

Votivo Christmas Candles are £34 and available from

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Boxing Clever

Boxing Clever..

Ok so I just got back from The Annroy Gallery, a stylish component of the legendary photographer Rankin's new development in Kentish Town. I was at the launch of Alex Box The Make Up Artist - a photographic collaboration between Rankin and international make-up artist Alex Box. Alex has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Gareth Pugh and Stella McCartney and is creative director of the hot new make-up brand Illamasqua. It was definitely an A-List fashion affair with guests including super stylists Karen Binns and Johnny Blue Eyes, leading designer Gareth Pugh, supermodels Erin O' Connor and Anouck Lepere, Dazed & Confused editor Jefferson Hack and presenter George Lamb. Most importantly, the photos themselves were truly inspirational. One of my favourite shots on show was a series of portraits of a female model, in the style of Leigh Bowery. Her make-up morphs from totally white in the first shot to black in the last. However, it's the series of images in between that are truly remarkable. Using the model in the way a painter would use a canvas, Alex had layered pigments, textures and colours in such a way as to create an avant garde 3D living sculpture. Elsewhere, the lines between art and photography were blurred further still, with some portraits featuring intricate illustrations applied on top of the image in post production. Digital photography has paved the way for a new generation of image makers, with the latest technology allowing artists to push the boundaries of creativity. If you're an art fan you have to see this exhibition. It is beyond inspirational. If you can't get to the exhibition, all is not lost. Alex Box the book is available to purchase via the link below.

Alex Box is published by Turnaround (£50) and the exhibition runs at the Annroy Gallery, Kentish Town from 23 October - 22 November.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

In The Pink

In The Pink..

Six years ago my mother was experiencing tenderness in her right breast. Fearing the worst, she tried in vain to book an appointment for a breast screening at Guy's & St Thomas' hospital via her GP. She endured a lengthy wait - so lengthy in fact that she decided to seek private attention at the Lister hospital. There, her worst fears were confirmed. Not only did she have breast cancer (she had a cancerous growth 4cm in diameter), the nature of her cancer was particularly aggressive. Thanks to the swift excision of the lump and the chemotherapy and radiotherapy she received at the Royal Marsden hospital, my mother was given a second chance of life. My mother handled her illness with tremendous grace and dignity. Though her treatment left her perpetually fatigued and robbed her of all her hair (including her eyebrows and eyelashes), she never once complained. Having my mother in my life means the world to me and I'll be forever in debt to all the wonderful medical staff who tended to her in her darkest hours. It's therefore with great pride, that I draw attention to the Breast Cancer Campaign and their collaboration with clothing retailer Damart. Feisty Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff models this year's ultra-cute (and cosy) limited edition pink cami with over the knee socks from Damart. The cami is available in sizes 8 to 24 and is priced at just £14. The socks retail for £10, with £3.40 being donated to the cause from ever item sold. Women all over the world continue to battle breast cancer. It's for this reason that I urge you all to help Breast Cancer Awareness by snapping up the fabulous limited edition cami and socks. They'd make an ideal Christmas gift for friends and family, so splash out and do your bit to safeguard the lives of women the world over.

To order your limited edition pink cami and socks, please visit or call 0871 882 1111.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Sui Dreams Are Made Of This

Sui Dreams Are Made Of This..

Move over Mukluk. This Autumn/Winter a new footwear star is born. Say hello to the Shakoha boot, the creative offspring of Marcia Kilgore, founder of Bliss, Soap & Glory and FitFlop and the designer Anna Sui, New York's reigning queen of boho-luxe. Available exclusively from in black, chocolate and teal, these darlings will ensure your tootsies are suitably toasty this winter. Supermodel Agyness Deyn adores Sui's designs, hailing her as "the queen of rock n' roll", while Cameron Diaz and Renee Zellweger are ardent fans of the FitFlop. Given the track record of these two prolific creatives, it's probably safe to say that the studded suede, shearling lined Shakoha boot will swiftly win its very own legion of devotees. Not only does it effortlessly fuse style and comfort - it improves your posture and tones your legs. They've certainly found a fan in me - the black pair have Ian B written all over them. Fusing two huge trends for AW09, black and studs, they're an easy way to inject a little rock n' roll into your wardrobe.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Land of Soap & Glory

Land of Soap & Glory..

When it comes to skincare, the world has its leaders and its followers. Marcia Kilgore, the founder of Bliss, the FitFlop and now Soap & Glory, is most definitely the former. Having brought her own style of humour and irreverence to the world via her catchy soundbites (she writes all the copy for the product packaging herself), she has re-invigorated the cosmetics industry, which at times, can be prone to taking itself far too seriously. Soap & Glory was born from Marcia's desire to make highly effective skincare and beauty products available to the mass market - but without the hefty price tags and ridiculous claims of other brands. This October sees the launch of Soap & Glory For Men, building on the considerable success of the Soap & Glory women's range. The latter has spawned a series of cult products, including body butter and a face serum (beauty editors and journalists e-mail Marcia constantly to request more samples of this age-defying wrinkle buster). Every product in the men's range retails for under £5, which is incredible value given the premium grade ingredients and painstaking research that goes into developing and producing these super-effective products. I've reviewed the range on my new You Tube "guru" channel. To hear my personal thoughts on this fantastic men's range and for prices and stockist information, just watch the video below:

Penelope Cruz Vanity Fair November 09 Make-Up Tutorial

Penelope Cruz Vanity Fair November 09 Make-Up Tutorial..

If you haven't seen the November 09 issue of Vanity Fair, I suggest you hot foot it to your closest news stand and buy it now. The super-hot photographic duo Mert & Marcus shot Penelope Cruz for the cover. The shoot images evoked the old school Hollywood glamour of sultry screen icons such as Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Gina Lollobrigida, Ursula Andress and Marilyn Monroe. It was all about tumbling waves of "bed hair", heavily kohled feline "bedroom eyes", come-hither lashes, strong defined brows, sculpted cheeks and a luscious nude pink pout. I created my own interpretation of the look for a make-up tutorial on my new You Tube "guru" channel:

Marc Jacobs AW09 Catwalk Make-Up Tutorial

Marc Jacobs AW09 Catwalk Make-Up Tutorial..

If like Calvin Harris you've got love for the 80's, you'd be as enamoured as I am with the retro-tastic make-up looks Francois Nars created for the Marc Jacobs AW09 show. Traditionally, models tend to sport a relatively uniform make-up look in a show - but Nars pushed the boundaries by creating unique looks on every single model. Citing punks and club kids as his inspiration, Nars took us on a visual journey that referenced with the signature looks of Boy George, Toyah Wilcox, Grace Jones, Steve Strange, Siouxsie and the Banshees and A Flock of Seagulls amongst others. With a kaleidoscopic colour palette that could have been inspired by Skittles (enter your taste the rainbow jokes here), there was a huge emphasis on fun and creativity. Surely this is what we've all been clamouring for, what with the media sounding a seemingly endless death knell with their sensationalised reports of the demise of the world economy? Skin was flawless and matte throughout, with emphasis being placed on bold smoky eyes, punk-style winged eyeliner, dramatic blusher (sweeping up into the hairline), bold lips and contoured cheeks. I created my own interpretation for a make-up tutorial on my new You Tube "guru" channel:

Moschino AW09 Catwalk Make-Up Tutorial

Moschino AW09 Catwalk Make-Up Tutorial..

The world-renowned make-up artist Pat McGrath created a striking 50's style make-up look for the Moschino AW09 catwalk show. Reminiscent of iconic 50's models such as Dovima and Lisa Fonssagrives, the base was flawless and super-matte, punctuated by dramatic, heavily-pencilled, arched brows and a vibrant red lip. Eyes were given a feline look with a bold sweep of black eyeliner along the top lashes, winged out at the edges for a graphic feel. The eyelid was contoured subtly with a neutral brown, to emphasise the pale highlighter shade that was worked from the upper lash line, through the eyelids and up to the brow bone. Cheekbones were given extra definition with subtle contouring, with a little highlighter blended above to add radiance and a sense of dimension. I created my own interpretation of the look for a make-up tutorial on my new You Tube "guru" channel:

Chloe AW09 Catwalk Make-Up Tutorial

Chloe AW09 Catwalk Make-Up Tutorial..

I loved the bronzed 70's inspired make-up that Charlotte Tillbury created for the Chloe AW09 catwalk show. It was all about flawless, bronzed, matte skin. Cheekbones were beautifully contoured to give a sophisticated, sculpted look. Brows were full and defined, eyes were smokey and seductive and lashes were long, luscious and very flirtatious. To keep the emphasis on the dramatic eyes, lips were kept nude and discrete. I created my own interpretation of the look for a make-up tutorial on my new You Tube "guru" channel: