Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Freshen up! 10 tips to fool a hangover & fake a good night's sleep.

More tips here from Vogue Australia
When my daughter was a newborn, I constantly looked like I'd aged 10 years when facing my reflection in the morn. Some days after a sleepless or alcoholic soaked evening, you need to look your best the next day. Here are a few good tips to looking slightly less bedraggled and refreshed.

Top 5 Tips

1. Moisturize moisturize moisturize
Dehydration makes your skin look creasy & cracked, so first thing's first - Plump up your skin up with a good moisturizer. For every day, high end creams I like are Estee Lauder's Day Wear, Clarins Super Restorative Day cream or Clarins Multi Active Day cream. I also love Dr Hauschka's Rose Day Cream, it is quite oily but smells delish and feels rich & emollient on your skin. On days where my skin is looking especially parched or for super dry, I'll actually use a night cream during the day on problem patches, like Clarins Super Restorative Night cream. Lately I'm on a budget so using cheaper options and am quite into moisturizers with antioxidant-rich Rosehip oil right now. I just picked up an Essano one from the supermarket. *Day creams are typically to protect (SPF & barriers against air-con, wind etc), night creams are to nourish (loaded with vitamins & minerals to repair your skin while you sleep). 
2. Tinted BB Cream or Moisturizer
Another good tip for a fresh look is to use a BB Cream or tinted moisturizer, rather than blanket your skin in a foundation that is too thick or opaque. Matte & opaque foundations can be aging. If you don't have a good tinted moisturizer or BB cream, mix a little of your regular foundation with your day cream. The moisturizer will pump more glow into your foundation. Laura Mercier has a great tinted moisturizer. I use a Garnier BB Cream which is a great cheaper option, and there are also good reasonably priced versions from Maybelline, Covergirl and L'Oréal.
More tips here from Vogue Australia
3. Skin Brighteners & Highlighters
As most of us know, a good under eye highlighter is a life saver for tired or hungover days. YSL's Touche Éclat is the benchmark. Once available in 1 shade only and now available in 10, 1 Touche Éclat is sold around the world every 10 seconds! Skin brightening highlighters across the cheek bone will  give you a healthy glow. I also like MAC Strobe cream which has an iridescent glow and is loaded with vitamins and green tea to brighten you up. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm is an oldie but a goodie, a brightening balm which isn't a pigmented highlighter like Touche Eclat or Strobe, but it does give your skin a nice dewy glow.

4. Concealer
Concealers are a must for dark circles, spots, pigmentation & any other blotchy problems. I find Touche Éclat better as a highlighter rather than a concealer. If anything, to me it draws attention to spots. MAC Secret Cover Up and Benefit's Erase Paste are good, and for a more heavy duty cover, Estée Lauder's Disappear Smoothing Creme Concealer.

5. Eye Serum
Day eye serums are used to de-puff, reduce dark circles and/or as a protectant. They also work well as a smooth base for the concealer. When I worked at the YSL beauty counter at Harrods, we'd slather the latest day eye serums under our eyes then blend Touche Éclat on top. I do like Clarins products too, having also worked for them. I want to try Eye Revive Beauty Flash. Alternatively, you could just throw on a pair of nice dark sunnies and cover the offending area altogether, a la Kate at Glastonbury 2013.
*Now you can get many double-duty highlighters - under eye concealers with a built in eye cream or serums. Right now I'm using Benefit's Erase Paste over an Estee Lauder Advanced Eye Repair sample but I want to try Benefit's Fake Up - a concealer & hydrator in one. I had a sample of Lancôme Rénergie Yeux Multiple Lift which was brilliant too. 

More Tips, if you have time.

6. Colour
A natural tint will brighten up a pasty pallor  My number one is Benefit Benetint on the apples of your cheeks. A pop of colour will pick you up in an instant. Even a dab of lipstick blended into your cheeks will do. Alternately, a brush of bronzer will perk you up - nothing says health like a sun-tan! NARS Multiple sticks are brilliant for both blush colours and bronze. "My festival look is always natural, never too much make-up. I also carry a lip stain and eyeliner, you can always put a bit of the lip stain on the cheeks and you are ready" Kate Moss
Kate's natural look, Glastonbury 2005
7. Eye liner
A great trick that gives you a natural look but still picks up the eyes is to apply a tiny, very thin line of liquid eyeliner just above the lash line. It's a trick I read in Vogue from Linda Cantello called 'invisible eyeliner', used on many a celeb 'no make up' photo shoot. It's quite hard to do but looks fantastic. You need a really thin liquid liner for this, like Blinc by Sephora. "Just a millimetre-thin trail along the top lash line, drawn right down against the roots, frames the eyes and gives the illusion of lusher, more prolific lashes - without the need for multiple coats of mascara. If you're a dab hand at drawing in a thicker, more feline eyeliner, then simply keep the nib closer to lashes. If you're a novice, begin by stippling the eyeliner in between lashes to form a continuous line."
Joan Smalls' 'invisible eye-liner', Vogue 
8. Good lash
Long lashes will open up your eyes, so invest in a good old eyelash curler. I also love Covergirl & Maybelline lengthening mascaras like Define-a-lash.

9. Lips
A dab of tint or a nice clear gloss adds vitality to the face. I use Benetint for a natural colour, then slather something shiny and nourishing like Paw Paw Ointment or Blistex on top.

10. Hydrate
Drink water! Not only is it good for your skin & general well-being, but it will help with your fatigue - and any hungover headaches! I also find coconut water is a life-saver for tired or hungover days, plus is  it full of electrolytes. Straight from the nut is best. You could also do a Kate Moss - "If I wake up in the morning and look tired and puffy, I fill a sink with ice and cucumber and submerge my face. It instantly tightens everything making you feel and look instantly better."

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pop of colour for Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham's designs have come a long way since her suck-you-in body-con dresses. I must say I prefer her corseted, hour-glass dresses, but was also impressed with her latest collection. The immaculate cuts and structure is still there. It's hard to pinpoint VB's aesthetic now, as many of her collections seem so different. Some of the geometric lines of the SS15 dresses and bold prints remind me of Prada. I love the languid silhouettes of the maxi dresses, and the tapered cuts are still there to a degree. I'm not so keen on some of the baggy saggy designs, like the blue cloqué dress from last Spring.
The florals reflect the quirky side of her aesthetic (as does her rather 'island style' frilled pink dress she wore the day after, below). The suiting & neutral colours are very VB - chic & cool, yet sexy. 
"This collection seemed more like a turn in a new direction than ploughing over seasons past (although, yes, the hemlines remained midi, Beckham has explored this length before and it suits her well, proving that women don't have to be 5ft 9 and up to pull it off). There was a cheery pink floral print that popped up on natty trousers and army jackets which Victoria said she employed to "perfume" the line up. It did look pretty - and new. Everything certainly had great hanger appeal - but some of the dresses which she has built her brand upon were disappointingly missing here, so too an element of wow evening wear (yes, she's a mother of four but we all know she's a sharp dresser come night). Those ideas would have been good to have witnessed - and they do exist in her broader selling collection - just not in the edit of her catwalk show." Vogue

"If you were to psychoanalyse the clothes, you could say that they have become less about a perfect body and more about personality. The Victoria Beckham woman has a shape to her as a person, which is no longer defined by her waist size. I put this to Victoria. She is sceptical – “there was more corsetry at the beginning because we were a small team, with a smaller skill-set, as the atelier expanded we’ve been able to try more things” – but agrees that the way she herself dresses has changed. “Because I’m coming to work every day, I tend to wear things that are a little looser; if I want to look dressy, I put on my sunglasses. I used to wear clothes which would make me stand out and now I don’t so much because I don’t feel I have anything to prove.” Her day look seldom swerves beyond navy, black, cream and grey; as well as her own label, she wears Céline, Saint Laurent, Comme des Garçons." Jess Cartner-Morley for The Guardian

As well as some chunky 90's style heels, VB has also designed brogues! Her first flat shoe. Describing the woman she imagined would wear her footwear line, VB told MailOnline: "She is cool and confident - as happy in a pointed flat as well as a platform‎." I'm not  fan of brogues at all, but I do like the leopard pony-hair show. They looked fab with the white suit.
"As her brand has grown, Beckham has branched beyond the sexy, fitted dresses with which she made her first big splash. That's necessary and good, though not always easy. You couldn't fault the cool precision of this collection, but it did make you long for the days when she put a little wiggle on it."


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