This week my nails have been suffering from the extreme cold weather. I have been so busy this week I havent had the chance to walk over the road to get a manicure from the beauty therapist that handily lives opposite me to get my nails sorted. So its always good at times like this to have a little kit of professional nail products to see me through. My favourites in the kit are Nails Inc Soho Silk. Its more than a base coat. Its like a primer for nails, filling ridges and drying in under 45 seconds, leaving you ready to paint a layer of colour straight away ( as one coat is all you need with this underneath) If i have time a quick layer of Jessica Brilliance gloss top coat always gives for longer lasting colour and expensive looking shine. To stop the skin around the nails cracking rub in a little of Trevarno's nail conditioner just before bedtime. Draw attention and show off a lovely manicure with a eye-catching ring like this one from Astley Clarke.
I had my first 'pleasure browse' of the year around the stores and boutiques of London this week. It has been ages since I have had the luxury to do this. What with being snowed in for most of December and any possible shopping trips were used on sourcing items to fill other people's stockings. I was looking forward to getting into town and checking out what was new for this year. Have to say I didn't get very excited at the last unwanted dregs of the sales, or a little selection of transitional items, and worst of all I was most distraught to find out that Liberty are closing down their lovely lingerie department. So armed with just one purchase of a 2011 Smythson diary I decided to visit my make-up artist friend, get made up, leave the shops and go and meet friends for a drink. Yoshi, from Paul and Joe beauty counter decided that we go for a double faced look, i.e accentuated eyes and lips. After seasons of beauty experts telling us to either play up the eyes and go pale on the lips, or pairing a vibrant lip with a mellow eye, for this season the rules have changed. For those of you shuddering at the thought of looking like the rude and over made department store make-up consultant played Annabella Weir from The Fast Show or worse a pantomine dame, here are a few pointers how to achieve this look with style and grace. Take a cue from the latest Louis Vuitton ad campaign and the catwalk beauty shots from the Miu Miu Spring show. The key to making this beauty look work is to keep the skin flawless and pale (bye, bye bronzer) and use no blusher (as seen on the Vuitton campaign) or just a flush of pale pink under the cheekbone (Miu Miu) . Lastly keep the brows as light as possibe. Big, dark, thick brows are the trademark look of many a Widow Twankey, exactly what should be avoided when wearing both a bold eye and lip combination. Now a new make-up look. That is something to get excited about whilst we await the spring clothing collections to hit the rails.
Look at the girl here in these pictures. She looks like she is out for the day with little more than an iconic Hermes Constance bag. What a lucky girl she is to own one of these gorgeous handcrafted handbags and how has she managed to go out for the day with just a few things than it can only hold? Whilst everyone around me is detoxing their bodies this January, all I am considering is to detox my handbag and to rid myself of all the unnecessary items I daily haul around on my shoulder. I would love to own a little Constance but funds won't allow, but love the idea of a smaller, ladylike purse to use daily. On my fashion shopping list is to find a similar style, perhaps vintage, that I can wear to perfectly accessorise the 'Charlie Girl' mood of this coming spring. Although ,some serious downsizing of contents will have to be addressed. A smaller purse will have to be used in this bag as my current Miu Miu wallet wouldn't even fit in there. And why do I need a purse full of library cards and my current passport in there anyway? (Am I expecting to be whisked away to foreign climes at any given moment? no I don't think so) I'm loving the idea of this Miu Miu croc stamped mini wallet. Smaller in size and still big on style and quality. Same goes for make-up. My beauty purse is full of daily essentials that could easily be exchanged for this neat Nars zip up compact, which includes an on trend bronze eyeshadow, the popular eye shade for spring. With some precise packing, I reckon there is just enough room left for an i-Phone and a set of keys. Feels good to detox doesn't it?
We've had over a week now of hearing what everyone intends to give or take up this year. It's the usual lists of detoxing, dieting, getting fitter, spending less, reeling it in etc etc. I know I couldn't commit to such life changing restrictions, especially as its the most depressing and boring month of the year. Although, when thinking of what fashion and beauty changes I would like to make this year, they do run almost to a 'resolution' style of listing. Firstly, since I am fed up of seeing the ubiquitous Victoria Beckham lauded weekly in what was one of my favourite magazines I have decided to ditch my subscription to Grazia magazine and find an alternative fashion read. Perhaps its now time to return to the good old monthly magazines or even the seasonal titles like Lula or Self Service, since this type of magazine suit the mood of current fashion too. Weekly magazines became popular as style buys were being consumed as quickly as if they were the fast food fashion equivalent. Now that we are in a recession, limited fashion shopping budgets are spent on wiser purchases with a longer shelf life. So, first on the list goes a browse around Selfridges magazine department to find a new magazine that will influence and inspire me.
As does a leisurely afternoon testing perfumes at Liberty's fragrance room. As much as I love the smell of Escentric Molecules No1 on myself, my clothes and around my bedroom. I cannot abide the smell of it on other people, as a pang of jealousy surrounds me to think that others have discovered this gem of a perfume. And especially as said people are middle class, middle aged women with more money than sense (or scents) I don't know who started it among their tribe, but they are all reeking of it lately...Oh dear Tom Ford must be missing their custom since they have gravitated away from his Black Orchid (another old favourite of mine ruined by over-saturation from same said demographic group)
Gosh, I am damning everyone today! Therefore fans of Kate Moss should stop reading now if they've had enough of my opinions. Third on my list is to ditch looks popularised by her in the mid to late noughties. So out go ballerina pumps, giant expensive handbags hooked on the crook of the arm and skinny jeans ( and yes I say 'popularised' - she didn't invent skinny jeans or be the first to wear any of that look. There were a gaggle of fashionistas , myself included who were wearing them a good five seasons before whilst ,she was still in her boot cuts) For about a year now I have been wearing high waisted denim flares, given to me by a fashion forward friend as a replacement to ankle hugging skinny jeans. And I shall be giving them airing again this year.
Wow, a list of attainable resolutions I will actually want to fulfilll. Now, time for that large glass of wine......