ALL THE COOL KIDS…dance to Dior


What could be nicer than spending a day wrapped in a cocoon of Dior? Could it be combining it with popular eighties popstral Tiffany and her best loved hit song?

I know! I’m spoiling you.
I can’t help it, it’s just the way I am.

Enjoy the short film above and if you need more Dior in your life (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) head over here to see the full shoot.

ON BEAUTY…be gentle baby


Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser 2014-02-14 (01.10.32-485 PM)
Just a little loving, early in the morning…

It’s Valentine’s Day and I’ll sing Dusty if I want. I recommend you join me because her sentiment, as well as her singing, is bang on the money.
It’s February, there’s a gale blowing outside, it’s the end of a long week, your skin is looking a leeetle bit grey weary. Be gentle, people, tread carefully out there.
It’s so tempting to scrub away as if by filing away the top layers of skin we will find summer lurking beneath, (oh hi there Summer, anytime you want to pop on over is TOTALLY FINE BTW) but a little morning loving might put a glow in your step more than rough treatment.

Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m discussing my new cleanser, which is making me feel very together and cherished. I’ve never bought Eve Lom before, despite it being brilliant (says: everyone, ever) because it’s so bliming expensive. But Winter months are long and you gotta dig deep to make it through.
So this stuff exits its pleasingly medical looking tube looking like a sort of squashed fruit bar and, frankly, smelling similar. But once you warm it in your hands it emulsifies into a rather comforting oil that you rub on and leave for a few minutes. During this time you can imagine your face is getting the equivalent of a good hug and a ‘you go, girl’ as a precursor to your day ahead.
After two or three minutes, you wash it off and you’re good to go.
Smooth. Loved.
Beats a cup of coffee for starting off your day.

OK Dusty, we still need the caffeine, let’s not exaggerate.

ON BEAUTY…under the surface


Keihl's Micro Demermabrasion 2013-09-23 (11.20.05-049 AM)
Slap my thigh and call me Susan but is there anything nicer than being told your skin looks amazing? Well, yes, ok fair enough, world peace, a stranger tapping you on the shoulder and insisting that the million pound note lying on the floor here must have fallen out of your pocket, I know I know. BUT, in the grand scheme of things, it is, in fact something that will make you feel really rather fabulous all day, thanks very much.

Perfect skin, the holy grail of beauty. So when the very perfect Charlotte Saye recommended the (lengthily titled) Khiel’s Epidermal Re-Texturizing Micro Dermabrasion, saying “This is amazing, it like takes off an entire layer of skin. I’ve never had a real one done but this is really good. You’ve got to do it properly, you have to do it almost dry skin and do it in those tiny tiny circles.” my goose was cooked, I had to try this stuff. I mean seriously, have you seen that girl’s skin? She went on camera with no make up on, go check it out if you don’t believe me. She has a point though, it’s a strangely medical looking product by the recently rediscovered (by me) brand. Its instructions are written in a way that makes you feel somewhat trepidatious about putting the stuff on your face. But hey, I slapped it on anyway, small circle now girls, small circles. Actually boys, you too, according to the ever helpful Kiehl’s staff. A quick pre shave scrub is highly recommended to get those bristles up and ready to be chopped.

OK, back to the compliments, I had several people give me that that slightly tilted head, inquisitive look you get when someone thinks you’ve done something different but they’re not sure what. You look fabulous, you look tanned (??) you look really well were the sort of things that were forthcoming in the space of one, rather pleasant, day.
And that stuff is always going to feel great, million pound note or no.

You can find Kiehl’s in the UK here.

ON BEAUTY…the trouble with red lipstick #2


Red Lips 2 2013-09-05 (01.58.52-052 PM)
Well alright, so not a trouble exactly, but it totally changes your mood.
You can’t put on red lips and sink into the background, it’s the make up equivilant of wearing a hat.

You gotta own it.
Here I go!

You can see the first trouble here now mostly solved by the purchase of Mac Ruby Woo and a really good lip brush.

ON BEAUTY…overnight success


I love a good night in.
Now, OK, maybe I’m just saying that because recently I’ve had one too many nights out but I do love a night in because you have time to wind down and relax which might result in a bit more actual sleep. My brain doesn’t always respect the whole calm down, it’s night time now thing. I spoke the very beautiful and very wise Charlotte Saye, who knows a thing or two about a good bedtime routine. She also knows about having a busy head, she runs an amazing party and gift boutique, you can see it here.

“I haven’t changed my make up in ten years, the only change I’ll make is that sometimes I’ll put a black line over the top of the eye. I just look weird and really grown up when people do anything else on me.

So when I’m taking it off, first I use the Aesop Remove, I like to pat it right into my lashes to get the mascara off. I’m going to look gorgeous by the end of this! Then Crealine, which by the way you can buy here now. I’m so happy about that. Wow! (laughs) That is a lot of blusher and I just didn’t know it. Right…”
“Beautiful? Great. So if I’m having a bath I’ll do the Kiehl’s microdermabrasion. This is amazing, it like takes off an entire layer of skin. I’ve never had a real one done but this is really good. You’ve got to do it properly, you have to do it almost dry skin and do it in those tiny tiny circles. But it’s quite a serious one, it’s the best one I found over the counter. It’s really strict, look, (reads) 30 seconds but no more two minutes, monitoring skin closely. I’m always terrified, definitely don’t go near a male body part with that on! (laughs)

OK, hair in a pony. I like this Liz Earle mask, my mum gave it to me, she always buys me lovely products. I can never do it neatly but it doesn’t matter, when it’s on it’s really on. Oh! Do you think that looks yummy?” (That’s Lotus, the Jack Russell/Pug cross who has just wandered across the bed to join in the girl talk. Sorry baby, ain’t no anti wrinkle cream gonna help that forehead.)
“Ok so after the mask I’m going to do the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair which is a total classic. I like this cream from France which is called Avibon which is really thick and it’s full of Vitamin A, that I love but I’ve run out of it. I like anything really heavy and clogging on my face because it’s so dry and I don’t really break out so I don’t have to worry about that. Ok so then I’m going to put some Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream because I used just the Estée Lauder Serum. I like to layer. I like, throw it on. I’m like, grrr, all over. Then just some Paw Paw on my lips which I keep by the bed, it’s the best.

So that’s face done, and then let’s go to hair, so that’s my Coconut oil. This is one for cooking, I got it from Whole Foods. It’s like my dirty secret, my dirty product (laughs). When I get stressed out my scalp gets really dry (laughs). Oh it’s rock hard, it’s really hard to get it out. So you have to warm it up in your hands, it has to be warm enough otherwise you get these flakes everywhere. I normally do tons of this, sometimes I even put it in a bowl and heat it up in the microwave. I’ll put it right into my scalp and then take another lot and put it through the ends, then I just tie it all up out of the way and leave it.

Now, body, I’ve got this Dr Hauschka Rose body oil which smells divine and then on the really dry bits I love Creme de Corps by Kiehl’s. On my hands I use Biafine. The gloves help it sink in and not go everywhere. And they’re sexy! Wow, come to me boys (laughs) Plus they make you look like a magician. On my feet I’ll use Weleda Foot Balm, or I also sometimes use the Biafine on my feet too.

And then that’s it, oh no, I’ve also got my sleep oil, because I can never sleep. It’s a Tisserand one and I put it on my pulse points. Then I can go to bed. Come on Lotus, lie down.”

BACKSTAGE PASS…breathe it in


flower moodboard
Beautiful clear Spring colours. Sigh. Bougainvillea. Hibiscus. Other little climby things with names that I don’t know. They remind me of a shoot I did with Madalina a couple of weeks ago that I can’t show you properly yet. They make me think of other shoots that I will do using these strong pinks in combination with knocked back, faded peach and, maybe, some silver.
Keep looking.

ON BEAUTY…le smoking


Remember this?
Well, I’d actually set it aside for a while. My head had been turned by other shiny things, I’m extremely shallow like that, and I hadn’t been using it recently. But, having only thrown a couple of things into my wash kit in the way of make up and finding this among the things, I decided to give it another go.
It turns out to be a total holiday hero.
The reason is this, the downside of using powder kohl in general is that it can have a bit of ‘fall down’ under the eyes when you apply it which, if you’re doing it on a normal, in the city worky-type face is a bit annoying as you’ve probably just undone some of your good efforts that you then have to sort out and redo. But on a holiday-y, slightly sun kissed and otherwise entirely bare face, it’s no big thing. Just wipe a bit of Crealine under each eye after application and away you go with your smidge of smudgey smokey oh this? I just slept in my mascara after a night out with those surfers attitude.

Incidentally, (and obviously) the best way to wear it if you are not on holiday is to, (drumroll please) put it on first, before anything else. Then clean up before you proceed. I didn’t say it was rocket science, but it is very satisfying once you get these things figured out.

Oh, and lastly, this photo is taken from an extremely ancient shoot I did on Miami beach.

ON BEAUTY…bat for lashes


Mascara 2013-03-28 (04.47.28-476 PM)
I thought I’d make an attempt at being all fashion and leave off the mascara (so over, it’s all about the new clean, did you not get the memo?) but I’m just not hard enough (and yes, I accept this Lady Fashion, you cruel and fickle mistress). So last week I caved like the wimp I am and bought a nice shiny new one. I’m so loving it (don’t tell Ms Fashion, she’s a bitch when she’s angry) so I’ll share with you the name, Inimitable Intense by Chanel.
Now yes, partly I’m just a sucker for the pretty packaging, partly (oh c’mon, Chanel has the nicest presentation). BUT also it does, as my friend Charlie rightly pointed out, give a very particular look. And that is a look that I like, a little bit sixties, nice and long, a bit rock and roll and doesn’t budge even if you get sweaty. And as discussed, I like to get sweaty. I’m not sure that Hitchcock heroines ever got excited by having a workout, but sometimes my muses get confused and if Tippi Hedren ever did pop down to Pineapple for a dance, I reckon she’d have been wearing this.
So just one problem then, in a couple of days I’m heading to the sunshine (hopefully, fingers crossed) to hang by the pool (double fisted knee slide, I hate Winter and this one is never ending. Ever. Fact.)
So, options here as I see them are
1. Ditch the mascara, go au naturel and on trend and make Missy Fashion happy.
2. Wear it anyway, who cares if it runs in the pool.
3. Put on massive sunglasses and order a large Pina Colada.

Hmmm, what would Tippi do?

CRUSHING ON…bustin a move


Sweat 2013-03-22 (11.00.44-840 AM)
So I’ve been dancing a bit. I told you I would, remember? And honestly, when do I ever lie to you? So yes, the dancing. Now look, I’m not saying I’m ever going to be any good at this thing, but it’s just so…addictive. No, seriously, it’s completely buzz inducingly addictive.
That’s not a word.
I don’t care.
I’m dancing anyway. Here’s why..

1. I’m never going to be any good. Now look, I say this as a positive. I am very focussed on getting better at things in general and it’s really nice to do something that really is just for the journey, not for the result. I know! That’s proper hippy talk. I don’t care, I’m dancing anyway.

2. Because being in a dance class makes me think of this (And I mean actually think of it because I’m old enough to remember it the first time.) How brilliant is Debbie Allen? I want to be her. I want a big stick and I want to ask for payment in sweat with no sense of irony. I know really, that I’m much more like Lori Singer at the end there… “What does that mean?” but hey, I’m dancing anyway.

3. Because it makes me cry OK, this is a little embarrassing. I do get quite frustrated at my own crapness sometimes and I have to go away and (privately, come on) have a little cry. Now yes, you’re right, that may not seem such a positive but I reckon it means that I care and that is a good thing, yes?

4. Because it makes you really really strong Aha! Good evening vanity, I was wondering when you were going to join us. Yes, it gives you abs of steel (is there quite a soft sort of steel? because that might be the variety I have.) Well, OK, nearly abs of steel. Well it allows you to eat pain au chocolate without worry and sort of stretches you out so you look better and stronger.

5. Because my teachers are amazing and every time I watch them move I think yes, try again, even though I’ll never be able to do it like that (see above) it’s just beautiful and inspiring to watch people do what they do best.

So I’m off to sweat today, I have a story that won’t come straight in my mind and it may fall into place while I concentrate (really hard) on something else. I just have to remember not to look in the mirror too much because then I see Intense Concentration Face which truly, ain’t pretty. Black Swan this is not.
But you know what? I’m dancing anyway.