Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Making Up is so Very Hard to Do

There are two types of people in this world - those who would never forget to put their makeup on in the morning, and those who barely remember. I am in the latter group, desperately trying to get to the former. And my ever growing supply of cosmetics is testament to this. Right now I can see $200 of purchases on my credit card all with the aim of making my face look better. Oh, well, and my nails.


So, what does one spend $200 on?? Well, my current absolute favourite purchase is Bobbi Brown's Favourites palate. It has 4 lipsticks and four eye shadows in, well, a dinky black pallete. Complete with decent mini-brushes. I bought this in the belief that if I could bring sensible colours (a cream highlighter eye shadow, a latte esque shade, a beautiful dark brown for lining, and a sandy shimmer shadow for being exciting) to work in my handbag, I might drag my arse to the toilets in the morning and actually use it. Well, I've managed that twice so far. And right now, it's even sitting beside me at my desk at work, and I'm still not using it. BUT, don't let that put me off you getting it. It truly is beeyootiful.


Bobbi Brown is doing an ace job at snatching all my cash right now. I also succombed to her amazing shimmer grey gel liner. Now, there is one look that I do a lot (well, on weekends), and that is attack my eyes with as much black kohl pencil that they can take - MAC make a brilliant one for this. It works very well for me - punky mixed with dresses is fab. But if I ever want to make a bit more of a grown up statement, enter bobbi brown's grey liner stage right. It is beautiful, easy to apply, and potentially very dramatic. It doesn't have enough of a "smudge factor" for my liking, but this might make some people like it even more.


I also got a sandy shimmery lip gloss from Ms Brown. This is the only one of her products which I'm disappointed by. I think I was kinda bullied into this one by the sales girl, and whilst it is perfectly nice, it is far too sticky for me to enjoy wearing. Instead, I bought two lipglosses from L'Oreal's Nude Glam range that manage to somehow be glossy, not sticky, and not have those awful sparkly bits in them (too tacky for words).


Bobbi Brown might have heavenly makeup made for grown up ladies, but she doesn't really cut it in the beautiful packaging front. For that, my friend, let me please refer you to Nars. Nars has been around forever (well, 10 years plus), and was always seen at the luxury end of the world for me. But, I do have this fantastic event tomorrow night, and I'm wearing a navy sequin dress. Now, normally I'm not a matchy matchy girl, but I just know that having dark eyes with a hint of blue shimmer will look amazing. And there's only one place I know that does that - Nars. (Okay, I've just thought of another - Barry M's glitter dust might give the same effect, but it's a lot of work and not masses of staying power). Nars has the most amazing blue-black eye shadow cut with blue shimmers through it, and I'm planning on attacking my eyes with it in order to create a true glamour puss look. Plus, the packaging is black and rubberised, just screaming class and fabulousness.


However, my entire Nars shopping trip wasn't a success - I am such a victim at the makeup counter, and I should never open my mouth. I usually know what I want, and why on earth I feel the need to ask for the opinion of others is beyond me. This tme, with the dark dark eyes, I am really needing a shimmery, icey pale pink lip, glossy - I know you are thinking no, and that is too much makeup, but trust me, it will look twenties and gorgeous. Anyways, the guy at Nars instead recommended that I get a nude lipstick. And when we're talking nude, we're talking skin tone. I know what he was talking about, and if I was just going out with friends or to a great bar, yes, I would look amazing. But I'm going to a conference with middle aged men where the chat will centre on contracts - nude lips will just be out of place. But somehow I succombed, and now have a beautifully packaged creamy nude lipstick that makes me look like the cover of an i-D magazine. I did manage to say no to a similar lipgloss though, as a sign of strength.


So, morals? Expensive eye shadows are amazing, but cheap lip glosses are better than the pricey thanks to the billions they spend on science so that our hair won't stick to our mouths.


Monday, October 29, 2007


Another American Apparel post. For some reason, even after the last debacle I had with ordering from them, I decided to do it again. What on earth was I thinking? This time it took 4 weeks to arrive (no apology when I called them to chase it up), they sent me the wrong colour of cardigan, and they charged me wrong! Complete farce. I have tried to call up their customer service, but got a message telling me that there was no one there to take my call, and to leave a message. This was 3 hours ago, and no one has called me back. Sigh. I do honestly think that the London warehouse might be staffed by imbeciles. It is incredibly disappointing that a company that has such a strong commitment to employment values has such an incredibly poor record in customer service. Either they aren't getting the training, or they are just plain idiots. Either one is frustrating. The love affair is over.


(Notice how this poor experience has meant I didn't even comment on the clothes. That's how badly I feel right now about this company.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Coming back from the wilderness after a couple of months, there have been a number of changes in the fabulous world of fashion blogging that are worth noting. I am loving Splendicity - what a nifty site. It's a fantastic new portal featuring some of my favourite bloggers, including the lovely girls at Painfully Hip. I also discovered the great Fashion Chicks there - blog after my own British High Street heart. WhoWhatWearDaily has the scoop on the best star style out there, and is compulsively addictive.


Being broke at the moment (as ever really!), I am getting back into my creative side. BurdaSew are advocates of the open source sewing movement. I'm not sure what that means, but I do know it means sewing patterns are available for downloading and printing out. Cool. Now, if only I had a sewing machine. Details, details.


I'm invited to a fabulous black tie do for work in a few weeks time, so I'll need a great party dress. I'm thinking the navy sequinned flapper dress from Kate Moss Topshop, along with black tights to make it more demure, curly hair, a flapper head piece (what are those things called anyway?), and crazy black eyes. Mmmmmm.


Okay, and finally, what am I crazy about right now?


My new prada esque grey patent heels. They have a chunky heel and thick elastic acting as a mary jane strap and are far too cool for school. Plus, I can walk in them.


The 40s. Oh, Atonement and Keira, how you have influenced me. Wear Clinique cranberry cream lipstick heavily blotted to get that fantastic berry lip and no eye shadow.


Wide-legged jeans. No, I don't own any, but man I wish I did.


American Apparel. Again. Yes, I know, as ever I'm addicted to a store that sells over-priced, vaguely ethical goods. This time, it's grey t-shirts and sweaters that I'm craving to wear over either overdyed skinnies or wide legged jeans.


My navy skinny jeans. How did I get by without having overdyed jeans in my wardrobe. Only problem is that I can't wear white with them at the moment. Doh.





Thursday, October 18, 2007


Well, I haven't blogged for quite some time, since I've been away in Africa, and then without laptop for about a month after that. My Dell finally arrived on Tuesday, so this weekend will be spent tidying up the blog and getting my technology house in order! Can't wait to get back to writing about my impulsive shopping habits though!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I'm not going to be posting for the next month as I'll be in Ghana working in a Liberian refugee camp. Wish me luck, and I'll be back at the beginning of October!!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

keys, purse, mobile, lipstick to go

I have a largish bag that I end up filling with rubbish. Yesterday I thought I had lost my mobile - it was only at the bottom of my bag. Therefore, I'm actually super pleased that small bags are making a comeback. My ideal one is a "belle" from Mulberry - shoulder strap, brown leather, and stylish. My little sis says she can't stand tiny designer bags - they smack of people who want a label and they can only afford the smallest thing they offer, instead of spending their money on something actually nice, but this Mulberry's too classic for that nonsense, right?

Yes I went wading in the paddling pool in my jeans, didn't you?

Whilst Style Bubble thinks these Topshop jeans are going to be easy and ubiquitious, I think they are brilliant and fantastic. Okay, so black is universally thinning, but wet-look adds a zillion pounds, so I'm sure they won't be flattering on my shape (maybe any shape that isn't Kate Moss-esque twig legs), but so what? Fashion can't always be pretty, can it? And this season, according to The Times, we should all be warrior women anyway...

Right now I'm trawling the net for a picture of New Look's PVC dress - that is one warrior woman item that I don't want to miss.

Are You A Perfect Woman (Read Cold Selfish Bitch)?

StyleDash linked today to an article at the Washington Post that overdressing and looking too chic these days is a sign of being self-absorbed and vapid, citing the upcoming film of the Nanny Diaries as evidence of these sentiments. Is it true that being endlessly chic and put-together - perfectly blow-dried hair, heels everyday, toned to perfection, glamourously bronzed, wrap dresses from DvF and IT bags from Prada and Marc Jacobs - is a sign that you're a bad person? Certainly the effort that goes into looking that good is high (although internet shopping at Net-A-Porter has certainly cut down on effort - a few clicks on a Sunday night can relieve anyone's wardrobe nightmares, but is hell on your credit card), and now it seems it isn't even worthwhile. If we assume, and I think that it is fair to say that it's true, that we dress for others, be they men or women, and that apparently the general consensus of today is that this overdressing is distasteful, nay, immoral, then surely these high standards that women are setting themselves are counter-productive. Instead of demonstrating our capabilities to reach perfection, they are demonstrating the apparent emptiness of our lives. A bit of undone, a bit of imperfection is far more chic, apparently. And this I agree is true, though not because it displays a moral integrity, but because it demonstrates a certain level of imagination, and of acceptance, and of individuality. However, the point of this post is not to say what is wrong or what is right, or whether women who manage to maintain the highest standards of grooming, but to raise the question of women - why can we never get it right? Why do we hit ourselves the hardest? Why is it that being perfect is now a demonstration of lack of morals? Where is the acceptance? I'm not one for burning my bra or doing it for my sisters, but sometimes even I am amazed at the capacity for womenhood to continue to be so self-harming. Please, let's find something to celebrate in ourselves, rather than continue to belittle any woman who acheives success in something.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

new place to go!!

I love discovering a new site. It's one of the great joys of blogging. Of cousr, sometimes you can get lazy, and just keep going to the same places every day, so every so often I head off to one of the various blog catalogs and check out fashion pages. this is how I came across the fantasticness that is Faking Good Breeding. As well as giving great fashion commentary, Meg's also been giving advice to new bloggers and share her experiences. Fashion and blogging in the same place? I love it.

fashion in the workplace - what not to wear

Whilst my all-consuming passion is fashion, that doesn't mean I don't still have a day job that is just about a million miles away from that. I work a corporate job that varies from being fantastically exciting and mind-numbingly dull. It is also dominated by white, middle-aged males. I'm not sure that my company understands the importance and impact that Generation Y will have on the workplace, but I'm certainly feeling the weight of them not understanding.

Getting dressed in a way that pleases me takes time in the morning. Time that I don't have - I would rather sleep in for a further 15 minutes than stare at my wardrobe. Furthermore, a wardrobe full of smart shirts, knee length skirts, and black trousers leaves me cold. Given the choice between smart black flats and ridiculous blue patent heels, the heels win every time. My work wardrobe consists of clothes that I used to love and have now downgraded to "work wear". I can't take pleasure in the clothes I wear for work, because the pleasure I take in clothes comes from the very reason that they are not suitable for work - imagination, creativity, juxtaposition. Oh, and mini-dresses and shorts. Which are very not safe for work.

Obviously I know that image in the workplace is important. One of the most senior women I know wears dresses and heels every day. I know that this is a conscious decision because they only time I've seen her out of her uniform and in flats and trousers was a day with no meetings. She wears this to set herself apart in her very male-dominated world. I have always believed in the importance of expressing my feminity in the workplace, and, to a certain extent, my youth. Am I being uncompromising by not taking on the uniform of shirts and trousers that I can wear for the rest of my life. Penelope Trunk has a great post about being dressed appropriately - basically being dressed as people would expect you to be dressed, and how important image is in your career. That message really resonated with me, since I was out with a senior manager for dinner a few weeks ago, and he said that he loved my dress sense, and my "kooky" style. That's great - I love when people "get" what I wear, but do I really want to be seen as kooky in the workplace? Personally, yes, but not if it detracts from people thinking that I'm actually capable of what I do. And I'm not sure that that's a possibility. Asking people to figure out what I wear rather than blinding accepting it is asking too much, and in my heart of hearts, and more importantly, in my head, it seems I still have some changing to make. To wear a black and grey uniform to me is compromising my sense of self, but is it too great a compromise for the sake of being taken seriously and given real responsibility? Probably not. I'd love to have feedback from some of those "in the know"....