Saturday, 16 October 2010

Smile like you mean it

Good afternoon! World Smile Day is the frist friday of October every year so as the nights get longer and everything gets a little dreary I thought I'd put together my top ways of putting that smile back on your beautiful faces.

“Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
 Mother Theresa

1.       Snuggles
 grab your friends, boyfriend, teddy, mum, dad, sister, anyone! And give ‘em a good ol’ hug. Hell, I’d snuggle up with my gold fish if  could but I can never quite catch ‘em J
2.       Singing.
I always feel good after listening to my ‘happy songs’. My top choices are: Jackson 5 - Blame it on the Boogie,  Rusty Root – Send me on my way, Dolly Parton 9 till 5 and Don’t Stop Believing from Glee.
3.       Puppies and kittens
 I dare you to put ‘puppies’ into Google and try not to smile.  Or watch cute puppies online, awww
4.       Make a to do list and cross everything off
Maybe this is just my orgainised self talking but If you’re daunted because you have a stack of things to do make a reasonable to do list and get going through them! Then tick them off with a huge red marker......satisfying isn’t it?
5.       Makeover time
Give yourself a makeover! My mummy used to tell me that if you had make-up on you’d be 5% more productive. She also told me putting new shoes on the table is bad luck. Either way it sure makes you feel good!

6.       Pamper time
Give your self a pamper. Everyone deserve a little time to themselves; whether it’s a hot bath, your favourite Cecilia Ahern novel, or a manicure you deserve it gorgeous. Look good and feel even better.
7.       Do someone a favour.
Take your elderly neighbour’s bin out for them, help your mum with the shopping, cook your boyfriend a meal, donate blood, give some money (and a hug!)  to a homeless person, raise some money for charity, give a listening ear to one of your friends. Focusing on other people really makes you forget your own problems and you get that nice tingly feeling inside for doing your good deed of the day :0)
8.       Make a list of all the amazing things in your life.
Then sit back and admire.
9.       Bake
 Make something big and yummy and share it with your friends
10.   Go out for a walk.
 I love doing this in autumn, hearing the crunchy leaves under your feet, getting a bit of fresh air. Even better if you have a friend or a dog to come with you.
11.   Tell all the nice people you have in your life that you love them.
One day you might not have the chance. Ring up that old friend and reminise, call your Nan, your dog,  really just about anyone! (apart from strangers, thats also known as hassament)
12.   Chocolate
Block of the sweet stuff are  scientifically proven to release endorphins which make you happy. – enough said!

I would love to hear your suggestions for cheering yourself or someone else up when they're having a bad day.

Friday, 15 October 2010

Bracknell Fashion Week 2010

Fatou - Model and photo from Mapis Modelling
Last month I had the privilege of being one of the makeup artists for Bracknell fashion week on behalf of The Body Shop, who I work for during the university holidays. I had two female models to apply make up to, Fatou and Holly, who were both from Mapis modelling.
On Fatou, I used her own cream foundation, powder and highlighter as we didn’t have any colours to match her skin tone. On her eyes I used the gold colour from Shimmer Cubes Brown 07 all over and then the darkest brown in the corner to give her an ‘Autumn smokey look’ which was the requested look to match the clothes. In order to give the eye shadows a stronger pigment I used them wet by applying some of The Body Shop, Vitamin E Facial Mist to the palate before applying to her eyes.  (but you can use water) This makes the colours really vibrant, (try it with some of your own eye shadows from home, it’s Fabulous) and was recently reviewed by Gok Wan in ‘How to Look Good Naked’ as one of his favourite products.  I then applied some volumising mascara and black liquid liner to finish the eyes. On the lips I used a moisturising lip care stick then a lip liner to give her lips some definition and then added some moisturising lip treatment in a nude colour as her eyes were so vibrant.
Holly - Model and Photo from Mapis Modelling
On Holly I used a Cream foundation which gives nearly total coverage has her skin tone was really uneven. I then used a thick SPF15 concealer around the eye area to cover any dark circles and create a good base for applying the eye shadow. Again they wanted an ‘Autumn smokey look’ so I used the same palate as before but used a brown instead of a gold and used the darker brown shadow as an eyeliner  with a slanted brush. Again I used tonnes of mascara to really build up her lashes and black liquid eyeliner to really define them. On her cheeks I defined the cheek bones by putting a pink tinted highlighter on the cheek bones and then a darker blusher just underneath.

Happy Weekend Folks!

Em x o x

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

The Art of Eccentric Style

Many fashions are popular and many different cultures have different fashions at any given time. The word fashion can literally mean 'a habitual practice' - but, somewhat ironically, fashion is in fact in a constant state of flux, and the people who go against the established manner, those who go for the 'weird' rather than the traditional, are the icons that prompt the next fashion. Fashion is prompted by what is rudimentally style that has not recently been in fashion.

Consider this then - Style and fashion are separate entities. Style can be fashion, but fashion is not always style. In side-lining fashion and giving style main focus, an era's bias can be removed. And what does that mean? It means we can be free to appreciate the art, joy, self expression, humour and honesty expressed by all those who are or have been dressed in a manner that flows at a distance from fashion's rushing channel.

Well that’s the start of it. But what do I mean by eccentric style? Style usually has a subtle beauty to it - but in the circus-ring of life, the vast audience finds itself awed and inspired by THE ENTERTAINERS - Those who go beyond the typical and traditional, who don't walk along the ground but fly through the air on a trapeze. As sequins catch the light, it is these 'entertainers' who have the ability to dazzle the eyes of expectation and to inspire the future.

So, yes, keep an eye on fashion. It can be a great chart to peruse for ideas. But certainly don’t be afraid to mix it up a bit. Find the innocent, unbiased and unstereotyped joy in clothes that a child has in playing dress-up with its mother’s wardrobe.

A little of the eccentric can be found with unusual fabrics, silhouettes, a hat, a bag, an outlandish necklace or quirky earrings – have fun with it! And if you’re more timid, perhaps try a little quirky accessory on top of a more traditional outfit – add a headband, a bold piece of jewellery, a full skirt or sculptured heels. Experiement!

I read somewhere, a long time ago, about a woman who used to dress boldly, with large hats often seeming more like sculpture than attire - one specific hat of hers featured a scale model of a ship, a galleon, if I remember rightly. And what did she say of her style? She said she dressed to entertain the world. To give people something different to look at, something interesting and beautiful to appreciate. I forget how correctly I may be remembering this - but perhaps this way of looking at style, fashion and attire in general is a really wonderful and beautifully selfless approach.

So play with it – try something different. Have fun and brighten your day (as well as potentially someone else’s too). It’s an art form. And what is art if it’s not an expression of self?

Judge not least ye be judged.

Walk into a room and give everyone something to talk about ;)

Coming up - 'The Entertainers' (The icons of Eccentric Style)

Thanks for reading,


Monday, 11 October 2010

Every Street's a Catwalk with these Autumn Trend Shoes

Find your feet with these simply fabulous Autumn/Winter Trend shoes which are bang on trend and hot on the high street right now.
Tan Ankle Boots from Next. £65. These will be great tucked into jeans, with a white tshirt and a brown leather jacket.

The best thing about a LBD is you can wear absolutely any colour shoes with them and this is the pair to go for lovelies. Paired with smokey eyes and Electric Blue eyeliner you won't be wearing them once a blue moon. £24 Next

Work the faux fur trend this Autumn with these boots £59.99 from New Look. So whats great about them? They're super comfy, super warm and have a wedge heel so they're easy to walk in but make your pins look lush. These would  be great with tights and a knit dress. Cosy or what?

This is a fantastic take on the new Brogue Trend. Brogues are a fantastic alternative to pumps on a cold wet winter's day and the buckle on these makes them cute and feminine rather than 'I borrowed my dad's' shoes. £30 New Look

This is a gorgeous combination of the military style boot and the Faux Fur trend which were both rocking the Autumn/winter catwalks. £55 Asos

They say 'diamonds are a girl's best friend' but these sparkly beauties can be your next best friend this Autumn. Perfect evening footwear. Love Label at £45

Some darn sexy boots from River island, £74.99. These are the ultimate smart casual pair for your Autumn wardrode, dress them up, dress them down and you still look gorgeous

Beautiful 'Fei' Shoes from the Demi-Gods of shoes Jimmy Choo. But at £1095 a time you'd better hope you don't tread in chewing gum.

Is seems fashion has gone crazy over Lady Gaga's style and these are no exception. Sequin Cuff sandles £39.50 Evans.

Now girlies, don't all rush to the shops at once to buy them. Remember  you can internet shop! hehe

Em x x

'The Entertainers' - Annie Lennox and Grace Jones

Lets start the show. Two little case studies of Eccentric Style - Lennox and Jones. Two potentially controversial but highly inspirational women. Take a look :)

GRACE JONES A panther, masculine, womanly, athletic, a model/singer/actress, icon and unforgettable. She adopted in the 1970s a severe, androgynous style, with square-cut hair and angular padded clothes. Defining her style are bold shapes, striking unusual silhouettes, and a lot of black and other vampish colours. With fierce accessories galore, including hats, hoods, masks, gloves and shades, she’s often left looking like some kind of outlandish warrior. Being not masculine and not a typical outspoken-but-physically-unable ‘empowered woman’, she is a woman and strong - two independent labels - and her style designates her as such. She is proof you shouldn’t tell any woman what she should be.

ANNIE LENNOX - A real performer, with an amazing voice, stage presence, dignity, sexiness and sophistocation. When performing, she is a chameleon, adopting different personas, often provocative, for different songs. These ‘characters’ include an angel, a showgirl, an 18th Century French Aristocrat, an orange-haired androgynous suit, an obsessive-compulsive middle-class housewife, a blonde Marilyn-Monroe-like sexual vixen, a leather-coated androgynous figure performing to a gang of Hell’s Angels and a masked figure in a space-age ball-gown. Her style revolves around her performances, presenting the theatrical, with dramatic and comedic flourishes, being unafraid to experiement with gender-bending attire – all set off by her strikingly beautiful face and voice. She achieves something that many female performers have failed at – She can express a sexuality and strength, while still remaining dignified, dazzling and fully-dressed. She knows how to be a woman, how to doge stereotype and how to wear a suit.


...I keep using words like ‘masculine’, ‘feminine’ and ‘androgynous’. This is where it gets interesting. (See if you can follow my train of thought.)

Remember, the concepts of 'Masculinity' and 'Femininity' refer to attributes that are indeed associated, but not exclusively, to gender. And what is typically a 'masculine' or 'feminine' characteristic has usually been defined as such by a biased past or at least by a past drastically different from our present state. We are taught that men must be strong and not feel, while women must feel but remain somewhat passive. But let us consider it instead as Yin (‘female’ energy) and Yang (‘masculine’ energy). I was taught a couple of years ago that everyone, regardless of gender, has ‘female’ energies (e.g. emotion, intuitive, receptive, nurturing) and ‘male’ energies (strong, action-oriented, forceful), and that to achieve a balance between the two is to be a rounded person. A Yin/Yang balance means our actions (Yang/’masculine’) support our feelings and heart’s desires (Yin/’feminine’).

This might all sound like pretentious hippy-talk, but basically what I’m saying is that when something is called ‘masculine’ it is not instantly a compliment to a man and a derogative term to a woman (and vice versa for ‘femininity’).

Just think – find a balance. Type into Google Image Search 'Annie Lennox' or 'Grace Jones' and you'll get an idea of what I mean. Emotion and strength. Actions and feelings. One and the other. Yin and Yang. Suit and tie with high heels, pastels with biker boots. It’s all a bit of fun. And it’ll keep the world on its toes :)

Give it a go.