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Wednesday 11 December 2013

CALZEDONIA BLACK JERSEY TREGGINGS......AND CHANGING SEASONS

I loved this season's Saint Laurent slim tuxedo trousers and I looked around, without success, for something similar at a price I could afford. Instead, I have bought this lovely pair of Calzedonia black jersey treggings,  which are a very good fit and shape on me.  They have small faux pockets at the front and square pockets at the back.  Made from quite heavy jersey, they will be a good basic in my current wardrobe.


  

Here in London, the run-up to Christmas seems very quiet and low-key. Despite their enthusiastic publicity encouraging us to dress up and party, the shops are now offering generous discount on some lovely evening clothes.

Sloane Street was seasonally lit up though, as I walked along there at nightfall.  It looked magical.








Meanwhile, fashion moves on ahead.  Cruise/Pre-Spring 2014 Collections are arriving in the shops and designers are currently showing their Pre-Fall 2014 Collections.  Last year at this time, Chanel's Pre-Fall 2013 Collection was presented in Edinburgh and the clothes were inspired by Scottish Tartan and heritage. Tartan has since been noticeably present in this Autumn's looks.  Yesterday, in DallasKarl Lagerfeld presented Chanel's Métiers d'Art "Paris-Dallas", his Pre-Fall 2014 Collection, featuring cowgirl inspired clothes.  "Warrior girl" makeup by Peter Philips was platinum and gold inspired by warpaint.  Hair stylist, Sam McKnight described his "modern cowgirl" as "cool, messy hair, low pony tail and sexy".  Will this Western look influence Autumn 2014 fashion?  Best to hang on to your cowboy boots!!!

Tuesday 26 November 2013

"BODY LANGUAGE" AT THE SAATCHI GALLERY

One evening last week I went to a private view of "Body Language" at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea.






"Body Language" is an exhibition of paintings of the human figure by modern artists.

As I sipped my glass of champagne and walked around the gallery viewing the paintings, I was fascinated by the different ways in which each artist depicted the human body.  To my fashion blogger's mind, some of the pictures reminded me of imaginative, fashion photography of today.   

Jansson Stegner, an American artist, brought romanticism to his portrayals of very contemporary female police officers. Evoking the classical portrait painters of the past, he placed them in a pastoral background.

In "Great Plains" below, his beautiful, quirky, large-eyed police girl could almost be part of a grunge fashion shoot.






Chantal Joffe is an English artist who really does paint portraits of women from fashion pages.  Just look below at her blonde in "Black Camisole".







From Henry Taylor, an American artist, "Miss Kelley" (below) is more "real life" fashion



and I had to include his very noticeable work "Untitled (Finger)".  Just look at her deep, statement lipstick.



These are only a few examples from an amazing collection.  I really enjoyed and recommend this exhibition.  It runs until 16th March 2014 at the Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York's HQ, King's Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 4SQ.

Friday 22 November 2013

LITTLE BLACK EVENING PIECES

Now it's getting dark early and the nights are cold, the shops are reminding us that the party season is approaching and are tempting us with clothes for evening. 

I've never really been into bling or OTT dressing for nights out and generally go for those very wearable little black pieces (the LBD, the LBJ, le smoking ....) that can be worn anywhere in the evening. The subtle sparkle or glint of discreet jewellery or accessories can add glamour.  

In the shops, this theme seems to be the trend this season. Recently, there was a very attractive window display at Jigsaw in Kensington. It included two black tuxedo trouser suits shown simply, one teamed with a black, gold and crystal necklace, the other with metallic flat slippers. The little photograph below (literally caught in a flash) shows their elegant jet bead maxi dress and a little black lace dress with a black crystal collar necklace.   
  

 


In my wardrobe, I already have a black lace dress from H&M Divided, (see my post "Black and Gold" dated 17th November 2012) and a jet collar necklace from Topshop (featured in my post "My Little Black Jacket" dated 24th October 2012). I will definitely be wearing these again. 

What I'm looking for now is the perfect pair of black slim trousers, ideally tuxedo style, to team with my black jacket or with my new spotted black top from H&M Divided (see my post "Going Dotty this Autumn" dated 2nd October 2013).

Wednesday 23 October 2013

MORE AUTUMN KEY PIECES

A few more key pieces in Punk and Grunge mood to complete my Autumn/Winter wardrobe ........


Navy Blue Check Shirt from Topshop






This long-sleeved shirt is made in a navy and red dark tartan, 100% cotton fabric, has front pockets and popper fastenings.  I will wear it with my black faux leather trousers, (shown in my post, "Black Faux Leather Trousers from Calzedonia" dated 8th October 2013), sometimes open over a cami, or even over a slip dress.


Black Lace Insert Cami from Topshop





I loved this cami as soon as I saw it.  Made in a silky, polyester material with thin straps and a cobwebby lace insert, it's long and slightly flared - on me it's almost a little silky slip!



Black Leather Biker Boots from Benetton





These little Italian boots are soft and comfortable and are not too heavy for a petite person.


I am really looking forward to wearing my new pieces in different ways and mixing them with those already in my wardrobe.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

BLACK FAUX LEATHER TROUSERS FROM CALZEDONIA

My favourite Autumn/Winter 2013 ready-to-wear collection has been from Saint Laurent - a de luxe, designer take on punk and grunge.  

I looked longingly at their black leather skinny trousers but I confess that I do actually find the challenge of "cheap chic" exciting. There's such a feeling of satisfaction when I find just what I'm looking for at an affordable price.  I was thrilled when I found these little black faux leather skinny trousers at Calzedonia.  


The low rise waist has belt loops and the pockets at front and back are finished with geo studs.







Calzedonia, an Italian brand, make tights, socks, leggings, stretch trousers and swimwear.  I find that their leggings and trousers are good for petite women, both in fit and length.    

Wednesday 2 October 2013

GOING DOTTY THIS AUTUMN

Spotted net pieces and dotty tights at Saint Laurent reminded me of that pair of tights I bought two years ago and somehow forgot about.  I took them, brand new, out of the drawer and I'm really loving them now.


With my new enthusiasm for dots, I went on to buy this lovely black polka dot sheer top from H&M - I'll wear it over a black silk cami as in the photograph.  I like the scallops at the hem and bottom of the sleeves.





Still dotty about dots, I bought this black beanie with spotted net bow from Topshop



..........a pretty way to keep warm when the Autumn chill sets in.


Meanwhile, it's been Paris Fashion Week.

Hedi Slimane presented his Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014 collection.  Continuing with the young mood of his last two collections, this was luxurious rock chic and included some beautifully tailored trouser suits and tuxedos. 

Dior, S/S 2014 - dark jackets teamed with printed shorts and a finale of silver evening dresses and chic tuxedos.

Wednesday 25 September 2013

AUTUMN ESSENTIAL BLACK PIECES

I've started to collect key pieces for the season and here are some new black essentials........

a black, lace-trimmed, cotton mix vest with adjustable straps from H&M






black, lace brazilians from Marks and Spencer (they offer 3 for the price of 2!)






soft black jumper in an angora blend, round necked with the back slightly longer, from H&M







and anticipating the first Autumn chill, a black, light-weight Down/Feather Padded Jacket from H&M Sport



I like its slim shape and zip up pockets.

Monday 16 September 2013

KHAKI PARKA FOR AUTUMN

Autumn really has arrived quickly here in London, with the wind and the rain.  I'm glad that I bought my new

khaki parka from H&M's Divided range 

I can push my hair inside the roomy hood and I like the drawstring at the waist - it's great to have a practical, casual jacket with a flattering shape.





Meanwhile, it's been London Fashion Week here and British designers have been presenting their Spring/Summer 2014 collections.  Fashion is always ahead!

Thursday 12 September 2013

AUTUMN..........MYSTERY, PUNK, GRUNGE.....

It's beginning to feel Autumnal and I'm looking forward to mellow mists, darkness and mystery.

On the beauty counters, new makeup reflects the mood. Autumn makeup is mysterious .... 

Mystic Metallics at Dior

Collection Superstition at Chanel  

YSL Autumn Look includes dark Prunes for lips and nails.

On the fashion front, PUNK has a dark, sophisticated edge and GRUNGE has acquired a glamour (it inspired the Saint Laurent Autumn/Winter collection and the September edition of Vogue Paris).   

Black leather, gold studs and chains, biker boots, tartan, denim, khaki, classic jumpers (often over-sized) now mix with romantic lace dresses and skirts, slip dresses and camisoles that look like lingerie (as at Louis Vuitton).  There's a lot of Black and white Houndstooth pattern about (very Dior) and Leopard print (most chic, I think, as an accessory).  Other trends are boyish (street style or preppy) and for the less rebellious, there's a ladylike, 1950's style (like a Hitchcock leading lady).

I've begun to get in the mood with a few small things...

Dark Prune Nails - La Laque Couture by Yves Saint Laurent in Sepia 7E (40)





A dark Tartan scarf from H & M, in a fine polyester material




and this little chain handle box bag with leopard detail flap from Topshop



Thursday 29 August 2013

NATorigin Firming Anti-Wrinkle Cream and Loose Powder Foundation (Beige)

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying out my samples of NATorigin Firming Anti-Wrinkle Cream and NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation.



NATorigin Firming Anti-Wrinkle Cream is made from 98.2% natural ingredients. These include borage oil, safflower oil and shea butter (for anti-wrinkle and firming) and arctic raspberry seed oil and red seaweed extract (for moisturising and softening) .  Full ingredients, as listed on the NATorigin website (www.natorigin.co.uk), are:-

Aqua (Water), Organic Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Organic Isopropyl Isostearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Lauryl Laurate, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Propanediol, Arachidyl Glucoside, Glyceryl Stearate, Organic Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Calcium PCA, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Glycerin, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Lactic Acid, Behenyl Alcohol, Phenethyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Parfum (Natural fragrance), Arachidyl Alcohol, Xanthan Gum, Asparagopsis Armata Extract, Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Cetyl Palmitate, Cocoglycerides, Tocopheryl Acetate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Hydroxide, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil

As ingredients are subject to change, it is always advisable to check the ingredients on the product.


I never expect the impossible against the ravages of time, but I think that a good cream can improve the skin's condition.  As I only had two little sample tubes of NATorigin Firming Anti-Wrinkle Cream, I concentrated on the areas of my face where it was most needed.  I applied just a little of this soft, thick cream in the morning and evening.  It has certainly proved to be moisturising and softening and it has definitely softened and reduced the appearance of lines.  I really think it has had some firming effect too and my face looks generally smoother.  

This is an excellent cream and is very reasonably priced at £20.50 for a 50 ml pot.  Firming anti-wrinkle creams from other good brands often cost much more. 

NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation comes in a chic little coffee coloured pot. Made from 100% naturally sourced ingredients, it is formulated with ultra-micronised shells of organic argan nuts and enriched with extracts of organic arctic raspberry seed oil.  Full ingredients, as listed on the NATorigin website are:-

Mica, Organic Argania Spinosa Shell Powder, Talc, Silica, Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Parfum (Natural fragrance).

May Contain ±: CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77163 (Bismuth Oxychloride), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)

Ingredients are subject to change.

Moisturising, liquid foundations, which give a glowing, healthy look, have been popular for some time.  Recently, makeup brands have been talking about an alternative matte look and introducing new powdered makeup, so it was interesting to try NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation.




I applied it over moisturiser with my finger tips and a brush and found that it gave a smooth  and natural look.  Although it matified shiny areas, it didn't look powdery.  In fact, it left my skin with a satiny finish.  Currently, the foundation is offered in four shades - my sample was in Beige (13), a light tone, which was right for me.

I was very pleased with NATorigin Loose Powder Foundation.  I think it's a good alternative to my usual liquid foundation, particularly for occasions when a lasting, non-shiny but natural looking makeup is needed.  

Pricewise, at £18.75, it is reasonably priced, compared with other good quality powdered makeup and has the added bonus of being made from natural ingredients.



During the summer I have been trying out sample products from NATorigin (see my posts under the Hypoallergenic Beauty Products category) and I have been very impressed by their quality and natural ingredients.  

Well done NATorigin!

Sunday 11 August 2013

NATorigin Lipstick - Lychee (52)

This week I've been wearing my sample lipstick from NATorigin.  




It looks inviting in it's pretty pink case and it's made from 100% natural ingredients.  The full ingredients, as listed on the NATorigin website, (www.natorigin.co.uk), are:-

Polyglyceryl-2 Triisostearate, Octyldodecyl Myristate, Organic Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Olus Oil (Vegetable Oil), Organic Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Organic Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Silica, Meadowfoam Estolide, Mica, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Trihydroxystearin, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Aqua (Water), Organic Sclerocarya Birrea (Marula) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Caprylate, Parfum (Natural fragrance), Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopherol, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Dendrobium Phalaenopsis Flower Extract 

May Contain ±: CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet)
Ingredients are subject to change, so it's always wise to check the ingredients on the actual product.


As I like sheer, shiny lipsticks, I am very pleased with the texture of NATorigin Lipstick, which is soft and smooth with a sheen.  I can feel the rich waxes and oils moisturising and protecting my lips.  Another good thing is that unlike some fine, shiny lipsticks, it stays on well and doesn't need constant retouches.


I think that at a retail price of £16.25, compared to expensive non-hypoallergenic brands, NATorigin Lipstick is really good value for money for a hypoallergenic lipstick of such good quality.

The shade I am wearing is Lychee (52), a slightly brownish pink, not pale, but very soft and natural looking.


  

With it's sheen, I would describe the colour as a burnished rose and a perfect shade for the current rich, mellow season - late summer into early autumn.  I'm really enjoying wearing it.


Saturday 27 July 2013

Hands Up For NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream

With samples of NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream to review, I thought immediately of an important member of the family.  Penny is 8¾, suffers from seasonal hay fever and sometimes experiences eczema.  If her hands are allowed to get dry, she gets outbreaks of red dots between her fingers and itchiness.  She was keen to try out NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream.






NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream is made from 98% natural ingredients, which are specially chosen for their rich, nourishing and moisturising properties.  The full ingredients, as listed on the NATorigin website (www.natorigin.co.uk) are:-

Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Isocetyl Stearate, Glycerin, Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Organic Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Urea, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Asparagopsis Armata Extract, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Lactic Acid, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Dehydroacetate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil

As ingredients are subject to change, it's always wise to check the ingredients on the actual product.


Penny gave a very good feedback.  She said that after using a small amount of NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream, her hands immediately felt smooth and comfortable.  The cream absorbed well and didn't leave greasy hands.  Even after washing her hands and not immediately reapplying the cream, they still looked and felt good.  After a few days of using small amounts of the cream, there was a definite improvement.  Her hands were well moisturized and there were certainly no signs of eczema.  Penny's mother agreed with her comments and gave the cream her approval. 

I tried NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream on my rather dry hands.  Just a small application of the cream seemed to result in both an immediate and longer term benefit.  My hands were softer and smoother.  I liked the fresh, lemony fragrance too.

Pricewise, at a retail price of £9.25 for a 60ml tube, NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream initially seems expensive compared to the ordinary, popular hand creams in the shops.  I find, though, that cheaper creams need to be applied liberally, very regularly and always after washing hands but a little bit of NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream goes a long way and gives a lasting benefit. Used over a period of time it is really effective and improves the condition of dry, sensitive hands.  I think that if an excellent, hypoallergenic hand cream containing natural ingredients is required, NATorigin Hand and Nail Cream gives very good value for money.

Monday 22 July 2013

HEATWAVE, HAVAIANAS and the SERPENTINE GALLERY PAVILION

It's been hot, hot, hot here in London!  It's definitely bare feet and sandals and some new Havaianas were needed.

  
These are Slim Logo Metallic Havaianas in a Light Golden and Black colour combination.  I think these are actually elegant flip flops!!!

In this weather, Londoners and tourists head to the parks.  In Kensington Gardens, after so many days without rain, the grass, usually so green, is looking brown and parched.  Not so in the areas where the flower beds are - the sprinklers have been on.  Here the flowers are blooming, the grass is green and the air is fragrant.



Then I walked on through the park to see the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion.    Every year, the Serpentine Gallery invites a different architect to design a summer pavilion.  This year, Sou Fujimoto designed a semi-transparent structure of simple cubes made from fine,white steel bars. His inspiration was the concept of blending nature and greenery with a geometric construction.  



Looking through to the interior of the pavilion, it is designed as a multi-purpose social space and includes a café and tables and chairs for visitors.


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The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion will stand until the 20th October.

Today is forecast to be the hottest day so far but we are warned that it's all going to end in a terrible thunderstorm!!!

Monday 15 July 2013

NATorigin LENGTHENING MASCARA AND PENCIL EYE LINER (Hypoallergenic Eye Makeup)

Although I'm not aware of any specific allergies, I have in the past occasionally experienced itchy/dry eyes. My eyes are also sensitive to bright sunlight or early morning light and sometimes water under these conditions. For those reasons I am careful about what I use on my eyes, so the idea of a mascara and eyeliner made from natural and gentle ingredients appealed to me.  I was keen to try the samples I received of NATorigin Lengthening Mascara and NATorigin Pencil Eye Liner, both in Black.

I will begin with NATorigin Lengthening Mascara, which recently won a Bronze in the FreeFrom Skincare Awards.


NATorigin Lengthening Mascara - Black

Made from 98.5% natural ingredients, these include delicious sounding oil extracted from the seeds of arctic raspberries, shea butter and jojoba oil.  Many of the ingredients are known to improve the condition of eyelashes. 

The full ingredients, as listed on the NATorigin website, (www.natorigin.co.uk) are:-

Aqua (Water), Sorbitol, Brassica Campestris/Aleurites Ford Oil Copolymer, Acacia Senegal Gum Extract, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Stearate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Glyceryl Dibehenate, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Glycerin, Tribehenin, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Hull Powder, Glyceryl Behenate, Sodium Hydroxide, Dehydroacetic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate, Gossypium Herbaceum (Cotton) Seed Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Propolis Extract, Asparagopsis Armata Extract, Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Benzyl Alcohol.

May contain ±: CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77499 (Black Iron Oxides), CI 19140:1 (Yellow 5 Aluminium Lake), CI 77491 (Red Iron Oxides), CI77492 (Yellow Iron Oxides)

As ingredients can be subject to change, I would suggest checking the ingredients shown on the actual product.


MY THOUGHTS ON NATorigin LENGTHENING MASCARA (BLACK)

This mascara is easy to apply smoothly and the brush supplied is good too.  There is no clogging and the result is lovely.  I really think it makes my lashes look longer, luxuriant and very black.

Out and about, there is no discomfort, no running or smudging below the eyes and removal afterwards is simple and clean.

From a style and colour point of view, this mascara is also made in Brown, Blue and Green and competes well with high fashion brands.

The price of this product on the NATorigin website is £14.50.   Compared to non-hypoallergenic mascaras, it is approximately £6 more than a cheap brand and £10 less than an expensive designer mascara.  I consider it to be an excellent mascara and with the added benefit of its hypoallergenic and natural qualities, I think NATorigin Lengthening Mascara gives very good value for money.

Moving on to NATorigin Pencil Eye Liner, which won a Silver in the FreeFrom Skincare Awards.


NATorigin Pencil Eye Liner - Black

The pencil is made from 100% natural ingredients, which include beeswax, oily extract of arctic raspberry seeds and shea butter.

The full ingredients, as listed on the NATorigin website, (www.natorigin.co.uk) are:-


Hydrogenated Palm Oil, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Cetyl Laurate, Talc, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Stearic Acid, Stearyl Stearate, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Extract, Tocopherol, Bisabolol, Organic Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil.

May Contain ±: CI 77499 – CI 77491 – CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77007 (Ultramarines), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77510 (Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide), CI 77742 (Manganese Violet), CI 19140 (Yellow 5 Lake)



As with the mascara, the ingredients can be subject to change and I would suggest checking the ingredients shown on the actual product.


WHAT I THINK ABOUT NATorigin PENCIL EYE LINER (BLACK)


I am able to easily draw a good line around my eyes with this pencil and I think the effect is soft, black and velvety.  I find that it also works well on the eyebrows. 

It's comfortable to wear and I don't find bits appearing in the corners of the eyes or smudging below.  It stays on well, even in the current hot weather, but is easy to remove later.  Another important point is that this pencil sharpens well without difficulty.

I'm impressed that it also comes in Brown, Blue, Green, Grey and Lilac. 

The price of this product on the NATorigin website is £7.25.  Compared to non-hypoallergenic pencil eye liners, it is approximately £4 more than a cheaper brand and £10 less than an expensive designer brand.  An excellent pencil eye liner, with the added benefit of its hypoallergenic and natural qualities, I think NATorigin Pencil Eye Liner is very good value for the money.


I really like both NATorigin Lengthening Mascara and Pencil Eye Liner in Black.  I think that together they make a really good pair.

Monday 1 July 2013

NATorigin MAKEUP ........GETTING CLOSER TO NATURE

It's July now and the weather is warming up.  The sales are going strong and fashion wise it's between season in the shops.  I think it's time to think summer and be outside more, getting closer to nature.

Enjoying the great outdoors is not the only way to embrace nature.  I was reminded of this when a lovely little packet of natural and organic makeup and skincare products arrived in the post from NATorigin for my review.  I became interested in these products following my recent visit to the Free From Show at Olympia in London (see my post "Hypoallergenic Makeup", dated 11th June).    



The products to be reviewed, shown in the photograph above (clockwise) are:-

Samples of Firming Anti-Wrinkle Cream
Lengthening Mascara - Black
Samples of Hand and Nail Cream
Lipstick - Lychee (52)
Loose Powder Foundation - Beige (13)
Pencil Eyeliner - Black

NATorigin cosmetics and skincare products are all made from at least 97% naturally sourced ingredients.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to try them out and write a series of reviews on them, so look out for them!  It will be my summer project.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

CHANEL - A NEW FLAGSHIP STORE AND A PRE-COLLECTION

Earlier this month, Chanel opened a magnificent flagship store in Old Bond Street, which is to date their largest shop in the world.


The windows displayed the collection from the Métiers d'Art Edinburgh show, presented last December at Linlithgow Palace in Scotland.  This is their Pre-Fall 2013 collection.  These designer pre-collections are becoming increasingly important and are actually coming out twice a year as a Pre-Fall collection in the summer and a Cruise collection just after Christmas.

The inspiration here was Scottish style and heritage and, not surprisingly, the collection includes tartan and traditional knitwear and patterns.  These are often teamed with romantic, long, lace-trimmed dresses in black or cream.

I loved this grey knitwear and red tartan teamed with a long black dress with lace-trimmed hem and tough little black leather lace-up ankle boots.

,

I stood for a long time just gazing into the window at the mannequin below.  A Black Watch Tartan Tam o'Shanter with a red pompom on her head, she wears gold, pearl and red stone chains on a long black dress with lace-trimmed bodice and hem.  Notice the detail of the three vertical pearl buckles on the bodice and the thick patterned tights and lace-up boots.



Then there was this cream, lacy dress with plaid stole around the shoulders.



The mannequins all wore red lipstick and nail varnish.

I think this look could be inspiring for the season ahead.  Fashion has become very much a two-way process between designers and street fashion.  Whilst key points from designer collections often influence high street and street style, young street style fashion in turn seems to  inspire the designers.  Just look at the thick tights and tough little boots above teamed with fragile dresses and the grunge theme of the Yves Saint Laurent Autumn 2013 collection.

Thursday 20 June 2013

LAST OF THE SUMMER BUYS ... A NECKLACE, A BRACELET AND A KHAKI SHIRT

Here we are in the second half of June.  Although it's warming up now, it's unsettled and hardly great summer weather.  Meanwhile, the sales have started and soon the next season's collections will be in the shops.  In fact, at the designer end, the Pre-Fall Collections have arrived!

I've been shopping for a few more things to take me through the season.  I went back to the Orelia costume jewellery collection at Topshop (remember the lovely earrings I bought some weeks ago) and found their Foxglove Bracelet (ORE 4050).  Made from base metal and green glass beads, it has a tiny metal teardrop.



Then I saw their Flower Necklace (ORE 4459), a stone flower pendant made with a central green Swarovski stone set in a diamanté surround, on a gold colour plated chain.


Both pieces are from Orelia's Jardin Botanique collection, as were the earrings that I featured in my post, "Summer Pieces" on 14th May. 



I think that the khaki shirt below from H&M is a really good basic, wardrobe staple.



News of An Exciting Collaboration!   Isabel Marant will guest design for H&M on a collection this Autumn.  I have long wondered when this would happen because I thought that her rock/boho/ethnic style would be exactly right for H&M.  I am really looking forward to seeing this collection, due to hit the H&M stores on 14th November and feel sure that it will be one of their most successful designer collaborations.