Friday, 29 July 2011

Green nails are now sophisticated...

Tom Pecheux has done it again. Estee Lauder have a brilliant new collection out, and as their mastermind explains, "My inspiration for this collection comes from the creative reflections found in modern architecture, in the phenomenal modern buildings that are like pieces of art. The buildings never, ever look the same colour because they are reflecting what is around them. It is the same idea with this collection, you are wearing the same makeup, but you never end up looking the same way."

Indeed! This is Green nails, but not as you know it. This green is murky, old gold. A colour which captures a sheen or a tint at every turn. At times khaki, at times brown, at times burnished gold...

It's the new limited edition nail polish called "Metallic Sage" for their upcoming "Modern Mercury" Autumn 2011 collection - available online from 1st August. (£14.)

I could not wait to take off my nail polish and apply this instead - and I really do believe that Estee Lauder have one of the best formulas. Once you apply, it literally will last and last. e.g I love Chanel's polish colours, but they chip almost instantly - so they are now banished. These nails will not lose their lustre until I remove the polish. I love that!

I attended the Preview event so I have some of the makeup to test out too. With names like Black Chrome, Modern Mercury, Nude Velvet... you can tell instantly that there'll be plenty of desirable shades! There is also a fresh take on the Sensuous perfume range, Sensuous Nude. I'll review the perfume and makeup separately once I have put them through their paces. I'll leave you with the official group shot for now:

I'm excited to update you so watch this space for more info shortly....!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Best Drugstore mascara!!!

My previous concession to the world of drugstore mascaras was MaxFactor Masterpiece. Its thin brush and intricate bristles meant it was perfect for lengthening. Then Barry M brought out their 3 in 1 mascara for about a fiver and it was rather similar to Masterpiece at half the cost... But, I ultimately abandoned both, as I missed the double deal of length and volume which my high end Lancome Hypnose always delivered. Now I am not going to say that this mascara quite matched Lancome Hypnose HG... But it cetainly reminds me of it, and that in itself is quite remarkable!

Introducing, the best drugstore mascara that I have yet tried, L’OrĂ©al Paris Lash Architect 4D mascara (£10.99)

The concept behind 4D is: 1D volumised, 2D legthened, 3D texturised, 4D curved. And, as far -fetched as it seems, I really do think it does work like that!

The mascara wand is fairly thin and set at an angle, making it easy to catch each lash. The fibres actually do a marvellous job of multiplying your lashes, the colour is a satisfying black - and best of all, this did not smudge throughout the day. I think its greatest strength is lengthening and texturising, it was not quite as volumising or curling as my Hypnose. But it was buildable and never made my lashes feel crunchy and brittle like some drugstore mascaras have done, nor did it have any noticeable scent or anything at all that would stop me from buying it in future. In short, I definitely recommend this!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Amy Winehouse 1983 - 2011

There have been appalling news headlines lately and now, another tragedy. Of course the horrifying events in Norway, with at least 93 dead: innocent teenagers shot by a cold-blooded extremist; represents a bewildering malevolence. Yet that does not diminish the terrible nature of Amy Winehouse's untimely death at 27 years old.

Like other talented artists before her, Amy Winehouse became a victim of her success. The cause of death is unknown at this stage, but the speculation is that her addictions have killed her. Addiction is almost impossible to beat, and to compound this, often the victim feels absolutely invincible. Amy Winehouse's inevitable death will no doubt enshrine her. The glamour of drugs and alcohol must be tarnished, it's unbearable. The fact that now this so-called "27 Club" is being heavily reported and noted, will only further entrench the allure of drug-taking. Worse still, drugs arguably will be seen as a rite of passage for any serious and true musician, especially so for jazz, soul or rock; a chance to prove their mettle.

Amy Winehouse admitted that she had manic depression, and that her hair became bigger the less confident she felt; her tattoos were a pain she enjoyed; her self-harm also, a companion to her sorrow; her drinking and drug-taking synonymous with her very identity, so much so that all these facets were impossible to sacrifice. Her winged eyeliner, so extreme that it was more egyptian than 60s, also became her hallmark. It is tempting to blame her sometime husband for 'introducing' her to hard drugs and tipping the balance - but in truth, in those 'showbiz' circles, it wouldn't have taken long before it was someone else offering. Amy Winehouse was susceptible.

In an era when it's so difficult to stand out, and even looking "alternative" has in itself become a fashion trend with its own unwritten, harshly judged rules, Amy Winehouse truly managed to create a recognisable image. Her hair, tattoos, makeup and fashion was all her own invention, and that naturally deep voice - which has been now silenced forever - had effortlessly evoked pain, empathy and hope, to unite a wide-ranging audience from young to old and across cultures.

Plenty of hackneyed phrases will be used; platitudes will ring out, but let's now mark this blog post with the assurance that she has left her mark, and indeed it'll only take a bouffant black hairstyle and that winged eyeliner, before she is remembered afresh.

Killing off the Competition

Illamasqua again... I have just read about their new competition and think it sounds great!

They also have a short film to illustrate this process of literally "killing off" your old self. Vicky McClure is a fantastic model for the brand, and gives a characteristically stylish and compelling performance. I just wish she didn't smoke in the adverts, as I really don't think smoking should be associated with Beauty, and they have done this over and over now! Nevertheless, it was very interesting to watch the behind the scenes and of course the final edits. By the end, I really did want to buy the exciting new products, though it seems this is more of a retrospective on Illamasqua's existing line - there is a new mascara on the way however. The close-ups of the makeup were casually done, and all the more powerful for it. Combining Beauty and Death and Violence is always oddly effective.

If you want to win a brilliant prize, which includes "Staying in a luxury London hotel whilst attending exclusive events like London Fashion Week, the Illamasqua fragrance launch, a course at the Illamasqua School of make-up Art, an alter-ego makeover with a key Illamasqua make-up artist, a shopping spree worth £500 with a personal stylist and tickets to top London shows for you and a friend" - then all you need do is delete all your photos and painstakingly assembled Facebook profile (don't worry, you can keep your friends.) It is so hilarious and sadly true that your Facebook profile is your public self and altering it is so intrinsic to your actual self. I don't have a Facebook anymore - probably because of all that! - but maybe I'll quickly mock one up for this to tear it down?! How very postmodern. If you can actually hold the nerve to deleting your Facebook profile that is indeed as dramatic as Death and Murder to many. But do the winnings might make it worthwhile? I will be interested to see how this most unusual competition turns out.


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Dead Beautiful

"You look like death" is set to become a compliment, as Illamasqua's latest enterprise is to revitalise (so to speak) the trend for open casket funerals. Illamasqua have teamed up with established funeral directors 'Leverton and Sons', to offer "The Final Act of Self-Expression."

Illamasqua artists who are up to it, will be specially trained. I had never thought about it, but as the body is dead, not only are all lively natural colours eliminated, but the way makeup is absorbed is utterly different and very tricky indeed. The skin can take on an oily appearance, aside from its grey and weirdly relaxed new guise (yes, the silver lining is that muscles are relaxed so you get that botox effect.) Sometimes, car paint is used, or other rather morbid special makeup which won't need body heat to break it down. Illamasqua apparently will use existing formulas but I am not certain of the details. What is clear though, is that Illamasqua are keen to break away from the old-fashioned, and frankly not glamour or art orientated manifestations of mortuary "feature setting." Generally, the idea of embalming and making up a corpse was, at least initially, simply intended for mimicking (and inevitably failing at) the recreation of a person as they were in life. This interesting video shows actor Richard Wilson's experience at an embalming school.

Illamasqua make life easier (or is that, make death easier) by turning the theatrics on. Their promo image depicts a worryingly young victim, with bold red lipstick and bold blue eyeshadow. A somewhat scandalous idealisation of Death. The lady lies defiant in her casket, not a serene sleeping being as of yesteryear's made up bodies: this is a proud and carefully thought out final moment by which the true makeup fan says 'adieu'.

Would I have it? I must say no. For one thing, I would not be able to live with the knowledge that once I was dead someone else would be tasked with doing my eyeliner just right - and if they don't, no one will be there to chide them. Illamasqua do offer to go through the look with you in advance, and as such I would have to be best friends with my artists to trust them to that extent! Personally I would never get an open casket, so my views are redundant anyway. I think in US open caskets are more common than in UK. I tend to think death is best kept hidden as far as possible, and the time for flaunting your makeup is in life. But, if you did heaven forbid get snatched away before your makeup stash is emptied (ok so that's all of us) then maybe it would be nice to think it gets one last outing?!
...I am undecided on the concept, what about you?

I do think it's a great idea though, and gives the brand yet another edge.