One of the biggest revelations for me from my recent sojourn to London was getting to try Top Shop’s range of makeup. One of my very first (in fact embarrassingly fast after we landed) trips was to the Top Shop flagship store on Oxford St, where I was, literally, like a kid in a candy store. The nail polishes are like yummy gum drops, the range of lipsticks is to die for, and they have all these cool lip markers and chubby lip and eye crayons in all sorts of amazing colours.
So I picked up quite a few pieces whilst I was there and then as soon as I got home I did some fancy rearranging and muscled them into my kit, and now with summer shoots coming up, they are doing me proud.
My absolute favourites are the nail polishes and the lipsticks. When I was in London I was on a job with a top manicurist – I won’t say their name as they have a contract with another company, but they were raving about the staying power and the colour selection of the Top Shop polishes, comparable to some much more expensive brands on the market.
I snapped up the nail polish in Late Show, a bright purple which for some reason reminds me of Willy Wonka (don’t worry, that’s a good thing!) as it’s the exact shade of his jacket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
PS How crappy is that machine in the Willy Wonka YouTube clip? It looks like something that Sooty and Sweep might have put together. But I digress…
and Easy Breezy, the perfect turquoise robin’s egg blue which I pulled out recently to use on a Virgin Suicides shoot as it’s 70’s girlish innocence in a bottle. It’s the colour of the dance (if a 70’s high school prom could be a colour) from the Sofia Coppola film. It also fits perfectly with the season’s blue obsession. It’s like a mintier version of Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague from a couple of season’s ago. Delish.
This season nail colours have all been a bit off, a slightly kitchsier, more interesting take on classics and these were no exception. I’ll be doing more Top Shop beauty reviews over the next few weeks as I’m yet to find a product from the range that I don’t like – and they’re a bargain as well. Top Shop, you can do no wrong!
“She wore blue velvet, bluer than velvet were her eyes…”
I couldn’t tell you why but for the last couple of months I have had two obsessions – deep blue eyeshadows, and David Lynch. Maybe it’s from being hypnotized by Isabella Rosellini’s performance in his extraordinary film Blue Velvet at an impressionable age (not to mention her blue eyeshadow in the movie!) or maybe it was my recent purchase of NARS Outremer cobalt eyeshadow that sparked my latest obsession. Whatever it is, it’s got me channeling Blue Velvet. Unfortunately the scene where Isabella Rossellini sings Blue Velvet has been deleted on YouTube for copyright reasons (SO annoying when that happens!), but this video gives you an idea of why I’m so inspired:
And these are the shadows I’ve found to give me the velvety blue goodness I’ve been after. Just to be clear, it’s not a baby blue, or a pastel blue (although Lord knows I dug up enough of them when I was rummaging in the makeup Vault for this story), it’s rich, decadent otherworldly blue eyeshadows, from inky navies to brighter sapphire shades. Here are my picks:
Tom Ford Cobalt Rush– Tom Ford shadows (here I’m going to wax lyrical again) are absolutely beautiful. Soft, buttery-smooth, pigmented and come in quads of four colours that are gorgeous individually or used together. Cobalt Rush is his quartet of blues with a navy, a teal, a shimmering white and a beautiful grey-blue. Like all Tom Ford products it’s sophisticated and luxe. Do be careful when applying though as I find there’s quite a bit of shimmer fall-out, but the finish is so beautiful it’s well worth it. Pop a tissue under the eye whilst you’re doing your eye makeup to catch any fall-out.
Revlon 16 Hour Shadow quad in Serenity – Sky blue, glittery black navy, pale blue and a surprise pale gold for a highlight (which is what I love about it) make up this quartet of lagoon lovelies. Revlon’s new shadow quads come in all the colours of the rainbow and give long-lasting, crease-proof wear.
NARS Outremer – This is the shadow that got me on the Blue Velvet tip. It’s a bright, beautiful deep blue that has to be seen to be believed. It’s not like any other colour I’ve seen and makes other blues look flat and – just not blue enough. NARS China Blue is another of my favourite ways to sing the blues.
MyFace EyeTouch Eyeshadow Trio in BellBottom Blues and Silk Screen Art duo eyeshadow in Pop Culture – I’ve been a fan of the MyFace Trio eyeshadows since they were released, and I love this new addition to my collection. A beautiful shimmering cobalt, a pale white-blue and a navy Blingtone make this indispensable in my kit.
MyFace also have new Silk Screen Art duo eyeshadows in gorgeous colour combos dreamed up by celebrity makeup artist Kay Montano. Pop Culture is a bright vivid blue and a chartreuse green, and these are great eyeshadows for makeup artists to have in their kit as the colours are lovely but ones that are quite hard to find. Plus there is the ever-attractive MyFace price point – they aren’t expensive compared to a lot of other similar products.
Laura Mercier Eyeshadow in Deep Night – I think this was my original navy shadow in my kit and one I still use to today. Just a beautiful, deep matte blue with a hint of black, so perfect for a smoky eye or for lining (if you’re so inclined). Her cake eyeliner in Bleu Marine is also gorgeous.
Chanel Eyeshadow Quad in Bleu Celestes – Ah Chanel I can’t do a job without you so it’s only fair I talk about my first blue eyeshadow quad that despite my plethora of other options, I can’t bear to part with. Bleu Celestes has a deep navy, grey-blue, a brighter blue and a shimmering white with that perfect Chanel finish that I can’t go past.
“You wore blue velvet, bluer than velvet were your eyes…”
Sorry all for the lack of posts the last week or so -I’ve been moving house. And not just moving house – but MOVING HOUSE. As in, clearing a garage full of stuff from three international moves, (Sydney to the US, the US to London, London to Sydney), moving box after box of makeup and fashion magazines (occupational hazard, obvs), plus the usual fun stuff of organising new furniture etc. Not to mention leaking showers, ripped up carpet, a very unhappy cat and no Internet. It’s been a little difficult to blog. Having said that, my new flat is gorgeous and I have loads of delicious new goodies to tell you about. Bear with me, and normal service will resume shortly.
Ah my hair – what a saga that is. When it’s well behaved it looks like this:
When it’s badly behaved it looks like this:
(Although David Lee Roth looks a hell of a lot prouder of his luscious locks in this video than I am of mine).
And that’s how it’s been my whole life. The only difference between the two is the products I use, and I have learnt through trial, and much, much error which ones work for me (Answer: Not Many). And just to give you an idea of what my barnet is like to deal with, let me tell you this – it’s long, it’s blonde, there’s lots of it and it has natural wave to it, which can be a good or a bad thing. Put it this way, my husband calls me “The Tree” on bad hair days. Not a desirable nickname. Too much product leaves it looking flat as a pancake and voluptuous waves soon become hideous 80’s rocker frizz. Did I mention it’s dry? So very, very dry that usually I use masks for black hair as conditioner. My hair is one freaky place, let me tell you.
Shampoo and conditioner are paramount for me. If they’re right, it’s Blake Lively time. Get it wrong and it’s all about the 80’s soft rock/heavy metal tribute band (think Van Halen, but more ghetto). But now I’ve discovered OriginalMineral’s UNBELIEVABLE range of natural haircare, every day is a good hair day. I’ve tried natural hair care before and it often leaves a strange residue in my hair, weighing down the ends. The result would be less than flattering, so it was straight back to the hardcore chemical numbers that did the job. But I’d stand in the shower wondering how much of those lovely chemicals my body was ingesting, and it did make me feel uncomfortable (not enough to risk having bad hair mind you, a girl has her limits). But now with OriginalMineral my days as a wannabe David Lee Roth are over – OVER I tell you! I can have organic haircare and hair that can be seen in public. I can’t rave enough about this brand.
The CEO, Jose Bryce Smith, developed the line after her husband had contact dermatitis, and they were trying to find products without ammonia. O&M was born in Australia in 2007, and since then it has stealthily worked its way out of the salon and is now heading around the world (I believe they have just hit the States with a bang.)
Let me tell you about my new O&M Hair Heroes, which are Hydrate and Conquer Shampoo and Conditioner. They contain Tasmanian Sea Kelp, Vitamins A,B,C & E and amino acids – and more importantly they took my hair from heavy metal tragic to Gossip Girl in one wash. ‘Nuff said.
I love the scent of the products as they aren’t too heavy, and the packaging is super cool as well – very 70’s retro (I can totally see these in Dustin Hoffman’s shower in Kramer vs Kramer) and it’s recyclable. I’m also gradually testing out some of the styling products which are just as fabulous as their haircare. So for a little less Miss Lively and a lot less Whitesnake, you need some O&M in your life.
OriginalMineral can be bought through salons in Australia and for Australian and US customers on their website. For those in the UK, Adore Beauty will ship to you.
I can’t believe it’s Christmas again – 2011 has absolutely flown by. I want to take this opportunity to thank all my wonderful readers who have made it such a great year at MM HQ – where more makeup is NEVER enough and the search for the perfect skincare, nail polish and body products is a never ending quest. I’m planning to eat my bodyweight in unhealthy but delicious foods, put on a pair of elasticated pants (to accommodate those extra pounds), read some trashy novels and generally snooze under the tinsel after unwrapping my presents – for about two weeks. I hope you are all too, and wish you all safe, happy and merry holidays. See you in 2012!