Saturday, 25 August 2012


Autumn 2012 Nail Trends and Learn how to achieve these Fab Nails 

As nail art continues to feature as a big trend into Autumn Winter '12/'13 I asked my great buddy (and Nail Artist) Maz aka Marie Isabel aka Chelsea Dagger to tell us a bit about herself, give us the inside scoop on what to expect for the upcoming season and show us how to achieve her beautiful nails (below).

Where did you train to do nails?

I trained with the amazing Kym and Kay of Aspire to Beauty in Hertfordshire.
They have both been in the industry for over 20 years and have worked on all the best fashion shows, including Alexander McQueen. They were so down to earth, incredibly talented and a massive inspiration to me.

How long have you been doing it for?

I started playing with nail art back in 2009 when Wah Nails was popular I kept seeing these nail art designs in all the magazines, I couldn't afford to go and get my nails done and I thought.... I'm sure I could do that!
It definitely wasn't as easy as it looked, but I had a lot of fun playing with polish and painstakingly painting onto my nails before I discovered nail art pens! I even painted the London eye on my nail once... Using a toothpick!

Worked with/for any famous people and brands?

Iv been lucky enough to work with some amazing people and brands over the last few years.
One of the most fun jobs I did this summer was assisting Jenny Longworth at the Isle of White festival with Revlon.

What's your favorite job/look?

One of my favourite shoots was for Disorder magazine. I placed clear tips over the edge of the models nails to create futuristic, lady gaga style nails. Sometimes the simplest touches are the most effective. I also got really into nail piercings earlier this year and was giving everyone nail chains and charms!

What's on-trend for nails coming into a/w '12... Shape, colour, art... 

Deep shimmery brown is my favourite colour of AW12. Think of rich, leathers, coffee and chocolate. Red browns and light cardboard colours are everywhere, but the look you need is deep and luxurious. The best one I've found found so far is Essie 'Decadent Diva', it is perfect and suits all skin tones.
Iridescent colours and shimmery textures are really making a come back. Topshop does a great range. Rich shimmery oranges and greens are the best for autumn, bright creme colours are over, there is a certain shade of bright blue polish that i see everywhere and it really makes me cringe!

What are you going to demo for us? 

I'm gong to show you how to do a really simple, but effective nail art simply using dots.
I am really into simple graphics, You can achieve pretty much anything with black and white polishes, a dotting tool and a striper brush.

Anything else you'd like to add?

If you want to get into the industry the best advise I was ever given is to just practise, practise, practise. Graciously accept every opportunity that comes your way and don't take anything for granted.

  1. Paint each nail a different pastel colour.
  2. Use your dotting tool, or a nail art pen, with the white nail polish to paint five small dots in a semi circle at the side of the nail.
  3. Using your dotting tool create another row of four dots, in above and between the first row.
  4. To create smaller dots, ease off the pressure on your dotting tool and very lightly add four more polish dots to create "rays"
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 on the other side of the nail.
  6. Using the brush straight from the white polish, carefully place a drop of polish on the nail to create a circle.
  7. Using the dotting tool or the nail art pen paint small dots around the large circle.
  8. Using the technnique from the first nail, add more dots and rays.
  9. On the thumb carefully use the large brush from the white polish to paint a semi circle and a circle.
  10. Use your dotting tool or nail art pen to add white dots along the edge of the circle and semi circle.
  11. Add more dots to create a starburst.

Play around with different combinations and sizes of dots to create fun patterns.

You can add more interest to your nail art by using the same technique to add little black dots inbetween the white dots.

You can see more of Maz's work at her website here

Friday, 24 August 2012


One of my talented friends Irene Schneider always has a cool project on the go. Most recently she has been making some very cute bags and purses.

Perfect for storing all your important goodies such as makeup, sun glasses or your camera, these fun pastel purses and zip cases are are handmade using cotton fabrics, lined also with a soft cotton fabric and handmade Femo buttons.

New Ipad cases will be launched soon!

Irene can be found at the Crouch End monthly 'Bar Boot Sale' supporting local art and crafts. Sign up to the newsletter at for further information and updates or contact her at

Zip Cases £20
27cm Wide x 24cm High

Purses £25
20cm Wide x 12cm High

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


Actor Orlando Bloom gets behind the camera to shoot wife for New York Times Style Magazine

I have to admit I did roll my eyes quite considerably when I heard that actor Orlando Bloom had photographed his wife, model Miranda Kerr for the New York Times Style Magazine. How nice for them, beautiful people taking holiday snaps and having them published. Great.

However I did eat my words somewhat as I looked over the photos and read the story behind it. Shot in New Zealand, (my birthplace) clearly I have a bit of a penchant for anything that shines a favourable light on a bit of nostalgic Kiwiana. Bloom and Kerr seem to really have an affinity for Wellington, New Zealand's capital city where they stayed for 7 months during the filming of The Hobbit in which Bloom was starring.

Feeling a bit homesick now, genuinely hope this shoot inspires people to take a trip to the other side of the world and discover what makes this country so amazing.

Read the full article by journalist David Amsden on the New York Times Style website here

Monday, 20 August 2012


Behind the scenes at the Olympic Closing Ceremony with Spice Girls Hair Stylist Christian Vermaak

I was lucky enough to meet the wonderful Christian Vermaak on a job a couple of months ago. We had a blast, Christian introducing me to a whole world of You Tube hilarity and bonded over our week together.

If you don't know his name straight away you will know his work. Christian is Hair and Makeup Artist for Kylie, Dannii, Holly Valance and Emma Bunton (just to name a few) so when I found out he had created hairstyles for three of the Spice Girls for their Olympic appearance I had to ask him some questions...

How did you become involved in the Olympics Hair team for the Spice Girls?

I have been working with Emma for about 8 years... I do quite a lot of exciting stuff with her. So she asked me to work with her for the Olympics

Was it just her hair or the other girls as well?

I was in charge of Emma, Mel C and Geri's hair that day. There were quite a few of us in the glam squad. Each had their own make-up artist and Victoria and Mel B brought their own hairdressers from LA.

It must of been incredible to be backstage at the Olympics!

The atmosphere was amazing! We didn't get to see much behind the scenes because we were working but I did get to have a 45 minute bus ride sitting next to the one and only Annie Lennox after the show. That lady is an inspiration!

Any behind the scenes tips or tricks?

My hair tip/must have is the Cloud9 Heated Rollers. whether you're doing straight or curly hair, the rollers just give that added oomph and makes everything fall into place so much easier.

Did you have a brief for the job or just go with the flow?

The hair styles that were chosen for the event were based around what they were wearing. Emma wanted to go with a 60's vibe with her dress, Mel C wanted to keep it simple and chic so we went for a swishy poker straight pony tail and Geri is loving her bob at the moment, so she just wanted it to be tousled and bedhead sexy.

What were your key products for this particular job?

Each girl's hair is so different, so their key products are different too.

Emma loves a bit of volume... and there is nothing better for volume than the Schwarzkopf Dust It. It's amazing.

Melanie C's pony needed to endure the wind from the taxi, so the Kevin Murphy Session Spray kept it locked and loaded and didn't move ALL night

Geri's hair needed some texturising, and I've found the L'Oreal Dirty Clean Matt Paste worked brilliantly.

How can we get amazing hair like the girls?

Experiment with your hair. Sometimes the greatest styles come out of the greatest disasters!

Friday, 17 August 2012


My Favorite Long-Lasting Products from MAC to keep you looking amazing 

As summer draws to a close, (actually, did it ever 'open'? - I say no) the last of the big festivals draw near. Alternating its locations between Hylands Park and Weston Park this weekend V Festival is set to be a whole bunch of fun.

As usual MAC Cosmetics will be behind the scenes keeping performers, guests and celebrities looking 'Rock & Roll Ready'.

Every year I attend a bunch of festivals and unfortunately this year due to work I haven't attended nearly as many as I would like. I have, however,  been inspired to share some of my favourite MAC products for festival going.. trust me on this one!

Click on the name of each product to link to the MAC Website.

Moisturecover concealer 

Just dab on where needed for fresh, dewy coverage. Great for touch ups. I use this as a foundation on occasions when I don't want to be lugging a big bottle of liquid around with me.

Studio Fix Powder
A matte foundation in powder form. Apply with a brush for a lighter coverage or with a sponge for heavier coverage. The compact has a mirror so again, perfect for touch ups on the move at festivals.

Liquidlast Liner

Will not budge until you use an oil-based eye makeup remover. I have been in the ocean with this little gem and still emerged perfectly lined. Rain or shine this is the perfect festival buddy - just apply prior to having a few drinks, it needs a steady hand.

Ruby Woo Lipstick

The last of MACs 'Retro Matte' Range. This is the ultimate red, super-duper matte, (make sure your lips are well primed) doesn't run, feather or bleed. I can knock back the pints, smoke as many cigarettes as I want and it's still there. Whoop!

Fix+ (Demi)

Cult product Fix+ in a baby container. Great for cooling down during a hot day and fantastic to spray over the top of the Studio Fix Powder if it's looking a bit too heavy. Spray on the back of the neck for a really cooling effect.

Wipes (Demi)

If you need a quick refresh of your makeup then this will take it all off with a swipe. I often take off my lipstick with the wipes then reapply (you'd be surprised how much better you can feel after doing this). I hate to tell you but I've also used wipes to deodorise when I've been dancing just a bit too hard.

Take some inspiration from looks MAC Senior Artist Dean Rudd has created to inspire guests at V.


Legendary Makeup Brand Announces New Skincare Line

It was just a matter of time before cosmetic brand NARS made the foray into skincare and now this long-awaited venture is here (well in September). Sleekly encased in the traditional NARS classic packaging, this time in clinical white (that means its all science-y and clean dont ya know), I'm sure there will be many a NARS fan desperate to get their mitts onto these.

The range is divided into two:

Cleanse & Tone


Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturiser - £40
Luminous Moisture Cream - £42
Total Replenishing Eye Cream - £38
Optimal Brightening Concentrate - £50
Aqua Gel Luminous Mask - £27

"The collection has been created to restore skin's natural radiance and reflect light like a prism; the formula contains Light Reflecting Complex featuring light active micro prisms, combined with algae extract and Polynesian seawater to boost clarity and infuse skin with moisture and minerals. Key products include Optimal Brightening Concentrate and Aqua Gel Luminous Mask"

The collection is available online now (here) or in stores from September 2012

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Chantecaille Releases Eyeshadow Palette - 5% proceeds to Elephant Fund

September sees the launch of eco-brand Chantecaille's latest limited edition wildlife palette, and the cause this season? Baby Elephants... awwwww how could you resist?

Every season for the last few years Chantecaille has bought out a stunning Limited Edition palette emblazoned with the motif of an animal with a portion of the sale price going to a related charity. For Autumn 2012 African Elephants are the charitable cause, 5% of the proceeds from each palette will go to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. 

"Since its inception in 1977 the Trust has played an extremely significant and important role in Kenya's conservation effort. Helping save the lives of orphaned Elephants and Rhinos who are ultimately released back into the wild is just some of the many wildlife commitments The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is involved in."

This luscious palette contains four new eyeshadows in Ivory, Grasslands, Iron Ore and Red Earth to give you your own touch of Kenya in your make-up bag and, of course, the satisfaction in knowing you're helping a very worthy cause.

L'Elephant Palettes are available from Space N.K From September 2012 and are £74

Some of the previous Limited Edition Charity Palettes from Chantecaille

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Todays inspiration. A Beautiful collection of fashion images by renowned photographer Georges Antoni. I love his work so much I feel a bit sick every time I look at it... Swoon.

Monday, 13 August 2012


If you haven't had a chance to travel to warmer climes then, like me, you may have forgotten how to deal with the sun and hotter days of the last few weeks. Here's some of my favourite products to get you back in action.

Skinceuticals - Ultra Facial Defence SPF50

In the past I've found products containing such a high SPF have given me spots and too heavy to use under foundation. Not so with this little gem from Skinceuticals. It has a light texture (without that blue cast) and easily disappears in to the skin. On hot days at the pool or beach i like to mix it with my regular foundation to turn it into a 'tint' or use it alone or under foundation. Dont forget your ears and the back of your neck!

Lancaster - Oil Free Milky Spray SPF15

If you like to tan gradually then this is the body product for you! Not only does it protect your skin but its spray applicator is a no-mess, no-fuss, no-drama addition to your beach bag. Remember to apply suncream at least half an hour before sun exposure and re-apply after swimming and at regular intervals.

Kerastase - Micro Voile Protecteur

Dont forget to care for your hair! Hair is one step that is often ovelooked before sun exposure. What's the point in forking out all that money for cuts, colour and treatments just to undo all your hard work after a day pool-side? The Micro Voile Protecteur is an easy to use spay that protects hair from sun, salt and chlorine damage as well as controling frizz and colour fade. Excellent! Check out this handy index to see what Kerastase products are right for your hair in the sun.

Sisley -  After-Sun Tan Extender

If you have been out and about in the sun then the After Sun Care from Sisley will be your body's hero product. It is designed with the sun-esposed in mind, jam-packed with lots of scrummy vitamins and minerals to help your skin recover and deliver loads of moisture. It also features a hint of self-tan to help extend the life of your tan and keep your skin looking glowing and healthy for longer.

As an extra note to this piece.. PLEASE be careful about your levels of sun exposure and protection. Take it from someone who previously had relatively flawless skin and is now pigmented and freckly - you might not see the damage straight away but you WILL see it. Try and avoid prolonged exposure at peak times (12-3pm) and be extra vigilant in areas with weakened ozone levels in the atmosphere, (Australasia especially) where the sun will literally burn you like an oven- third degree burns are not uncommon. Use some common sense, enjoy the sun but don't abuse your body!

Sunday, 12 August 2012


Independent brand Illamasqua has taken a stand by setting an example to other cosmetic giants in Australia

Australian make-up fans will be pleased to hear that cult brand Illamasqua is taking a stand on over-inflated prices for cosmetics. As I'm sure readers in Australisia know, most major brands can be purchased for much less, (at times half the price) almost anywhere else in the world.

Founded by Julian Kynaston and inspirational makeup artist Alex Box, Illamasqua has become an independant big hitter in a market dominated by a very powerful few... Did anyone know Illamasqua also offer a make-up service for you AT YOUR OWN FUNERAL?? (London Only) awesome!

Here we see Julian issue a rally cry to the Australia cosmetic consumer...

While they do want you to sign a petition (get on their mailing list) and stay loyal (buy their products) - PR, propaganda, whatever you want to call this; at the end of the day it offers what i believe to be a great product at a reasonable price to Australian customers. Win. Lets hope other brands catch on.

Check out Illamasqua here


Let your peepers glow Neon with a little help from MAC Cosmetics

I love a bit of coloured liner, it’s a simple and effective way of achieving a strong look when pressed for time. Over the years I have tried and tested many techniques to achive this intensity of colour  in a matte formula with varying levels of success.
I have tried all sorts of pigments and mixing mediums to achieve this effect (here’s just one of many) using products from MAC Cosmetics


  1. Apply Fascinating (white) Kohl Pencil as liner.
  2. Using an Angled Liner Brush 266, gently pat Magenta Madness Pigment on top of the white liner.


  1. Apply Prep+Prime Lash to your top lashes
  2. Mix Magenta Madness Pigment with a tiny amount of Lash Mixing Medium (or just apply dry over the wet primer) apply with a angled liner brush or a mascara wand.
Extra Tips
  1. Experiment with colour and layering - you can achieve some amazing results.
  2. Dont be afraid to add colour over black liner - it will often boost the colour.

Friday, 10 August 2012


Revlon Announces New Nail Enamel with 11 Day Wearability

It's finally happened. I have removed my beloved Biosculpture nails and my natural nails have seen daylight for the first time in over three years. Actually, just as I read that back I realise how unhealthy that statement sounds, ew.

The reason I did remove them had nothing to do with the health of my nails, but simply that I don't have the time to have them done - even though my lovely nail technician comes to my house. My ever-shifting schedule is so unreliable that the only thing I could rely on was the fact i would have to spend 15min of every day ringing people to apologise and change appointments.

My day has been brightened by the news that nail brands are beginning to bring out their own nail polishes with gel-like formulas, bridging the gap between regular nail-laquer and the Shellac and Biosculpture treatments offered at Salons.

Revlon has been the latest to announce such a range, I'll let them explain it to you...

Now Revlon have launched an innovative new collection called ColorStay™ Nail Enamel, which is long-lasting (11 days wearability) with a high gloss finish. This latest technology is based on a unique combination of resin and high molecular weight polymers, designed to providea long-lasting gel-like finish. - Revlon Press Release

Thats nice for you Revlon, but does it work? Well, I can tell you I will be keen to put it to the test now that my nails are resembling those of someone kept in solitary confinement in a medieval grotto, etching each day on the stone wall using my bare hands - I am the ultimate test/worse case scenario! If it works for me then I can pretty much guarantee that it will work for you. Watch this space for reviews.

Im not ashamed to admit I am swayed by the fact the campaign is fronted with work from one of my favorite photographers Solve Sundsbo and I do find it hilarious the extent nail polish advertisements embrace the sexy, caressing hands motif, "oohhhhhh, i love running my gloriously good-looking hands up and down my youthful and obsurdly long neck" or "hey, I always cup my face while delicately licking the tip of my pinky finger with my perfectly moistened tongue and lips". Mind you, look at any image these days and you'll get them same girl-orgasms-over-perfume-while-reclining-on-rocks theme without thinking twice. Ahhhhh fashion, how I love you.