Monthly Archives: February 2014

Freshen up for spring: style wish list

Sweater, £3, asos.com

Sweater, £3, asos.com

 

Leather brogues, £135, Marks and Spencer

Leather brogues, £135, Marks and Spencer

 

Gold wing trainers, £105, adidas

Gold wing trainers, £105, adidas

Multi-tiered rhinstone statement necklace, £80, Topshop

Multi-tiered rhinstone statement necklace, £80, Topshop

Flax linen blend notch detail blazer, £35, Marks and Spencer

Flax linen blend notch detail blazer, £35, Marks and Spencer

 

£17.99, zara.com

£17.99, zara.com

Blue suede bomber jacket, £325, Levi's

Blue suede bomber jacket, £325, Levi’s

Navy zip detail playsuit, £37, Wal G at Topshop

Navy zip detail playsuit, £37, Wal G at Topshop

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Freshen up for spring: Face and Body

This is a time of year for fresh-faced, pretty, English rose beauty.

Firstly ensure that your skin is adequately hydrated with a slick of argan oil under your usual moisturiser. I swear by this oil. You can use it on your face, body, hair and nails for supreme health and hydration. You could also try using Dr. Organic’s Rose Otto Facial serum, a steal at £12.99 considering the high quality ingredients. This is an excellent range – free from any chemical additives such as SLS and parabens while being affordable and smelling divine. Try their pomegranate body lotion too (£7.49).Image

Plush, luxe eyebrows are in which is handy for me as that is my natural style. I’ve been growing them back for years after a decade of over-plucking. Now I stick as close to the natural shape as possible, as it’s more flattering on the face. I only pluck a few stray hairs from underneath to neaten them up and do a little shaping on the arch. I pencil them in with quick, light strokes then take the brush that most eyebrow pencils have on the cap and brush the hairs upwards a bit. This will make the penciling softer and less severe and also give a subtle lift.

You need a glowing base so another product I swear by is Nars Copacabana illuminator (£22.50): a little goes a long way, touch it under your brow arches, the inside of your eye, the bridge of your nose, the top of the cheekbones and the cupid’s bow of your lips if desired for an instant lft and glow to your face. Touch Nars blusher in Orgasm to the apple of your cheeks and blend upwards. Conceal anything with Touche Eclat. I’m a big fan of this foundationless face: just blusher, illuminator and concealer. I find it’s a lot lighter, natural and flattering on my face. It might not be for everyone, but if you take care of your skin, you can eventually do away with foundation.

I would add the non-smudgeable Estee Lauder double Wear mascara in black. This is a natural, workable every day base which you can jazz up with a bright lip if you wishImage If you’re braver than I am (and perhaps have whiter teeth) try the tangerine lip trend with this MAC lipstick in Morange (£15).

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Ritual rabbit playsuit

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Lily Allen in House of Holland. She lost the style points this outfit accrued with the inexplicable combination of long pink stiff skirt with bra over the top she wore to the afterparty. Er, what?

Brits 2014 roundup

Arctic Monkeys had enough rock swagger for the whole room, opening the show with a blistering set complete with initials aflame and a lightly seared James Corden. I loved Alex Turner’s duck’s arse quiff and gold jacket. He also gives by far the coolest acceptance speeches (although let’s be honest, he doesn’t have much competition in terms of character in modern pop). He was jaundiced-looking and gurning by the second speech but still managed a poetic rumination on rock’s cyclical resurgence “that rock and roll, eh? You can’t keep it down” and signed off with “invoice me for the mic” before dropping it into the crowd. That’s more like the Brits chaotic heyday. You could say the speech got a bit pompous and contrived but he’s enough swagger and tunes to pull it off.

Prince was in a fedora princing about with his usual entourage of beautiful women. Katie Perry performed with a neon Egyptian setting which looked cool, it’s just a shame she can’t sing. There was a tune in there somewhere wanting to get out but she was not the woman to do it. Lily Allen looked wicked- loved the neon green/yellow dip dye, so striking with her jet black hair and the dress of a similar colour. She was a bit awkward to watch though, didn’t know what she was doing and she always speaks in this jaw-jutting way that makes me think she’s really bratty or coked up (or both). Beyonce looked like a shimmery diva mermaid in her sea-green sequins but I thought her voice was a little tired sounding.

Lorde rightly won Best International Female. It’s hard not to warm to her- never have two “e”s put in unexpected places been so effective (save for Bez’s antics back in the day perhaps). She’s only 17 and she’s got these roaring tunes and quietly devastating lyrics. Most acts have neither let alone both.

Aluna Francis of AlunaGeorge put in an appearance in a chic yet sexy sheer white outfit, one of my favourites of the night. I love her girlish voice that doesn’t suit her strong face – her band’s album is my favourite of the moment. Ellie Goulding won Best British Female and performed. I loved her when she first came out, she’s got an incredible voice but her second crop of songs just didn’t resonate with me (too mainstream perhaps?) and I always find her dancing in bra and pants weird- it doesn’t suit her. Young Ella Eyre, however, provided a masterclass in how to be acrobatic in the most precarious of outfits: high kicking about in a latex catsuit slashed to the bellybutton in her performance with Bastille and Rudimental. Impressive. She was like a ripped-voiced Catwoman. The poor guy from Bastille unwisely tried to have a sing off with her and cracked his voice, as you’d expect. Her voice is so chunky that it distracts from the fact that Waiting All Night only has one lyric repeated throughout the song.

One Direction won Best Video and the Global Success award (I think specially created for them last year?). Thing is with them- they try to do this edgy, womanising thing to be rock and roll but you can tell at heart they’re deeply conservative and really care what people think. That’s obviously what’s brought them success but it’s also what prevents them from ever being cool.

David Bowie won Best British Male. “You didn’t think he was actually gonna be here did you?” Noel Gallagher scoffed and introduced his “representative on earth” Kate Moss. She sailed on stage in a vintage rabbit playsuit that Bowie had worn and read his speech about rabbits in a drifty way and struggled to know where to speak until Noel pointed out the mic in her hand to her. A representative with a tenuous link to earth.

Pharrell and Nile Rodgers closed the show. Pharrell’s voice is sweeeeet and love “Happyyyyy” but he was wearing that stupid yogi bear hat again and called London Manchester. Bit of a muted closer.

All in all a good show I thought. Best performance (in every sense) goes to the Arctic Monkeys. Though word to the wise: if you drink and do so much coke that you start to look a little yellow and sweaty, that is not a good sign. Long live rock n roll eh?

Brits 2014

Should I stick my neck out and make predictions of tonight’s winners and then look like a fool when I get them completely wrong? Yeah why not…

Breakthrough Act: London Grammar

British Female: Ellie Goulding

British Group: Arctic Monkeys

British Male (tough as really like all) David Bowie

Best Single: John Newman/ One Direction/ Rudimental

International female: Lorde

International Group: has to be Daft Punk

International Male: would like Justin Timberlake but think it’ll be Bruno Mars as he’ll be there

Album of the Year: Arctic Monkeys

Disclaimer in now: this is who I’d like to win not always who I think will. It’s a good line up of performers, should be a good show!

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Christopher Kane