Monday, 31 May 2010

You've left me speechless


Last night I saw Lady Gaga. The woman's a rockstar.

I've never been able to work out who and what she reminds me off. It seems like a huge cliche to say she's like Madonna, but in the flesh, onstage, in her element, the comparisons are startling. Her stage presence rivals both Madonna and Prince. She teased the audience endlessly, demanding attention and adoration before dismissing them with an expletive, like the most frustrating yet arresting love interest.

But it's her speaking voice that fascinated me. Gaga purrs through dialogue, seducing the listener with a careful meter that is almost a carbon copy of Madonna's performance throughout Justify my Love... it's uncanny, and almost can't be accidental.

Just sayin'...

Botox and the City

**spoiler alert**

On Friday 29 May 2009 a good friend died. Someone who had, until that point, been so reliably funny, intelligent and great company it came like a shock to the heart that, despite the warning signs, they could suddenly crash and burn.

That someone was Sex and the City.

I’m left feeling angry, helpless and betrayed. Sure, I blame myself. I ignored everyone who told me they were a bad influence, they would meet a sticky end, that they didn’t have my best interests at heart.

Sex and the City 2 has, in its brash, condescending and frankly offensive way, destroyed everything that came before it.

This second movie has reduced the characters to everything the series’ critics accused them of being. Vacuous, consumerist, ignorant, slightly racist, botox-riddled harpies. Michael Patrick King, how could you destroy the characters you created?

If I listed every reason I hated this film, not one of you would make it to the end. So let me give you my top five:

1-    Miranda quits her job. To be a mum. Because her boss is sexist. Since when has she been pushed around by men? The whole premise of her character is that she won’t bow to men at all. Not even enough to have a relationship. Please.
2-    Carrie wears a frigging ball skirt to a market. Don’t get me wrong, she’s never dressed for comfort, but her outfits have always worked for the character, in New York. It’s offensive that we would believe anyone would wear a ball skirt to a market. Fact. Oh, and the line ‘$20 for shoes?!’ As if she’s never heard of Target
3-    The toast ‘to the women that don’t have help’. In that patronising moment I lost the ability to empathise with any of the characters
4-    The burka-raising moment, where it’s revealed the women of Abu Dhabi all wear Dior. As they all clutch the same identical Suzanne Somers book. As if.
5-    The product placement. Oh, the first film was practically fly-posted with brands, but in a film about fashion, labels are unavoidable. In this film, in an American idol red cup moment, Carrie lifts a box of Pringles and exclaims ‘Oh look, Arabian Pringles’, and then continues to nibble said Pringles while pondering the meaning of life. It’s embarrassing for the viewers; Sarah Jessica Parker, I hope your big fat cheque made it less embarrassing for you.

Ok, rant almost over. Ultimately, the film is like watching more than two hours of a Saturday Night Live parody of Sex and the City. When I argued to friends last week that ‘there’s never been a bad episode of the series, so how bad can this film be’, I was naive. I was thinking like a real person, not a money-obsessed film executive. It’s the worst film I’ve ever seen. ‘Fin’.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Maybe we can be each other's soulmates


Just wanted to share one of my favourite ever photos of  my friends, which was taken just before the first SATC film... and yes, perhaps we were intentionally channeling the girls!

It was my birthday a few years ago, one of the best nights I've had in London, and I love how we all all have such different styles.

Two out of the three of us is off to see the new film tonight (I know it's going to be shit, but I literally could not care less). Tonight will be about cheap cocktails in the Slug and Lettuce, being uncomfortable in heels all night and enjoying some serious giggling with two wonderful ladies. Bliss!

UPDATE: Ha - My friend Beth (above, left) just sent me this... I'm so damn topical!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

A nail in the coffin?

So, sometimes in this consumerist game, something arrives that makes you happy for the rest of the day. That was my ebay OPI haul from the states. enchantedbeautyspot on ebay is such a bargain compared to UK Essie, OPI and China Glaze prices, but you do have to wait a while for them to arrive. In this instance, it just made me more excited when they dropped through the letterbox.

The bulk buy that included the hallowed Seche Vite was supplemented with 3 OPI shades, and I couldn't wait to try them...


From left to right: I'm His Coral-friend, Coney Island Cotton Candy, Alpine Snow.

Now, I chose the first as I wanted a classic coral for summer, the second as I'd heard it was 'like Louboutin nude' (amazing, I thought) and the third because... ok so I got carried away. But franky, two our of three seriously let me down.

I'm His Coral-friend is more or a pinky-red than a true coral. None of that slightly neon zing I'd hoped for.
Coney Island Cotton Candy was the most subtle shade I've ever bought. I think it's safe to say I prefer what Cheryl Cole calls 'happy nails' - something bright and eyecatching that makes you feel done. It was more pink than I'd expected, and took a whopping FOUR COATS for an opaque look... and even then, look how similar it is to my bare pinkie!

And finally, Alpine Snow - bizarrely this was my fave of the three, and the one I've been sporting all week. It goes with everything, and although it's a bit like Tipp-Ex, three people have complimented me on it this week - makes it a winner in my eyes!


Ended up slapping Coral-friend on the toes too because, well, I'd paid for it, then I realised something magical - it's an EXACT MATCH to the M&S geranium lipstick I bought recently, also expecting an amazing coral. Spooky.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Let's get physical


So, after 26 years of resistance, discovering 100 cm2 of cellulite and entering the 2011 London Marathon, I've finally accepted that everyone should do a bit of exercise.

Mega circuits, swimming, pilates, spinning, old-school aerobics (I'm hoping for an instructor with a bum bag) and cycling are all on the list (actually, I've been two-wheels good for about a year, but that's another story) after joining the local leisure centre. But with every new venture comes a wardrobe challenge, so how to work out without looking like I've just stepped out of Gregg's? Where to turn for sweaty sartorial inspiration? I look no further than my muse Miss Whitney Port.

Now, let me note that I don't see the gym as an opportunity to pose... I was once a member of a David Lloyd gym and the Wags in a full face of make up made me feel physically sick. I'm just looking for a way to keep cool and comfortable while also looking cool and comfortable. My girl Whit ticks all those boxes!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Quick dry or die

Today is hectic. Between my own work, my colleague-who-is-on-holiday's work, and nipping off slightly early to watch Shooting Stars being filmed at the BBC (I know!!!), I'm up against it, so just time to tell you about my new best friend... let me spin you a yarn...

There was once a time when my nails were forever smudged. It became a joke that no matter how long I left them to dry I would at some point, somehow, forget I'd applied three coats and load the washing machine, fall over, run my hands through my hair or need a pee and destroy that perfect shiny glaze.

Until I met Seche Vite. This fast-drying top coat is outstanding. After your final coat -- even before it's slightly dry -- pop a slick of this live-saver on and your nails are rock hard in about a minute. It's saved my life! (OK, not my life, but my manicures certainly).

I picked mine up at enchantedbeautyspot on ebay - a bargain basement for polish addicts, thanks for the tip-off lollipop26!

Monday, 24 May 2010

If you steal my sunshine…

If you steal my sunshine…

My h+m Fashion Against Aids haul was filled with highs and lows. Some of the items I coveted most were already sold out, just 8 hours in, others were nabbed with cunning and stealth. I was glad I managed to grab a couple of things, but if anyone knows of a store in London that’s still well stocked, let me know!


These black and white sandals seemed sold-out, until I began to search every nook and cranny of the Regent’s street branch. Finally, nestled under an accessories stand, I found them – in my exact size – 6.5! It was like a gift from the Aztec gods!

Maybe one day, if my current gym regime pays off, I’ll show you how I’ve styled them!

I wish I’d taken a pic of the in-store display that incorporated the tent… I managed to grab one, despite how uncomfortable I was carting it around Topshop later that evening… a whole two-man tent for under a tenner? Bargain!


And now to the depressing part of the day – the following were sadly out of stock. More’s the pity – those deck chairs would have looked great in my flat, and been perfect on this scorching weekend ( am I getting old or is sitting on the grass only comfy for about half an hour?)

If I’m honest with myself, these trousers would probably have been tried on and discarded. But as a leopard-print magpie I couldn’t resist having a good look for them. Probably best for everyone that ever has to walk behind me that they were sold out – I’m yet to find a pair of harem pants that don’t make my arse look like the back of a bus.

I was desperate for this multi-coloured vest, but it wasn’t to be. Oh well, I console myself with the thought that it – in fact, the whole line – was built for babes with bee-stings, not my ample bosom!

UPDATE - Stores are restocking, and my amazing friend Bethan just bagged me two deck chairs and the above vest top. She is the greatest woman on earth, and is now owed ten gin and tonics for her efforts... hurrah!

Thanks to designer/illustrator extraordinaire Jimmy-D for boosting my mad inDesign skills for the composites above!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Pa-pa-pa-poker straight

Oh my god they have the hair of my dreams.... unfortunately mine is straight as a die, and requires much cultivating to sport anything more than a kink.
How I long for such beachy waves.

Pic courtesty of olsens anonymous - offering inspiration and jealousy in equal measure.

Sparkle motion

Thursday 20 June was an exciting day for the UK high street - H&M Fashion for Aids line and Kate Moss's biggest collection yet both hit the shelves, to much elbowing and catfighting on Oxford Street, I can tell you.

Managed to picked up a couple of beauties on a whistlestop tour after work - more about them over the weekend - but one particular find has made this beautiful day even more sunny.

It must have been the return of summer that made me want to take something about my outfit to the next level today... but after over-experimenting with neon clothing in my uni days, I decided to limit my crazy brights to the fingers... so embarked on a glittery journey.

Now, let me preface this by saying I thought my glitter nail days were over long ago (except perhaps at Christmas), until the little gem above caught my eye in ToShoOxo lat night - Barry M nail polish in number 228 - oh the possibilities to add a subtle shimmer to any shade!

With nails already slicked in Nails Inc Satin (my personal fave of the turquoise family), I added a quick layer of this sparkly beauty and the little fellas were transformed from a basic look to something with another dimension. The silver sparkle makes the polish seem shimmery metallic, rather than like something from Claire's Accessories, and instantly more expensive!

It's the closest to Minx I've had at home.

Another bonus of this perfect polish is it sweeps on smooth, rather than scratchy or raised like some glittery polishes, which means less chance of chipping... everyone's a winner!

(Sadly this effect didn't quite translate in the images above - first shot is a before, second is the after - obv.)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Hard as nails

Anyone with a well-manicured fingure on the fashion pulse will know nails are having their moment.

I've recently ordered a whole host of new polishes to see me through summer, but until then I'm fantasising about some seriously fancy talons.

The Miu Miu-inspired nails above from stop it right now blew me away - they are some incredibly skills (and spare time)!

And those cheeky chanel sparklers from the genius that is sophy robson would go with absolutely anything.

Unfortunatley I don't have the artistic talent for panting tiny little swallows on my (pretty short) nails, so I'll have to settle for a sweep of amazing all-over colour... when my recent ebay haul arrives from America.

I've been wanting to try out Wah! Nails in Dalston for such a long time... in fact, I've wanted a seafoam leopard look like their beauties above for about three years, so that's definitely on my Summer to-do list - when I get an hour to myself. But until then a friend and I are about to book a summer-ready mani pedi to reinvigorate our tired tootsies after a looooong winter... somewhere a bit more budget along Stoke Newington High Street I think. Will post the results!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

To the maxi

My mission for the next two weeks is to secure myself a couple of blinding jersey maxi dresses for summer.

I sadly overlooked the holy grail – a charcoal grey and peachy pink tie-die number from River Island that sold out in my size before I decided to ignore my curves and embrace the trend… I now have to watch a friend wear it – perfectly accessorised with a baby bump – throughout the summer, as I bagged her the last size 12. I know, so selfless!
So there are a couple on my radar, including the puppies above and below, all from ASOS…

The first two are in my price bracket, but I fear the somewhat empire line of the bust will not look great on your truly... but that Seneca Rising tie die beauty below is a financial long shot (getit?!) at more than £100.
Going to order the thriftier versions and will let you know how they work out, in what I’m calling ‘Project Bumskimmer’.


Bear with me... I'm learning the technology as I go...