Friday, 19 April 2013

Friday Fashion Fix – Obsessed with Orange

Today's Friday Fashion Fix is dedicated not to a person, or to an item, but to one of my favourite colours – orange. I like most shades of orange, particularly coral, but my favourite has to be bright orange. Not fluorescent orange, (this shade belongs to highlighter pens only), I mean Bright Orange – traffic cone orange!
Reed Krakoff, £465

Granted it's not everyone's cup of tea, in fact I know people who dislike it on the basis that it reminds them of carrier bags from a certain supermarket. However there is so much more to orange than carrier bags, mobile phone networks, prisoner jumpsuits and interior design from the seventies.

The colour orange makes me smile. It is a happy colour. I wore an orange bridesmaid dress and shoes for my best friend's wedding and I loved it! It's not as challenging as many people think, shades of orange are far more wearable and suit more people than shades of yellow. 

A full on orange outfit can be a little much in most situations and I wouldn't recommend it to the slightly orange shy, but there is no reason whatsoever not to branch out and try an accessory or two. So here are a selection from my wish list that will brighten up any outfit, and most importantly, make you smile!!
McQ Alexander McQueen £340
This is my last post as Jen will soon return from her travels, something I for one am VERY excited about! Thank you very much for having me whilst she has been away – Sarah x

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Vivienne Westwood by Terry Jones

As you know, Jen reviews a selection of books for each issue of My Creative Diva magazine, and this month I’ve decided to share her review of Vivienne Westwood by Terry Jones. Aside from the fact the book looks amazing, it was her 72nd birthday on the 8th of April. So happy belated birthday Vivienne and for all her fans – this is a book well worth checking out! ­– Sarah x

It’s no secret that I love Vivienne Westwood, so it stands to reason that I love this beautiful, indulgent, giant of a book. To call it a ‘coffee table book’ doesn’t do it justice; the production values are superb, and the size means that a double page spread is over 1/2 metre across.

Introduced by i-D founder Terry Jones, it incorporates extracts of interviews from various issues of i-D across the decades, offering insight into an intriguing character who, along with Malcolm McLaren, helped shape the landscape of punk, out of their tiny King’s Road boutique.

Bold, political and controversial, Westwood was, and still is, a force to be reckoned with, and at 72 years old, her designs still hold the same appeal for younger generations that they did when she first burst onto the scene in the 1970s. The stunning photos in this book span her career, taking a peek at catwalks, backstage scenes, magazine spreads, and of course, the grand dame herself.

Very few movements have created waves like punk did, and very few designers have made an impact like Vivienne Westwood. This is a beautiful tribute to one of the world’s best-loved fashion designers and would make a fantastic gift for any fan. To conclude in the words of Terry Jones, “Her undying passion, originality, and dogged perseverance proves that a true punk spirit never dies.”

Vivienne Westwood by Terry Jones, £24.99
Published by Taschen
ISBN 978-3-8365-3887-9

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Top 5 beauty products that are worth the hype

New beauty products are launched on an almost daily basis and touted as ‘must-have’ or ‘the only thing you need’. Many are a great big waste of time and an even bigger waste of money (don’t worry, we’ve all fallen victim to a glossy ad campaign in our time…), but which ones are worthy of the bold claims? Beauty junkie Kay Hardy shares the products that are truly worth the hype.  – Sarah x

With the British weather living up to its reputation and snow flurries every five minutes, my obsession with anything ‘beauty’ has reached a new peak. Like most, cold dreary days do me no good, especially as I am convinced I’m part lizard and should always be in sunny, hot climes.

I have even started to turn food shopping into an opportunity to browse new products, sometimes forgetting the bread and milk in favour of buying a body butter or hair mask. However despite the random buying, there are some products that I will continually re-purchase because they live up to the hype and are simply worth buying.

NARS is well known for creating high end, quality, products, and their Laguna Bronzer is my favourite. Reviews pay homage on a regular basis and after reading blog after blog about Laguna’s wonder, I took the plunge and bought my first one last year. I am now a convert and use it daily, and despite this I have only just hit pan and still have plenty more product to go. With a price tag of £26 you want the product to last, which it certainly does and is on par with other high end prices such as Benefit’s Hoola (£23.50) and Bobbi Brown’s Bronzing Powder (£27). Having tried both I can say that NARS Laguna has the edge, as it can be used for a gentle glow or contouring.

Laguna is a dark, golden powder, with a fine shimmer. It appears to have a dirt brown look about it, but is quite the opposite on skin, where a subtle, warm colour appears and the shimmer illuminates. I use it for contouring, and because of its ability to blend with highlighter (liquid, stick or powder) it creates a natural look that allows cheek bones to ‘pop’. Hurrah!

MAC's Prep + Prime Highlighter Pen is truly one of the best I've tried. I am a devoted fan of YSL's Touche Éclat but MAC's version not only highlights but conceals dark circles beautifully. After Kim Kardashian’s highlighter and contouring secrets were blogged and numerous tutorials made, it was difficult to find. It gained attention left, right and centre, which is wholeheartedly deserved.

The pen style structure and twisty top makes the product easy to dispense and distribute under the eye and on the cheek bone. The brush is soft on application, so it does not drag the delicate eye area. The creamy pink Radiant Rose highlighter covers fatigued circles and brightens the face, and it blends well in all weather conditions. It costs £17.50 and comes in three shades; Light Boost, Radiant Rose and Bright Forecast. They are worth swatching to find the colour that suits you best.

Every person and their dog have raved about Revlon’s ColorBurst Lip Butters. The moisturising hydrating formula combined with bright colour pay off makes them worth every penny and one of the most talked about lip products of last year.  At £7.99 each they do not do too much damage to the bank balance and come in a variety of colours. For winter Berry Smoothie is my favourite, which is a cranberry colour. Candy Apple is an orangey/red that suits any time of year and gives a pop of colour that isn't terrifying.

The only issue with the product is that because of its moisturising properties, the stick can become a little smooshed in its packaging. Nevertheless I would happily re-purchase any of the colours I already have and according to the Boots website more have been released. Brilliant!

These palettes have been featured in numerous favourites YouTube videos, blogged to high heaven and have sparked the whole Naked range from Urban Decay. Both palettes have twelve colours and although the Original tends to be favoured for its earthy colours, personally the metallic based Naked 2 is my preference.

The colours are extremely pigmented and have a healthy life span, and if you’re travelling these palettes are a perfect companion. They are compact and between them contain the majority of colours you will need. I've taken them on the last three holidays and not missed any of the sets that I left at home. They are the most useful eye shadow palettes that I have purchased and sit currently at £36. Considering that’s £3 per shadow, that’s a steal.

When purchasing an eyeliner, I think about two things; will it be precise and will it dry out? The Maybelline Eyeliner Pen is a good shape, that enables a thicker line to be drawn with ease and its fine point makes winging and delicate lines easy to do.

Having had so many eyeliners dry out, mostly high end products, I am smug that this liner lasts for quite a while (4 to 5 months) and is only £5.99 at Superdrug. The Maybelline Master Precise Eyeliner pen is proving to be such a little gem. So much so, I have already bought two in reserve. Obsessed? Perhaps.

– Kay Hardy

Monday, 8 April 2013

Today's Soundtrack: Alice Cooper – Poison

Today’s soundtrack is the fabulous Poison by Alice Cooper. This song brings back happy memories of the cheesy 80s club from our student days where the DJ dressed as Axl Rose every week and would play this song for us without fail. Fuelled by Jack Daniels (Mixer? No thank you barman, just one ice-cube please), and with two cardigans squeezed into the world's smallest pink tartan clutch bag, we would dance our socks (stilettos) off.

The other reason I chose this song is because Jen has gone, I’ve officially taken over the blog and frankly I can do what I want! Just kidding Jen, your blog is in safe hands…


Saturday, 6 April 2013

Bye for now... NYC and LA here I come!

So the last time I disappeared off on a two week holiday I abandoned my blog and left it silent. I got completely consumed by a whirlwind of last minute work and frantic packing and quite honestly... I just forgot. Today I’m leaving for a little trip to New York and Los Angeles (if the UK's arctic weather won't bugger off then I will!), but this time I won’t be neglecting you. That’s right friends, I have roped in the help of a guest editor for the next two weeks – my beautiful sister Sarah!

Sarah has written regularly for several magazines, she completely shares my love of fashion, and although our musical tastes differ somewhat, they tend to overlap somewhere around the 80s metal scene. (Sarah, if I get back and find you’ve been posting about Lady Gaga there will be trouble….)

I’ve also enlisted the talents of my best friend Kay (I’m really calling in the favours here aren’t I!). She is a total beauty junkie and we are currently working on a little fashion and beauty side project together that I hope to reveal very soon. Kay will be writing an article for all you ladies, on the beauty products that really are worth the hype that surround them.

When I return I should have plenty to write about too, because amongst all the eating, drinking, shopping, sightseeing and basketball (New York Knicks rule!), we’ve even got a couple of gigs to go to in Los Angeles – currently Senses Fail and Dropkick Murphys, but if anyone knows of any others going on in NYC or LA in the next few weeks I’d love to know!

Right, I’ll say goodbye for now and leave you in Sarah’s capable hands. Take care and see you on the other side….

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Gaslight Anthem at Troxy

When you’ve seen a band several times already, no matter how good they are, it is easy to question your decision to purchase yet another ticket for a gig. (Especially if you have an imminent holiday in the diary and money is about as secure in your hands as water in a colander…)

There was no doubt in my mind that The Gaslight Anthem’s show at Troxy would be good, but having seen them before and knowing I’d see them again, logic and my bank balance were telling me to sit this one out. Luckily common sense prevailed, tickets were purchased and on Saturday I found myself in their presence once again.

I had never been to Troxy before and had no idea what to expect from the venue. The carpet and lighting are a little reminiscent of a Vegas casino (anyone who has been to Vegas will know that is simultaneously a compliment and an insult), but there was minimal queuing for the bar or toilets and a great view from about halfway back. So no complaints there. Plus the minimal stage setup and understated spotlights created a much more intimate feel than you would usually find at a venue of this size.

If I’m honest I think I enjoyed this gig even more than the one at Brixton Academy that I gave a rave review of back in October. Largely because the crowd felt so much more fitting this time, not being entirely made up of Radio 1 listeners, something I’m genuinely thrilled about. The general masses have spoiled so many things for the rest of us (Converse, Biffy Clyro, music festivals in general…), and I'm not ready to give them Brian Fallon too.

I’ll admit this was a slightly hazy evening by the end, for which I won’t even apologise on account of it being a bank holiday. Luckily a little assistance from Setlist fm reminded me that the setlist was fantastic. It was a little lighter on Handwritten than last time and heavier on 59 Sound, but all in all a good balance with an encore that included Mulholland Drive, Here's Looking at You, Kid and Backseat.

I won’t go into detail about the band’s sound and history as I’ve said it all before (and you can read it here) but I will say once again that The Gaslight Anthem played a great set, kept the crowd entertained all night, and proved to me exactly why they will always, always be worth the price of a ticket.

See you on the flipside.

© Rock & Runway

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