Monday, 24 January 2011

Lights, Camera, Action: Movie Star Make-Up

From Claire Danes' 'COVERGIRL' image, to Mila Kunis' glamorous glow, awards ceremonies like the Golden Globes are as much a showcase for the skin, as for the silhouette (and another stylish inspiration for us viewers). Following a frantic (but fun) festive period, our skin definitely needs a little more TLC. But if like me, you require a quick fix for everyday life, good quality make-up is key. Notwithstanding the illusion that we'll unveil our inner Hollywood heroine, it can cover tired lines and blemishes, without creating excess oil or a look that's anything-but-natural. Does every Hollywood star know the secret to a flawless face? I doubt it, although  Christina Hendricks and January Jones may be exceptions (My latest obsession? Mad Men. Talking of which, did you know there are Mad Men barbie dolls? A flawless face, immortalised right there). It's highly optimistic to believe that I can achieve 50% of the level of grooming that these 1960's Manhattan maidens do. But, as a New Year's resolution, I decided to give it a go.

Christina Hendricks curvy figure, Mad Men
Christina Hendricks, aka Joan Holloway, Mad Men

As 2011 arrived, I revitalised my make-up bag, with several pretty, easy to transport and set-to-last products, which I'll share with you, along with my guide to achieving the same look. You may know that I am extremely fond of French clothing labels, so for City Girl (EC1)'s first beauty post, it's no surprise that I'm going for a certain Gallic glamour. If you have seen À Bout de Souffle, you'll never forget Jean Seberg's dramatic eyes and peachy lips. My challenge, therefore? To use only French beauty brands (which arguably, are the world's best). 

Jean Seberg smoking, A Bout de Souffle
Jean Seberg, 
 Bout de Souffle

First, prime your skin with Baume Beauté Eclair
a fresh facial booster and pampering pot of loveliness. Inject radiance with YSL's legendary
Touche Éclat; my 'must-have', wherever I am (enjoy the limited "Delirium" edition, below). 

Touche Eclat limited edition, Delirium

Hydrate your complexion further, with Chanel’s Teint Innocence; a silky SPF foundation, in a refillable compact. Maintain glow, by adding Guerlain’s Poudre d’Or and Lancôme’s La Rose Déco; two gorgeously girlie products, which look and feel as delicious as they sound. 

Lancome's La Rose Deco blush

Next, tired eyes need drama! Brighten your beautiful assets and disguise dark shadows, with Dior’s Iconic mascara, Estée Lauder’s Zero-Smudge Liquid Eyeliner and Bourgois’ purse-friendly Little Round Pots

Estee Lauder's Zero smudge liquid eyeliner

YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipstick

Finally, apply YSL’s ‘Lipstick for Heroines’. Whether you'd choose Beverly Hills or La Croisette, I'm sure Joan Holloway and Jean Seberg would be proud. You will be close-up (and red carpet) ready. 

Images) retailer websites: visit to shop!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Golden Globes: The Screen & Style Trophies go to... (Part B)

Apart from the 'official' Golden Globe winners, there were triumphs on the red-carpet of a stylistic kind. In my opinion, there were some covetable choices, several less-than-covetable, and (as to be expected) a few dressing disasters. However, my 'winners' will undoubtedly be someone else's 'losers', and vice versa. So, the following are my favourites for a Golden Globe 2011 'Style Trophy'. 

The 'Winners'
Angelina Jolie, Golden Globes 2011
I'm already a fan of Angelina's red carpet style and this is no different, although perhaps the colour is more daring than her usual, more-muted palette. However, as elsewhere, the actress walks both gracefully and boldly in this gown. Angelina looks elegant, statuesque (no pun intended!), and striking. It fits her well and the colour is perfect agaist her hair, skin tone and the red carpet itself. Angelina was one of several wearing green and a revealing, low-cut back.

Anne Hathaway, Golden Globes 2011
Again, an adept hair and skin tone match, and similarly, sculptured shoulders and low-cut back. In shimmering bronze, Anne Hathaway looks every bit the mega movie star and Oscars host-to-be (27th February). I'm also loving both Angelina and Anne's glamorous but relaxed down hair-dos. Once more, the shape flatters Hathaway's figure, but remains classy and extremely luxe. The texture certainly wins my 'Most Innovative' red carpet choice. Enchanting make-up to match.

Dianna Agron, Golden Globes 2011
Channelling Spring/Summer 2011 nudes, as well as old-Hollywood glamour, Glee's Dianna Agron is picture-perfect in this pretty, glistening gown. Teamed with a vintage statement necklace and lovely golden locks (and clutch), this is a winning red carpet look and far-from-boring beige. Classically beautiful.

Emma Stone, Golden Globes 2011
A dignified, floor-sweeping and (again) low-backed dress, gives poise, height and effortless glamour to Emma Stone. Nominated for 'Easy A', this Hollywood starlet shows that she can unveil the couture-charm. Choosing pale coral, rather than many of the nudes and blushing pinks on display, the shade is different, but not conspicuously so. Tapping into the 'streamlined' S/S 2011 trend, this is subtle, feminine sexiness at its best. 

Mila Kunis, Golden Globes 2011
After a rumoured $7,000 facial, it's no surprise that Mila Kunis is glowing. But it's this head-turning, almost-mermaid-like gown that commands attention. A cut-away, low back (spot a Golden Globes trend anywhere?), coupled with a masterful asymmetrical overall cut, complements Mila in all the right places. Like Angelina, the jewel-green dazzles on the red carpet and, despite not being my favourite shade of the night, this dress seems as though it was destined for the Black Swan star. Impeccable styling.

Dame Helen Mirren, Golden Globes 2011
I have the utmost respect for Dame Helen Mirren, for her superb acting talents and long, illustrious career. In the same way that she has defied Hollywood's stereotypically ageist culture, she continues to shine on the red carpet. Here, in gold, she look every bit the Queen of cinema. Her opulent ensemble includes embellished sleeves and Cartier jewellery (notably, a $6 million necklace), fitting the bill of indisputable glamour. Simultaneously, the look is also very feminine, classy and well-fitted to her enviable figure.

Olivia Wilde, Golden Globes 2011
You can count on the awards-attire of this House beauty to deliver. This time, the dazzling, Cinderella-like Marchesa 'prom-dress' received much of the spotlight. I may not have chosen this ensemble for myself, but the sparkling sequins and chocolate brown are a divine combination with her chestnut locks (again, a down hair-do). Wilde also makes the oft-worn red carpet brand funky and youthful with a soft fringe (or 'bangs') and outrageously high, spiky, sizzling gold Christian Louboutin heels. The actress is clearly having fun and putting her own distinctive edge on girlie glamour.

And, the rest?
  • Natalie Portman did a masterful job of glamorising her baby-bump and I admire her daring choice. However, the red and pink combo of her Viktor & Rolf  gown, along with flowing layers at the front, are a tad too sickly-sweet in my book. I must, however, see Black Swan soon.
Natalie Portman, Golden Globes 2011
  • Scarlett Johansson (in Elie Saab) looked lovely, but I felt that her batwing sleeves and 'fly away' wavy up-do, distracted from her handsome features. A little more 'streamlining' on this dress, could have done the trick.
Scarlett Johansson, Golden Globes 2011
  • Again, on the hair-front... Sandra Bullock could easily have been a 'winner', were it not for her invasive flowing hair and blunt 'bangs', drawing the eye away from her ornately detailed gown. An elegant up-do would have allowed her Jenny Packham beauty to steal the show (or even mostly 'up', like last year?). I do, however, love the 'rusty' silver clutch and chunky chain cuff, with rose cut diamonds.
Sandra Bullock, Golden Globes 2011

Who were your style 'winners' and 'losers'? 

Images) Thank you to

Monday, 17 January 2011

The Golden Globes: The Screen & Style Trophies go to... (Part A)

The Golden Globes took place last night at the Beverly Hilton, Los Angeles. To me, this is an immensely exciting date in the entertainment calendar. Admittedly, that's partly because it sets in motion a thrilling run-up to the Oscars on 27th February, signalling quality cinema and show-stopping (or jaw-dropping) red-carpet fashion. However, a Golden Globe is a highly-coveted accolade in its own right, recognising excellence in film and television, both domestic to the US and internationally. Presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), Golden Globe winners are chosen by the 90+ journalist members, who represent 55 countries (interestingly, you may have heard of this year's HFPA lawsuit). On a more positive note, here's a selection of last night's 'actual' winners:

Jesse Eisenberg plays Mark Zuckerberg, The Social Network
  • Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical (why they put these categories together, I don't know): The Kid's Are All Right
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right

Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
  • Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical: Glee.
  • Best Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made for Television: Carlos (France/Germany).
Clare Danes collects her Golden Globe, for Temple Grandin
  • Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series Or Motion Picture Made for Television: Jane Lynch, Glee.
  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-series Or Motion Picture Made for Television: Chris Colfer, Glee.
Phew! That's most of them folks... and next, who won in the style stakes...

Images: Thank you to 1) & 2) Guardian, 3) - 5)

Style Library: Lucy in Disguise

As you may know from previous 'Style Library' posts, I'm creating a stylish collection of shops, labels, restaurants and more. They might be new on their particular scene, or have simply captivated my imagination. The latest addition to this brilliant bunch, is Lucy in Disguise (first previewed at Vogue's Fashion Night Out and featured in my 'Last-Minute Gift Guide'). A Covent Garden vintage haven, 'LID' is the brainchild of Lily Allen and Sarah Owen. From 1920's capes to 1960's shifts, and from 1970's cameo necklaces to 1990's Moschino jackets (yes, the '90's are now vintage), there's something for every nostalgic shopper. Driving this concept store, is 'Lucy', the glamorously girly, fantasy figure whose clothing-filled apartment you have supposedly entered (each shop corner/rack references a different decade). To pinpoint your position in history, marvel at the spectacularly styled mannequins:

Mannequin, Lucy in Disguise

Reclining mannequin, Lucy in Disguise

Selective sourcing and rare finds means that clothes, accessories and gifts are distinctively different to those showcased at your local vintage fair. Moreover, sleek and sophisticated store presentation goes against the grain of the usual vintage scrounge-and-seek. That's upstairs. Downstairs, Lucy in Disguise becomes a 1930's boudoir, with nail/beauty/hair salons, a Grey Goose cocktail bar and 'With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room'. Recline on the chaise longue and flick through a vintage Vogue, while admiring YSL and Dior from several years ago. 

VIP Dressing Room, Lucy in Disguise
Lucy in Disguise's 'With Diamonds Dressing Room'

Cocktails, Lucy in Disguise dressing room

Perfect for a girl's afternoon or special occasion, you can book the dressing room/entire downstairs space. Perhaps you fancy 'Evelyn's Roaring Tea Party'? Or, 'Cynthia's Sparkling Soiree'? However, you need not worry about dragging your man along; he can enjoy the 'Boy's Corner', replete with 1960's Playboy magazines and playstation + games. 

I recently attended and wrote about the lively launch of 'Lucy in Disguise's With Diamonds VIP Dressing Room'; please do take a peek at my article
Model, Lucy in Disguise launch party
A beautifully dressed model, from the 'With Diamonds' launch party
To find out more about Lily and Sarah's unique vintage vision, head to Lucy in Disguise's website, Blog and Twitter. Find the shop itself at 10-13 King Street (closest tube: Covent Garden), and don't forget to check out the dressing room and salons for yourself.

Gemma Arterton wears Lucy in Disguise
Gemma Arterton wears Lucy in Disguise, October 2010
Images: 1) - 5) my own. 6) Thank you to For some beautiful illustrations of my launch party photos, check out my full Lucy in Disguise article, for Amelia's Magazine

My EC1: the perfect morning stroll...

Smithfield Market, Clerkenwell
Smithfield Market
I must start by apologising for my 'MIA' status over the last week. An important and busy time for the family, it was full of ups-and-downs, all of which kept me away from my computer (a rather strange feeling after being glued to all forms of technology for months!). I am now pleased to be getting back to work and looking forward to the weeks ahead! To kick-start the rest of 2011, I had a walk around 'my London', a.k.a EC1. 

The Modern Pantry lunch, Clerkenwell
The Modern Pantry
A meander through Smithfield Market was followed by another delicious brunch at The Modern Pantry, a visit to gorgeous clothing and gift boutique Sublime, a stop by Vinoteca for that evening's bottle of wine, some jewellery-browsing at EC One and a brisker walk to Lie down i think i love you (divine scarves and bags). 

Monica Vinader amethyst ring
Oval Amethyst ring by Monica Vinader, at EC One

Vintage scarf, Lie Down I think I love you
Pink and black vintage scarf, by Lie down i think i love you 
What is your favourite area of London, and why? 

Thank you also to all my new followers and lovely comments! They are wonderful to read. x

Friday, 7 January 2011

A very Merry, Louboutin Christmas (my favourite present)

Christian Louboutin sandals, box and red bag

Following all the family gatherings and social craziness over Christmas, I quite enjoy the reflective and peaceful month of January. Health and bank balance aside, it brings a reflective time in which to fondly remember the festive period and, if you're lucky, to finally enjoy some of the presents you received. A quiet weekend welcomes a new book or dvd; your spring-clean is fuelled by the arrival of new pieces for your wardrobe. Exchanging gifts is not only what Christmas is about (albeit an enjoyable part!), but I love nothing more than finding something so-suited to the receiver. Well, this year, I received the perfect present. From the images around this post, you'll know that I'm talking about the world's most famous red-soled heels, by Christian Louboutin. What a lucky girl!

Christian Louboutin sandals in box

A present from my extremely generous sister (& best gal-pal), they are called 'Delico 100 kid' and I simply adore them. Classy, delicate and feminine, they have a dainty, high-but-not-too-high heel, and of course, the timelessly seductive red sole. 

Christian Louboutin sandals with bow

Part pump, part sandal, part sling-back, they are beautifully unique. And, with peep-toes and bows, they couldn't get any better in my style-book.

Having long dreamed of Louboutin's to call my own, they will fit my increasingly Parisian wardrobe exquisitely. This smart red felt bag will look after them when they're not on-show (if you're wondering, the even smaller one contains two spare heel tips):

So, on reflection, I believe my relaxation and rejuvenation period is over. I'm ready to hit the town with my new shoes! Who's joining me? Visit the Christian Louboutin website for a simply dazzling shoe and handbag shopping experience...

Images) my own.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

An A-Z Guide of New Year Sales Shopping (Part B)

I hope you enjoyed the first instalment of my New Year Sales Shopping Guide. Here is the second... let me know how your bargain-hunting is going! What is your favourite purchase so far? 

N) Even if I'm feeling the post-Christmas penny-pinch, I always visit Net-a-Porter (I'm as much in awe of Natalie Massenet's success as the site's covetable clothes). At this genuine sale, you'll find designers often dramatically discounted. With prices starting from £10, how can you resist? A tad more expensive, this Hervé Léger dress has 50% off...

Hervé Léger at Net-a-Porter
Also, under 'N', Brighton's popular Nola boutique is now online, with many reductions on brands such as A.P.C and Elizabeth Lau (mentioned in my A-Z Guide, Part A). I am also a fan of Neurotica - if you have a penchant for striking illustrations or prints, you have to check out this distinctive London label. 

Labrynth Drape Top Dress by Neurotica

O) I have long been fond of Orla Kiely, for their bold graphic prints on luggage, shoppers and make-up bags. And recently, I've discovered that bags are only the beginning. Just as they are sophisticated but girly, smart but easy-to-wear, so are Orla Kiely's clothes, accessories and fragrances. Browse the beautiful dresses in their online sale (up to 50% off). As for permanent discount site and sister to Net-a-Porter, I highly recommend The Outnet for serious designer steals.

Orla Kiely Tafetta Sleeveless Dress
P) Men and women can both stay warm throughout January, with a discounted Pringle of Scotland jumper, trench or dress. If you're looking for more glamour, visit Dannii Minogue's Project D, which has up to 40% off A/W dresses. And, for a fairtrade brand with inspiring  stories behind each collection, be sure to stop by Plümo. Like animal print? Try this 'Bette jacket' below.

Bette Jacket, by Plümo
R) Browse over 450 sale items at Reiss (jackets and trousers are excellent value), or find that vintage gem at Rokit. The selection of playsuits is great for anyone lucky enough to escape London during January! Finally, Ruche, a vintage-inspired US boutique has a lovely online sale.

S) One of my favourite fashion brands from France, Sandro's South Molton store has an extensive sale, including Chloé-esque camel dresses and beautiful knits. For beauty aficionados, Space NK's 50% off sale is a must-see. It includes the much talked-about NATURA BISSÉ creams and masks. Finally, for guaranteed reductions in beauty and fashion under one roof, head to Selfridges.


T) If you're looking for eye-catching dresses, prints or something a little different, Traffic People have reduced their already reasonably priced A/W 2010 collection, by 50%. If you can't get to their gorgeous Kingly Court store, you can buy online. Down the road in Covent Garden (or at My Wardrobe), you can find 50% off Twenty8Twelve, by Sienna and Savannah Miller.

Firelight & Frolics BoPeep Dress, by Traffic People

U) Sticking to the same part of town, Urban Outfitters also boasts an 'up to 50% off sale', with inspiration for every male and
 female fan. Next, stock up on basics at Uniqlo's half-price sale. And, for something delightfully different, meet Unconditional: the London label regularly showing in Fashion Weeks over here or in New York. Their sale includes this 'signature snood'.

Unconditional: Signature Snood
V) Visit Net-a-Porter once more, for 50% off the classy Vanessa Bruno, before checking out European shopping destination Farfetch, for fashion-forward brand, VPL. I love their dresses, skirts and leggings.

VPL's Convexity Breaker Maxi Dress, from

W) For exciting up-and-coming designers, look no further than Notting Hill boutique, Wolf & Badger. Their sale includes some colourful trousers and cardis for the man in your life and fashion-forward picks for the girls. Back to the high street, Whistles is a sales shopping staple, where quality and trends collide. Finish your look with Wolford, the 'haute-couture' of hosiery (50% off).

Wolford's Dandy Tights

Y) You may not know Your Eyes Lie, a funky, youthful brand stocked at Topshop. With its own website, it's a fun addition to the sales circuit! Another girl-to-woman brand Yumi, has 30% off pretty dresses, knits and accessories. 

Z) To finish: the 3rd and 4th French labels in my Gift Guide (no surprise there!). Zadig et Voltaire has 50% off (again at Net-a-Porter). I am eagerly awaiting their S/S 2011 collection. For more casual, lounging luxe, discover Zoe Tees, available at The Outnet (up to 70% off).

Zoe Tees' Destroy Leggings, from The Outnet

And that's it for the New Year Gift Guide, folks! I'd love to hear from you, as always.

Images) From each retailer's website.
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