Thursday, 31 July 2014

London College of Fashion: 2014 Show at The Yard - Fresh Young Talent - Part 1

I am more than a little bit in love with LCF London and all it does.  Right off Oxford Street, this hallowed institution shapes eager young men and women into the fashion designers of tomorrow, moulding raw talent and passion for fashion as an art form into practical yet expressive and fresh skills ready to create the sort of sumptuous collections of clothing fit to grace a catwalk.
This year, I was lucky enough to attend an event that showcased the fresh young talent doing just that.  Here are some of the amazing creations that were lovingly draped over stunning models who professionally promenaded the catwalk so that the press, the students and perhaps most importantly for the creators of the collections, the judges.
I took literally 100's of photos, capturing the collections in their entirety.  From the wonderfully wearable to the perfectly peculiar, there wasn't one single submission I felt I could leave out.  Therefore, this is part one of my personal coverage of the event.
I think the photographs speak to the impeccably high standards at the show.  The clothes themselves were perfectly complimented by the professionally applied MAC makeup and hair by Tony & Guy.  The thrumming beats of the music that accompanied the models cakewalk added to an atmosphere that, for me, outclassed that of any nightclub.  My heart is beating a little faster as a recall the outstanding event.
Part 2 coming shortly, with a video roundup of all the outfits on show and pictures from the fantastic exhibition and after party that followed.


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

29th July: National Lipstick Day - Lucsious Lips Linkup - Pucker Up People

That is right, it's National Lipstick Day and what better way to celebrate than with a compact mirror in one hand and your fave lippy in another.  Come lunchtime, refresh your lipstick and swap that compact for a chilled glass of something fizzy.  Now you're talking!
I promised luscious lips, but I'm afraid you will have to make to with mine in what it more a tribute, an ode of you will, to the lip-smackingly gorgeous properties of the humble lipstick.

The above two lip colours are from the Kate Moss for Rimmel collection pictured below

Scrolling through my pictures and past posts, I have realised that I often concentrate far more on eyes than on lips, with the humble exception of my Maleficent Makeover posted yesterday on the blog.

The vivid red in this look is from Make Up Forever and is applied with a retractable lip brush from Real Techniques.  You can see how to recreate the look in this post.
I don't know about you, but my thirst for lippy is nowhere near satiated.  To that end I invite you all to link up any lip related posts, but keep it above the waist ladies ;-)
Any post with lipstick swatches, full makeup selfies, tips on lip care, tips on lip hair....I want them all and I want them now - so please do link up below so myself and my readers can marvel over your magnificent lip posts!


PS. If all that lippy has wheted your appitite - visit Debenhams online for £5 of lip products including brands like Mac, Too Faced, Doir and Illamasqua.


Monday, 28 July 2014

Maleficent Makeover - makeup tutorial: Fancy Dress or Fantasy - the Most Maleficent Disney Princess

I love posting makeup tutorials, but this one was the most fun I've had in a while.  More for Mums getting their fancy dress on for Halloween or a costume party than dark but loveable mini Angelinas in waiting, though I'm sure the look could be scaled down for daughters who look up the evil queen more than Snow White.  Don't dissuade that whatever you do, high powered women are where it's as career wise, though I would to anything to have the animals of the forest come and do my housework.

This look requires a super bold lip.  I started by lining my lips with black khol and filling with pillar box red lipstick using my Real Techniques retractable lip brush.  This look is inclined to bleed, so trace outside the lips with a brush concealer, the sort you'd use on your undereyes.  Blend inwards for a crisp finish.

Tools of the trade
Apply base however you see fit, but you can afford to go heavy on the base with this look.  You want to look made up with perfectly porcelain skin.  I used No7 Stay Perfect foundation which I had colour matched for me at Boots and I love it

I used a subtle hint of bronzer applied with a natural fluffy brush in a figure of 3 round the sides of my face.  Not necessary if you don't like bronzer, but I think it adds a little depth to ones complexion.

Arched brows work for this.  I used the W7 Just Brows which was easy enough to use.

Get your Scotch Tape on.  My top tip for anyone struggling with winged eyeliner is to use a short length of Scotch Tape (I use branded as it sticks well bit doesn't interfere with my makeup when I take it off).  Stick from the corner of your eye to where your brows end and use this as a guide for the wing.  You can draw over the tape all you want but when you peel it off you will get a crisp wing, as in the top right hand picture.

Full bold liner - I like lined the lower lashes too, once I had peeled off my tape.  I also took it outwards in the inner corner for a stronger look.  One thing I would have done here but didn't would be to use a little white khol right in the corner of the eye as it really brightens them up.

False lashes - for a more dramatic look, falsies are the key.  These Ardell false fashes were super easy to apply, even for someone such as myself who uses them pretty infrequently.  A couple of coats of quality mascara finish the look.
And here's the finished look.  Not quite Angelina Jolie but the look certainly had drama.  I finished off with two elongated buns and a wicked demeanour to try and carry off the Maleficent magic.  With a black cloak I think there would be no confusion as to the inspiration for your Maleficent makeover.


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Silent Sunday 27th July 2014 #silentsunday #mysundayphoto



Thursday, 24 July 2014

My #Britmumslive Blogging Conference Roundup: Good Friends Good Times - The Chocolate and the Wine

I doubt that anyone reading this will not know about Britmums live and has probably heard so much about it. To that end I will make this short and sweet, but could not leave it unmarked.
This is me in a nutshell, so is anyone saw the above person at the above location, it was meeeee!  A retrospective hello to you!  Because that was the thing that struck me most about what was my first ever blogging conference, I spent the whole time there talking with people who I felt like I knew already after having read their blogs.  This means talking, hugs, squealing and merriment - it was a total blast!  I have to confess that as a pretty shy person I worried that I would spend the whole time in the corner while the 'real bloggers' got down to business, but that couldn't have been further from the case.  There wouldn't have been enough hours in the day to speak to everyone I had wanted to unless we had set up some sort of macabre speed dating type scenario.  Much ground has been covered since on social media which I am glued to.  Anyone in the same position, especially if you often find yourself awake well into the AMs do follow me on twitter.  There are actually quite a gaggle of us., and my gorgeous fiancé Jason.  He's my helper in chief and in charge of opening doors and things so we are rarely apart.  Together we make the perfect person, and I think that has to be anyone's definition of a soul mate.
Some snaps with Joanna from Ojos World, Jo from  My Monkeys Don't Sit Still, Claire from Ninja Killer Cat and below Kathryn from Bumps and Grind.  I chatted with so many other people, to many to mention by name, but didn't get my camera out nearly enough.  Something I will remedy next year - yes, my ticket is already booked!
My photos of the Brilliance in Blogging awards and of the conference talks themselves were not great, so I have only included a couple for flavour.
In short:  I laughed, I was moved to tears, I was touched, I smiled, I felt deep connections and all within 30 minutes of arrival.  I listened to people who have used their efforts to inspire change, and who shared their gifts for entertaining others.  A world of difference in the people who attended, with two things in common.  We were all parents, and all bloggers.  In a world where technology makes it so easy to connect with information yet often so hard to connect with people, I am so proud to be in an industry that marries up the two. 


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

#FOTD Get The Look: 80's Statement Makeup - Blondie, Stonewashed Denim and Bold Colours

 Here are the tools for this look, the hallmarks of which are statement eyes, bright lips and bold blush.  The eye is featured here, just as a teaser.

MUA brights palette  //  So Susan Blush  //  Semi-Opaque bright lipstick  //  Khol liner in black  //  Gel liner in black  //  Benefit gimme brow  //  Your favourite foundation and powder to set  //  Benefit They're Real Mascara

Okay, so first I need to confess my attitude to makeup, if it hasn't already made itself apparent.  I love it.  I have more makeup than I could ever use and most of it hasn't even been touched yet.  When I'm getting ready I often have the same sort of dilemma as a person driving into an empty carpark and not knowing where to park, being spoiled for choice.  I've been travelling a lot over the last few months, often in my car, with a selection of said makeup that I think will cut it in a usually pretty huge makeup bag.  I don't have the time, patience or dexterity to give a look a dry run before it has an outing, so for good or for ill, the look that I had in my head, packed the makeup to create, and then translated onto my face is the one that will serve me for whatever event, conference or function I happen to be attending.

This look was for a fashion show, coverage of which will be on the blog later in the week.  It actually worked really well, and I was pleased with the look.  It's only enemy was the weather, which was hotter than Benedict Cumberbatch, leaving my face even slicker than his performance as Sherlock in the BBC show of the same name.  I was so glad to have used gel liner as well as khol as the deliberate smokey look could have ended up more Ozzy than Sharon.

Taking inspiration from a multitude of 80's icons, including Debbie Harrie from Blondie, whose iconic image was featured on the dress I wore along with a freyed stonewash denim waistcoat, I pulled together a look which actually encapsulated many elements from my favourite looks right now.

Statement eyes - statement everything is where it's at right now, and I love my winged eyeliner.  Here I embellished on the theme, making the wings very large and drawn on, and extending the liner out from the inner corners also.  I also used the pale yellow and gold colours in the MUA brights palette which worked well, though my eyes were a little worse for wear by the end of the night as you can see in the closed eye shot.  Three coats of mascara worked well, but has I had them with me, I think I would have donned falsies too.

Bold cheeks - after eschewing blush for years because of my naturally rosy pallor, I started a love affair with blush about a year ago.  I wore it for this look in deliberately bold strokes under the apples of my cheeks.  Though well blended it was worn to be seen and to accent.  I often wear more subtle blush, but I am seeing bold blush everywhere right now which I love, because I love the look.

Opaque balmy lips - though the rules can be toyed with, I generally go for either a bold mouth or bold eyes, as both can look to much.  Pillar box red lipstick and winged eyeliner for a vintage look are my favourite exception to this rule.  Here I used a semi opaque balmy lipstick, but gloss would have worked just as well for a less vivid colour.

Blondie dress £14.99 at H&M

Being late and getting lost prevented me from getting any more pics, but the outfit and the face were a hit.

Do you like experimenting with new looks? Do you stick to the same style or have fun with the makeup box? Are there some makeup trends that you find just to much?


Saturday, 19 July 2014

Silent Sunday 20th July 2014 #silentsunday #mysundayphoto


Friday, 18 July 2014

Challenging isms: Ableism in Media and the Fashion Industry - An Accurate Representation of the Population

Despite spending most of yesterday collating 6 months worth of pictures plus editing and grouping together pictures for some hopefully totally awesome pieces for the very near future, I fancied freestyling for a while and just chatting with you guys.  I'm going to see how it goes, so if you're reading this, the following content has been deemed, by me, fit for publication.
I spend a lot of time getting fired up about things.  This used to be a pretty self destructive trait of mine as I would waste time being angry about things that I could do nothing about.  Anger turned inwards leads to deep unhappiness and despair. Harbouring resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die, not to mention totally soul corroding.  So I made a choice to drop those deeply self destructive habits and turn my passion outwards; to funnel it into something that would make a real difference outside of me, and stop it eating away at the hole in my soul.  Because wasting our time on thing outside the realm of our control is. just that, wasting time and wasting energy.
So I asked myself: what do I feel passionate about?  What moves me?  And it's like the universe came to me with an answer...
No person should be left behind
No person is 'less than' or 'better than'
No person should be judged on things they cannot change
So that takes us to the isms...
Feminism - this is a good ism.  Far from the 'women taking over the world' moniker it is often afforded with, feminism is simply about equal rights and equal opportunities.  Women and men are equal in value, and should be afforded the same opportunities.  This is not happening just yet, hence the need for the feminist movement.
Racism - all people are equal in value, and deserve the same opportunities, regardless of the colour of their skin or their religious beliefs.  Racism challenges this, hence the need for the equal right movement.
Ageism - all people are equal in value, and deserve the same opportunities, regardless of age.  Ageism challenges this, challenges this, hence the need for the equal right movement.
There are more, but you get the picture.
I am for equal rights - period.  Gay, straight, black, white, man, woman, young, old we are all people and our worth is not measured by any factor over which we have no control.  We all deserve happiness, and we all deserve respect.

The lesser known ism...

So those of you who read my blog on a regular basis may be familiar with this one.  People with disabilities of all types are now living lives that would not once have been possible.  Like the rise of women from the home into the workplace, into Universities, into lives of their own and not just those dictated to them by their husbands, people with disabilities are breaking out.  As a wheelchair user, I would once have been sat in a wicker chair in the corner of a room and left to stagnate.  A life and a mind wasted.  But no more.  On mass, people with disabilities are taking charge and taking chances.  To go places where the doors are often closed and access often denied.  Where people talk to the person with us, and not to us, regardless of who started the dialogue.  Where appearances and physical difficulties often leave our bodies out in the cold when our minds are screaming out for stimulation.
And this is Ableism in action - the denial of equal rights for those with disabilities just as they were once denied to people of colour.

So what do we do?

I can't champion everyone, even though in my heart I do just that.  In practice though, one has to choose a niche if we are to fight a corner.  A person too thinly spread will have little or no impact on how the world is run, but a person with a clear and definite purpose has power, and bags of it.  I fight the disability corner.  I long for the day when I see ableism in all it's forms and permutations eradicated.  We are getting there, but that day is a long way off.  There is a ever growing movement of disabled people, and those who advocate rights for the disabled who are making themselves known.  We are knocking in doors, appearing in magazines, having articles published, and making our intentions known.  We will not stop till we see clear and definite change.
One of the 'causes' I champion pretty hotly is that of seeing more disabled people in the fashion industry and in media.  As a girl with a heap of glossies by the bed I know how much popular culture shapes the world in which we live.  People take the lead from what they see on the TV screen and in the pages of a newspaper or magazine, and that is exactly why we need to get out there.  I am taking part in some fantastically pro-active initiatives that are just a teeny bit top secret (for now - watch this space), but for now I will just share with you an article that was recently published on - the most fantastic site run by my good friend and fellow fashionista Emily, who is partially sighted.
And that's enough reading for you guys I think.  I try to balance deep and meaningful with fun and humorous, but I might have overdone it somewhat.  Don't worry - those fab tutorials and posts on some awesome events are on their way so stay tuned.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

#NOTD - Nudes nudes nudes or: an ombre nude mani or: a nude of many colours

From left to right: Essie in fierce, no fear  //  Sleek loves gel nails in Revolver  //  Essie in sand tropez  //  Revlon Colourstay in Sandy Nude  //  Models Own Hypergel in Naked Glow

From right to left: Essie in fierce, no fear  //  Sleek loves gel nails in Revolver  //  Essie in sand tropez  //  Revlon Colourstay in Sandy Nude  //  Models Own Hypergel in Naked Glow
 Bourjois nail polish remover for hands and feet.  Very similar to other twist off polish removers but with a sponge on the lid to use for toes.  I didn't find it as quick as the Maybelline one but still completely adequate for getting those nude nails truly naked.


Monday, 14 July 2014

20 Reasons Why I Like Me: The Power of Positivity and Self Appreciation

I want to start by saying that I have borrowed this format from Joy at Pinkoddy so I can take part in her Health Hop blog hop.  While I feel sure I shall be participating in weeks to come, given that health, or lack thereof is ever present in my life, I really didn't want to pass up the opportunity for getting some positivity flowing through my life, my soul, and my blog.
The concept itself is actually from Kuhn (1960) - which is my fiancés (and soon to be my) surname.  This was another thing that made me pay real close attention to Joys 20 Reasons Why I like Me Post.  Kuhn hypothesises that the 20 statements test is a measure of self.  The test is unusual for a psychological study, in that it's format is that of open ended questions, with respondents completing statements beginning with I am...
I shall... endeavour to do this, and would encourage you to do so to, and link up with Joys Health Hop by following the link in the button at the bottom if this post.

  1.  I am... who I appear to be.  I like to think I don't hide behind a mask anymore, as I did when younger.  For good or for ill I wear my heart on my sleeve.
  2. I am... open to new experiences.  They still scare me, but I have done so many wonderful things by stepping outside of my comfort zone that I keep doing it, and more often than not it is totally worth any anxiety.
  3. I am... unafraid to love.  The feeling of loving someone is huge, those feelings could fill your soul to the brim. This is why losing a loved one can make you feel so very empty.  Some people develop a hard shell, an armour after one to many broken hearts.  I never thought it would happen to me but I love J with all my heart.  If I lost him, it would all be worth it just for the experience of having loved him.
  4. I am... not afraid to admit when I am wrong.  I am however very aware that I am very driven by fear, which is coming out in what I write.  I choose not to self edit as this is an area I know I need to work on.
  5. I am...  not afraid of hard work.  Okay, so maybe I can't do all I used to, but when it comes to ploughing through and doing something I set my mind to, I fully commit.  If anything I am prone to obsession and will stay up all night making sure things are done.
  6. I am... kind.  I'd like to think I treat others as I would like to be treated.  There is no reason for unkindness, there is enough hatred in this world.
  7. I am... a good listener.  Though social anxiety can have me flapping my gums at times, I like to think that I take the time to listen to others too, especially when they are in times of need.
  8. I am... a survivor.  A battered and war-torn body perhaps, and a mind that can take me to dark places, but I'm still standing, despite a life without the comfort and stability afforded to many others.
  9. I am... well read.  I would like to think this gives me perspective and keeps me well informed.  It also keeps those neurons firing.
  10. I am... an autodidact.  Despite more formal education than many, I believe that school served mostly to teach me how to pass tests.  I find the things I learn exploring the richness of life and the lives of others afford far more genuine knowledge.
  11. I am... a good friend.  Naturally self-conscious I find it hard to make friends.  Despite this once I connect with someone, they have a friend for life.
  12. I am...  a good Mum.  I have parented my children through some really difficult life circumstances, and have always done what I have believed to be right by them.
  13. I am... a good wife.  Not quite a wife yet I know, but I believe I am a kind and caring partner.  I am also aware that I am pretty co-dependent and often define myself by my relationships with others.
  14. I am...  not afraid to laugh at myself.  For me, this is essential.  There are times in life when we can laugh or cry.  Sometimes crying is cathartic, but in times of utter frustration I find laughter melts away negative emotion far quicker than tears.
  15. I am... intelligent.  This is a hard one for me, as the MS often steals my brain, or at least my thoughts and words.  I try to remember that beneath it all I am still the same person, capable of learning and of sharing thought, when the MS allows me.
  16. I am... independent.  As far as my disability allows me to be.  There are many things I need help with, but with that necessary help, I am independent, almost fiercely so. 
  17. I am...  not afraid to ask for help.  This one took me a long time to learn.  Though I can be stubborn sometimes, I know it is in everyone's best interests for me to ask for help, whether it is for a practical or an emotional matter.
  18. I am...  not done living life yet!  There are so many things I still want to experience, and I'm not going to let my disabilities stand in my way.
  19. I am... a champion for others. Where possible, I do try and make the best use of the soapbox I like to stand on (so to speak) and use it to champion others who are experienced or are experiencing the things that inspire me to campaign for change.
  20. I am... enough! I am good enough.  I always have been, whatever I have been told over the years.
And that's it.  That's me, in 20 statements.  I hope you got something from reading, and once again urge you to join in.  I have to say it's extremely cathartic!


Health Hop

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Silent sunday 13th July 2014 #silentsunday #mysundayphoto

"To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour".
~ William Blake