Sunday, 4 November 2012

Dressing Table Greatest Hits...

pennydreadfulvintage.com
 Although my job as a beauty editor is like a dream come true, it also means I'm not in the same league of usefulness and importance as, say my friend who works a nurse. A few years ago, when I was still early into my career, I did toy with the idea of becoming a social worker, which obviously would have made more of a substantial difference in people's lives. Yet however worthy this job would have been, I instead chose to do what I love. Basically I'm a neurotic, hypersensitive creative type whose idea of a perfect job would be to write on some secluded desert island. And being a consummate beauty junkie this is the best arena through which to channel my craft. Not as worthy as a social worker some might say. But the one practical use I am to people is for recommendations; I love being asked what lipstick/foundation/skin cream is currently floating my boat, because this means I am useful; I can finally apply my area of expertise to benefit someone else. So as a treat to you lovely loyal readers who have stuck with me despite my blogging hiatus (due in part to a crazy work schedule, travelling, recent bereavement as well as several other personal dramas) here are my top beauty must-haves of all time. Drum roll please....

pennydreadfulvintage.com



Bumble and Bumble's BB Styling Creme  Great for applying to hair before blow-drying to smooth any kinks or frizz, without leaving any stickiness. It's also great for styling and smoothing hair, and came in handy on a recent holiday when the boy forgot to pack his hair gel. A true multi-tasker if ever there was one.

Kerastase Elixir Ultime Very few hair serums I've come across have been non-greasy or failed to make the hair clump together. This one is the exception - it provides a lovely shine, sorts out any static frizz but doesn't leave locks with the dreaded 'chip pan' effect.

Pommade Divine Just purchased (yes purchased!) a tub of this today to sort out my chapped skin following a very cold and breezy trip to San Francisco. From a recipe no less than 200 years old, it's great for keeping mitts soft and pouts polished during the cold winter months. Plus it smells like a mince pie - natch.

Bourjois Liner Pinceau Eyeliner In terms of an eyeliner's staying power, pencils or gels just have never been able to cut it for me - I'm a committed pen and ink'er every time. This is easy to apply even with my shaky paws and you can create a variety of sexy Sixties 'cat flicks' in seconds.

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser A classic, but one which deserves all the praise constantly heaped upon it. It goes without saying that it provides a thorough cleanse while the cloth exfoliates just as well as any face scrub. 

Dolce and Gabbana Passion Duo Lipstick in Infatuation A red lippie can be your best friend if you chose wisely, and this ravishing shade of scarlet can turn you into an Italian sex siren in an instant, with a tube of gloss running through the middle to nourish and hydrate the lips. Buongiorno Principessa!

Pinks Boutique Hand Balm The scent of this one is like a mini aromatherapy session in a jar. Smooth it on hands and rub into cuticles before bed for million dollar mitts come dawn.

Sudocrem One of my favourite beauty finds, I never travel anywhere without this miracle tub. Although it's primarily marketed as a nappy rash cream, it's great to dab on skin in the case of a breakout. It also deals with eczema, heals irritated skin, deals with sunburn and practically any other dermatological complaint within a matter of days. A hero product.

Aerin Multi Colour For Lips and Cheeks A newcomer from the recently launched Aerin range which I've swiftly fallen head over heels for. This product melts into the skin and provides a pretty flush for lips and cheeks - great when you're seriously pressed for time and want to quickly adjust your makeup in the office loos/ airplane toilets/ tube carriage.

Decleor Aromessence Oils My skin literally drinks this up these non-greasy oils: after a single use, fine lines are plumped out and my stressed, dehydrated skin is glowing and happy once more. Neroli (for all skin types) was my previous favourite but I'm currently loving the new Ylang Ylang version for oily/combination skin (yes- you can put oil on oily skin - trust me!).

To be continued.....

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Liner Love

The London Underground can be a good place to spot an emerging beauty trend or two. I was recently struck by a beautiful blonde with green eyeshadow brushed across her eyelids and a slash of sapphire blue swept underneath the eye. Since then I've since several other girls sporting a brightly coloured bottom lid - each just as striking as the next. I'm a big fan of getting creative with your war paint and I think sporting a brightly coloured lower lid is a great way to do so (plus it stays on longer than lipstick).  

I've always loved a thick eyeliner across the lower lid ever since I first discovered makeup, but this look can be tricky to pull off with black - as it can easily make you look old and tired which is why a bright colour is a much better option. And with 90s grunge making a comeback, it's a great way to rock the messy eyeliner a la Courtney Love without veering into 'Alice Cooper' territory. So pick your shade and get scribbling!
Our 'Rhi Rhi' rocks a bold shade of pink. Source: bellasugar.com
How To Wear Under Eye Eyeliner
Just Cavalli SS12 Source: ourvanity.com

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Man in the Moon



A snap from my recent visit to Basia Zarzycka, the gorgeous knick-knack shop on Sloane Square, with many of the weird and wonderful objects made by Basia herself - a truly magical lady!

Go see it for yourself - 54 Sloane Square  Chelsea, London SW1W 8AX

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Beauty Crush: Edie Sedgwick

Having recently acquired a picture of the wonderful Edie Sedgwick...



... I thought I would share the below.


Source: alizeeamerica.com

Source:  pennydreadfulvintage.com
Source: weheartit.com







Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Who's That Girl...?

Whenever I'm in the basement café in M&S I always clap eyes on the same girl. Peroxide blonde curls, black roots, giant eyebrows, saucer-like Betty Boop eyes and a fantastic pale pink pout richly outlined in dark brown lip liner. I've never mustered up the courage to approach this fine filly and tell her how mesmerizing she is (the whole appearing like a creepy stalker thing is somewhat of a barrier). But by chance, I recently spotted her behind the counter of a nearby vintage store, which would explain the 80s get up reminiscent of Madonna in the otherwise forgettable 1987 film 'Who's That Girl'. As a tribute to Madonna girl I've decided to start rocking the darker lip liner - an incredibly sexy beauty tool that's just screaming for a comeback. Luckily Dolce and Gabbana have done their best to bring it back in a big way, and their russet red Precision Lip Liner in '4' is simply delicious. Mwah.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Happy Things

Having had quite a tough few weeks, I've decided rather than write a mawkish post and wallow in self-pity, I'd focus on a few bits and bobs which have lightened my mood over the past few days.

Diptyque's Jasmin Candle - a warm Mediterranean breeze on a hazy summer evening...


'Finger' biscuits at the launch of Urban Retreat's newly refurbished Nail Loft  - slightly ghoulish but good ...


Pup in a bag at Whitecross Street Olympics Party


Giant robot made out of wheely bins at Whitecross Street Olympics Party


A vintage snap of my nan 


These lush lippies which make up the 'Liptropolis Collection,' from Lipstick Queen. Its case is inspired by Fritz Lange's silent film 'Metropolis'.


Barbara Stanwyck's jewellery in 'Sorry Wrong Number' - my nan's favourite film which I recently watched . Love a dame who wears her bling to bed.











Tuesday, 26 June 2012

June Delights and Holistic Healing

So summer's here and with it, a new crop of beauty buys I've tried and tested for your reading pleasure. No need to thank me.

Firstly my new handbag staple is Clinique's Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. I've been carrying around a miniature version for after the gym or when my skin's feeling a bit dry, and the fine lines on my forehead (which have become more and more pronounced since I turned 27) have completely disappeared. Needless to say I'm going to be sticking with this one for a while yet. I'm also loving Decleor's new Ylang Ylang Aromessence Oil and Shine Control Oxygenating Fluid both of which have been ultra hydrating but have kept excess grease at bay.

Makeup-wise, black liquid eyeliner is my desert island product and I've been more than impressed with M.A.C's Superslick Liquid Eyeliner which has superb staying power, plus its tapered sponge applicator makes it easy to draw a perfect  Cleopatra-style flick. Estee Lauder's Sumptuous Two-Tone Mascara is another winner, with a thick brush at one end in Bold Black for the top lashes, and a smaller blush in Rich Plum at the other end for the bottom lashes - genius! The bottom lash mascara not being completely black looks less harsh and really opens up the eyes while the top lash brush lengthens and thickens amazingly well.

If you don't like your blusher too 'air-hostess', Laura Mercier's Creme Cheek Colour in Innocent Peach goes on a treat, blends beautifully and provides a pretty sun-kissed glow. And the new Dior Addict Lipstick in Palace (aside from the utterly gorgeous packaging) provides a creamy texture and a shimmering coral hue. Me likey a lot.

But as much as I love discovering a 'wonder product', lately I've come to realise that topical products can only do so much, and a complete overhaul of body and mind is what was needed. My skin's been looking great since my stint at the Mayr and More clinic in Austria - where I survived on a diet of soups, gluten-free bread and odd looking (but delicious) meat pastes. Aside from the hunger cravings and awful headaches, I didn't crack completely (watching cookery shows on YouTube and fantasising about what I'd eat when I got back helped considerably) and aside from losing a few pounds, my hair and skin looked all the better for it not to mention feeling heaps more relaxed. I've been trying to keep up the main principles of the 'cure' at home - so trying to have carbs only once a day, and less (or no) carbs late at night, chewing my food properly, finishing when I'm full and not eating too much too often. And just feeling relaxed about food has made a big difference (i.e. not plunging into despair if I happen to eat an ice cream followed by a packet of Malteasers) as it's proven that the higher your stress levels, the more likely your body will retain fat.

Yoga is really improving my overall well being too - I seem to be waking up grumpier than the troll in The Three Billy Goats Gruff, dwelling on past events and wondering why I couldn't have said this or that in a particular argument that happened about ten years ago. If you can manage waking up an hour earlier, any form of exercise is great when undertaken first thing in the morning - as I find it lifts that dark cloud over my head and sets me up for the rest of the day. Spinning is especially good at blowing the cobwebs away - although you feel like death in the classes themselves, the endorphin rush you get afterwards is well worth the preceding misery.