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Beauty, Beauty of our youth, Fashion Crush, Nostalgia, Opinion, Opinion peice, Retail News, Uncategorized, vintage

Beauty of our youth: Boots 17 Twilight Teaser

By Daisy Buchanan on April 26th, 2013

Writer Becca Day Preston remembers when the coolest girls had frosty faces…

Yes, it was really that purple.

Yes, it was really that purple.

I don’t remember exactly when my makeup love affair began. It was a trickle effect, with a couple of eyeshadows pilfered from my mum’s makeup bag here, a freebie lipgloss or glitter gel from Mizz there. Without mascara or eyeliner, I was essentially a taupe-lidded, sparkle-cheeked, grease-gobbed monster. I didn’t really see the appeal, but I slapped on my make-do go-tos for school discos. And then, when I was 14, I went into Boots to stock up on Natural Collection Vanilla Musk body spray and there it was, the Boots 17 stand, resplendent in navy blue and silver packaging.

Not for me the American Girl sheen of Maybelline or the pre-Kate Moss Rimmel. And certainly not for me the mumsy maturity and sky-high price tag of No.7. I was firmly, hopelessly devoted to Boots 17.

Until I stumbled across this beacon of teen beauty that day, my only experience with lipstick had been the deep purples, bright reds and confusing browns on my mum’s dressing table. She was so enamoured with that particular 90s makeup palette that I never even realised there was a whole other palette out there. The palette of the 90s teen girl: all pale this and frosted that. Oil-eliminating pressed powder. Sparkles in everything. Lilac eyeshadow. I don’t want to be melodramatic, but the day I first slapped on Twilight Teaser lipstick was truly momentous.

It was followed by other items in the Boots 17 line: glittery pale pink eyeshadows, a rather too zealous application of blusher from their Pot Of Rose (blusher balls, basically, but to me they were MAGIC BEANS or something), clear mascara for the brows, concealer in beige, yellow AND green, and of course a thick black mascara to fully tarantula-fy my lashes. All those items had a place in my black and pink makeup bag, but it’s Twilight Teaser that still has a place in my heart.

Would I wear a mid-mauve lipstick shot through with enough ‘frosty’ sparkles to fill a snowglobe now? Of course not. But then, I wouldn’t wear clompy court shoes and fill my Rachel ‘do with those weird hair springs nowadays either. Twilight Teaser wasn’t so spectacularly important because of what it was, but because of what it represented: growing up and making my own way in the makeup world.

I am now 26, I don’t have a Rachel ‘do, and I enjoy a full-time, committed relationship with makeup. Oh and I never leave the house without my lippie. So, thanks, Twilight Teaser. You taught me well.

Follow Becca on Twitter @Becca_DP

Beauty, High End Department Stores, Opinion, Retail News, ShinyStyle Investigates

Holding out for a hero product – Elemis Limited Edition Pro Collagen Marine Cream

By Daisy Buchanan on April 18th, 2013
190 Elemis Pro-Collagen Marine Cream 10th Anniversary Limited Edition

Elemis Pro Collagen Marine Cream, available from department stores nationwide, £99 for 100ml

I’ve had a bit of a brand crush on Elemis ever since I was given one of their goody bags – sorry, a toiletries bag – the one and only time I ever flew business, long haul. (Work trip, old job, celebby stuff, PR company paid – and the return flight cost nearly three times as much as my monthly take home pay. I checked.) Anyway, it was lip therapy this, protect that, and I had to sit on my hands in order to stop them from grabbing the swag off disinterested businessmen. It’s luxurious, grown up and spa-y – the sort of thing you use if you dress solely in Richard Nicholl, go to Bikram every single day and genuinely like almond milk.

I work from home a lot, so I dress solely in pyjamas, go to Bikram in ten day bargain pass binges when my thighs have gone a bit “Christmassy” and have a not so secret fondness for instant mash potato. I am possibly not the brand ambassador those guys were hoping for. But Elemis stuff makes me feel like a grown up lady who knows how to look after herself – and it’s a good feeling. It helps that I haven’t met a product that I didn’t love.

And so it was with the limited edition Pro Collagen Marine Cream. First off, it’s £100. Now, more than ever, people don’t have £100 to spend on skincare. It’s a ludicrous idea. But if you’ve got birthday money or a forgotten about voucher or you’re teetering perilously close to a £100 Primarni stress spend, get this instead. It’s that good. 

It sinks into your pores in seconds. It’s heavy enough to feel effective at night, but light enough to work in the morning without turning your foundation to goo. It smells gorgeously floral, but not cloyingly so – it has a “slightly sciency” vibe. The limited edition version comes in a fancy blue velvet pouch, with a gorgeous embossed silver lid – not many skincare heroes sit so well on a dressing table. According to independent trials, it increases skin hydration by 45 per cent in a fortnight. I’m not completely sure what that means – but my skin is noticeably smoother, plumper and less wintry looking.

Don’t be afraid to try before you buy – most department stores have samples, and if you order the cream online, you can purchase with a test product and get a refund if it isn’t for you, before you break into the big one. But I shall be diverting some gin dollars into an Elemis fund. Because ironically, having smoother, younger looking skin is making me feel more like an adult woman.

Designers, Fashion News, News, Retail News

Surrealism, boudoir and brutalism: McQ Alexander McQueen opens flagship store in London

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on September 18th, 2012

One of the most talked about brands in the past years – first due to the tragic death of its founder, second for its starring role in the royal wedding of the decade – McQ Alexander McQueen has opened its first flagship store on London’s Dover Street.

An idea conceived by designer Sarah Burton and brought to life by David Collins Studio, the new store is situated over three floors covering 3,000 square feet within a Georgian townhouse, and draws inspiration from surrealism and boudoir contrasted with Brutalism.

“We wanted to create a story and a home for McQ and the flagship on Dover Street is an extension of this world. The store offers special catwalk pieces alongside ready-to-wear collections in a rich and immersive McQ environment.” said Sarah Burton, Creative Director.

David Collins added: “We looked at fetish. We wanted the home of McQ to be a parallel view of Alexander McQueen, where eroticism is part of the fabric and design that slowly unfolds throughout the store.”

There are also references to the handwriting of McQ throughout, from rich velvet to precious hand-crafted finishing as well as tough, utilitarian fixtures inspired by modernism and street culture.

Interactive features have also been incorporated in the design – Burberry revealed a high-tech store only last week. On the ground floor visitors are greeted by an interactive digital table and billboard featuring brand content and imagery. Gesture-controlled mirrors on the first and lower ground floors allow customers to browse the collection and photograph themselves in looks which they can then share with friends via social media channels or email.

Furnishing showcases McQueen’s take on supernature and carved anatomical details, contrasting with clean, hard metal lines. Shuttered concrete is juxtaposed with sumptuous flocked velvet and ivory shag pile carpeting, and fibreglass resin hanging rails reflect the McQueen obsession with the body.

McQ Alexander McQueen; 14 Dover Street, London W1S 4LW

Retail News

Topshop unveils very cool new fashion app

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on August 22nd, 2011

Topshop has teamed up with the location-based SCVNGR app to create a social gaming app where winners get real Topshop prizes.

It is offering a 20% discount and the chance of a £500 shopping spree to UK students who undertake the game’s many challenges. Players rack up points by finishing the fashion-themed tasks, such as taking snaps of the the best “back to college” outfits or those who best identify key season trends.

Topshop has some real form in the digital social space. It has been blogging for longer than most of its rivals, has huge followings on twitter and Facebook, ran campaigns with camera app Instagram and have also live-streamed their own catwalk show online in the past.

“We’re always looking for new and innovative ways to engage our customers,” said Mary Homer, Managing Director of Topshop.

“Following the popularity of SCVNGR in the US we wanted to offer our student customers the ability to interact with our brand, on and off-line in a more fun and engaging way.”

To get involved, download the free SCVNGR app from iTunes or the Android Market, and then use the app to search for Topshop.

Fashion News, Retail News

Saucy new Jack Wills catalogue is deemed “too provocative”

By Andrea Petrou on April 7th, 2011

By Emily Borrett.

Lots of pimply hormonal Hooray Henrys will be saddened to read that Jack Wills, the university outfitters and go-to store for the rich and sloaney, is in trouble over an X-rated campaign which has let to their store catalogue being banned.

The store, which targets young, wealthy teens in moneyed universities and public schools, has always openly taken inspiration from the “hedonistic university lifestyle” that all of us university students are reported to lead. The Jack Wills’ youth brigade is portrayed as the following: topless (and suspiciously mature-looking) teenage girls in chaste floral underwear entwined around posh-looking youths wearing trademark hoodies, on a beach, in front of all their laughing friends. Oh, to be young!

So you can see why the parents of the teens these images are marketed at are a bit miffed. What the high-end store described as the portrayal of “positive, fun and sometimes flirtatious” interactions between your typical teen at Oxford was seen by others as, well, a bit porny really.

The ASA has indignantly stepped into the fray, challenging Jack Wills’ statements by countering that the partial nudity “went beyond what could be described as fun or flirtatious”, and “was sufficiently provocative as to present a risk to younger teenagers”.

Subsequently the now infamous Jack Wills catalogue has been found in breach advertising rules and has been taken out of distribution (though I’m sure you can find it somewhere on the black market, boys).

Celebrity Style, Fashion News, Features, First Looks, Retail News

London College of Style: Dream course for wannabe stylists

By Elaine LaPersonerie on July 16th, 2010

For anyone reading out there who has whiled away hours daydreaming about being the next Rachel Zoe, or looking at badly-dressed people and mentally planning what you’d make them wear, good news – there’s a new college set to hit the Parsons Green area that could be a massive leg-up for anyone wanting to break into the notoriously difficult career that is professional styling.

LCS is aiming to do for fashion-lovers what the Brit School does for drama-lovers – nurturing the talents of the student, finding them work, and discovering fashion’s potential new shining stars. The founders of the college are none other than Wendy Elsmore, who has appeared several times in the role of fashion expert for This Morning and regular reporter for events such as London fashion week, and Kate Smith, international model. Also joining LCS will be the likes of Xanthia White, celebrity make up artist, and senior lecturer in fashion/textiles at the Chelsea College of Art & Design, Gary Page. Basically, they’ve all got fashion credentials up to their eyeballs.

The intensive foundation course promises to give each student a clear understanding of skills and knowledge to build upon, giving them as strong a foundation as possible to build upon. Students will learn dressmaking and garment construction, styling for brands, television, film, magazines and stage, whilst working towards creating a portfolio piece to show off their talents to potential employers.

It sounds like a dream come true to me. If you’re sitting at home dressing up your cat as you read this, wishing you could style real people, click through here for more details on how to apply to the foundation course.

Gallery, Retail News

Cannes Film Festival: Day 12 of celebrity style

By Andrea Petrou on May 24th, 2010

It’s been nearly a fortnight of celebrity style, gorgeous dresses and stunning hair and make-up, but one of the biggest celebrity events of the year finally wound down over the weekend.

A-listers packed their bags, took of those frocks and headed back to LA to most probably recover from the 12 days of partying and pampering during the Cannes 2010 Film Festival.

However, as we expected many of them decided to leave in a burst of more stunning dresses. Kate Beckinsale used the closing day of Cannes to show off in a black structured fishtail dress complete with sheer panels while Kirsten Dunst, who had previously played it safe in a black Chanel dress, going for an on-trend turquoise capped sleeved and high neck frock for the same event.

Diane Kruger went for a fuscia pink and black number while Milla Jovovich opted for a mix of smocking and layering for her dress at The Exodus Burnt by the Sun premier.

However it was Salma Hayek, who was the first to wear a dress by Gucci Couture on the first day of the Cannes Festival, that really blew us away with her gorgeous pink floor length gown at the closing ceremony.

View our gallery for all the star style of day 12 of the Cannes Film Festival.

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charity, Retail News

Stuck in London? Three great East London fashion stores to check out

By Ashleyn on April 19th, 2010

Alana McVerry writes

If the Icelandic volcano’s untimely eruption has ruined your plans for shopping on the continent, don’t be dismayed at the hold up but use the scheduled time off to enjoy London’s undiscovered offerings. Head to the East End for three of London’s hidden gems, from the quirky to the down right unreal, I give you one for every mood swing.

If you (a) are so annoyed that you’re still stuck in dismal England and want to blow some cash then head to Startboutique on Rivington street in Shoreditch. Started by a former cult rock star and her partner this boutique offers the new and upcoming alongside the established labels of the high fashion family. Given the rock star credentials, you can expect something a little more exciting than your usual pricey boutique spread.

If you (b) are so bored of London’s offerings, you can’t imagine there’s anything you haven’t seen before then head to 146 Columbia Road to see Jessie and Buddug (that’s them on the left)who sell crafty pieces and original clothing designs in what looks like the interior of an 18th Century boudoir. Further, if you ask for the changing rooms you will be directed to their work studio, which is a candy shop of off cut fabrics and accessories. It is what I imagine to be the fashion version of a mad scientists laboratory.

Or if you (c) have missed a vital flight to a far away land where the British pound is still strong and bargains expected then I have two options for you. If you just wanted good clothes cheap then head to the East End Thrift shop in the Waterman’s building E1, which offers the kind of cheap second hand shopping long lost in our vintage hungry age, but with nice tidy rails organised by item. Or, if it was knock off designer labels that were really pushing you to board that jet, then the centre of hackney can get you a British Burberry Mac for half the recommended price amongst other Burberry designed garb. Just look for the Burberry factory shop at 29 Chatham Place, E9.

So there you are. I bet you’ve decided you didn’t need to leave London after all. Mission accomplished.

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Designer collaborations, Designers, Fashion News, Gossip Girl, Retail News

Anna Sui for Target disassociates itself from Gossip Girl comparisons

By Kimberley Foster on July 14th, 2009


Following the internet leak of the Anna Sui for Target lookbook last month, Target execs have been quick to backpedal on any suggestion that the range has been inspired by Gossip Girl.

“One of Target’s top executives got nervous about being that closely associated with the show, given the [debauchery] its characters get into,” a source told the New York Daily News.

Read the rest of this entry »

Designer collaborations, Designers, Fashion News, Retail News

First look: Anna Sui for Target channels previous collections

By Kimberley Foster on June 29th, 2009


Comparisons are being drawn between Anna Sui’s previous collections, and her forthcoming range for Target. The designer has already cited Gossip Girl as inspiration for her Go International line, but clearly her past runways have also provided a good start. Four dresses from her 2006 and 2007 collections have been modified for her new retail range which is set to land in store on September 13. Most of the items will sell for under $50 (woot!) click here to check out the lookbook.

Fashion News, Retail News

On yer bike: Topshop to loan out bicycles to shoppers

By Kimberley Foster on June 19th, 2009

topshopus_bikes.jpgTopshop has found a novel way to reduce pollution, encourage fitness and utilise all those new bike lanes around town.

The retailer will loan out bikes from its flagship store in New York to customers this Saturday from 12 noon.

It will run for only the 20th and 27th of June.

So far, it appears there will be no cost to use the bikes – so what excuse have you really got?

A free bike, a free afternoon? What better way to combine the both.

[Image: Source]

Department Stores, Designer collaborations, Fashion News, Retail News

Miley Cyrus and Max Azria coming to a Wal-Mart near you!

By Kimberley Foster on June 3rd, 2009

Miley Cyrus.jpgUh-huh it’s true… Miley Cyrus and Max Azria have inked a deal with Wal-Mart to create a line for juniors. Can you just hear the dollar signs ringing already?

The range is to be called “Miley Cyrus and Max Azria” (some originality maybe?) and will include tops, pants, graphic T-shirts and shoes, starting from $20. It will go on sale at Wal-Mart outlets and via from August this year.

I guess we should have known something was up when Miley starting wearing grown-up wear by Azria. For example, that sparkly minidress Hervé Léger dress she wore to the London premiere of Hannah Montana: The Movie. Look out Olsens!

Designer collaborations, Fashion News, Retail News

Alexander Wang and Vena Cava unveil khaki looks for Gap

By Kimberley Foster on May 21st, 2009


It is cool to love khaki – take it from Alexander Wang, Vena Cava, and Albertus Swanepoel. This year’s CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists have joined forces with Gap to bring you their versions of the classic khaki, instead of the usual white shirts. These range from dresses to hats to jackets.

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Fashion News, Retail News

Woody Allen awarded $5million by American Apparel

By Kimberley Foster on May 19th, 2009

The long-running feud between Woody Allen and American Apparel has finally been settled for a cool $5million.

The director sued the clothing retailer last year, after they used his image in advertising billboards without his authorization. American Apparel’s chief executive, Don Charney, argued that the image, which depicted Allen as a Hasidic Jew from Allen’s 1977 film, Annie Hall, was fair game.

On Monday, the case was put to bed when Allen was awarded $5million for violation of privacy, although he initially filed for $10million.

“It’s of course possible that by going through the trial a jury might have awarded me more money but this is not how I make my living and $5 million is enough to discourage American Apparel or anyone else from trying such a thing again,” Allen said.

[Source / Photo:]

Fashion News, Models, Retail News

Kate Moss expected at Topshop U.S. opening

By Kimberley Foster on March 24th, 2009

katemoss_hollywoodmove.jpgAfter countless delays and months of setbacks, (“a logistical nightmare,” according to Sir Philip Green), we are now thismuchcloser to the opening of Topshop USA.

Not only that, Page Six reports that Kate Moss is expected to attend the grand opening on 1st April, at the flagship store in New York’s SoHo district.

It’s no surprise considering her collection is already being stocked and waiting for mass consumer assumption inside the store. Indeed, she gets her own special boutique, which will soon stock her new lingerie line.

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