Last week I wrote all about your favourite mascara's, the post got a bit long so saved the mascara history lessons for this week :)
Records from around 4000BC refer to a substance called kohl that was used to darken the lashes, eyes and eyebrows. Darkened eyes were supposed to warden off evil spirits, protecting your soul. This kohl was made from malachite, charcoal or shoot, crocodile stool (nice!) honey and water. In Victorian times great efforts were also made to create the illusion of long dark eyelashes. Victorian woman made their own mascara by heating a mix of ash or lampblack and elderberry juice, applying the mixture to their lashes. Moving on a little in 19th century England, Eugene Rimmel developed a cosmetic using the newly invented petroleum jelly, a product people would recognise as mascara was born! Little weird fact: in some languages Rimmel still translates to mascara today. Across the pond TL Williams created a remarkably similar substance for his sister Maybel, you get it Maybel....Maybelline. Great isn't it that both brand Rimmel and Maybelline are still going strong in the mascara market today! Both man developed a product consisting of petroleum jelly and coal. This mix was still very messy to apply and better alternatives were soon developed. In 1957 beauty giant Helena Rubenstein created a formula that evolved mascara from a hard cake into a lotion based cream. She packaged it to be sold with a brush. Although still messy a big step towards the modern day mascara was made. Think of all of this next time you apply your mascara, glad its not made of crocodile poo anymore, are you!
A few months ago I worked on a celebrity designed baby line and loved every single item in the collection, and that doesn't happen that often! From the clothes to the bedding to the toys everything was so cute! The line has hit the shops now and is a big hit, the collection I'm talking about is Little Bird by Jools Oliver for Mothercare. Jools was a Mothercare baby herself and the Little Bird collection started with a nightie worn by Jools and her sisters in the '70s and now by her own children. The Little Bird line has a great hand-me-down feel, I think they will still be fab in twenty years time. And have you noticed how most items are unisex, love it!!
The Little Bird collection photos are shot by the always lovely Tim Marcella, styled by Kate van der Hage and makeup&hair by me.
I was on a quest finding your favourite mascara but that seems to be a bit more difficult then I thought. A little poll on facebook shows that almost all of you have a different favourite. There are a few names popping up regularly like the Dior show by Dior and Bad gal lash by Benefit, but many of you like your own trusted mascara wand best. A selection of your favourites are; Mac Zoom Lash, Maybelline Colossal, Ellis Faas mascara, Clinique High Impact, any YSL mascara, Chanel Inimitable intense and Lancome Hypnose. I then had a look at the fashion magazines favourites and even their minds are very spread but clear all time winners are the Dior show by Dior, In style magazine's best beauty buy in '07-'08-'09-'10& '11. From the cheaper brands the glossies like Maybellines great lash mascara best (in the iconic bright pink and green packaging) And beauty writers choose Cliniques High Lengths Mascara as their favourite. There is so much choice in mascara land!
When you buy a mascara there are a few questions you have to ask yourself first of all do you want waterproof or non waterproof. I would always go for the non waterproof unless you want to go swimming in full makeup or live in a very humid environment. The next question is do you want more length or more volume? Or you can be greedy and want both :) The last question, do you want a natural look or over the top false lashes? Knowing these answers really helps next time you get lost in the land of cosmetics aisles. Now we have divided the mascara in their categories let have a look at my favourites.
For long lashes I would choose the Clinique High Lengths mascara, not only does the green brush look fabulous it really coats every hair from root to the very tip. For volume my best is Benefits Bad Gal lash mascara, the super tick brush coats your eyelashes with its rich formula giving you volume like never before. For a natural look I pick Shu Uemuras Ultimate Natural Mascara but unfortunately they don't seem to produced it anymore. My second choice is the Definicils mascara by Lancome it coats your lashes making them look separated with a bit more lenght and volume. If you want an over the top falsh lash look no further the the Dior Show mascara, this wand will give you a triple shot of glamour, leaving your lashes luxuriously thick, lengthened and curved to the max. If you cant choose and want volume, thickening, natural and over the top there is only one product for you Lancomes Hypnose mascara. This all rounder makes your lashes look long and thick with one coat, as it layers very well you can build it up to make your lashes look ultra thick and long. Whats not to like!
There are also mascaras that make your eyelashes look more curved but I prefer using an eyelash curler before applying mascara. Just a quick squeeze with the curler really opens up your eyes making your lashes look longer and your eyes more youth full. My favourite curler has to be the Shu Uemura one, a true staple in my makeup kit for over 15 years.
After all this mascara talk there is only one more thing to say, never ever pump your brush in and out of the canister, this will put air in the tube making your mascara dry out and appear lumpy on your lashes. Just swivel it around, take the excess mascara of the tip of the brush and apply slowly making zig-zag moves through your lashes. And if you want to make your eyes look wider just apply mascara on the top lashes. So that's a whole lot of mascara on the blog today! I also penned a brief history of the mascara but will save that for a post next week, saves you from falling asleep ;)
I'm not to keen on floral fragrances and always tend to go for the more musky scents that's why I'm very excited by the new Chanel fragrance, Chanel Noir.
The new fragrance is created with Gabrielle, Coco, Chanel and Venice in mind. In Venice Gabrielle experienced a renewal, she had travelled to the city to mourn the only man she ever loved, Boy Chapel. She realised she didn't liked the fuzzy dresses, and she wasn't going to fuss about when it came to matters of the heart. She drew strenght from her discovery of the city and of the wonders it had to offer. Gabrielle contrasted her simple, sober style with the riot of colour and gold. The Venetian night simply confirmed what she already knew: for the moon and the stars to be beautiful, they had to be absorbed and transformed by the water and the sky. For a woman t be seductive, she had to be both mysterious and light hearted. She thus refined her remarkable equation of black and bright, of profusion and restraint,. From thus journey to the almost-Orient she retained the refinement of Byzantine art, the sense of grandeur and the certainty that you can renounce anything, except yourself. For Jacque Polge (master perfumer of Chanel and creater of Coco Noir) the spirit of this fragrance is concentrated in its woody base and musky notes. The base of Coco Noir is layered with sandalwood, vetiver, frankincense, patchouli, vanilla, tonka bean and a musky note. The perfume has a top note of spicy peppercorns and grapefruit, and a heart of rose, jasmine, narcissus and Geranium. All sounds wonderful to me!!
All have a good look to the sky this weekend as the annual Perseid meteors are set to put on a spectacular show! Each year in August the earth spins trough a cloud of the comet Swift-Tuttle debris. These tiny pieces of ice and dust hit the Earth's atmosphere producing lovely falling stars for us to see. According to the Guardian website the best time to see the meteor shower is the night of the 12th going into the 13th, between midnight and 3am. But the meteor showers are extremely variable so if you have the time, watch any morning between the 11th and 14th. Fingers crossed for clear skies!
Woop Woop new magazine alert!! On September the 6th the makers of Mollie Makes are launching a new monthly print magazine: The Simple Things. According to their website The Simple Things celebrates the things that matter most. Its about knowing the greatest rewards come from the simplest things, that there's no satisfaction like that at the end of a long muddy walk, no pink so pretty as freshly-cut rhubarb, no perfume to compare with your own home grown flowers. Its about making warm inviting homes-big or small- sharing food with friends, growing your own vegetables. Its about keeping your dads old typewriter cause its beautiful. Its an empty beach on a Sunday morning. Its backpedalling, slowing down and taking time to enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
That all sounds wonderful to me!!
Follow this link to view the preview issue, and have a look on the the Simple Things website for a offer of 3 issues for £5. The magazine will retail at £4.99 so that's two whole issues for free!
Something I would really like to try out is the BB cream that Bobbi Brown have just launched. This SPF35 little wonder is a skincare/makeup hybrid, it combines moisturising, sun protection and foundation. Bobbi Brown says it will make your skin look flawless and perfectly natural, may kind cream, multitasking and natural! The BB cream offers more cover then a tinted moisturiser but less then a foundation and its special formula will also battle excess oil making it a great shine fighter. I would use the cream as a light weight foundation but if you like more cover use it as a makeup base. The BB cream is available in 5 tones: extra light, light, fair, medium and medium to dark.
Last week I came across a spoon shaped chocolate mould, how cute! (you can buy them here at Lakeland) Of course I had to try them out right away and made truffle filled spoons to go with a cup of coffee. The process is very simple.
* Melt a bar of your favourite chocolate, I used dark, in a heat proof bowl over a pan of water. * Let the chocolate cool down slightly and coat the spoon shapes with a layer of melted chocolate. * Place the spoons in the fridge to harden. * Keep your bowl of chocolate on the pan of water to keep it liquid. Switch the heat source off though you don't want the chocolate to get to hot. * Make a truffle base by mixing 6 spoons of melted chocolate with 2 spoons of creme fraiche (for truffle you normally use double cream but I really like the freshness of creme fraiche in the summer) * Mix it together and now comes the fun part you can flavour your truffle mix with whatever you fancy, little bit of espresso or maybe a pinch of chili, a dust of cinnamon or maybe a splash of your favourite liqueur? What ever you want just add it to the base now. * I like using sandwich bags as disposable piping bags, cheap and no cleaning up mess. Fill one corner of your bag twist it close and cut of a corner to create the piping opening. * Take your spoons out of the fridge and pipe on a layer of truffle. * Top with melted chocolate until completely covered and set in the fridge for an hour. * When the chocolate is hard, push the spoons out of the mould and hey presto homemade chocolates!