As the weather changes and it gets cooler you can’t help but only want things that warm you up. While hot showers may do the trick why not further the experience with some inviting bath time scents that will also warm the soul? Might I suggest Crabtree & Evelyn’s milled soap in Vetiver & Juniper? The scent is warm but seductive with sandalwood and smoked cypress while juniper berry accents and add a zing. The skin is thoroughly nourished from drier conditions as it gets colder outside too with this Autumn wonder. Shea butter, cocoa butter improves elasticity while evening primrose oil rejuvenates the skin. The vetiver and juniper berry extracts also act with toning effect and both refresh and energise the skin. The scent gives a fresh perspective to the season which sometimes can be a bit dreary. I love the luxurious lather that I can get from this bar and I’m always surprised by how gentle it is on my skin.
For a girly twist try the bar in the Pink Magnolia scent. It’s a blend of juicy pear, and delicate floral notes of pink magnolia, jasmine and osmanthus. I find it rather vibrant and a most welcomed new take on feeling refreshed after a long day. For those who like a morning zing I also suggest Verbena Lavender. While the lavender is soothing, and more of a gentle wake-up the verbena behind it certainly says: Good Morning! With a lemony-lilt that creates the energy needed to start the day.
Crabtree & Evelyn Cleansing bars are available £6-£7 each
This season sees 8 new shades of Gel Effect from Nails Inc fresh off the runway. Inspired by muted shades of Chloe, and tomato reds of Victoria Beckham, these new colours are a sure way to update your look or complete it. I’ve been rather addicted to three colours in particular that goes great with everything in my wardrobe from my navy blues to greens and even corals: ‘Uptown’ -a soft muted pink; ‘New Oxford Street’- a greyish purple; and ‘Kensington High Street’- a mulberry red.
These also go great accented by some of the Limited Edition Alexa colours, such as Alexa Leather (in black) or Alexa Lace, which has the effects of a layer of lace or leather. I love the fact that it has a high plumped shine to it that is just electric!
Get yours £14 www.nailsinc.com
Fashion Week certainly brings out the most colourful characters…I’m wondering what colour will you be wearing? More than half of us out there don’t wear colour and over a third of us stick to dark colours. Challenge this, and dare to wear colour this season and be absolutely confident about it- with Dove’s new Invisible Dry. Don’t be a shrinking violet and wear only black or dark colours because you think no one can see any unsightly white streaks under your arms. Go wild with reds, yellows, blues, greens…the possibilities are endless with this little bottle of confidence boost! I’ve tested it on navy blues, pinks, forest green, white, black…..and I’m mighty pleased with the results as there are no white marks, and it keeps up with me while I’m running around town throughout the day.
(Now compressed and compact in size, perfect for the handbag or to take anywhere!) £3.79 at www.boots.com
Eye Spy Says: When I shop for the season I cherry pick and select only a few pieces within a shortlist of brands. These pieces have to be deemed ‘worthy of investment’ and also have the ability to be classic (be worn again) while also pop-out when you wear them that they are in fact, ‘current season’. So far here’s what my little eye has spied….
This AW’14 Bimba & Lola has snake prints and unicorn prints. I’m more partial to the unicorn prints than the snake prints, and I’m loving at the moment this black dress with the cute white collar. (£210)
Finally, the violet printed dress is reminiscent of folklore style that is always handy to have for any party as it always looks pretty (£109)
For more pieces & full collection visit www.bimbaylola.com
This season I’ve already had a head start in the accessories department mid-August with the accessories at Carven. My first proud investment of the season was the stud clutch bag in chlorophyll green. (It was an early birthday present to myself) You can only imagine my excitement of receiving the beautifully wrapped & ribbon package from Monnier Freres! Monnier Freres has got the most incredible selection online by the way. The stud bags come in red, black, and in other sizes and styles too. The stud closure makes such a huge statement in the most subtle way. Get yours stud clutch bag starting at £320 other bags up to £620 at www.monnierfreres.co.uk
The second naughty purchase came from my first fashion fever after the Carven Stud Clutch from Monnierfreres. It made me then look for the matching belt. When it arrived on my desk, I couldn’t wait to get it open…..simply divine and delicious. I’ve already worn it tons of times with dresses, and coats……£165 www.carven.fr
This season you will see much leopard print on Kate’s scene, but not just in the traditional tan colour but a full colour palette from pinks to greys and other colours. The most striking is probably pieces in the electric blue that could give any wardrobe a fun jolt. Other highlights of the collection include the theme of cages and birdies in the form of earrings and handbags. I’m highlighting the earrings on my list of must-haves! Kate Spade has also launched their newest campaign of TOKYO as their next destination and there are some rather cute and whimsical items such as the Lucky Cat cross-body bag, and eye popping yellow coat too. Catch Kate’s new Collection in store at Covent Gardens, Westfield London, or Pavilion Road (Sloane Square) or at www.katespade.com
Beauty Says: This month’s Dolly Mix will be full of surprises and the latest updates from Fashion Week! Be sure to come back through the month to check for news straight off the run way!
HEMA is not usually the place where you would think of buying beauty products, but they do have some little goodies that can help you instantly create looks from this AW’14 runway. Best of all it won’t break the bank!
As AW’14 key colour is blue in any shade match outfits with moody blue hues. HEMA’s got some great pieces in nail polish, and eye pencils. Pale pinks are also in this season so be sure to go understated with pale make-up for these outfits. The pale and interesting look is a sure hit. Last but not least baby doll eyes are the best for any outfit, as they are classic truly sensational!
Get your HEMA pieces at http://gb.hemashop.com/en/stores
It’s finally here! The A/W/14 capsule collection of shoes for Orla Kiely & Clarks made its debut just this past weekend. With much success for the first shoe collection last season, this season of Orla shoes once again encapsulates the ‘Queen of Prints’ quirky 1960 style and Clarks’ synonymous craftsmanship once again. There are many heights to choose from in this collection as there are low-heeled Dora styles- a slipper loafter, to a mid-heeled Dorothy- a Mary-Jane.
My favourite is the Daphne Chelsea boot in deep rich red perfect for brightening up and completing my navy blue outfits. ( I got in as soon as they were loaded online to get my pair.) These shoes are not to be missed as with all Orla Kiely pieces they never outdate in any wardrobe and can be worn again and again for years to come- a most worthy investment, but step up quickly ladies as with all of Orla’s pieces they are going to go quickly. This is one limited edition collection you don’t want to miss out on. Shoes start from £110 a pair at http://www.clarks.co.uk/c/womens-orla-kiely and http://www.orlakiely.com/uk.cfm/accessories/shoes/overview
Beauty Says: The need to conceal with concealer can be a bit of an irony when too often concealer is seen and not so much incognito….not to mention unsightly blemishes that can become more prominent- when the point was that they should be unnoticed. There is a trade secret though in this department: Amazing Concealer. Amazing Concealer is a full coverage, water-proof concealer that can hide anything from dark circles to blemishes for the most natural look. What I love about it is that it is a highly pigmented formula that feels weightless when you wear it. You hardly notice it’s there.
My main problem when it comes to concealer application is that I face oily eye lids. The point of course of applying concealer to this area is to keep the eye make-up on, but it is inevitable that instead of keeping my eye make-up on it seems to make it slide further into the hours of the afternoon. The first time I used the Amazing Concealers I couldn’t believe my eyes as my eye make-up stayed put all day long. What was even more extraordinary was that the colour match is so perfect it can only be described as seamless. For blemishes or any other imperfections like broken capillaries think of it as a magic eraser for the face. The secret is in the high pigmented formula that is richly concentrated.
My top tip with this product is in the application. As it is so rich and thick only pin point amounts are needed per application. Dot the concealer in the area that you want to apply it to with a concealing brush and then use your fingers to pat into the skin. Patting it in, with just your fingers, is the best method of application as it magically disappears, and the area is concealed. There is a perfect shade for everyone and anyone with 20 shades to choose from. (You may have to mix two shades to get your exact match.) This product is magical so refrain yourself from over excitement or saying too many times: ‘It’s AMAZING!’ Yes I know it is…..I told you so myself about the true art of concealing with this ‘Amazing Concealer’…truly the best I have ever used. It is the ‘hat trick’ in a tube! Get yours only at M&S, 15ml £29.50 www.marksandspencer.com
Beauty Says: Pollution is enemy number one in a congested city likeLondon. This is also true of it being skin’s arch enemy-causing pre-mature aging, blemishes, and unhealthy looking surfaces. Make-up doesn’t help the situation as it can clog pores in the mix and if we don’t cleanse right skin goes down a bit of a downward spiral. This season I’ve got a few suggestions to getting it just right through gentle cleansing…
La Roche-Posay: Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser
A while back I told of my obsession with a little tube of miracle called Effaclar Duo by La Roche-Posay. To my delight at a recent Christmas in July event I’ve spotted a full Anti-Blemish set due to come out for the Christmas season. This set includes a purifying gel cleanser, a tube of Effaclar Duo, and a clarifying toner! It certainly got my suspicions going and so I went to find and try the purifying gel cleanser.
La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Purifying Gel Cleanser is incredibly gentle. It contains zinc pidolate, an ingredient that reduces excess sebum. Also containing thermal spring water it has the ability to cool and calm the skin. I’ve found that by using this cleanser there is no need to exfoliate. I can tell you that it is a little bottle of ‘guarantee’ that there will be no signs of blemishes. The suds that form are soft and gentle while there is no soap, parabens, nor oil in the product. It is also non-comedogenic or not pore clogging. I’ve tried and tested it alongside my clarisonic mio and love that extra deep clean feeling. The skin is left moisturised and well-balanced-not tight or dry-which is a key indication that this is a top and most fabulous foam cleanser.
Give it a try……as great skin comes from great cleansing! £11, purifying gel cleanser, £32.50 Anti-Blemish Trio at www.boots.com
La Prairie Cellular Mineral Face Exfoliator
You could not imagine my excitement to discover that La PrairieSwitzerlandhad come out with a new face exfoliator. Their new Mineral Face Exfoliator not only helps the skin to absorb the benefits of other treatments but it is also a gentle solubilising system that can dissolve make-up and preserve the skin’s lipid content- which means it can keep it soft! At first I was not sure about the mineral particles in this product as they seemed a bit chunky or big. However, having said that once on the skin they do melt and give it the most vigorous (while still be gentle) scrub. The idea behind having the minerals is that they are enriched with iron-rich hematite, tourmaline which can not only slough off dead skin but encourage an incredible vital glow. There is also rose centifolia (the 100 petal rose) that provides a veil of moisture. I’ve found that due to the rose centifolia my skin has had a rosy blush about it that is essential to natural beauty. The product smells divine, and you can see a slight iridescent sheen through it. The skin feels well balanced, and deeply hydrated after use. My top tip is to use a toner following this product, as for some skin types it can feel a bit oily as it is rich. Another tip is to use this in small amounts and do not over do it- use only maximum twice a week.
The most beautiful rose popping up this Autumn for Fashion Week! £86, 100ml www.harrods.com
Finally those who like the most gentle cleanse and those with sensitive skin will truly appreciate the power of Sensibio H2O. This micellular solution has the strength of even removing water-proof make-up and yet be gentle enough for sensitive skin types. It’s great for removing eye make-up and take with you where there is no water (such as festival or road trips). The cleanser is a 3-in-1 and no toner is necessary afterwards. Simply, pop onto cotton wool and wipe away any grime and dirt. I especially took to this product because with others I don’t like that slight sticky residue that is left behind-with this there is none! It comes in little baby bottles for the handbag or for travels and in large pump sizes as well for the home. I have another girlfriend who swears by it as her desert island product. It leaves the skin refreshed and healthy looking….no wonder every 6 seconds there is a bottle sold in the world. Get yours now £4.50-£18.50 at www.escentual.com
Beauty Says: As September comes about inLondon so does London Fashion Week. The ‘SUPER’ models of the runaway are much admired and emulated by fashionistas, but what does one really wear to look like a supermodel? I remember once reading a fashion feature in VOGUE or Harpers and a supermodel (along the lines of Claudia or Cindy) talking about living out of basic essentials. Yes you heard it right ladies- essentials. Not quite t-shirts, but just plain neutral basic pieces- skirts, tops, and throwing suit jackets and accessorizing with jewellery to create: glamorous looks.
My top tip this autumn, as part of my Fashion Week Stories, is Wolford AG-creator of the most elegant wardrobe essentials. Wolford crafts the highest quality every day pieces not to be compared to the likes of an American Apparel, orCOS. This Austrian brand originally championed (and still does) in hosiery, and in the 1990s became well known for their everyday essential wear. I swear by the quality of their pieces- they wash incredibly well, nor never fade. This is why I advise that you overlook their price points.
Each season Wolford will launch the season’s trend fashion colours in some of their classical styles and also in new or one-off designs. They now also create collections that are seamless, and pieces that give shape or control. I find the body suits best for wearing with skirts as you never have to worry about tops or shirts slipping out of skirts and having to tuck in them again discreetly. Here are my top classic Wolford choices for newbies to the brand:
Rosana Body: Great for wearing with skirts and creates that beautiful ballerina feel or look, not to mention the feminine touch of the pussy bow that you can leave hanging loose or tie up. Comes in many colours, but my favourite so far is this rose colour. Divine with autumn’s palette to match with forest greens, or chocolate browns.
Fatal Dress: Wear this if you dare....perfect from the office-simply throw a suit jacket on top for super office style.....take the jacket off at night, and be instantly transformed and ready for cocktail or party. It is the heaven item to have on business trips....but be careful, as it could be fatal!
3 Classic Must Haves: Como Shirt, Cordoba Pullvoer, Lisbon String (left to right in photos): These three are my top picks if you have never worn Wolford before. You just can’t go wrong with any of these 3 styles. They come in a variety of colours from reds to blues, black/white, and chocolate brown, and grey. What is incredibly sweet about them is the neckline, as gives your outfits that ‘Grace Kelly’ effect. Wear with skirts, or even just jeans and throw on a blazer jacket + heels and it’s instantly the hottest outfit sans the drama. Again for those who want that seamless look with most security go for a body suit cut like Lisbon String.
Lana Skirt: This skirt is the highlight of Wolford’s collection this season. When I saw it in the shop, I thought: Must Have! The high waist band makes this skirt complimentary, and creates beautiful silhouettes. Wear it belted, and add boots or heels. Although I’m rather partial to wearing it with flats as well to recreate that Audrey Hepburn style too. It comes in orange, and khaki like green ready to give some drop kick and punch to your working wardrobe.
Wolford’s Tights Highlights: Of course, many of you may be reading this and looking at the photos, and perhaps not brave enough to wear the ready to wear collection because you may feel it is a bit too skin tight for your liking. Still, you want a bit of Wolford in your fashion. Well, for those not ready to take that bold step might I suggest the ZIP TIGHTS & the FELICITAS TIGHTS. For that bad girl on trend, the zip tights are perfect as they look like zippers ready to be unzipped at the back of the legs…adding a uber rock’n roll feel to any outfit. While the Felicitas style are more for those who like to add a girly touch to their outfit. So sweet, like ballerina ribbons have been tied just around your foot and perfect to show off in any shoe.
Visit www.wolfordshop.co.uk for all the pieces or my favourite official Wolford shop in London on Kings Road. (Prices as follows: Como £89, Cordoba Pullover £105, Lisbon String £109, Lana Skirt £225, Zip Tights £62, Felicitas Tights £35)
Beauty Says: From a young age, I have been a ‘picky pumpkin eater’ in the department of sweaters. Today, my pet peeve is still concern of whether a sweater will itch or scratch, hence I only tend to wear cashmere. This season, Jaeger has the most exciting news for sweaters in their Gostwyck Collection: a merino wool that has the ability to feel like silky cashmere and is claimed to come from only ‘Happy Sheep’.
Gostwyck is an Austrailian wool Farm that is family run and owned and has largely been unchanged for over 150 years. Since 1854, the family has made sure that all they do with the sheep and the wool produced is environmentally sustainable; and that the sheep’s happiness is at the core of every decision made to the business. Over 3000 sheep are carefully selected, bred and cared for from ewe’s in pregnancy being watched over and lambs being bottled fed if need be. The painstaking care that is taken to the sheep and lambs is shown through the softness and strength of the fleece produced. When the sheep are sheared, the fleece is bound for Hong Kong where it is made into sweaters that then is reshipped to every Jaeger in the UK for me and you to enjoy.
Watch the video below and meet these truly ‘Happy Sheep’ below:
I find Jaeger’s Gostwyck story not just another fashion story, but also one with deep fashion conscience. Remaining to be one of my top and favourite brands of all time I’ll be investing a few key Gostwyck pieces this season. I’m leaning towards the contrast cuff sweater in Winter Berry, and also a turtleneck sweater in true blue (both £99).
So now that ewe know all about Jaeger’s new Gostwyck Collection you’d better herd down in a hurry to get your hands on this season’s most exclusive and extraordinary sweater collection: www.jaeger.co.uk
Beauty Says: My most recent fashion obsession has been the house of Carven. I’ve been keeping a rather close eye on this brand as it has both the tradition and new edge attitude that I like wearing. Also, the brand prices their pieces rather moderately compared to other couture brands.
For those of you who don’t know, Carven was born after the Second World War in 1945 by the names: Carmen + Boyriven. They came to fame through the success of a mythical dress in green & white stripes. Also having had a children line, they are also known for their fragrance Ma Giffe. In 2009, this fashion house, in Paris, was resurrected by Guillaume Henry. Barely in his thirties, has he brought a breath of fresh air to the lines by giving homage to its haute couture while introducing new silhouettes and maintaining moderate price points.
This AW’14 season, Henry has given homage to the Dadaists and brought an energetic revolution, if you like, to your wardrobe. The Dadaists were an art movement in the early twentieth century, and claimed to have started in Zurich in 1916. Some claim that its height was in fact, in New York City before 1915. Nonetheless, the Dadaists were born out of the negative horrors of World War I, and the idea was to reject reason, logic, and to prize nonsense, irrationality and intuition. Some say they called themselves Dadaists from Da-Da meaning ‘Yes’, while others says it was all made up nonsense and gibberish.
You can see much of the Dadaist influence throughout Carven’s AW Collection-especially in the Dada Prints for the blouses and dresses, the glittery arrows printed on dresses and shirts, and the nail + chain embellishments on accessories-handbags and belts. I’ve already caught the ‘Da Da’ fever by investing in a clutch and a belt, and on a waiting list to get the da da printed pieces. If you invest this season, you will get full seals of approval with this sure win, and YES! From Carven’s AW’14 Collection.
Collection Available to view and buy www.carven.fr
Snob Says: Autumn is my favourite season of the year as something magical happens with everything and not just the weather change. There seems to be some kind of rebirth in all things. For Beauty its Fashion Week but for me it’s in the food. As it gets colder and darker we look for comfort foods and meals that will fulfil us and give us that emblem or glow inside. I’ve just discovered the latest food secret to share with you: Paul’s Bakery in Covent Garden has just launched their first French restaurant.
The restaurant is not what you typically think of when you think of (‘Oooo Lah-Lah’) French cuisine. There is no a candle light or fancy cushioned chair, nor are there things on the menu you can’t pronounce and when it arrive you wished you ordered more. Instead, portions are generous, seating is casual (more like a bistro), and there’s an authentic honesty behind the food and atmosphere.
There are, of course, dishes you would typically classify as French- onion soup, country-side pate, tuna salad for starters. I recommend the Charuterie to share between 2 or 3 people as it has the tastiest nibbles to get appetites going: saucisson, cured ham pieces, smoked duck breast, pickled onions and mini pickles, a terrine, and bread. The heart of what Paul’s does is in their main courses or Regional dishes. I opted for Blanquette de Veau a L’Ancienne. What I particularly took to was the tender morsels of veal covered in a creamy blanket of white sauce. The sweet tender vegetables (carrots, celery & pearl onions) added just the right balance and softly hummed in the back of my palette. I found also a miniature thrill of finding the odd grilled field mushroom among this pot of treasure.
The others at my table opted for Confit de Canard (or duck), and the Demi Poulet au Grain Roti a l’Estragon (or roasted chicken). I must point out that both of these were roasted to perfection (falling off the bone) and the chicken is a corn fed chicken and not your regular supermarket selection. From this, you can tell that Paul’s selection of produce is key in what they are presenting in a restaurant. Even after my meal, and on my way back from the lavatories, I eyed other dishes that guests had ordered at other tables. One that caught my eye was the beautiful red roasted Tomate Farcie- a roasted stuffed tomato with Toulouse sausage, grilled vegetables and rice on a bed of rocket & dressing. I paced myself through this meal as it was rather filling, but had just enough room for a small dessert- Café Gourmand for 1: a coffee served with 3 mini macarons. A highlight in the dessert department (and a must order) is the Brioche Perdue. Choose between apricot coulis or warm chocolat sauce….we had both!
As all the other writers were saying good-bye and exchanging contact information, it dawned on me the effect that Chez Paul had on all of us who sat down as strangers. That in effect, Paul’s meal had given us the warmest embrace, and allowed us all to share this meal as if we’d known each other forever as friends, neigbours, or kin if you like; And in that Paul’s restaurant is extraordinary and this Autumn’s must go to for that hug that will keep you warm.
No reservations, just walk-ins Paul’s Restaurant: 29 Bedford Street, Covent Gardens, 0207 836 3304. www.paul-uk.com
The Shed, a stylish local restaurant in Notting Hill, is featuring fantastic atmosphere as well their very own home grown bacon as part of their Bruch menu. Enjoy cocktails, live music, and a rustic summer terrace to relax with family and friends. The bacon is extraordinary as The Shed rears their very own pigs at their farm in Nurbourne, West Sussex, and Head Chef Oliver Gladwin will be curing the British bacon right on site!
You will certainly be tasting the difference as the pigs are a cross breed of traditional Gloucester Old Spot with Tamworth- this gives the meat extra flavour and tenderness. There are many beautiful bacon dishes to choose from such as potato rosti with spinach and egg, bacon mallard breast served with corn fritter and poached egg with broad bean, and peas and bacon ragu. I’m rather excited about the Bloody Mary’s which have special herbs and The Shed’s very own green tomato vodka.
Those who like a piece of the country life will truly love The Shed as the founders, the Gladwin brothers offer a piece of the rural lifestyle back in Nurbourne, West Sussex. With their own
livestock, and own recipes they bring back the best of British cuisine.
The Shed Brunch – Every Saturday from 12pm to 4pm
122 Palace Gardens Terrace
Tel: 020 7229 4024
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