31 August 2013

Fashion Cosmetics Uncovered

If you read my Fashion Cosmetics 'Rock Chick' Body Butter Review, you will already be aware that you need to try Fashion Cosmetics' products or you are missing out (big time)!

If you didn't read my review, read it now! Then read on for my exclusive interview with the founder and my esteemed colleague - Mr Paul Butler.

Paul built Fashion Cosmetics on his own; he works hard, he's determined and he's a true inspiration to other entrepreneurs out there looking to grow their businesses.

Let's see what he has to say for himself, shall we?

Me: First things first, can you tell me what Fashion Cosmetics is, in your own words?

Paul: Fashion Cosmetics is timeless natural cosmetics in a new contemporary way. It's about expressing yourself, a look, a moment in time that defines you. Match that with your cosmetics, love your skin and smell the way you feel. Fashion Cosmetics are vegan friendly, cruelty and nut free cosmetics with no SLS or Parabens made the natural way - with love and skill. Bathe and cover yourself in nature's finest ingredients and our perfume couture to eradiate your personality, your style and just you with fashion cosmetics. I believe every person should feel good about themselves, like themselves and be pampered with cosmetics which match your personality and style.

Me: When did you launch the company?

Paul: Fashion Cosmetics was launched throughout February, as a concept. That concept has now become a reality. I have been designing the cosmetic products since March 2009 and wanted to design products that were suitable for the most sensitive of skin. My products achieved certification throughout 2012 then I moved onto creating my vision for the packaging.

Me: Why did you start the company?                   Paul: I started the company as I have been inspired by how the UK has been transformed into one of the top culinary countries through Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey and Heston Blumenthal. I wanted a challenge to create cosmetics which had the same passion, skill and love of ingredients.

Me: What is your personal background?

Paul: My work background is computer science where I developed complex algorithms to retrieve data from databases at the fastest possible speeds. I was contracted to the Ministry Of Defence to develop the email system that they use to securely send sensitive information or military commands. I have always been a designer that breaks the rules, but I also am a naturally gifted cook.

Me: What makes you different from other beauty brands on the market at the moment?

Paul: I have taken cosmetic making back to basics, using skill instead of science to combine water and emollient oils in the most natural way. In some ways my products are old fashioned, but they do take a huge amount of skill to make. The packaging adds a contemporary twist to move away from the standard eco fair of Green and Brown. We want to invest in being the best and really being the choice of people in the entertainment industry rather than paying them. Our business is about teaching skill in cosmetic making, offering apprenticeship and valuing the people who work for us and our customers.

Me: How did you come up with the name for the brand?

Paul: I had many complex ideas about naming, but it really came back to basics; everything we design is about a memory, a moment in time or a look so it really is closely allied to fashion. I love stylish people and fashion as it is all about making the best out of what nature has given you. So it just came to me one day that it should be Fashion Cosmetics.

Me: Who is the typical Fashion Cosmetics consumer?

Paul: Mainly ladies at the moment who love style, perfume and are very conscious of what they put on their skin. I really do have a cross section from eco aware people to those who like kitsch styling. But I would say most of my consumers are very aware of how they dress and like to feel good.

Me: How would you describe your personal style?

Paul: I am scruffy chic! I love jeans with hand ripped holes, vans on my feet, vintage t-shirts, hats and probably would like to get some glasses with blank lenses as they kind of suit me. I am pretty conservative with my hair, but will never rule out a bright colour or something random in the future.

Me: What are your short and long term goals for Fashion Cosmetics?

Paul: My short term goal is to start building a business with people who care and are passionate. It's a lonely journey creating something different so I'm looking forward to working with more talented people. My long term goal is to completely change how the cosmetics industry relates to its customers, remove the smoke screens and make natural products available at an affordable price with that added twist of style.

Me: Finally, if you could have 3 wishes right now, what would they be?

Paul: The first one would be to start offering apprenticeships to talented and passionate people in the UK. Then see prosperity and positivity return to the UK for those who want to work and make a difference. And a personal one - adopt a cat who needs a loving home and hasn't had the best start in the world.

There's so much competition in the beauty market at the moment; but I truly believe - with Paul's vision, determination and values, combined with the outstanding products - Fashion Cosmetics is going to be a huge success.

(Try Fashion Cosmetics now! You can shop on their website - www.fashioncosmetics.co.uk - you won't regret it! Also check out their Facebook page here, or their Instagram and Twitter @FashCosmeticsUK. Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

29 August 2013

V Festival Style

Hi, everyone!

Just a quickie to show you my V Festival fashion!

My sister and I went to the Weston Park site in Stafford the weekend before last. As I had only just come back from my holiday a few days previously (holiday outfits post soon to come), I was still tanned which made the outfit look even more summery!

I decided to go for the traditional festival look consisting of denim shorts and wellies. When it comes to festival fashion, you have to think of practicality as well as fashionability - because you're outside all day in all weathers - therefore a dress or skirt is a no-no!

Layering is also key.

I wore my high-waisted denim shorts, island-print crop top with black bandeau underneath, black opaque tights, tan belt and zebra-print wellies.

Then I used accessories to create more of a hippy vibe; I borrowed my sister's sunflower headband and layered up multi-coloured, friendship-style bracelets.

The final touch was to sling on a comfy, cosy knit in the form of this black, grey, cream and neon pink striped cardigan, to battle those chilly winds. 

Personally, I think the best festival fashion are the looks that seem really last minute and thrown-together, which is what I was aiming for with my outfit.

Island-Print Crop Top - Topshop
Black Bandeau (Hidden) - New Look
High-Waisted Denim Shorts - Topshop
Stripy Cardigan - Topshop
Tan Belt - Topshop
Black Opaque Tights - M&S
Zebra-Print Wellies - Vintage
Tan Satchel Bag - H! By Henry Holland at Debenhams

I had a great day overall! I saw 5ive (guilty pleasure), Everything Everything, a bit of McFly, Rudimental, Emeli Sande, Stereophonics and Kings of Leon (the main event).

Fun times!

(What do you think to my V Festival outfit? What would you wear? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

25 August 2013

Fashion Cosmetics 'Rock Chick' Product Review

You're going to hear me harp on about Fashion Cosmetics a lot from now on.

Fashion Cosmetics, for those who don't know, is a beauty brand that specialises in timeless natural cosmetics but in a new contemporary way. They have a core range that focusses on seven product types for seven different types of girl, which uses perfumery to match their individual personality, mood and style, meaning that everyone can relate to at least one product type.

They also have a retro and vintage cosmetics range, which uses truly unique fragrancing to take you to a specific place or moment in time from the past. For example, the fragrance of the Space Invaders product type will take you back to playing video games in the arcade as a kid.

It really is quite clever.

The founder of Fashion Cosmetics was kind enough to send me a sample product, the 'Rock Chick' Body Butter from the core range, to review for my blog.

According to the website, 'Rock Chick' is for the alternative girl - deep thinking on the inside but has a unique edge on fashion. It is a young, bright fragrance with the sweet combination of vanilla and mango, balanced with the exotic jasmin flower.

Before I tried out the product, I read this description on the website - along with the two other product types of the core range, as the other four are still in development - and decided I fit Rock Chick down to a T.

However, I wanted to see whether the product lived up to my - already high - expectations.

The packaging is simplistic, and yet makes a statement, with the 'Rock Chick' graphic on the front of a woman playing a guitar. It stands out amongst the other beauty products on my bathroom shelf, for all of the right reasons. Then the silver tin gives it more of a premium feel, even though the RRP stands at a reasonable £12.99.

Another plus is that all of the ingredients used to make the product are organic, according to the information on the back of the tin.

I opened the lid and saw the light yellow wavy-looking butter filled right to the top, and my first thought was 'this is going to last a long time'!

I then sniffed it. I was sold on the first sniff. It smells absolutely divine. 

Applying the product was easy, as the texture was creamier than I was expecting. You only need a 5p amount on your hand and the butter will spread all over one leg.

After one application, my legs were noticeably shinier (I tried to take a photo but the sheen is only visible on my knees in the photo). They were also smoother.

As someone who suffers from incredibly dry skin, particularly on the bottom of my legs, I was concerned that 'Rock Chick' Body Butter wouldn't get the job done of actually moisturising the skin. Oh, how I was wrong. My skin was softer for a lot longer than some of the body butters that I have used in the past, but it would need topping up after a couple of days (I know you're supposed to moisturise daily but this is if you're feeling lazy and indulging in a one-off application).

The only thing I would say is that, if you accidentally put too much product on your fingers to start with, there might be excess on your skin and it will take a while to sink in.

But, at £12.99, it's great value for money and you do get 50 grams worth of body butter so it will last a long time. I'd pay it just for the smell, to be honest!

To sum up, I love Fashion Cosmetics as a brand and I love it even more as a product.

(There will be more about Fashion Cosmetics in upcoming blog posts but, in the mean time, feel free to visit their website at www.fashioncosmetics.co.uk, their Facebook page here, or their Instagram and Twitter @FashCosmeticsUK. Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)

15 August 2013

Get the Look: Girls

Has anyone else been watching ‘Girls’? I love it.

For those who don’t know, ‘Girls’ is the hit US comedy with two series that have already been aired in the UK and the third currently in production. The show has four wonderfully diverse, yet fashionable in their own way, main characters – so I thought I’d do another ‘get the look’ post, this time focussing on ‘Girls’.

You’ve probably at least heard about ‘Girls’ from large amount of media attention that the show has received; it’s a quirky comedy-drama written and created by Lena Dunham, who plays main protagonist Hannah. The show focusses on four twenty-somethings living in New York City, therefore has naturally been compared to Sex and The City; however it differs from Sex and the City in the sense that it feels more true-to-life and relatable. For example, the first few episodes tell the story of how Hannah struggles to find a job and make ends meet after graduating university, having to initially work for free as an Intern to build up her experience. There are so many graduates in the current economic climate having the exact same problems. Also the characters aren’t wearing big designer labels, with a shoe cupboard full of Manolo Blahniks - like Carrie in Sex and the City - as this just isn’t feasible with their low disposable incomes. However, they still manage to look stylish on a budget.

Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham)

Hannah is admirable for fully embracing her size 16 figure when it comes to outfit and style choices. She tends to wear colourful, printed dresses – or a top and skirt – layered with a slouchy cardigan or jacket. Her style is laid-back and thrown-together, and extremely representative of what real twenty-somethings wear around the world today.

Marnie Michaels (Allison Williams)

Marnie is Hannah’s best friend, and roommate in the first series, who tends to epitomise New York City style through her outfits. She is sensible, prim and proper, always looks polished and tends to dress to the ‘smart casual’ mentality - choosing a structured dress or playsuit and heels over casual, comfortable alternatives.

Jessa Johansson (Jemima Kirke)

Jessa is British and feisty. She is one of Hannah and Marnie’s closest friends who has just come back from travelling the world, and her wardrobe reflects this. A lot of global cultural influences can be seen in her outfit choices, through floaty maxi dresses, kimono prints and tribal jewellery. Her style just screams bohemian chic.

Shoshanna Shapiro (Zosia Mamet)

Shoshanna is Jessa’s cousin and roommate in the first series. She is the youngest in the group and this initially comes across in her outfits; her style is very innocent, feminine and playful. She uses colour blocking and girly touches to add an element of fun to her outfits, through teaming a printed top with a lego coloured skirt, or vice versa, then accessorising with clashing belts and handbags.

‘Girls’ is definitely worth watching, for the individualistic fashion if nothing else! It’s interesting to see how each character expresses their personality and essence through their outfit choices. It’s charming, fascinating and – above all else – authentic! I can’t wait for the third series!

(Who's your favourite 'Girls' character in terms of style? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)


8 August 2013

60's Polkadots

Hello, everyone!

I'm actually on holiday at the moment, but I scheduled in these posts before I left to keep you occupied whilst I'm away.

I just wanted to show you how you can take a wintry dress and revamp it for the summer season.

I originally bought this dress from Topshop last Autumn/Winter, and started dressing it up for nights out over Christmas with black tights, shoe boots, a waist belt and gothic jewellery. Then, when trying to find an outfit the other weekend to wear on a night out with my sister and friends, I dug this dress out from the crevices of my wardrobe and decided to use it to create a fun, summer look.

Polkadots are still very much on trend for Spring/Summer 13, but originally from the 50's/60's era, so I wanted to create an outfit with a retro edge in line with the theme of the dress.

Polkadot Dress - Topshop
Gold Wedges - New Look
Daisy Necklace - Topshop
White Bag - Vintage

The weather was warm so I had bare legs with gold strappy wedges. I also complimented the dress with gold jewellery -in particular the daisy necklace - to add a cool, hippy vibe to the outfit.

I then styled my hair into a 60's beehive and used dramatic liquid eyeliner to make a cat-eye effect, in order to co-ordinate the beauty aspect of my look with the fashion aspect.

The final touch was a vintage quilted white bag with gold chain strap, reminiscent of one of Coco Chanel's original creations.

I was initially worried that the colour of the dress was too autumnal and would affect the summery effect of the look. However, I was actually quite pleased with how it turned out! The colour palette was significantly lightened by the white and gold accessories, which made the outfit more likely to work rather than fail.

I love summer fashion!

(What do you think, do you like my summer revamp of this dress? Thanks for reading! Katie-xo)


1 August 2013

Crazy for Cara Delevingne's Eyebrows!

I have a bit of a girl crush on British model Cara Delevingne (doesn't everyone?)! She was recently called ‘The Face’ of the Autumn/Winter 2013 season by Vogue, with divine eyebrows which are lusted after by the beauty-savvy all around the world.

This year, Cara modelled for some of the biggest designer names at London Fashion Week - such as Moschino, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Stella McCartney and Chanel. She also starred in advertising campaigns for luxury brands Burberry, Chanel and DKNY. This has led to her being tipped as the next Kate Moss to take the fashion world by storm – and she’s only 20 years old!

There is no doubt that she has been blessed with good looks, including those eyebrows, but what are her beauty secrets?

1. Let your eyebrows grow.

In an interview published by Look magazine, Cara claimed that she never touches her eyebrows, apart from ‘the bit in the middle’. She doesn’t wax or thread them, which is why they look so thick and luscious.

2. Invest in a good tweezer.

Use ‘Tweezerman for Benefit Slant Tweezer’ (£19.50) to pluck stray hairs underneath your eyebrows, as well as ‘the bit in the middle’, but don’t use your tweezer to define your brows. Be natural, like Cara!

3. Keep eyebrows in check using brow gel.

Cara also revealed in her interview for Look that she uses ‘Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel’ (£16.50) to define the shape of her brows and dye them darker than her natural hair colour. This is her must-have product, therefore invest in this to achieve the look!

4. Define your eyelashes, as well as your brows.

Even though her eyebrows draw attention when you look at Cara, she uses ‘Chanel Sublime de Chanel Infinite Length and Curl Mascara’ (£23.00) for volume, shape and definition on her lashes in order to bring out her eyes as well.

5. Draw attention to your lips.

To balance the aesthetic of her face and highlight her lips, Cara wears lipglosses like ‘Burberry Lip Glow in Rosewood’ (£18.50). She says it comes with her everywhere, like a trusty lip product should.

6. Buy a Tangle Teezer.

As well as fascinating eyebrows, Cara also has envious locks. She never goes anywhere without her Tangle Teezer (£11.20) which explains why she’s always photographed with perfect hair!

7. Moisturise at every opportunity.

Cara swears by face cream to hydrate her skin after the number of times that make-up is applied, taken off and then re-applied during fashion week. She uses Live Live Bee Yummy Skin Food as it’s ‘amazing and totally organic’ (£76.03) – it might be expensive but it’s worth it, according to Cara!

8. Use skin wipes to take off your make-up.

Cara uses ‘Simple Cleansing Wipes’ (£3.19) to take off her mascara, lipgloss and brow gel, amongst other make-up products, to let her skin breathe at night. At such a bargain price, there is no reason not to do the same; this will avoid any oil build-ups which can result in spots and blemishes.

Who would have thought that the secret behind how to get eyebrows like Cara Delevingne revolves around one product - in the form of ‘Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel’? It just proves that investing in a few key beauty products, and getting into a routine with them, is the easiest way to get celebrity style and look as fabulous as they do on a daily basis.

(Do you love Cara too? What are your beauty secrets? Until next time... Katie-xo)
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