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Thursday, 22 May 2014 14:51

Colourful Summer Look

Written by
Hello Lovilies!

So, last Friday I was lucky enough to work with the incredible London based photographer Zoe Michelle on a colourful shoot. I worked my magic brushes on two lovely models, Alisa in the morning and Larelle in the afternoon. The concept was 'Colourful'.

Various outfits had already been chosen by the models and Larelle's personal stylist and business partner Joelle for the afternoon shoot. They were bright, colourful and powerful. I needed to create a make-up look to fit in with all designs each model would wear as shooting an editorial outside on location at London's Southbank on a busy sunny day would be too hard to keep changing the make-up look.

So I went ahead and created a look on both girls that complemented the outfits. Quick lip colour changes were done but the overall look stayed the same throughout the shoot.

I posted some behind the scenes images on my personal social media platforms and found I got a massive response from one of the looks from my followers asking how I created it.

So today I'm going to tell you all how....

To create a beautiful summer look with colours you need to work with colours that compliment each other and also your model. Look at your model's skin tone, hair colour, eye colour and look at the colour wheel.
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1, I began by using 'Myron Velvet Serum' to even out Lorelle's skin, fill in any lines or problem areas making her skin completely flawless. (not that Lorelle's skin needed filling in- her skin was flawless) but always use a primer no matter how good your skin is as it will make the make-up last longer.

2, Taking 'Myron's HUD Celebre Pro' foundation in shade ME1 and Mac 187 Duo fibre brush stipple on the product over the entire skin including eye lids. Buff the foundation into the skin using the same brush in circular movements.

Then take a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush and buff the foundation into the skin even more, I then used a Real Techniques Stippling Brush to buff and polish the skin giving it that flawless finish. Finish off areas around the nose and eyes with a beauty blender.

3, Apply 'Alaska skin base lift concealer' in shade 2 underneath the eyes and corners of the eye.

4, Fill in the eyebrows with powder if required then use 'Ingot Eyebrow wax' to set the powder and hair, comb through with a disposable mascara brush to set into place.

5, Using a 'NYX Jumbo pencil' in shade milk glide the product over the eyelid and blend with your finger.

Take the 'mehron Intense powder pigment palette' using the brush provided in the palette press on the 'yellow spark' colour across the entire eyelid up to the crease line. Blend the colour slightly above the socket with a Mac 217 blending brush.

Taking the Mac 219 pencil brush sweep the shade 'Inferno' across the socket line like a car windscreen motion and down onto the lid on the outer corner of the eye.Go back with the 217 brush and blend.

Then taking a second clean 219 pencil brush sweep shade 'Purple Heat' half way across the socket line and again onto the outer corner of the eye lid. Continue to blend or adding extra colour until you are happy with the result.

Bring the colours to underneath the eye and highlight with 'Bourjois 01 highlight' shadow underneath the brows and tear duck. Finish off with coating of 'Clinques High Impact' black mascara.

6, Using a blusher brush ask your model to pout and place 'Mehron Powder blush' in shade Tropicoral underneath the cheek bones and round to just over the temples.

Taking the 'Illamasqua Sculpting Powder Duo' shade the key areas of the face, (jawline, sides of forehead and sides of the nose) with 'Bobbi Brown' eye blending brush. Clean the brush and using the same Illamasqua palette use the highlighter and highlight above the cheek bones in a sweeping motion, the centre of the forehead, centre of the chin, down the bridge of the nose and above the top lip (cupids bow).

7, Apply 'Kryolan High Gloss' in shade Apricot to the lips.

8, We finished the look by applying ready made false nails by Sarah Wright in a ombre orange affect.

Mehron make-up can be bought from Treasure House of Make-up
Wednesday, 21 May 2014 13:17

Shoes fit for a fashionista!

Written by
A few weeks ago Chatham UK asked if we would test out a pair of there shoes. As you can imagine we were very excited as we love all thing fashion.
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We chose the on trend for summer is Soho the new baby blue suede brogue style from Chatham which is a delicate take on the brogue in sumptuous soft suede. We can confirm these shoes are incredibly comfortable and from the moment you slip them on.

Now ladies you know that as soon as you wear NEW shoes what do you get??? A BLISTER or some other discomfort somewhere on the feet and this can go on for weeks until they stretch and adjust to your feet. Well let us tell you these brogues were worn for 6 hours, no socks or tights and guess what? Not only did they turn heads and generate comments like 'Wow, those are fab!' 'Where did you get those shoes? to top it there were absolutely no blisters rubbing or other at the end of the day.

This is what you call a good pair of well-made British shoes!

Teamed with Beige skinny jeans and powder blue top but the Soho looks fab with pretty much anything you team it with weather it's jeans or dresses.
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The Soho from Chatham UK is also available in coral and beige RRP: £59 head on over to www.chatham.co.uk where you can shop till you drop.
Wednesday, 14 May 2014 17:51

Beach Babe Hair

Written by
Summer is just around the corner and so is holiday season. I love nothing more than relaxing on a beach with beautiful golden sands listening to the waves, catching some rays with a cocktail in hand. But we ladies all know how harmful the sun can be to our hair. It's a known fact that sun, sea and chlorine have damaging effects on the hair.

So whether you're off abroad, to the English coast or simply enjoying the sun in the comfort of your garden or Local Park special hair care in the summer is a must!

The Solution???

Mark Hill has brought a holiday hair care range out ideal for the summer months. His expert team have put hair through the toughest conditions to create products that are excellent for protecting the hair through the summer season along with great smelling products.

There are 7 super products in this range that come in mini size bottles ideal for overseas travelling at the check-in desk.

1, Holiday Hair Sunshine Shampoo
A luxurious shampoo to gently cleanse the hair clean keeping moisture locked in to sun stressed-out hair. £1.99
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2, Holiday Hair Sunset Smoother Aftersun Conditioner
A super affective nourishing and repair conditioner for sun-damaged hair. £1.99
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3, Holiday Hair Cover Up Protection Spray
A product to cover up/provide a barrier on the hair and scalp from the sun helping to replenish lost moisture. £5.99
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4, Holiday Hair Sun, Sea, Frizz-free Anti Humidity Spray
A simple spray to not only help protect the hair from the rays but also keeps the hair smooth, frizz free and glossy. £5.99
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5, Holiday Hair Beach to Bar Shampoo
If you don't have time to wash your hair between the day and evening out then this product will get rid of the sand, sea salt and chlorine refreshing your hair and style. £5.99
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6, Holiday Hair Beach Babe Sea Salt Wave Spray
This product instantly revamps or creates soft beach babe waves in your long locks ready for a day at the beach. £5.99
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7, Holiday Hair Summer Loving Protection Serum
This is ideal for adding extra moisture to sun-stressed hair. Use on damp hair and dry hair to define.
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Sunday, 11 May 2014 16:17

Pops of Colour using Mehron

Written by
It's no secret that this past few weeks I have been using the make-up brand Mehron from Treasure House of Make-up on a lot of my make-up jobs. I've always been a massive fan of one of the products I am going to tell you about today, but I fell in love whilst using the brand at Paris Fashion Week in March 2014 and even more in love 3 weeks back at Fashions Finest show Renaissance in Nottingham. As well as one of today's products being one of my favourite make-up products EVER their Velvet Serum Primer is now my favourite primer I have ever tried too. Every product I have told you about over the past 3 weeks has come from an honest opinion from a professional freelance make-up artist (myself) and I'll say it again... this brand won't let you down!!!

So today I have to tell you how amazing some of Mehron's eye colours are.

Intense Pro Pigment Palettes - £51.18

WOW these palettes of pigments are as the title says...INTENSE.

They come in 3 different intense palettes of pressed shadow pigments each containing 8 different colours related to the name of the palette. The shadows are matte and so strong and rich in pigment that all you need is one swipe over the palette with a flat brush and when placed on the eye or skin the colour beams straight back at you with an intense wash of colour. The texture feels velvety and to look at it looks silky and matte with a strong pop of colour. All the shades are either bright or deep and rich. I find the variety of shades Mehron have put together in these palettes in the 3 colour combinations all work together so well.

The palettes come in 3 names; EARTH – which I think is perfect colour match for creating a sophisticated look, WIND - to create an edgy look and FIRE - creates a bright look.

They are also available as single shadows ideal if you cannot afford the palettes or would like to test or use only one colour. - £7.31

Metallic Powder and Mixing Liquid – £8.68

This product is incredible! One of my all time favourite products in my kit and has been used over and over. The product is a loose pigment powder with a "molten metal" effect. Nothing like your normal loose pigment shadows, this is something different. The powder is ultra-fine and so easy to use. Can be used dry for an intense powder pigment shadow on the eyes with a metal likeness to do it or it can be mixed with a product from Mehron called 'Mixing Liquid'. Now this is where things get exciting! Have you ever seen a full body paint where the model looks like metal? Well this is the product!!

Simply mix a small amount of mixing liquid with metallic powder and by magic it creates a metallic liquid makeup. Simply apply it over the body or desired area with a brush or sponge or even pop it into an airbrush gun and watch the transformation. I absolutely love this this product! The affects you can create are endless. Whether you want boldness, beautiful, dramatic or that full on metal body paint affect this product is the one to use! Comes in 4 colours of, gold, silver, bronze and copper.

Precious Gem Powder –
Mehron's loose pigment powder comes by the name of 'Precious Gem Powder' and wow it really is a precious gem! Very strong pigmented ultra-fine powder that gives an intense affect with a small amount of product. The powders are shimmery and glittery making them idea for that night out or to create a dramatic high fashion or glamorous look. Simply apply dry with a flat brush or can be mixed with the mixing liquid for a wet application making the colour even more intense. Quick, simple and incredible results.

All of these products including the full range of Mehron Make-up can be bought in store or online at Treasure House of Make-up in Stockport. Friendly helpful staff and quick delivery. Perfect for any make-up artist or home use.

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All product can be found here via MerhonUK and Treasure House of Makeup 
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 12:37

A Fashionable Icon: Audrey Hepburn

Written by
On Sunday 4th May 2014, Audrey Hepburn would have turned 85 years old. A talented actress, keen humanitarian worker, mother and fashion icon who sadly is no longer here with us will always be remembered not only for her box office movies but for her chic, understated sense of style which has been copied by stylists, designers, artists and generally women the world over.

From her critically acclaimed portrayal of Holly Golightly in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' to her controversial role in 'My Fair Lady,' Hepburn's on-screen style has always mesmerised and delighted audiences and fashion lovers alike as her slender, athletic frame carried even the most tricky trends with ease and elegance.

With her petite, beautiful looks and chic sense of style, Hepburn differed from her other female contemporaries like the curvy Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, yet offered women another approach to stylish dressing. Her black Capri pants, short pixie fringe and cats-eyes sunglasses, established that a new icon was born in she shape of Audrey Hepburn.

Throughout her career, Hepburn remained firm friends with respected fashion designer, Hubert de Givenchy who designed some of her most iconic gowns, most notably the gorgeous dress she wore while collecting her best actress Oscar for 'Roman Holiday' in 1953. Her little black dress she wore in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' has remained a style staple for women's wardrobes and an instant option for party dressing, while the graceful hats Hepburn wore in the famous Cecil Beaton photographs have been images associated with high fashionable glamour and beauty.

Throughout her later years, Hepburn stepped back from the Hollywood spotlight and dedicated her time and effort to charity work as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, as she helped children in impoverished areas. Nevertheless, her impeccable sense of style and vast movie history has been an everlasting vision of the 60's and no doubt will continue on into the near future. Happy birthday to a fashion icon, a wonderful lady and a talent which we will never forget: Audrey Hepburn.
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Written by Hannah Last 
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 01:10

Natural Collection Body sprays.

Written by
Summer is approaching rapidly and here we are anxiously anticipating the arrival of the heat. We want tans! We want hot bodies! We want ice cream! We want Natural Collection body sprays

Honestly. We do.
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Available in all Boots stores, these light, fresh body sprays easily replace heavy perfume fragrances during the summer heat. I'm personally not a fan of overbearing scents during these months but I also feel incomplete without a pleasant whiff of something!

They come in a small plastic bottle with a spritzer spray nozzle, making a great travel companion with no breakages of beautiful bottles. My favourite fragrances include Vanilla, Mango and Papaya and I am currently making my way through the Apple and Lime which smells mouth-wateringly fruity and natural, perfect for this time of year.

It leaves the skin feeling hydrated and revitalised and keeps you uplifted throughout your day unlike the aerosol sprays which simply irritate the skin. It leaves no sticky marks unlike many body sprays I have tried in the past and did I mention the price? At an amazing £2 it is definitely affordable.

To complement the body spray, the shower gels are also a good buy. I was bought the wild strawberry body scrub and it smells so lush and as a scrub it works well. Jumping out of the shower I feel rejuvenated and my skin has become a lot smoother. However, like the spray, the smell is only truly noticeable for an hour, maybe two at most which is disappointing but it is very simply solved by casually spritzing yourself from time to time.

One hundred percent recommendable for all ages within the family.

written by Savannah Liu
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:23

Renaissance: fashions spring re-birth

Written by
Hi readers, it certainly has been some time since we last conversed and I started to think that I would never leave the confines of my sofa, let alone write again until after the 19th of April, the night I attended Fashions Finest "Renaissance" show at Nottingham's swanky Alea Casino.

Fashion is a love which never fails to leave me and it proved to remain high up in my life agenda again after I attended 'Renaissance'. And, if it wasn't good enough to be entertained by a number of emerging designers and their wonderful garments, it was even more a treat to hear a diverse range of fresh musicians perform new music.

Nottingham had more talent than an evening's worth of "Britain's got talent" auditions that night and I was so happy that I had to write you a blow by blow account of the whole night! So here comes the typing and the photos all over again. Retold, in these beautiful photographs taken by Mikey San.

First and foremost opening the show was the lovely and local Josh Kemp. Josh played us to two acoustic numbers, one "a love song in his own modest words" apparently, which I enjoyed as he sung it beautifully to me!

Josh is definitely one to watch and has been touring constantly, playing no less than two hundred and fifty venues last year so we heard. His soulful voice, lifting melodies, bone structure and that determination will serve him well and I do hope to hear more from him in the near future although I'm not sure he knows my phone number yet!
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The fashion parade then commenced in a spectacular of colour and celebration thanks to talented new-comer Callecia J brown. Very much a fan of the Edwardian era, the forties, fifties and all fabrics wonderful and bright, Callecia combined all these influences to make, in my opinion a modern remake of 'My fair lady' and the result was stunning.  I loved this collection with its ruffles, tailoring and bright African inspired geometric prints and so would the Edwardians if they'd have been so lucky to have worn her designs!
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Continuing with the Edwardian theme, young designer Joey Storer made me very proud when I watched his elegant Edwardian inspired feminine clothes glide down the catwalk alongside recent creations made this year during his first year at Nottingham Trent University studying knitwear and design. I was drawn to Joey's bold use of colour, print and contoured design when I first saw his collection at West Nottinghamshire College fashion show last year. To see his progression into knitwear since was a real treat. Bold block colour and a real flair for shape and styling were evident for all to see on his first ever public catwalk and I predict that we will be seeing a lot more from Joey in the near future!
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Giving the models a rest and arresting our ears with his fine blend of soulful lyrics, rhyme and his memorable 'let's get funky' dancehall style track then was the unforgettable P.Nology. Admitting soon into his act that he was the one who chatted up Kelly Rowland live on the 'X –factor' last year, we all found it hard to see why he didn't win over her heart fully with his cheeky humour and charisma. Recently touring with Dappy and with a European tour to many clubbing destinations ahead of him, I think we will be seeing a lot more of this man and I certainly couldn't get that tune out of my head that night or, the next day for that matter. 
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Returning to fashion from yesteryear, emerging designer Helena Ocansey then took us on an alternative history trip to the French revolution through the eyes of Marianne Antoinette. In Helena's words, her clothes portrayed "a celebration of life during the French revolution". Instead of portraying Marianne's fear of persecution when her popularity fell with the French public, bright prints designed by Helena adorning beautifully boned and corseted garments sang out a celebration of life in colour! Indeed, a very talented designer, re-writing history right before our eyes.
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Taking inspiration from London night life and tailoring beautifully fitting clothing, newcomer, Dean Dufurn exhibited his 'Butterfly' entitled collection. Celebrating feminine curves and contours, Dean exhibited a wonderful collection of tailored with clever ruffled embellishment and detailing.
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As if things couldn't get any better for me, I then got to see the acclaimed Zeeno Dee Designs, Winner of Fashions Finest Top designer of 2013. Showcasing, clever detailing such as pleats, geometric patterns and futuristic contours, Zeeno took my breath away with her attention to detail. I particularly liked the geometric fashioned, Grecian –come- modernistic galactic number. So trident and beautiful like model Lily Hannah Appleton-Goldstraw wearing it. And then there was the white dress. Oh how I wish I had that dress in my wardrobe and the Grecian escape to warrant its wear or maybe a red carpet award ceremony.
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Finally, one lady who looked and sounded every inch red carpet worth was Ava Rose. A regular backstage volunteer at Fashions finest and clearly a very talented singer undiscovered until now,  Ava took our breath away with her soulful tones, raw with emotion and experience of a performer twice her age. A real beauty, singing in a unique style which could stand equally against the likes of Nina Simone.
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And if that wasn't good enough, I also won a prize on the raffle!! A NYX make up goody bag which I will eagerly await its delivery from Victoria Davies, makeup artist to the models in the show, our own blogger at Fashions finest and my face saviour!

Prizes a-side, the show did have a serious intent and the raffle was undertaken to raise money for YCR Young citizens of Rwanda, a charity set up Jemrose Walker from Nottingham to help the child  and teen survivors of the genocide which happened twenty years ago. Orphaned and Left with no parents, finances, education or prospects, these young people had nothing until Jemrose left her life in Nottinghamshire and moved to Rwanda. There she rented a 'safe house' to accommodate young people and continues to raise money to provide education, guidance, food and housing for this group of vulnerable young people. Speaking to her sister Shearon that evening, I was truly moved to hear of her sister's determination to help the young people succeed in life and achieve things we all take for granted such as having an education and being able to eat every day. I couldn't think of a more worthy cause to donate money.

All in all, a highly entertaining evening for a worthy cause. Definitely worth leaving the sofa for, and the best way to see spring in.

Photos by Mikey San. Mikey San/twitter@whoismikey

See the full gallery of photos here
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 18:50

How to create a classy, sultry beauty look on a red head

Written by
On Sunday I worked on a photo shoot with a photographer I have worked with many times before in Nottingham and a model I had been in contact with for a while over Facebook but had not yet met. As always I planned the hair and make-up looks I wanted to create before arriving at the studio in Nottingham by assessing the models features, skin colouring and hair through images only. I decided to use Mehron Make-up apart from the odd product here and there as I had had such fabulous results the weekend before using the brand at 'Renaissance' where Mehron had been the make-up sponsor. The make-up was provided by Treasure House of Make-up based in Stockport.

For this particular look on my photo shoot on Sunday I decided I wanted to create a classy, sultry beauty look on a red head. I had to make sure the products were right as my model was very fair skinned and anything too dramatic would be too much. I have to admit, that once again Mehron didn't let me down.

After skin prep I began by using 'Mehron's Velvet Finish Primer Serum'. I had previously tested this on my skin and my gosh my skin had never felt so silky smooth. This product is exactly what it says in the title a 'Velvet Serum'. It feels very much like a hair serum, and we all know how amazing hair serum is! It's a rich serum product that glides onto skin very easily leaving the skin looking matte, along with all the benefits of hydrating and protecting the skin and decreasing the appearance of fine lines and working as a primer I can promise you your skin will never feel so good. Being a make-up artist I have tried a lot of primers and I can honestly say from the heart this is the BEST I have ever used. This primer is perfect for dry skin but also perfect for oily as it absorbs oil. I recommend EVERYONE to go out and buy this product, whether you're a make-up artist or someone wanting to use an amazing product at home. This is more than a 10/10 is a 100/10 product. My professional kit and home care routine for myself will never be without this product again. £18.28

I created the base on my model using the 'Mehron Celebre HD Foundation' as spoke about on last week's blog only this time I set with 'Mehron Celebre Pressed Powder'. I absolutely loved the finish of this powder. It is so good at absorbing oil that I didn't have to top up my model's face once throughout the whole shoot from the many hot lights beaming down on her. The finish on her skin felt almost satin and gave an even finish all over. Perfect colour match and so easy to apply. I used a powder brush and swept over her skin giving perfect results. £11.88

I am a massive fan of cream blusher for many reasons. Personally I feel cream products on photo shoots under lights and flashes look better. They set better; they look better and apply better. The 'Mehron cheek cream palette' did not disappoint me. It contains 8 beautiful varied colour tones from warm, cool and rosy hues. I personally use a contour stipple brush (duo fibre) to apply cream blusher. By using this brush little colour is picked up and goes onto the models skin in small dots like an airbrush effect. I then use a clean stipple brush to blend and work that cream into the models skin. The Mehron palette gave incredible results. The product is a rich cream with a strong pigment and only one application of cream on your stipple brush is needed. This palette will last for so long because of the high pigment in the product. The colours will compliment every skin tone. On my model Rosa I used shade Bronze. £36.56

For my model's eye make-up I used an NYX Jumbo pencil in shade bronze and Mac scatter pigments over the top to give a slight glitter pigment affect. I finished off by using 'Mehron' mascara in black. It performed superb. My model's eyelashes were enhanced with no clumps and I think you will agree that those lashes look long! £7.31

To finish off the look I used 'Mehron Lip Night palette' it contains 8 rich colours that come in the form of a lip cream. The Mehron lip creams are an excellent product to apply colour to dry lips as the cream contains a conditioning formula to keep them smooth and supple. The product was so easy to apply and looked incredible. Throughout the shoot I did not need to top up the lips as the staying power of this product was strong. Mehron also do a 'day palette' again 8 different shades. These 2 palettes combined are all you need to have a variety of extreme fashion lip trends. On my model I used 'Oh Chocolate' from the night palette. £36.56

All of this make-up used on my look and the full Mehron professional make-up range can be bought from Treasure House of Make-up in Stockport. You can also order online at Treasure House of Make-up any questions feel free to comment and I shall get back to you.
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Photographer: Rubicon Photography
Model: Rosa Dela
Make-up and Hair: Victoria Davies
Make-up: Mehron, NYX and Mac 
Thursday, 24 April 2014 17:31

Rooftop Shoot In Nottingham

Written by
A creative team joined forces for a shoot organised and co-ordinated by Fashions Finest on 20 April in Nottingham in collaboration with local designer Callecia J Brown and models Charlie Brook and Lily Hannah Appleton-Goldstraw. The location was the rooftop and courtyard of the Chaucer Street studio where the designer works.

Skin was prepped by using simple cleansers, toners, moisturiser. Lush lip scrubs and lip balms. Illamasqua hydra veil primer.

Make-up provided by our Renaissance make-up sponsors Mehron UK
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Photograph Mikey San
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Photography & art directors: Dayo Awe amd Mikey San
Assistant: Ava Rose
Models: Charlie Brook and Lily Hannah Appleton-Goldstraw
Designer: Callecia J Brown
MUA: Victoria Davies Mua
Asst MUA: Beth Sisson and Justine Vector Marshall 
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 13:57

Mehron professional makeup

Written by
On Saturday evening I was very lucky to be part of Fashions Finest show Renaissance in Nottingham. Deborah St Louis asked me a while back now if I would be interested in leading the creative team backstage. Of course I jumped to the chance. I brought on board 2 make-up artists, 2 make-up assistants, 2 hair stylists and a nail designer. Some of these girls I had previously worked with and knew their high standard of work already, for the others I did a casting where I was spoilt for choice.

I chose my team and began work on creating a look to suit all models and all designers' designs that were being showcased. I have to say, and not being bias at all, that I am very proud of my team. Every single one of them delivered over my expectations making the night backstage a successful stress free relaxed working environment. Well done girls!!

On the night we were very lucky to be sponsored by make-up brand MehronUk. Treasure house of makeup who are based in Stockport are the leading providers for Mehron in the Uk and provided the make-up for the show. They sent along 3 make-up kits for myself and the other 2 fully qualified make-up artist's Nichole Spencer and Charlotte Hearn for us to use. I had previous experience of working with the brand at Paris Fashion week in March 2014 where the make-up team was sponsored by Mehron, again from Treasure House, but for the other girls in my team it was their first experience. Well, all I can say, is it won't be their last!

The girls fell in love with the products, especially the Mehron Celebre HD Foundation and today I'm going to tell you a little about the products. BEWARE, to fall in love too.

Mehron Celebre HD Foundation - £9.14 (single pot)

Mehron claim this foundation is an oil-free and fragrance free cream make-up that delivers satin-smooth, buildable coverage that is non greasy and great for all skin types. My verdict... is that they are absolutely right. This foundation glided onto the models skin so easily. I used my Duo fibre brush to stipple on the product and then buffed the product into the skin as I do on all my foundation applications on models. This is how I create a base or step 1 after skin prep for creating a flawless skin. I was so surprised to see the results. Not only did the foundation work as a foundation base in one application but also as a concealer and 2nd base of foundation application. I gazed at the models skin for a few seconds amazed at how flawless the models skin looked with one application. The creamy texture if needed is buildable allowing you to build coverage to what the particular individual needs or likes. This foundation really does give a perfect flawless result with very little product. It's ideal for fashion runways, HD TV and every day wear and what's more the creamy texture works on all skin types and colours coming in 20 different shades
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Mehron HD loose mineral finishing powder - £10.05

This powder from Mehron gives a perfect matte finish and compliments the Celebre HD foundations perfectly. The powder was very ultra-fine which is a must when working with powder for TV or flash photography. It gave an excellent coverage and staying powder keeping our models shine free all night under the hot lights on the catwalk. It was very easy to apply, simply sweep over the skin with a powder brush.
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Mehron Cheek Powder - £5.48 (single) Palette £36.56

We were lucky enough to have the cheek palette so we could experiment with more than colour. On my design I decided to choose 2 different cheek colours depending on the models skin tone. I'm so glad we had this palette. The colours I chose were 'Rosewood' and 'Mocha'. They complimented the models skin perfectly. The powder was very rich and vibrant in colour which meant very little product was needed. It glided onto the girls skin perfectly, looking silky and smooth with a pop of colour. No dry patches or uneven pigment, just beautiful rosy cheeks. The palette is excellent value for money as very little product is needed. It comes in 8 beautiful shades to match every skin tone.
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Mehron Eye and Cheek 8 colour combo palette - £36.56

This palette is one of my go to palettes in my professional make-up kit. I received this palette whilst working at Paris Fashion Week last month and brought it onto the make-up look at Renaissance. It has 4 incredible cheek powders that I have just talked about including the 2 shades I chose for the make-up look last Saturday, plus 4 very strong eye shadow powders. The pigment in these shadows is so intense that all you need is a small amount to give the eye a full wash of colour. The powders are so velvety and smooth and don't crease. If you've always wanted a face blusher or shadow powder where you get a quick instant pop of colour then this palette really is for you. 1 slight sweep over the colour with a brush is all you need. Excellent value for money...this palette will last and last and last.
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All of this make-up can be bought along with the full range of Mehron professional make-up from Treasure house of make-up in stockport. The team are friendly, welcoming and helpful. You can order online and are guaranteed quick delivery. Come back next week to my blog where you will be able to read about more Mehron products.


Monday, 21 April 2014 00:28

was this the most rigged model casting ever?

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I know I keep apologising for not doing a regular blog but believe it or not I am so busy at the moment that even finding time to breathe has been just so difficult, I can only thank God that I am still alive as really I should have ran out of air by now.

Please excuse my manners, I should have started by saying Happy Easter to you and I hope you are having a lovely holiday.

There is soooooo much to talk about but I decided that for this blog I will only mention one topic and I wish to seek your views or comments. I don't care where you leave them, but just leave them on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, graffiti, on a banner etc I think you get the point.

BACKGROUND:

In Lagos Nigeria on the 19th April we had a model casting to select models for two big shows, Africa Fashion Week Nigeria (AFWN) and Nigerian Student Fashion & Design Week (NSFDW). For AFWN we needed 12 Female models and 3 Male models and for NSFDW we needed 22 female models and 8 male models.

On the day we had over 500 models show up with about another 300 turned away cos they were late. We had two separate panels, one for AFWN which consisted of the CEO of Shuga Kane Bili and whom was also a former Mahogany Model, the assistant stylist for AFWN - Bimbo and the head stylist for AFWN – Jide. For NSFDW the panel consisted of the co founders of NSFDW Abiola & Marcus and the head stylist for AFWN – Jide. But it must be said that both sets of panels worked together and gave their views for either show. I remained as a neutral arbitrator and ensured that I got the good mix of models that I wanted in the show, which included overruling some of the panel members when I needed to. (but very rarely did).

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THE ISSUE:

I wake up early Sunday morning to find a BB message from one of the models that attended the casting and this is what it said (UNEDITED);

Good morning Mr Mahogany, I am so sorry to disturb u on this issue, but because of the previous relationship I have had with u I was compelled to let u know, well yesterday some things were noticed by one of ur judging staff that was placed among three to select models, I won't call his name but I am very sure u know who I am talking about, this guy among two other lady's was were d ones judging and instead of being professional in selecting models, he was ensuring all his friends/boyfriends were chosen at the expense of what the two other female judges wanted. I find this appalling mr sola, I can only tell u dis because ur a professional and I respect you, the sentimental selection that was done by that guy was too much, it was clear and evident from all models dat that's what he was doing and for some strange reason he had a major influence on the other two female judges despite their own desires to select what dey felt was best.

Mr sola I say this with Humility I felt insulted to have been chosen as stanby/maybe in the presence of those 3 that we're chosen as Yes, judging by my walk and appearance to me it was laughable, despite the the fact that the two females were penchant on picking me first as Yes, they were compelled by the other male judge's sentimental plea to pick his friends over me and another who was placed as maybe. Now mr sola why I am sending u dis is not to change ur decision on anything but let u have a knowledge of what I and others saw yesterday, it was so bad dat a few of ur staff noticed it. I say this to u sir, the only free show I have done in my career is the show I did for u last year (NSFDW), a show I was compelled to do because of the professional structure u gave it, I did it for free despite u said a few from der will be chosen paid for dis show. I am not saying I am too big to a show for free for u, but I cant do a show wit those models selected as priority on pay list with me in standby unpaid, to me that is an insult and all who know me will be astonished.

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Left to me I can do both shows free for u, but me being put on standby side by side with those 3 selected as Yes out of which 2 were placed der on the sentimental decision of them being boyfriends to a male judge there is a shocker to me. the two female judges overtly said my walk was better that the chosen Yes and I was told not to worry, but I still worry because the truth is if this doesn't stop in Nigeria we won't go anywhere in dis fashion industry, models on the runway are the prime reflection of the quality of any show and if weak models are being chosen on sentimental basis then I feel sad for our industry. I respect you sir and I am ready to for u anytime, anywhere, but I just had to tell u this.

THE DILEMMA:

Out of respect for how he wrote the BB I decided that I would omit his name from the blog. I have responded to him privately, but I wanted to put some questions to you my enlightened readers.

1. Based on the facts above does he have a point or is it sour grapes?
2. Based on the BBM should I still let him do the show if he wants to or remove him?
3. Are the accusations easy to verify and prove bearing in mind we only wanted 3 male models, and he was one of 2 additional male models that was put on standby and it must be noted that over 180 other male models were not chosen, so can they make the same accusation against us?
4. As the head stylist (second in command to me) and as the head of the two judging panels, is it wrong (if it is the case) for him to say certain models should be selected?
5. Does it mean that I and the other two panel members were forced into this by the head stylist (please note that Bili is a very very strong woman whom has her strong views on anything and is no pushover)?
6. If I did not manage it well, what should I do next time to ensure that these types of accusations cannot be levelled against a casting that I do again in the future?
7. Any other comments that you may have?

I know you want to know how I responded and what my views are but I want to see what you all feel about it first before responding.

I can't wait for your responses and as always I expect you to be honest in your views, no holding back the punches.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014 21:18

How to Waterline your eyes

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Waterlining the eye is a hard and tricky technique to do. It involves applying eyeliner to the waterline or inner rim around the eye area that is slightly wet and right next to the lashes. It can be done to the lower rim and the top rim around the eye.

You can use various products to do this technique, I recommend using a pencil eyeliner, especially a Kohl pencil as they are much softer on the eyes and go on more easily. Some people may prefer to use gel, liquid liners or waterproof pencils. Most people like to waterline their eye in black, my recommended product for this and the one I use on all my jobs is MAC Kohl pencil in shade Smoulder. £17

Bright, bold, pastel eyeliners are also great for adding a splash of colour to the eyes in the warmer months whilst nude/white coloured eyeliner will make the eyes appear larger. It is important to always sharpen the pencil before each use and replace regularly to help avoid eye infections.

Simple Steps

Step 1, Gently with your finger pull down the skin underneath your eye exposing the waterline. Take a cotton bud and gently remove any excess moisture to help the eyeliner to sit better.

Step 2, While still pulling down the skin, take your eyeliner and gently run it along the lower waterline. You may feel you need to repeat it a few times to make the colour bolder.

Step 3, Clean any mistakes or slips up with a cotton wool bud.
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014 21:01

Paris in The Fall

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The Adama Paris Collection for Fall 2014 is amazing by every standard. What Africans typically associate with carrier bags, the designer has used the woven loincloth to create outstanding art statements for the body. The Senegalese influence and wax lining strengthens each piece as a stand-alone wonder.

Feast your eyes!
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Tuesday, 08 April 2014 07:38

Get That Classic Red Pout

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Red lipstick is a classic, always has been and always will be. The best make-up looks worn by Marilyn Monroe in the 50's always came with that classic red lip, the sexiest most glamorous looks today come with the classic red lip. To me as a Make-up Artist it signifies passion, glamour, love, class, high end and definitely sex appeal!

In my job I hear a lot people saying "red won't suit me" but that's where they are wrong. Red suits everyone, just like blonde hair suits everyone, the trick to both is to fully understand your own colour tone and of course experiment.

Warm Skin Tones

If you have a warm skin tone complexion you don't want to choose a red that will clash with your warm delicious skin. You need to opt for red tones that are 'warm reds' and not 'cool reds'. Look for and experiment with shades of 'orangey reds'; so look for, deep brown based reds, golden reds, tawny reds, tomato reds, warm reds and orange reds. Hold the lipstick up towards a light (natural daylight is best) and these colour tones will show through on the lipstick.
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Cool Skin Tones

If you have that lovely cool tone to your skin then a warm red will be far too harsh against your complexion. You need to opt for 'pink red tone'. So experiment with red lip colours that when held up towards the light you see; pink; berry, blue, plum, blackberry, purple and brick red.
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All Skin Tones

If you're lucky enough to have a cool skin tone and tan to a fairly warm complexion in the summer and you are looking for a red lipstick that will suit both cool and warm skin then opt for a real pure 'telephone box red'. This shade of red is the only red that is suitable for both skin tones. Maybe if you're a new make-up artist and you have a tight budget and want a nice classic red then a good red lipstick to buy on a budget is 'Loreal Colour Richie Serum in shade True Red'
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Some of My Lipsticks
 
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Photographer Biggi Ayo
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Model Tarcha Ann Josephine Peters
 
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Photographer Deborah Selwood
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Model Nadia Nichole
Tuesday, 01 April 2014 14:34

My Skin Care Favourites

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Being a make-up Artist, I love make-up, but a great skincare routine is crucial to any job I do, the make-up simply wouldn't sit right on the models face without it. Great skin is the best palette to start any make-up trend on, whether it is summer or winter, beauty or film. The same applies to all of you at home. With my job I get to test lots of skin and beauty products, old and new brands and of course I find my favourites and products I cannot live without. So in line with last week's blog it's my pleasure to bring you my favourite recommendations for everyone to enjoy!


Bioderma

While working at Paris Fashion Week in March 2014 I came across this beautiful product. I had heard all about it before and read reviews but with the product being French it was everywhere in Paris. It's simply a bottle of miracle cleansing water that gently cleanses and removes make-up and dirt from the face and eyes. This is an amazing product and is very popular with a Make-up Artists as it is gentle and calming on the skin leaving the skin feeling refreshed. Ideal for sensitive skin as there is no fragrance preventing the skin feeling irritated. Simply soak a cotton wool pad and slide over the face and eyes where you'll find you are left with little residue. Bioderma is available at leading pharmacies and dermatologists nationwide and comes in various ranges for different skin types. It is definitely a product I can now not live without.

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Temple Spa Toning Essence

This is a beautiful toner without alcohol. What I love about this product is that it is made from Mediterranean staples such as tomatoes, basil, orange, limes and more creating a beautiful fragrance as well as working as an excellent luxury toner. The product benefits from not only being an instant skin refresher and removing the last traces of make-up and dirt but also contains ingredients for anti-aging benefits, anti-inflammatory and anti-itch ingredients again making it suitable for sensitive skin.
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Clinique Dramatically Difference Moisturising Lotion

Is my top must have moisturiser for keeping skin soft and healthy. It provides a double moisture level and keeps the moisture locked in the skin all day as well as giving a healthy glow to the skin. It's also been voted NO.1 bestselling moisturiser is the UK so that speaks volumes.

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Mac Prep and Prime Natural Radiance

This amazing primer from Mac is needed in every woman's beauty bag! I use this on all my make-up jobs! It improves the skins appearance by filling in any lines, pores and keeps the skin hydrated all day with a beautiful glow. I never apply foundation without using this base first.
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Lush Fresh Handmade lip scrub

This is an absolute must in my personal beauty bag and in my professional kit. It's made with sugar and johona oil, making it a natural scrub that works wonders. I always ask my model to take a small amount on her finger and work it into her lips; I then take extra dry skin off my buffing with a toothbrush. This is the idea product to keep lips soft and crack free.
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These are my top 5 beauty products but don't forget that you're welcome to comment with any questions you may have and I will answer them for you.

Monday, 31 March 2014 09:42

Lady’s Day

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Ladies day; dating as far back as the 18th Century. We ladies must put in more effort than usual down at the races. The majority of us are aware of the grand fashion weeks in the world's most famous cities but aside from that; the elite have their own fashion show. It is as much about style as it is horse racing.
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The Royal family are particularly well known for making a conscious style effort on these occasions. Some may choose a certified co-ordinating suit whilst others may slide more towards the classic 'lady-like knee-length dress'. However, one thing is for sure, hats are the ultimate style statement: the more ostentatious the better.
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Besides the hats, one mustn't reveal too much skin, reservation is glorified and ladies, sensible footwear please. It is going to be a long day and sinking into the grass, getting caught tripping up and bruises are not allowed in 'Lady-dom'. To co-inside with this, there will be champagne and other alcoholic beverages available throughout the day and it is most advised that pace is key. This brings us into another matter or long, white dresses. No no no no no. Mud is an awful enemy of fashion and to be standing around all day trying to impose a 'Gone with the Wind' look is definitely off the cards. Or off the bets if you like.

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Alongside fashion a pretty face is nothing without a brain. Know your horses! Do not turn up to a race without knowing what is actually racing. Whilst you are checking your ticket, check for dress codes! Fashion faux pas is intolerable.

Good luck!

written by Savannah Liu
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:57

Celebrity daughters: what are they wearing this Spring?

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Celebrities today have certainly become people to watch not only for their careers, but also for their fashion and lifestyle choices.

We certainly see them as trendsetters and one cannot deny that they definitely have a major impact on what we wear on a daily basis. Even if you don't like reading celebrity gossip and like to consider yourself superior to all this "stuff", you won't be very happy to hear that you will most likely own in your wardrobe at least one item that was originally brought to the masses by a singer or actress!

And their fashion influence does not only extend to us grown-ups, but it also includes their kids! What have Sarah Jessica Parker's daughters worn on their first day of school? What do Brangelina's children wear to appear on TV? I am sure these are questions that have crossed the mind of any new mum or mum-to-be.

At this time of the year all we are thinking about is Spring fashion for ourselves, but, not less importantly, what our little ones will be wearing too!

If you like to follow fashion also for your kids and need some inspiration, here are some trends that are emerging from Hollywood's darlings!

Colourful Leggings

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Alyson Hannigan and husband Alexis Denisof with kids. Image via: allthingsgossip.com

Luna Leggings are quickly becoming the go-to tights company for the children of the A-Listers. The children of Sarah Jessica Parker, Alyson Hannigan and many others have been seen wearing these tights and, well, it's easy to understand why! Their bold patterns and very vivid colours make them not only trendy, but fun to wear and appealing to the kids.

Unfortunately, they come with a chunky price tag attached to them and if you find them a bit too expensive for your pockets right now, you will be happy to know that there are better ways! Debenhams offers a brilliant range of leggings that replicate the fun mood and style of the much adored Luna leggings. And the best thing is that the prices start from only £6! Shop with vouchers, if you want to get more for your money.
 
Floral Dresses

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Gabriel Aubry and Alyson Hannigan with their daughters. Image via celebritybabies.people.com

You can never go wrong with florals in spring. A dress completely covered by flowers has a certain appeal for all ages but especially for little girls. This particular dress that you see in the picture worn by 2 different celebrity kids is the Ditsy Floral Dress by Splending Littles and it costs $64. You can find a great selection of the cutest floral dresses for kids also at Debenhams for a much more affordable price.

Pastel Colours

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David Beckham with daughter. Image via uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com

Pastels are not only a huge spring trend for us mums, but they also run high in the list for our daughters! And guess which is the pastel shade that celebrity kids are preferring right now!? Pink, of course!

I don't know what it is with girls and the colour pink, but there seems to be a fatal attraction that starts from very young and carries on all through the teenage years. It is an attraction that has reached the celebs too, who simply love to buy pink pieces of clothing for their little ones.

Any pastel colour will do the trick and make your daughter look really trendy and girly this spring.
Monday, 24 March 2014 13:12

MARKS & SPENCER reveals spring/summer 2014 campaign

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The Marks and Spencer spring/summer 2014 campaign, staring the following celebrities, singers and models  Emma Thompson, Annie Lennox, Rita Ora, Alek Wek, Doreen Lawrence, Lulu Kennedy, Rachel Khoo and Roma Agrawal.
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Shot by Annie Leibovitz
Sunday, 23 March 2014 09:56

The perfect Skin you deserve

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As a Make-up Artist you see and work with so many types of skin. It is essential to understand skin and be able to manage and control each skin type. As well as my make-up background I also trained in Beauty Therapy, which for me has really helped me to understand skin to a higher level and more fully. I am pleased to bring you this blog post based on my knowledge and experience working within the beauty and make-up industry along with the high training I have received.

Your skin is a blank canvas that you work on and if you look after it well, then your make-up will look better and last longer, the ageing process will be slower and your skin will look and feel better.

So how do we do that??

The first thing I recommend anyone to learn about skin is the difference between 'skin type' and 'skin condition'Skin Type' is what you're born with, 'Skin Condition' is something that can happen at any time.

For example;

Skin Types are; Oily, Normal, Dry and Combination

Skin Conditions are; Dehydrated, Mature, Sensitive and Seborrhoeic.

So, next time you're looking at the latest skin care products in Boots remember that cleansers, toners and moisturisers are made for 'skin types' and skin serums are made for treating 'skin conditions'.

I could write pages and pages of tips and information as being in the make-up industry I am in love with anything beauty related, but to make things easier and to keep these tips fresh in your mind I'm going to break things down into 10 steps.

STEP 1 – CLEANSERS
Always begin your skin care routine with a cleanser. A cleanser will remove make-up, dirt and pollutions trapped in your skin, oil and dead skin cells cleaning and refreshing your skin. A mild cleanser may also be used on the eyes to remove eye make-up. Or facial wipes such as Simple work the same way.

STEP 2 – TONERS
A toner removes any last traces of dirt or make-up that the cleanser may have missed. It also makes pores less visible and prepares the skin for the next step.

STEP 3 –MOISTURISERS
Always choose your moisturiser to your correct 'skin type'. For 'Dry' skin always choose a moisturiser that is rich and creamy. For 'Oily' skin choose a light-hydrating formula that is designed to help close the pores and reduce the appearance of oil. Remember, even if your skin is oily, never think by applying a moisturiser you are making the skin greasier. A moisturiser has a purpose, no matter what the skin type.

STEP 4 – EYE CREAMS/TREATMENTS
As we grow older we develop fine lines and wrinkles. By adding an eye cream to our daily routine we can help slow the ageing process down. Always choose a firming treatment. These are packed with vitamins and silicone and work in the same sense as a primer by smoothing out the wrinkles as well as moisturising for a better appearance. Bring them into your daily skin care routine by using morning and night.

STEP 5 - BEAUTY/SKIN SERUMS
Serums are similar to moisturisers, but are designed to give a boost and work on 'Skin Conditions'. They treat dehydration, redness, discolouration, fine lines, breakouts on oily skin and much more. They contain ingredients that absorb into the skin more deeply to correct a problem, whether that be short or long term. You apply them before a moisturiser by massaging a small drop into the problem area morning and night.

STEP 6 – EXFOLIATORS
The skin is constantly generating new skin cells which are sent to the surface of the skin. These cells build up and if not removed you're left with a dry, dull and rough looking skin appearance. By using an exfoliator you are removing the older skin cells making the skin look fresher as well as allowing the beauty serums previously mentioned to penetrate easier and deeper into the skin. However, never over exfoliate as by doing so you will cause the skin to dry out. I recommend 2-3 times a week as part of your skin care routine.

STEP 7 – LIP EXFOLIATOR AND BALMS
All of us at some point in our lives will suffer from dry, flaky, chapped lips. We can avoid this by using a lip exfloliant/scrub and lip balm. Simply apply a specialised lip scrub and scrub the product into the lips with a toothbrush. Remove and apply balm. Once a week is all that's needed, done too often will cause breakouts and remember lips are sensitive. Balm can be applied daily throughout the day.

STEP 8-FACE MASKS
A face mask can make a difference between good skin and great skin! Like all products, there is different ones and types for different skin types. They work by penetrating the vitamins deep into the skin, cleaning, exfoliating and removing the build-up of sluggish cells. Used alongside the other facial products they will help keep the skin clear and pores closed and unclogged.

STEP 9 – PRIMERS
A primer is a product used before you apply foundation. They are nearly all silicone based and help to fill in lines, plump the skin giving a more youthful look and help control shine and smooth over pores. Again there are different types for different skin types. For 'Dry' skin use a hydrating primer and for 'Oily' skin you need a mattifying primer. By using a primer you are helping the foundation last longer and settle better on the skin giving a more flawless look. As a make-up artist I never begin to create a look before using a primer on the skin.

STEP 10- WATER
We all know that by drinking water you are keeping your body healthy. But water also helps keep your skin radiant as well as helping make wrinkles less visible and hydrating the skin keeping your skin smooth.

I hope you've enjoyed reading my blog, please come back next week where I shall give you my favourite products with tips and how to use them in line with today's blog.

In the meantime if you have any questions or would like any advice, please send me a message below...
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 15:22

Is wearable tech and women’s fashion compatible?

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Combining technology with fashion has been the latest movement in technology and it seems that wearable tech is here to stay. Despite the common prejudice that wearable tech will only appeal to 'geeks', there are some available tech pieces that many women would wear as a part of their outfit.

However if technology and fashion combine, how will technology keep up with the ever-changing trends that the fashion industry dish out throughout the year? With iPhones updating their phones up to twice a year with the additional release of each model, it may be too difficult a task to constantly embed technology with the 'must-haves' of the season. Forbes.com look further into the debate of technology fusing with fashion whilst giving some fashion tips too.

Nicole Sherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls hit the headlines recently with her 'Twitter Dress' which was made up of 2,000 LED lights that flashed incoming tweets. Is this the start of a wearable tech craze in the fashion industry? Quite possibly as wearable tech clothing and even accessories lit up the catwalks this season.

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Image from telegraph.co.uk

Phone companies seem to be missing out by not partnering with the big upmarket fashion brands as the women fashion industry are always open to new trends and with the influence of the catwalks and celebrities such as Nicole Scherzinger sporting wearable tech, it won't be long before everyone will want a piece of wearable clothing. To date the majority of partnerships have been fitness focussed with Oakley and Nike partnering with the wearable tech firms. Here are some examples of some wearable tech pieces that have become increasingly popular within the fashion industry.

MEMI Bracelets

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Image from fastcompany.com

These fun bracelets from MEMI alert their users to incoming calls and text warrants. The bracelet can either flash or vibrate in order to get the attention of the owner. These bracelets will be popular amongst women because they look sleek, modern and they act as a regular bracelet so nobody will even notice the difference. See more examples of wearable tech that will appeal to women on fastcompany.com.

Google Glass

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Image from seroundtable.com

These rather modern looking glasses present visual information on the lens in front of the wearer's eyes. They have become particularly popular amongst football fans and are thought to be a great way in which referees can make sure they don't misjudge a match as they can watch it in front of them as if they were viewing the match from home.

Smartband

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Image from phones4u.co.uk

These handy wrist accessories focus on your health and fitness as they are able to track both your movements and activity. By linking your smartband to your smartphone, you are given detailed information on your exercise management.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 19:38

Spotted for Style!

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What do you think of these fashionistas papped at London Fashion Week AW14?

You've either got it or you havent, 'STYLE', that is!
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Photographs (C) FF Blogger Boonya Rodpunyar 
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 16:16

Mama Nyah!

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Those who know me personally, know that if you ever get me started on my year abroad in Germany (oh, what did I tell you...), I could easily have you as my captive audience for the next half an hour- but I resist digressing! When I stumbled on the brand 'Nyah und Ich' some time back, you could almost imagine my excitement and instant connection with them. The language presentation, use of first person and bold statement of ankara, is a bona fide statement of culture and style. And that's before we even look at their work in detail; the beautiful hand-made crafting and delicate finishing on each piece.

It's always good to see ankara and African-inspired fashion come to life through Western eyes and taste. Some times its hard and impractical to wear a clash of bold colours just to head down the street, or to go pick up a few necessities. But 'Nyah und Ich' is fashion that speaks 'convenience in unique style'. The regular person just wants something comfortable, easy to style and accessorise with and trendy. No longer do you have to compromise style for comfort; throw on a slouchy (or fitted) piece of 'Nyah und Ich', and feel good about your style.

Love them as much as I do?! Check them out here: www.nyahundich.blogspot.co.uk 

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Modestly stylish and classy!
Thursday, 20 February 2014 20:01

VIP At Fashions Finest Off Schedule

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Some of our wonderful VIP guests who attended Fashions Finest Off Schedule 15 - 16 February. 
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Fashions Finest CEO Deborah St. Louis with Alex from Kenton Magazine 

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Duncan James
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Duncan James

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Nick Knowls

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Girl band Viva Pitch with eyewear designer Colin Lesley

All photographs (C) Trevor Fogah- Griffiths iDeLiK Media
In keeping with Fashions Finest's mission to showcase and celebrate new fashion talent from around the UK, Britain's Top Designer is open to open to all types of designers including graduates, new, aspiring, emerging and established designers based in the United Kingdom.

This year's finalists were Simonetta Sabo, Cassandra Stephenson, Milina Imrichova, Zeeno Dee and Sofia Dourvari, all of whom were shortlisted from a huge number of entries for their innovative ideas that reflect the climate as well as pioneering. Winner Zeeno Dee was announced on Sunday, where her understanding of fabrics and use of structure were praised by the judges.

Zeeno will go on to judge at next year's Britain's Top Designer.

The judging panel included celebrity stylist and creative director, Bernard Connolly, international stylist, Sonia Munafo, stylist and fashion TV presenter, Nicholas Parnell and head judge, fashion designer Yemi Osunkoya, as well as last year's winner, Matthew O'Brien. The evening was hosted by singer and presenter Eve‐Yasmine Saoud‐ Easton, with live music from Mila Falls and Maria Evangelou, and featured special fashion shows from Matthew O'Brien and Yemi Osunkoya.

The highly anticipated final of Britain's Top Designer came at the end of Fashions Finest London Fashion Week Off Schedule Show and concluded with an exclusive after party at the glamorous Buddha Bar Restaurant in Knightsbridge.

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Photographs Trevor Griffiths iDeLick Media

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 19:52

Rihanna loses her top for MAC Viva Glam

Written by
It was revealed in November that Rihanna would be the latest celebrity to front MAC Cosmetics latest Viva Glam campaign, which raises funds and awareness around HIV and AIDS.

Not one to be over shadowed by the celebrity's that fronted the campaign before her which include Mary J Blige, Lady Gaga and Elton John Rhianna chose to pose topless in her advertising shots.

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100% of the sales from Rihanna Lipglass, £15, and Rihanna Lipstick, £14, (minus VAT) go to the MAC AIDS Fund. Available from www.maccosmetics.com from February 2014.
Monday, 13 January 2014 09:07

Face of Africa Fashion Week London

Written by
Africa Fashion week London is once again offering a vista of opportunities to models who will be privileged and lucky to win its flagship competition, "The Face of AFWL" for the 4th Edition. AFWL 2014. The winner of Face of AFWL is usually the model who represents AFWL event on all promotional platforms and also gets the opportunity to represent the event at major African Fashion and entertainment events in the UK, and of course, model on the runway for the event as well.

AFWL 2014 will be taking place from 7th to 9th August 2014 in an event that is programmed to take the fantastic concept further on its ever upward journey towards maintaining its position as the biggest and most beloved African Inspired fashion event in the UK.

The face of AFWL 2012, Edith UBA, took part in the promotional shoot at the venue of the event and following the event, she was signed up to top UK modeling Agency, Strike Models.

Face of AFWL 2013, Regina Manneh had fantastic showings at the pre-event promotional shoots as well on the event runway.

Interested models are to apply by uploading a collage of one full length and one portrait image and include their name, age and stats (hair and eye colour, height, dress/suit size, measurements) to Africa Fashion Week London and spread the word to ensure they get the most number of votes. The competition is open to all young men and women between the ages 18-24. Women must be at least 5.7" and Men 6.1".

Prior modeling experience is ideal but not essential; public voting Starts 13 March 2014, Male, Female, all races are welcome.

AFWL 2014 will be taking place on the 7th-9th August 2014 at the Olympia Earls Court.

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Sunday, 12 January 2014 18:04

Small But Mighty

Written by
Fashion Myths and Secrets for Petite Ladies.

Believing popular fashion myths about petite women can lead you to buy clothing that doesn't flatter your body and makes you look frumpy. But when you know which fashion rules are fact and which ones are myths, you can create a look that you'll love. Below, you'll find a list of fashion myths that petite women often believe.

Myth 1: All clothes for petite women are the same.

Fact: Clothes shopping when you're petite can be difficult. Not only is petite clothing sized differently, but there's no standard definition of petite. A shirt that's listed as petite in one brand might be considered average in another. This can create a frustrating shopping experience for petite women.

Myth 2: If you're petite, try shopping in the boys' or juniors' section.

Fact: Young boy and teenage girls have different body portions than petite women do. Although, some petite women may be able to shop in these sections, it's not recommended. The clothes may not fit correctly and the clothing selection is often inappropriate for working women. You can visit visit Navabi to find fashion for petite women.

Myth 3: Petite clothing is just shorter.

Fact: This myth can make clothes shopping a challenge. Petite clothing isn't just about where the hemline falls. Most petite women have body proportions that are different from women of average height.

Myth 4: Your clothes should fit right off the rack.

Fact: This is a common fashion blunder. Clothing manufacturers design clothes based on the average size of a petite. If you're two inches shorter than the manufacturer's definition of average petite then the jeans you bought off the rack won't look as nice on you as they did on the model that was used. That's why it's important that you take time to use the dressing room before you make a purchase.

Myth 5: Petite and Misses are the same size.

Fact: While there are some clothing manufacturers that do this, it's not standard. Most petite women find that petite clothing has a slightly smaller fit. This can be helpful to know if you're looking for a pair of jeans or a top that needs to be snug.

Myth 6: Petite women should always wear heels.

Fact: Petite women can definitely use a boost from heels. But just because you're petite, don't fall into the trap of thinking you can only wear pumps. You can still wear your favorite flats when the urge strikes. In fact, it's better on your spine, hips, and feet if you ditch the heels occasionally.

Myth 7: Only wear tiny patterns or tiny jewelry.

Fact: Petite women can pull off medium patterns and jewelry and in some cases, even the large size. You don't have to stick with small patterns if you don't like them. In fact, small patterns can sometimes emphasize how small you are even more than big ones do.

Shopping for petite women can be fun once you understand which fashion rules are myths. Not only will getting the right fit make you look terrific, you'll also feel confident and beautiful. Don't be afraid to experiment with other fashion rules and see which ones don't work for your body type.

Liz Smith is a passionate fashionista. She believes every woman has the right to look and feel beautiful, so she often blogs about the tips and tricks to flattering modern styles.
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Written by guest blogger Megan Barnes who lives for style.  
Thursday, 09 January 2014 16:31

Alesha Dixon to launch a range of perfumes

Written by
She sings, she dances, she models, she hosts and how she has her own perfume.

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The Strictly Come Dancing and Britain's Got Talent Judge is release her debut fragrance, Alesha Rose Quartz, which will be the 1st the first of Alesha's Crystal Collection series of fragrances.

Alesha Rose Quartz has a sweet floral yet powdery base presented in a heavy weight glass bottle representative of a crystal.

Alesha Rose Quartz EDT, £25 for 50ml, will be available to buy at selected fragrance outlets from March.
Wednesday, 01 January 2014 21:26

Fabulously Feminine

Written by
How to Wear a Biker Jacket without Looking Like a Man.

Although many women don't mind sporting a more masculine look with their biker jacket, others prefer a more feminine look when wearing their jackets. A biker jacket is incredibly versatile and can be worn in accordance with a woman's style easily. The following will help you pair your jacket with other items for an upbeat look that never seems to go out of style!

Choosing a Biker Jacket

If you don't already own a biker jacket, you'll find that there is a wide selection of these jackets to choose from in a myriad of styles. Naturally, some will be more on the rough and tough biker side while others may be toned down to look almost preppy! You can choose a biker jacket style that will enhance your wardrobe and complement your look. Though typical jackets are black, you'll also find them in brown and other colors too. While the iconic jackets are leather, you can also purchase faux leather examples if you choose and these come in a rainbow colors.

You'll also find that some styles can complement your shape better than others. For instance, a diagonal zipper style can mask a tummy problem area. The right cut can achieve a kind of look you're going for. While some cuts are youthful and hip, others might sport ruffles for a more feminine and even romantic look.

Upscale and Sophisticated

If you are partial to that upscale look, you can pair your biker jacket--a sleek black or silver number--with a pencil skirt or even some silk slacks. You can achieve a sophisticated look by wearing a gray jacket, for example, with clothing that is also gray. The single-color outfit is a surefire standout. If you like a put-together look, go for the single-color dynamic.

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Casual Chic

You can achieve a comfortable look for a day of shopping or sightseeing by pairing a two-tone biker jacket with a pair of skinny jeans, an oversize sweater, and your favorite fall boots! A biker jacket is versatile enough to dress up or down depending what you pair with it. So, if you are planning to hit a hockey game after a day of shopping, you coat can easily go with you from one venue to another.

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For an edgy look, pair a sleek shiny black cropped biker jacket with your favorite tank dress--something that sparkles. Pair a metallic dress and heels with this jacket for a look you're sure to want to repeat. To ramp up the edgy factor, wear a short dress with knee-high leather boots that match your jacket.

Urban and Trendy

Pair a metallic silver biker jacket with a pair of matching tights. Tie the look together with a long sleek shirt--pearl gray or white. You can dress it up with some accessories--a long silk scarf or a strand of vintage glass beads. Add some stand-out earring or a stylish hat to complement the look. Some leather boots or a pair of flats will complete your city-going outfit.

Take-Me-Anywhere Style

If you aren't sure where the day will take you, grab your favorite turtleneck and pair it with your favorite jeans and your biker jacket. A black turtleneck is always a safe bet. You can show up to brunch in this ensemble or hit the mall with a good friend for an afternoon of shopping. A great pair of boots will dress this look up as will a pair of flashy heels!

Girly and Sweet

You can tame that biker jacket by pairing it with a floral twirl dress and a hip pair of boots. Add a headband for your hair and you're ready for a date out for pizza or to catch a movie. Biker jackets pair really well with all sorts of dresses and give them just a bit more drama, a bit more flair!

You'll find that your biker jacket is versatile enough to wear every week! It goes with denim as well as corduroy. It won't compromise your tweed or dampen your knits. In fact, you'll love wearing your biker jacket so much that you should probably own more than one!

Written by guest blogger Megan Barnes who lives for style. She especially enjoys blogging about fresh looks and flattering fashion for the everyday woman.
Saturday, 28 December 2013 22:22

That's so 2013 - Fashion Flashbacks!

Written by
This year has seen some unique and trend-setting fashion pieces. While some have been in full view of the public at large (mainly blared on our TV and laptop screens), some have definitely gone under the radar. Regardless, it's worth celebrating style and those who graciously embodied it. Enjoy my favourite pieces as I mark down the year 2013!

January's Pick; the beautiful Alicia Keys in a Michael Kors number. This dress almost went under the radar during the inauguration with Michelle Obama, Beyonce and a few others taking centre stage at different times. Red dresses are always statement pieces when rocked in the right way, 10 points to Alicia!
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Dress by Michael Kors

February's Pick; Guiliane Rancic looked elegant and suave in a nude Carlos Miele gown! Great detail and well draped around her petit figure.
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Gown by Carlos Miele

March's Pick; in this vogue cover, Beyonce looked fierce decked in Givenchy. And check out those plexiglass cone high heels with elastic straps!
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Givenchy ensemble

April's Pick; Zoe Zandala wearing a Calvin Klein piece in Berlin, Germany this year. Zoe is definitely my April girl...effortlessly classy!
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Calvin Klein ensemble

May's Pick; Sarah Jessica Parker at the BAFTA Awards. In love with this Ellie Saab jumpsuit choice! It sits on her body like a glove, and definitely a worthy substitute to an Awards-fitting dress.
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Jumpsuit by Ellie Saab

June's Pick; LOVE Emma Watson in this ensemble, at the 'This is the End' premiere. 2013 was definitely the year of jumpsuits.
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Top by Roland Mouret, pants by Phillip Lim and heels by Salvatore Ferrangamo

July's Pick; The Chanel Show at the Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture 2013-2014 event. Alexa Chung may just be my golden girl for 2013. That may be because she chose to wear two of my favourite things; lace and velvet! My fashion forecast is- the reign of cute velvet dresses. Talk about vintage galore.
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Lace by Chanel

August's Pick; subtle and elegant make a mouth-watering pair in this ZAC Zac Posen dress, worn by Crystal Reed at the MTV VMAs last August!
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Dress by ZAC Zac Posen

September's Pick; Kate Middleton with Prince William at the Tusk Conservation Awards, wearing a dress by Jenny Packham. On a side note, has Kate ever worn an ugly dress (since she became the Duchess of Cambridge)? I think not.
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Dress by Jenny Packham

October's Pick; Blake Lively looked sweet in a Olivier Rousteing Balmain Paris 2014 collection. Nothing says classic-retro than an off-shoulder, quilted touch and a box pleated skirt!
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Dress from the Olivier Rousteing Balmain Paris 2014 collection

November's Pick; Chanel Iman at the Screening of the movie; 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom'. No words! But to name a few stunning attributes in this appearance; the geometric cuts and draping, the fish tail drop, Iman's gorgeous skin...!
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Gown from J Mendel's 2014 collection

December's Pick; putting aside the 'deep' amount of flesh-baring, this Antonio Beradi two-piece suit is a 'jaw-dropping', 'all-eyes-on-me' piece. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley looks fearless, and it's hard not to in that suit!
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Two-piece by Antonio Beradi

What are your favourite pieces of 2013? Comment below!

Modestly stylish and classy.
Friday, 27 December 2013 17:31

Announcing Amelia Black as the Face of Fashions Finest 2014

Written by
"Tiger World PR headed up the search to find the 'Face of Fashion's Finest'. We knew we would have a lot of applicants and with our good friends at Starnow featuring the competition on their global casting site we knew the standard would be extremely hight.

Knowing our clients, as we do, we wanted to ensure that the candidates were not just 'beautiful people' on the outside but those who had a special light inside also. We saw this at the live round when we met Amelia Black.

Over 400 models applied but there could only be one winner. Amelia Black was graceful, charming, educated and informed. She was prepared and knew who she was and what she wanted to achieve in her career. The decision was unanimous and we knew instantly she was something special with a great career ahead of her.

It was a pleasure to manage the search for 'Fashions Finest' and we are excited to see the results of Amelia's photoshoot and success to follow."

Dani Gibson- Tiger Wolrd PR & Events

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Photograph taken by Spencer McPherson

About Amelia Black


Part time model and after graduating hopes to focus on furthering her modelling career.

Her first major catwalk experience came in September 2012 for Cheltenham Fashion Week shortly followed by a photo shoot for Cotswold Style Magazine. Since then she has developed her catwalk and photo shoot confidence showcasing bridal, high end fashion, lingerie and recently hair working closely with a local hair stylist. Jo Gossage from Stuart Holmes Hair and Beauty Salon has in abled her to take part in a showcases for L'Oreal's S/S and A/W collections, working together again to create a skilled hair style for a competition photo shoot for a Japanese Hair Brand, Shu Uemura. 2013 has seen Amelia complete a full circle finishing her busy year where she started, on the runway for Cheltenham Fashion Week in their biggest events to date.

When Amelia found out about winning 'Face of Fashion Finest' she was speechless and could not believe it. A very excited Amelia kept the news to herself all day so she could tell her loved ones in person that evening. She really didn't think she would win and had only told her boyfriend about going to London even doubting herself at the casting seeing all the other amazing models.

Amelia is looking forward to 2014 and to the opportunities that 'Face of Fashion Finest' has given her. She is excited to start working with everyone in the process to make this year the most successful yet and cannot wait to perfect her walk for her debut at LFW something she has only dreamed of until now.

Amelia would like to thank everyone at the casting process, 'Face of Fashion Finest' for choosing her as your winner and to especially thank Alistair for everything he has done to help, support and push her to reach her goals but also to her family, without them none of it would be possible. 
Saturday, 21 December 2013 14:06

Philipp Plein spring summer 2014

Written by
After the designer's groundbreaking only black cast at his recent women's fashion show in Milan, designer Philipp Plein confirms his dedication to rule breaking by again choosing only black models to interpret his creations in the new spring/summer 2014 ad campaign.

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Shot in Milan by photographer Francesco, Carrozzini and stylist Patti Wilson
Friday, 29 November 2013 09:46

La Perla Spring/Summer 2014

Written by
Cara Delevigne has been one of the 'IT' models this year and when she posted a taster image, from the La Perla Spring/Summer 2014 lingerie campaign, she gave way to the impression that she was the one and only model; but there was a clever little twist to come.

She shares the spotlight alongside the beautiful Liu Wen and stunning Malgosia Bela and the images, recently revealed, were photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott.

The concept behind the collection was portrayed through the many faces of these three women and they represented different elements and inspirations throughout the process of design. The young, unruly and fun Cara, the sophistication and beautiful intricacy of Liu and of course, the upmost femininity and alluring elements from Malgosia.

It was so cleverly constructed and the lingerie itself is gorgeous! La Perla tries to appeal to a variety of different women in the world. From expertly placed embellishments – the Paisley Body suit- to the figure defining La Perla Heritage bustier the detail presented simply screams splendour.
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Photo: La Perla
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Photo: La Perla

Written by Savannah Lui 
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 16:03

Beauty Editor of French Elle goes Blackface

Written by
Today we we contacted by the Telegraph to comment on French Elle.

The beauty editor of French Elle decides to paint her face BLACK and put on an afro wig and the purpose of this experiment we have no idea.

Mr Mahogany has said it all over and over again so what really is left ot be said?

what are your thoughts?
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Monday, 25 November 2013 22:08

Spotted On Celeb

Written by
Both Miley Cyrus and Nicole Richie have been spotted wearing a stunning metallic, Marc Jacobs gown. Personally, I feel Miss Richie wore it best keeping it very slick and sophisticated with the neutral make up - minus the striking red lip - and smooth hair with a small nude clutch to finish it off.

On the other hand, I can see the route Miley was trying to go down but it just did not fit the bill quite right. Bare feet should be illegal on stage. She was trying to convey the glamorous, beach scene, tip-toeing through the warm sand scene but instead she was on a stage with millions judging her and I don't think it went down well as opposed to Nicole.

I do love the headdress though, in fact, last Winter I saw a truly fabulous lady walking through Covent Gardens in sunglasses and a woolly 'turban-like' hat. She looked so warm and chic and I'm totally in favour of this look.

Key Fashion actually has a very similar dress to that worn of these two ladies for £120 and it would be perfect for a ball, formal event or even a school prom, it's very pretty and worn on the right person, very flattering.

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Stockist: SpottedOnCeleb.com

Written by Savannah Lui 
Sunday, 24 November 2013 16:02

Lady Gaga For Versace's Spring Summer 2014 Campaign

Written by
Lady Gaga has been named the new face of Versace for the Spring 2014 campaign!
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Saturday, 23 November 2013 16:29

Special treats For Her and for Him From Reiss

Written by
Is there anyone special that you want to treat this weekend? Or maybe it's time for you to treat yourself – it's totally up to you!

This Sunday, 24th November, Reiss is launching the gift card promotion for when you spend £250 online you get a free gift card, worth up to £50 to spend in one of Reiss stores across the UK. This offer will be available until 1st December – so grab it while you can!

But if you miss this great opportunity, you can now purchase Reiss Gift Cards by going to the website, there's always a way for you to show someone how much you care about them whatever your budget is with Reiss!

Also check out their Gift Guides for Her & for Him at Reiss.
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Written Boonya Rodpunyar
Friday, 22 November 2013 09:19

Solange Knowles Art director and creative consultant for Puma

Written by
Determined not to be known simply as "Beyoncé's little sister" Solange Knowles' has worn a number of hats such as fashionista, fashion designer, dancer, song writer and mother through various creative projects. I was far from surprised to hear that she has recently donned a new hat Art director and creative consultant for Puma.

It is in my new role that I am able to express my love for not only design but the conception of creative ideas, and the execution of them by curating amazingly talented teams. I've had so much fun producing special content, ad campaigns, events, and working alongside the awesome Puma team with some of my favourite emerging artist, photographers, graphic designers etc. to create activations that really celebrates both mine and Pumas approach and philosophies."

Solange's first project will be pairing artists such as like Gerlan Jeans, William Okpo, and Hisham Bharoocha of Soft Circle-- to interpret the Puma Disc shoe into their own individual styles.

The arrange could be out in February and I can't wait to see what they come up with.

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Saturday, 16 November 2013 22:07

Prada’s new Mini Bags

Written by
I absolutely adore Prada's new mini bag collection for the Fall of 2013. 
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They are a much more upscale take on the classic 'satchel' with the added embellishments and the elegant fastenings at the front. Prada have introduced a modern twist on account of the size which enables the user to take it through the daytime and into the night whilst keeping up appearances. The minimalism of these mini bags combined with the classic Prada sparkle and the simplistic, geometric cut is what makes these bags so wearable.
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They come in a variety of different colours and styles and I have taken quite a fancy to the aqua blue colour block satchel as it provides that bit of vibrancy every monochrome lover needs! A few different variations for the fasteners are also shown as well as a decision for the round or the square shape.
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I normally stand by my square bags but the red mini bag with rounded edges and the gold piece really is sweet. Satchels are, and have proven to be, timeless and are showcased all year round and if the strap is tucked away, what do you know? You have a darling little clutch.

I love the thought of pairing the red mini bag with slim, tailored trousers, a fitted blazer and heeled boots. Oh! And of course lashings of your favourite matte red lipstick.

The bags may be little, but it sure provides the statement every outfit needs.

Written by Savannah Liu 
Saturday, 16 November 2013 10:10

Tom Fords Guide on How to Make It in Fashion

Written by
Fashion Fund keynote speaker Tom Ford speaks about how to survive in the industry. 

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Photo: Tevor Fogah Griffiths

1. "Never sell a controlling interest in your name. Ever. A few million dollars now will seem like a lot to you. But one day, when you're the success that you know you can be, you'll regret this. Unfortunately, there are far too many examples of this very sad tale."

2. "If you're designing your own label, then know yourself. When you become well-known as a designer, you give the world your taste. You sell your taste — it's no longer yours. You can only do this once. The DNA of your brand will become all your likes and dislikes. Once you hit the right chord, you'll then be typecast and often pegged into a certain slot. No matter what I do, I'm always pegged as the sexy designer who loves black. Miuccia [Prada] is the intelligent designer. Yves [Saint Laurent] was the delicate, suffering designer. And so on. So my point is, know what you want to say."

3. "Know your ideal client — the dream person you design for, your fantasy muse, so to speak. This will give your collection a point of view and a focus. Then know your real client, because he or she may be completely different than what you aspire to. Or your may not want to know them because in some cases when you meet your real clients they may actually scare the hell out of you. But on occasion, you will meet one that even exceeds your highest expectations and you'll be so proud."

4. "Decide for you if fashion is an art or an artistic business. This will affect how you set up your company. Some designers are true artists. Alexander McQueen, for me, was an absolute artist. Some are commercial designers who consider what they do artistic but not necessarily art. I would put myself into that category. Filmmaking for me was something that I attempted to do for art's sake."

5. "Choose your team carefully. So much of your success is due to the people who you surround yourself with. Your friends, your family, and the people that you work with — they all play an important role in inspiring you and supporting you and giving you stability. These are the people in your life who will be honest with you."

6. "If your brand is to have a strong identity, it must come from you and not from a committee. If you're ever in talks with a potential investor of financial backer and they bring in their wife's blouse to show you for inspiration, run. If a potential investor has a wife or daughter who just loves fashion and can't wait to come in and talk to you about the collection, run. If your president or CEO thinks they know the difference between a dark burgundy and an aubergine, fire them. Don't ever let yourself be swayed in terms of what you design by the outside. I don't mean that you shouldn't listen to the advice and thoughts of others because you should, but in the end it's you, and you alone, who must decide what path to forge."

7. "Have a five-year plan, a 10-year plan, even a 20-year plan. And possibly an exit strategy. You can always change that, but start with a vision. Where do you want to be, how big do you want to be, what context are you planning on designing in? I've personally always liked the idea of global domination. I never understood anyone who thought, "You know, I'm going to work really, really hard and I'm gonna be second best!"

8. "Think globally. And spend as much time outside the United States as possible. I'm an American and I'm very proud of being an American, but everything in the world today is global, and America can tend to be very inward-looking. I'm not sure I would have been as successful as a designer had I not left America. I had to leave my own culture in order to find my own design aesthetic."

9. "Remember that our customers do not need our clothes. They don't need another pair of shoes or a new jacket. We have to create that need by creating desire. I have at times in my life had a real problem with this, with the materialism and consumerism that is fashion. Part of me wants to rebel against this and move to the desert and live in a simple adobe hut and become a monk. The other part of me wants to enjoy the beauty of the way that a piece of silk velvet catches the light and takes color. Finally, I realized we live in a material world. We're material creatures. We are sensorial, we feel, and we touch. We're fortunate to live in the Western world where we do have luxury. And fashion is part of experiencing that material time that we have on earth. It really does add beauty and quality to our lives."

10. "Try to remain positive. I struggle with this one too. When our job is to constantly scrutinize things for what's wrong with them and to correct them and to remake them into our vision, it's easy to see the glass as half-empty. Think about it: All day long we say, "No, no, no—it's wrong!" It kind of a negative process. Our brain becomes critical. We have to always try to see the glass as half-full."

11. "Believe in what you do. If you don't believe in it, no one will. If you love something while you're designing it and you're excited, you can actually endow that psychical piece — whether it's a handbag or a shoe or a dress — with that feeling. So when a consumer is flicking through a rack of clothes, they'll stop. It will actually transmit your excitement to them."

12. "Find a great business partner and don't let them go. This is absolutely key. You'll need someone who believes in you completely and respects your judgment and vision. I'm lucky to have this in Domenico De Sole. These relationships do not come easy, they're marriages, really. I trust Domenico with my life, and I believe he feels the same. We love each other as if we were family."

13. "Be thankful to all those who help you on the way up. You won't get there without them. Cherish them, and don't forget them."

14. "Remember that we all have it in our power to simply say, 'Fuck it, I'm going to bed.' And somehow, the next morning, everything seems a lot better. This was my father's secret to staying calm and making it through anything that life threw at him, and it's given me a lot of strength over the years."
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