Alayaka Christmas Shop

With Christmas just around and people’s minds on the festive season, Alayaka has opened its Christmas shop with a wide range of new, beautiful products from stocking fillers to luxury items. This virtual beauty and lifestyle department store is a must-see for anyone who is looking for something extra special this year for themselves or a loved one. With a huge amount of options available from the Christmas shop that will suit both men and women, ranging from candles to skincare there will be something to suit everyone’s taste.

Standing out (for me) in the Christmas shop is the beautiful and luxurious advent calendar. With a total of 24 indulgent gifts, the Alayaka advent calendar is perfect for someone who loves their beauty treatments and would love the idea of a little gift each day to indulge their beauty and open the door to new products.

Amongst the 24 items for 2019’s Christmas Advent Calendar are:

  • MZ Skin Hydra-Lift Golden Facial Treatment Mask 1 piece

  • The Beauty Chef Collagen Inner Beauty Boost 100 ml

  • Max&Me The Intuitive Facial Mist 30 ml

  • Lilfox Prickly Pear Beauty Nectar Sample 2 ml

  • Rahua Mini Omega 9 Hair Mask 22 ml

  • Indie Lee Travel Purifying Face Wash 15 ml

  • Kjaer Weis Highlighter ‘Ravishing’ Deluxe Sample

  • Lilah b Mini Lovingly Lip ‘b. elegant’

  • Nuori Mini Supreme Moisture Mask 5 ml

This is just a small selection of what is in the calendar and with so much more available this is a perfect time to start your Christmas shop or just to stock up for the holiday season. check the makeup range, you will love the selection and with Christmas parties and all the other associated gatherings you can pick up a new palette or three for your makeup collection…..

To learn more or purchase from Alayaka see:

Alayaka Website.

*affiliate links included in this blog.

A Dark Twist To Our Story

a dark twist

While I appreciate the Lost Stories and Lost project have become a beauty, art and lifestyle blog there is still that little darker twist to the story that I am still really proud of and has been instrumental in the changes that are to come.

For many years I have been talking about moving into film and TV production under my own banner, taking that initiative and adding in different elements to the business and looking at the possibilities of relocating which have been for a while now been on hold due to family commitments and financial constraints.

We, as a team, are slowly ending that and will be doing a little more research that will lead us to the end of the year and give us the flexibility and freedom to do the work we want. Our clients are very important to us and always will be this is just a way for us to create something fresh that will showcase them in a new light.

As a beauty blog, we have some amazing brands on our side (such as Brushwork cosmetics, with promo code Jamesc get 10% off your order, and Colorpop) along with PR agents who provide us with the latest information and its enjoyable to work with them it allows room to pick and choose what is written about.

What we are planning to do long term, is take all that support, funnel this into what will be the commercial side of the business The Lost Creatives, where we will showcase the new work giving exclusive behind the scenes images, videos, and blogs about the work we are doing.

The focus will be on horror and thriller projects and we have already set up a partnership with HOD TV with a long term view to sales. It is exciting and takes us down a different path that yes is splitting the work but in the most positive manner, we can find that will give us flexibility and a clearly defined set of goals for the future.

*Affiliate links and codes included.

Saturday Night With Little Bill By Stewart Nicol Soutar

Stewart Nicol Soutar has become synonymous with whimsical storytelling in his paintings leaving an open door to interpretation and with a broad stroke has created a style that has classified as neo-classical surrealism. The latest in this is Saturday Night With Little Bill, a visual journey that has all the hallmarks of a classic visual conduit to the imagination.

Saturday Night With Little Bill By Stewart Nicol Soutar

Saturday Night With Little Bill By Stewart Nicol Soutar

In a broad sweep of the image, we see two things almost immediately: the bird in the foreground and then the various windows and lights across the background.

What can be assumed to be a tropical bird sat on its perch appears to be watching the neighbors through the window giving it a surreal and slightly voyeuristic feel (from a purely avian perspective). The color tones of yellow and orange are like a beacon in the dark, a taste of what is on the mind of the owner perhaps: tropical tones and a sense of peacocking to come. A Saturday night display so to speak.

The background is equally intriguing at first glance it appears random with windows and lights spaced randomly and the darkness of the color palette broken up with hints at other properties dropped sporadically through the scene but it’s on inspection that we see the truth of the matter. A Depth and scale that is both dramatic and homely in the same stroke, a neat visual trick to play with.

When taken from the birds (eye) view of a high angle (hinting at a ground floor flat) we see the blocking of apartments and the random flashes of humanity that in the real world would be visible to the naked eye are represented here by the flashes of orange and yellow of lamps and ceiling pendants in living rooms and bedrooms on a Saturday night as people prepare for their nights out, all seen from the perch of a tropical bird.

All the details are there and the impression is of a skewed angle of view that would fit with the birds-eye theory. Questions arise in my own mind, is the bird a pet? Sitting on a tree in a garden preparing itself for a night of hunting or stalking or a more esoteric representation of the mind of man: a Saturday night is a time to shine?

Visually a spectacle with the potential to be a story of its own to each new viewer the beauty of the image in all its neo surrealistic splendor is the opening of the mind to the potential of a Saturday night with Little Bill, a beautifully captured moment in time.

To learn more about Stewart Nicol Soutar or to purchase artwork/discuss commissions see:

Stewart Nicol Soutar Website

The Pre-Party Skin Perfecter With The Time Bomb Company

With winter closing in fast and the festive season just on the edges of our life, the time to start a new winter skincare routine has come to pass and focus on the parties to come, The Time Bomb Company is here to support this with their usual simple and easy to use range that will see you through the winter and party season with grace, dignity and a healthy glow.

Throwback to baby-smooth, fresh, luminous skin overnight with the two-step at-home peel Time Bomb Throwback Thursday Overnight Peel and Reveal (£48)

Step 1: PEEL AHA SERUM (chemical exfoliation) applied at bedtime this AHA serum containing 10% glycolic acid as well as lactic, malic and citric acids gets to work whilst you sleep by chemically breaking down and dissolving the top layer of dead, dull skin that is making your complexion look dry, drab and lackluster.

Step 2: REVEAL DERMABRASION CREAM (mechanical exfoliation) in the morning, buff away the loosened layer with this professional-caliber microdermabrasion polish and reveal a smoother, radiant surface, softened fine lines and wrinkles, and tighter looking skin

Moisturise, prime, even skin tone and add a luminous glow, all in one go, with Time Bomb Glory Days Day Cream (£31/45ml)

this 4-in-1 moisturizer contains Borage Oil, plus a powerful blend of Glucose and White Flower Oils to intensely hydrate, whilst a proprietary Hyaluronic Acid Complex plumps tighten and forms a protective matrix to instantly firm and smooth skin's surface priming it perfectly for makeup application

micro-reflective particles diffuse the look of lines to even skin tone, brighten and leave a 'lit from within' glow

Instantly transform pale, ashen, tired complexions with Time Bomb Holiday in a Bottle (£30/30ml)

this oil-free liquid sunshine contains micro-pigments that burst on contact, spreading the translucent color over skin to warm and enhance your natural complexion

available in two foolproof, forgiving and blendable shades: Sun-kissed and Suntanned.

The Leighton Denny Party Essentials

As we get closer to the festive season and with Halloween mere days away, the team at Leighton Denny (MBE) has put together a selection of productions that will take you from office to party in a few simple steps.

Starting with Sun Believable Highlight Me wash off bronzer designed to add a touch a color and used to sculpt the body, this beautiful cream is designed to add a radiant, shimmering glow to the skin. Perfect for the party season and a quick fix and fast addition to your party routine.

Leighton Denny light and dark perfume

Adding color and fun to your look is simple with the Leighton Denny lip dual, a stain and luxe cream lipstick combined that will slip into your handbag and offer a quick fix on the run. Glamour in 8 delectable shades that will see you go from day to night with a minimum of fuss.

The final piece of party favor is the divine light and dark unisex perfume comes in a purple glossy bottle with sparkling accents. This seductive scent features top notes of dark woods tempered with moss, amber, and crisp spices pepper and nutmeg. Citrus top notes are warmed by a heart of neroli for a mysteriously woody and endlessly alluring scent.

With Leighton Denny it’s possible to go from office to glam for any occasion with ease noted for his beautiful and ward winning nail varnishes, the company has grown to be the go-to for party glam and adding a touch of elegance to your look whilst maintaining that professional edge he has become synonymous with.

Leighton Denny Lip Dual

ECO WARRIOR By Little Soap Company Sets The Sustainable Bar

The Little Soap Company has been leading the charge on changing how we view the Eco side of cosmetics in particular items such as soap. From its humble roots to the current multifaceted company sold in stores such as Asda, the team has come a long way and offers not just soap but a message.

the little soap company

Groundbreaking. Compact. Fresh. Modern. Super effective. British made. No Plastics. Affordable. Vegan. Sustainable. Innovative. Bio-degradable. Recyclable. Major impact on cleansing, minimum impact on the environment. And all in one cool bar. ECO WARRIOR by Little Soap Company is a collection of six thoughtful, high impact, job-specific bar soaps, each with its own distinct use and bespoke essential oil blend (no synthetic fragrances), changing the way we cleanse forever. From washing and exfoliating to shaving and even shampooing, ECO WARRIOR has you covered - in bio-degradable bar form.

Founded by Emma Heathcote-James, multi-award-winning Little Soap Company has been disrupting the soaps market for over ten years by becoming the first organic soap collection to bring vegan and sustainable products to the high street at affordable prices - and free from typical ingredients such as detergents, SLS, sulphates, alcohol, parabens, sorbates, silicones, synthetic preservatives.

Emma is passionate about environmental issues and delivering affordable, plastic-free solutions to everyday needs - and her collection of ECO WARRIOR SOAP BARS does just that. Simply wrapped in a recyclable box, it helps eliminate single-use plastic bottles from sinks, bathrooms, and washbags - it's estimated that over the course of a year, sales of ECO WARRIOR SOAP BARS could save the environment from over one million plastic bottles!

When it comes to sustainable, green living, Little Soap Company continues to set the Bar - so join Emma and Little Soap Company in making green beauty norms, not niche, one bathroom at a time.

To learn more about the company see:

The Little Soap company Website.

The Little Soap company Twitter.

The Little Soap company Instagram.

The Little Soap company Facebook.

Ripar Cosmetics Goes State Side

ripar cosmetics USA

Originally designed as a camouflage cream makeup for tattoos and medical conditions, they have grown to become a staple of artists kits and a respected professional makeup brand used across Italy in a wide range of situations and artistic endeavors. Expanding on this with the team from Beauty made in Italy, they are now set to make waves in the wider market and take their expertise and professionalism to a whole new level.

Joining the US market this year, Ripar Cosmetics is an Italian family-owned business with over 40 years of history and experience. Combining a love of beauty and medicine, their expertise stems from two generations of plastic surgeons. Ripar offers beauty aficionados a range of cosmetics including mascaras, foundations, setting powders, setting sprays and more.

Ripar Cosmetics is part of the 'Beauty Made in Italy' program that promotes the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian beauty brands and products to the US market and consumer.

Originally designed for tattoo cover and skin imperfections, Ripar's RiparCover Cream is a lightweight, long-lasting, full coverage foundation that's gentle on the skin and fragrance-free. Available in 24 shades, RiparCover Cream completely hides the appearance of blemishes and rosacea. RiparCover Cream is sweat and water-resistant so it will last all day long! Combine with their RiparCover Setting Powder for 16 hours of staying power.

Available NOW at macys.com and ripar.us.

The Skincare Ritual To Boost Your Mood and Beat The Winter Blues

Taking the winter blues and changing in the season in its stride, the Kyushi skincare range has a welcome solution that will boost your regime and offer a welcome respite in a tiring world.

Kyushi

Kyushi Orange & Neroli (£39/30ml, kyushi.co.uk) is a 100% natural, vegan facial oil combining the skin-nourishing plant-based oils of Jojoba and Squalane, with the powerful aromatherapy benefits of Sweet Orange, Bergamot and Neroli essential oils. This energizing daily facial oil works to maintain, support and restore beautiful glowing skin, whilst putting a spring in your morning step.

  • Sweet Orange essential oil naturally reduces anxiety and balances mood

  • Bergamot essential oil soothes tension in the body and helps to fade dark spots whilst brightening and evening skin tone

  • uplifting Neroli essential oil has antiseptic properties to support the balance in oil and moisture

  • 100% pure olive Squalane Oil imitates the skins natural sebum to nourish, moisturize, restore elasticity and boost cell regeneration

  • Jojoba Oil is rich in fatty acids, vitamin E, B-complex, silicon, chromium, copper, zinc and bacteria-fighting iodine. This naturally derived liquid wax is almost identical to the molecular structure of sebum, allowing the oil to deeply nourish and moisturize

  • anti-oxidant Vitamin E helps to improve fine lines and wrinkles by providing an antioxidant boost that protects from sun damage and encourages the healthy growth of new skin cells.

  • high in vitamin C content which helps to fight wrinkles, supports the production of collagen and boosts blood flow to the area.

The Kyushi Ritual

The application of Kyushi is as important as the product itself, inspired by the Japanese belief in being in the moment. Pause for few moments twice daily, place three drops of your Kyushi oil into the palm of your hand, gently rub hands together and cup hands over nose and mouth. Close the eyes and take three long deep breaths, feeling the stomach rise and fall, the lungs filling then emptying completely as you deep breathe to oxygenate the body, giving cells the crucial oxygen needed to regenerate. Finally apply the oil to face, neck, and chest to experience the topical and aromatherapy benefits in unison. Kyushi - permission to pause.

To learn more about the range see:

The Kyushi Website.

The Kyushi Instagram.

Reaching Out To Other Artists

reaching out

In the last few months, I have spoken to people who are entering the makeup industry or have in-laws etc who are trying to gain some experience in the industry. Now it may surprise people to know that Yes, I am still working. My business is cut into 3 distinct areas (see below) and I rarely if ever have the time to chase down inquiries about work experience that are done in person when I am walking down the street.

  1. Beauty writer.

  2. Editorial and magazine imaging.

  3. Film and TV.

Something I encourage people to do is look at my websites, check my social accounts and email me. Now this may seem a little unfair or dismissive but let’s be clear, I do have a business to run and I am inclined now more than ever, to deal with people via email rather than on the phone.

So with this in mind I want to lay out some basic rules and lay the groundwork that will help you with other potential artists:

Do your research before you contact them. Check all their information, a website may have a limited amount of work on it for a reason such as projects are not released yet, etc.

Let the person know you are aware of their work and make it clear why you are in contact. For example:

“I looked through your work and it’s in the area of makeup artistry I would like to be a part of, my background is limited but I am open to learning about the industry. If you have any projects coming up I would like to be considered, here is my website and contact information. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future.”

Don’t look down on an assistant placement. I cannot stress this enough You are not going to be co-designer or head of the department, I will not step down from a job to give you a chance. I have a business too and I have a right to earn a living just the same as you.

I am always happy to talk to people but when it comes to business but you need to keep an open mind and remember that you are not my priority my clients are, so if the response is not what you want or the person you reach out to offers constructive feedback accept it and take it on board.

Again, I want to make this clear, I nor any other artist out there, is going to chase you around. If you know I am working on a project, if you know there is a job available, then YOU need to make the effort to apply or reach out. *speculative emails, in general, I ignore UNLESS I see something solid that is professionally grounded.

Part of this was why I set up The Lost Creatives. If there is work available it will be posted there but it will be a job with a contract and terms. There will be no negotiations.

In summary, be sensible and aware that other people have businesses to run as well, be proactive and sensible it will benefit you more.

Depixym Paints A New Artist Must Have

Depixym paints are the kind of makeup product that makes me want to play and be creative emulating one of my inspirations the legend Linda Mason’s freestyle work. Already stocked in the best pro stores, the team behind this is making artists in the fashion industry jump for joy at the potential.

depixym paint collection

Styled after traditional paint tubes you would see in a fine art studio, there is a sense of fun to the brand that is redefining how people work with cosmetics as evidenced by the Depixym website where the images range from simple beauty to extreme and Avante Garde.

A creative must, they can be integrated into shoots of all stripes and stepping out of the corporate style we have come to expect from makeup brands, Depixym has taken the social norms and turned them on their head giving a multi-faceted, dynamic makeup emulsion that can be used pretty much anywhere you want on the body to create, you, in essence, become the canvas for your own artistic expression.

From a practical stance, these are easy to slip into a kit and can be mixed to make any color you choose and are the kind of multipurpose Vegan-friendly paints that will open up new avenues of creativity.

Aesthetically, they are perfectly formed to resemble (with good reason) the artist paint tube and have a seductively simple and almost vintage feel to them that makes you want to touch and play with the shades and redefine your look or just experiment which in makeup terms is a much fresher approach to the standard palettes and potions we see on offer.

With a shade range of 20 and the LGBT collection as a show of solidarity, a rainbow of potential is opened up for artists of all stripes a truly open brand that is for everyone.

*A little professional caveat for film and TV artists working on period dramas due to their color range and texture Depixym paints offer a perfect addition to a look matching the famous makeup lines available during the golden age of Hollywood for film and consumer use. Students working on their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s looks should look closely at the colors as they will fit the brief and give you a more on-point look when you research you will find that the shade ranges and textures for lipstick in particular. They also fit the brief for theatrical styles that require a more vintage look or the classic Betty Paige/pin-up work.

To learn more about the range see:

Depixym Website

Depixym Instagram

Stockists:

Beauty Bay

Guru Makeup Emporium

CBD Coffee and Tea with The Hugg Co

hugg cbd coffee

As many people will know I am a big coffee drinker with the occasional late-night cup of tea when the mood takes me. An advocate of cafe culture, I have to admit that the new range of CBD coffee and tea from The Hugg Company was a real plus for me.

Cafe culture for me is a big part of my professional and personal life, when I find myself tired and in need of breathing space to think I grab a coffee (or specialist tea) and take a walk, what Hugg has allowed me to do is take that same mentality home with me and make it a little more environmentally friendly, using a french press and the CBD coffee along with a reusable cup, I can take time out and walk along the beach with my beverage and think. Self-care with coffee so to speak.

“Coarse Ground Italian Roast Coffee Beans Infused with 490mg CBD from Natural Hemp. Mild in Flavour for All to Enjoy.”

HUGG Fruit Tea

Built around the idea of self-care, The Hugg Company has taken the medicinal properties of CBD and combined it with coffee and fruit tea a welcome gesture in a frenetic world. Although designed for those over 18 and a maximum of 4 cups per day (Which for caffeine is sensible), it is without question a welcome addition to the cafe culture world and allows you to sit back and enjoy the moment and practice the concept of self-care with the knowledge that your part of something solid with a scientific base.

The Hugg company is one of the leading lights in the CBD market and their extensive research and collaborations are opening the doors to a safer more open CBD market, giving you a sense of peace in the process.

The Hugg CBD products are the next range of cannabis-based research firm CiiTECH; a registered UK cannabis biotech company and collaborative partner with the Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem – the epicenter of cannabis research and development.

To learn more about the company or to purchase products see:

The Hugg Co website

The Hugg Co Facebook

The Hugg Co Instagram

The Hugg Co Twitter

Elysium Brushes An Interesting Little Find

As a makeup artist, brushes are a tool we cannot scrimp on as they are the backbone of our work.  When I came across the Elysium range I admit to being intrigued and decided to look at them a little more closely.

“The brand name ELYSIUM is an ancient Greek composition of Heaven and Infinity. It symbolises the enlightenment of a human soul.”

A fascinating start to the brand the brushes themselves are developed and made in Italy to all the exacting standards you would expect from a country known for the quality of its skincare, cosmetics and of course clothing. 

Standing tall in the market the ethical brand has a total of 8 brushes: 4 for the face, and 4 for the eyes. That is a solidity to the design, as you would expect for a professional-grade brush with the bonus of being synthetic making them suitable for all users.

The beautifully constructed brushes give a visible sense of solidity that is required of a brush without losing any of the aesthetic beauty that makes them as much a display piece as they are a practical tool.

On a personal level, there are two distinct standouts in the face range: Jada (foundation) and Yori (sculpting blush).  On the surface, they are perfectly styled and shaped to perform and in line with current trends for styling on a face brush but it’s the extra details of the bristles with their two-tone effect and the tactile look of the handle/Ferrell in black that set them apart in the market. 

From the eye collection, the Nuri (blending) and Alva (shadow) look’s to all intents and purpose like the premium end of the goat hair range but are in fact synthetic, beautifully detailed and again, with that solidity of construction that speaks of Italy. 

Special mention must, of course, go to the Paci brush (limited edition) not only for its unique design and shape but overall use, aimed to be a concealer brush, the precision tip allows you to add details such as high light to key areas of the face with ease.   Another plus of this particular brush is that the team is going to donate $15 to the Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation for each Paci Brush sold, making it a worthwhile addition to a kit and supporting breast cancer sufferers.

With all this in mind, it is easy then to see these gracing the kits of a fashion or bridal artist, as easily at home at fashion week as a dressing table, the elegance of design and practicality these brushes bring are in essence a beauty artists dream. 

To learn more about the range or to shop see:

Elysium Brushes Website.

Elysium Brushes Instagram.

Elysium Brushes Facebook.

Elysium Brushes Twitter.

Colorpop Fun Makeup With Professional Credentials

Colorpop Palettes

Colorpop Palettes

The Colorpop brand has become a go-to brand for cost-effective and fun makeup. Their array of palettes and collaborations with people such as Disney have seen them rise in the ranks of makeup companies. With a mix of quirky names and a rainbow confection of shades, Colorpop is a must-see and a must-have in the market.

Looking at the palettes we see a wide range of presets such as Blue Moon and Uh Huh Honey, and the ability to create your own allowing for artists of every stripe to play with makeup looks without breaking the bank.

Regularly putting new makeup into the market, you can build a kit full of colors and tones that will suit your needs and find yourself a Colorpop fan no matter what your looking for, the latest in this is the Pretty Fresh tinted moisturizer available in 24 shades, making it a wide enough range that it will work for most skin tones with little hassle.

Handled completely in house from the lab to the retail, Colorpop hails from California in the USA and ships worldwide (a major plus for the UK market). The company has built a stellar reputation for their product range and given makeup artists and consumers alike an award-winning range that will sit as well on a dressing table as it does backstage at a fashion show. Ideally suited to the playful, editorial artist through to bridal or even those in media, there is something fun and practical about the company that is worthy of note in the beauty sector.

To learn more about the range see:

Colorpop website.

Colorpop Instagram.

Colorpop Facebook.

Colorpop Twitter.

*This blog includes affiliate links.

From Farm-to-Face With I-Beauty

When it comes to skincare and beauty Italy is leading the way with a sense of style that is truly Italian in its nature. The latest example of this being the farm to face collection from the team at Beauty made in Italy. Taking the concept of fresh skin and beauty to a whole new level of expertise, grace, and class that can only be done with the best possible ingredients, the absolute top of the European market brands and of course the added touch of chic that only Beauty made in Italy can provide.

from farm to face with ibeauty

The highest quality ingredients in the world combined with innovative formulations come together to produce the freshest, most luxurious products that define Italian beauty (I-Beauty). Using the land and nature as their biggest resource, I-Beauty brands create products that are truly farm-to-face. Check out these new products from 'Beauty Made in Italy' to give your beauty routine a nourishing and healthy kick!

Rejuvenate your skin with Perlier's Royal Elixir Nectar of Youth Face Serum With Fresh Royal Jelly Drone Technology. This revolutionary serum contains the highest level of Perlier's most advanced active ingredient, fresh royal jelly, which has been enhanced using drone technology. The Royal Elixir Face Serum helps to fill wrinkles from the inside, smoothing and plumping the look of skin, leaving it more radiant and energized. Retail price: $149. Available now at perlier.com.

October marks the start of the truffle hunting season, which is the star ingredient in Skin&Co Roma's Truffle Therapy Cream. The luxurious Black Winter Truffle is dense and nutrients and antioxidants that protect the skin from free radicals and environmental damage while combating the signs of dehydration. Retail price: $68. Available now at skinandcoroma.com.

Acca Kappa's new Natural Care Gel Facial Oil is formulated with a blend of eight organic vegetable oils that include: sweet almond oil, olive oil, argan oil, sesame oil, Jojoba oil, macadamia oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil. This nourishing and elasticizing treatment fights the signs of aging while moisturizing, toning and soothing the skin. Retail price: $98. Available now at accakappa.com.

Inspired by nature, Herbatint's Mahogany Series is an easy way to spice up your hair color. With organic black walnut and organic Echinacea, their Mahogany Series creates deep vibrant red tones that enhance the subtle colors of Fall. Retail price: $18.99. Available now at usa.herbatint.com.

To learn more about Beauty Made in Italy click here.

Bespoke London a Fresh Approach to Mens Scent

When I came across the Bespoke London range I bought it to try it based on price and admit that I am now hooked and find myself reaching for the body spray on a regular basis with the corresponding aftershave as an extra touch. A simple, clean collection that inspires and evokes images of masculinity and solidity, it is for me the perfect accessory to the Lost Boys concept as well as being an affordable luxury that will round out a man’s grooming routine with a solidity and strength that has to be appreciated.

Bespoke London

On first glance, we see simple, clean packaging that has a minimalist edge, that is for me, uniquely male. the collection consists of 4 distinct scents and each has its own colored package to suit and is again subdivided into two camps: warm woods with exotic undertones (mature) that draw you into its exoticism and then the citrus and wild herbs, warmer and softer undertones that are both masculine and approachable (youthful).

Adding a touch of personality to the individual items that allow you to create a uniformity of scent without overpowering the wearer. An uncompromisingly simple range, Bespoke London is everything I want and more from an aftershave at a price that is accessible for daily use and fits my requirements on occasions when that extra edge is needed. A perfect antidote the overly complex world we live.

Looking at the packaging it has all the hallmarks of quality you would expect in a much more expensive range without losing any of the quality. The aftershave bottle is a prime example of this the frosted glass bottle feels solid in the hand and has the same clean symmetry that is synonymous with the Bespoke London range. Across the board, we see a cohesiveness that is both reassuring and pleasant, with weight and tactility that when handled feels right regardless of the item, the strong block colors and strong typography of the labeling all add to that sense of utilitarian luxury that men’s grooming is known for.

For me, the collection as a whole has a sense of affordable luxury, the body sprays, aftershave, and Eau Fraiche are all designed to suit the men’s grooming market and give an accessible, affordable range that will stand up to the rigors of most men’s lives giving an air of confidence. The overall feel of the range is that it is designed to suit everyday use without being overpowering and still with a masculine touch. Cleverly done and deserving of applause.

Exclusive to Superdrug, it is a clever strategy and with wide availability in their stores, the range is worth attention as it sits squarely and rightly alongside its more expensive designer counterparts and is a brand that has filled a niche that in my opinion was long overdue an overhaul giving it a fresh, strong and important place in the market for men’s grooming products.

To purchase from the entire Bespoke London range see Superdrug stores.

To learn more about Bespoke London:

Bespoke London Facebook.

Bespoke London Instagram.

Bespoke London Twitter.

Taking You into Autumn With Time Bomb Skincare

There is a natural tendency to switch out our wardrobe at this time of year for warmer clothes and start making preparations for the cooler weather and the changes in the season, its also the time to think of your skin and The Time Bomb skincare team have come up with the best solutions for your transition with this easy 3 step program to make your skin look its best.

1. Boost Your Cleanse

time bomb take off

The summer season can leave the skin dull, dry and rough! For fresher, younger-looking skin your cleanser has to do more than simply wash your face. Time Bomb Take-Off Time Cleanse & Buff (£16.50/125ml) contains tiny professional dermatological grade crystals to gently buff away that top layer of dry, dead skin that has built up over the hot, sweaty months. Plus, the Sunflower Seed Oil and Shea Butter work to hydrate and soften the skin. You'll be left with a fresh, smooth and dewy complexion. It's like giving yourself a mini facial every time you cleanse.

2. Replenish, Restore & Protect

time bomb youth juice oil

Replenish moisture levels and restore and protect your skin's protective barrier for autumn with Time Bomb Youth Juice Secret Oil (£42/60ml). Youth Juice is a revolutionary blend of 11 different natural oils (olive, kukui, avocado, jojoba, coconut oil and more) with a unique proprietary delivery system so it penetrates deeply to moisturize, replenish and plump dry skin, as well as helping to restore the skin's protective barrier to seal in natural moisture. Vitamins E and C help to plump skin and create an all-over, youthful, dewy glow.

3. Nourish & Glow Head-to-Toe

Time Bomb SHOW OFF Shimmer Lotion

Nourish and quench thirsty summer skin and hold onto your holiday glow with Time Bomb Show-Off Shimmer Lotion (£24/250ml). This intensely rich lotion will make even the driest, thirstiest skin glisten and glow. Mega-moisturisers Shea Butter and Avocado Oil, seep deeply to quench and nourish parched skin. A delicate blend of White Truffle Oil, White Tea Leaf and antioxidants Vitamins C and E work to brighten, tone and add a plump, velvety texture. As SHOW OFF melts into the skin for all-day hydration, opalescent, micro-particles remain on the surface, leaving an iridescent glow. This subtle wash of shimmer blurs and deflects imperfections, 'airbrushes' skin and adds an irresistible, dewy, luminous, luster.

To learn more about the Time Bomb range or to purchase the products see:

The time Bomb Company Website.

The time Bomb Company Facebook.

The time Bomb Company Instagram.

The time Bomb Company Twitter.

House of Sillage X Christian Cowan collab

As someone who has consulted and done PR for events during London Fashion week as well as an avid follower of various artistic movements, I know my way around designers and the collabs they put together so it’s rare for me to be in a position where I am clutching a credit card and coveting an accessory of this type which makes this an important piece of fashion and beauty history in the making.

Combining art and designer in this collab was a genius stroke and with an inspirational story that is worth the investment alone. Taking the creative elements that both parties have become known for it is easy to see the care and construction that has gone into and it has a touch of elegance that reminds me of the ’20s and 30’s flappers with elegant lines and a sense of decadent practicality seen in the most luxurious items of the Art deco and Nouveau period clutched in the hands of the flappers and truly elite.

Cowan and House of Sillage Founder & CEO Nicole Mather collaborated to curate the perfect unisex fragrance, travel spray, and lipstick donning the famous black and white checker design and Swarovski crystals on each item of the collection, inspired by Cowan’s popular design and Mather’s inspiration of the iconic black and white floors of Bloomingdale’s and Castle in Versailles. Giving nods to some of the most beautiful decor and architecture of the last few centuries and acknowledging the beauty of the past with a modern twist.

(Runway Show Version) Product Collaboration

“The patented bow-shaped lipstick case is varnished in a glossy enamel, and encrusted with over three hundred diamond-cut  Swarvoski Crystals, and inside contains the shade BARONESS, a beige nude with gold luminosity.

This wonderfully comfortable formula enriched with the addition of diamond powder gives flawless results with a feeling of hydration and protection that is retained for hours. This case can also house 13 of the other House of Sillage’s lipstick shades.

This limited-edition collection will be available in-store and online at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s, as well as online at houseofsillage.com from October 30th.

Kyushi - The Power of Ten

As summer comes to an end and we see more and more of the autumnal colors and a change in the weather coming into play, its time to look at changing up our skincare. Switching from the air conditioner to central heating can have a marked effect on our skin and Kyushi has come up with the perfect solution: The Power of Ten oil.

This non-comedogenic, 100% natural, nutrient-dense facial oil, is packed with a powerhouse of ten plant-based oils to nourish, strengthen, balance, soothe, calm inflammation, restore elasticity and protect against free-radical damage. Imagine it as a supercharged green smoothie for your face.

The Power of Ten:

Kyushi - The Power of Ten
  1. Hemp seed oil contains the omega 6 fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory while nourishing, moisturizing and encouraging new cell growth.

  2. Argan oil is high in both oleic (omega 9) and linoleic (omega 6) fatty acids, to reduce inflammation and increase moisture levels.

  3. Sea buckthorn oil contains the rare palmitoleic acid (omega 7), to stimulate the skin's regenerative process and strengthen the epidermis.

  4. Blueberry seed oil contains high levels of alpha-linolenic acid and powerful antioxidants, to prevent collagen degradation, improve elasticity and protect against free-radical damage.

  5. Watermelon seed oil works to dissolve excess sebum and balance the skin's own oil production.

  6. Cucumber seed oil strengthens skin lipid barrier, maintaining moisture and elasticity.

  7. Elderberry oil improves firmness and elasticity.

  8. Prickly pear seed oil brightens, restores skin's elasticity and calms inflammation.

  9. Red raspberry seed oil is high in antioxidants, which help to mop up free radicals.

  10. Blackcurrant oil acts as an anti-inflammatory.

As simple as adding a few drops to your preferred moisturizer or favorite facial oil, The Power of Ten oil is a perfect complement to your routine.

To learn more about the Kyushi range see:

Kyushi Website.

Kyushi Instagram.

Secret Garden By JP McLaughlin

JP McLaughlin is amongst my favorite artists and has in the past featured heavily amongst my inspirations alongside two others from Scotland. Far from being a traditional Scottish artist, he is a well known and respected global artist with a distinct and easily recognizable style.

Secret garden by JP McLaughlin

Secret garden by JP McLaughlin

The latest of his work titled Secret Garden is a prime example of his more commercially oriented work. The beautifully styled and instantly recognized Red Coat series is an ongoing feature of his work. Secret Garden has the hallmarks of serenity that has become synonymous of these paintings.

A stormy, cloudy sky is broken up with the immediately visible woman in the red coat, in this case, modeled by Debbie Campbell a prolific performer and fundraiser in her own right (as well as the owner of this particular painting). There is a sense of chaos and calm, a contrasting idea that somehow works as we look at her contemplative stance and without seeing her face we know on sight that she is deep in thought, what she is contemplating is open to interpretation.

The casual air of the woman in the Red Coat belies the darkness of the surroundings giving it a softness and a sense that she is relaxed in her contemplation, leaning casually against a wall, she is the epitome of casual elegance and grace in the tumultuous surroundings, a sort of stark reminder that the individual that stands out is the one who speaks softly but carries a big stick, or in this case, wears a brazen shade of red .

The Secret Garden is a nod to the grounds of Hansel Village and gives a touch of the personal to the piece that adds a new depth to the story overall.

The beauty of this piece (aside from the woman in the Red Coat) is the simplicity of the message as per my own interpretation, it speaks to softness in the dark and contemplation in the whirling chaos of the mind. As a piece from the Red Coat series of images, this captures the eye and the mind in a way that makes you want to know her story and as I have seen first hand, opens a discussion on her motives. Cleverly structured JP McLaughlin has offered the art world another conversation starter.

To learn more about JP McLaughlin or to purchase artwork see:

JP McLaughlin Website

JP McLaughlin Facebook