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.

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.

Fashion Week Beauty Staples for Italian Girl Style

As any fashionista will tell you, fashion week no matter the city is frantic and you need to be on the top of your game when it comes to your look and style, your makeup has to stay put for a day as your run from one catwalk to the next, show to show. The team at Beauty Made in Italy are one step ahead and have come up with some fantastic must haves for the shows and day to day life as you flit around town. After all isn’t life one big catwalk?

fashion week with beauty made in Italy

Herbatint's Flash Fashion colour range for fun, vibrant hair colour. Offering the brightest reds, deepest purples and funkiest mango colours, Herbatint's Flash Fashion Series gives you the power to personalise your hair colour and keep up with this year's hottest trends! Retail price: $18.99. Available now at usa.herbatint.com.

Before heading out to the shows, make sure your skin is prepped with Skin&Co Roma's Truffle Therapy Face Toner. Infused with their signature Black Winter Truffle, this toner deeply cleanses and purifies pores with the antiseptic power of witch hazel and sage, effectively removing impurities to treat, heal and prevent blemishes. Retail price: $30. Available now at skinandcoroma.com.

Keep your makeup looking fresh and lock in all day coverage with Ripar's Setting Spray. This lightweight and non-sticky mist is formulated with soothing and refreshing ingredients to ensure your makeup stays in place even under those harsh runway lights! A favourite of makeup professionals and performers, Ripar's Setting Spray can be used to set your makeup in the morning or to provide a refreshing boost throughout the day. Retail price: $33. Available now at ripar.us. Nourish your skin while on-the-go with Carthusia's Mediterraneo Hand Cream. Gently scented with their best selling fragrance this hand cream is a daily indulgence and perfect for dry or chapped hands. Retail price: $20. Available now at bigelowchemists.com.

To learn more about the Beauty Made in Italy Program see their website: https://beautymadeinitaly.com/

HOD TV and The Lost Concept

When we started the Lost Project we had a very definitive vision in mind. That still stands but we are going adding to that narrative and building something bigger alongside our partners with plans in motion to expand on the creative process we have alongside the narrative we have currently running.

HOD TV and The Lost Concept

Our plan has always been to go down the production route creating TV and Film projects under the Lost banner. The Lost Project is still at the heart of this and we are now building something more in the background with The Lost Creatives being our collective name for the team members.

HOD TV when we found out about it, was an ideal fit for the biggest part of our vision. We all love Horror, thriller and dark movies. The creative process for this type of project is something we are all passionate about and finding that the team behind the HOD TV concept were focusing on this we immediately opened up a dialogue with them and we are now partners to the service (and very proud of it).

Over the course of September we will be launching our new site for Lost Creatives and revealing more of our plans for the future which will include: short films for the festival circuit to advance our company name, TV series, a feature film. We will of course be making full use of the Amazing brands and companies who have supported us to date such as Oh My Lash and brushwork cosmetics (promo code JamesC) . Stay tuned for more of the brands we use in our work and new names you need to look at…..

Additionally, we are planning to add more to our out of the box kit including Titanic FX brushes and some of the hurt boxes by Brian Kinney to augment our character alongside premade pieces from Buy and Apply (Aka Nimba Creations).

*We will be working to support British brands as much as we can no matter where we decide to shoot our projects.

To learn more about The Lost Creatives see The Lost Creatives Facebook Page. For more information on the HOD team and what they offer see the HOD TV Website.

Safeguarding Your Skin For Winter with Jane Scrivner

One of the leading lights of the skincare realm, Jane Scrivner has travelled the globe as a skincare trainer and brand ambassador, leading to the development of the award winning, professional ranges of organic skincare available today. Taking this a step further she has collated a selection of products designed to take you from the warm summer days to the cooler winter with ease.

"As Summer comes to an end and the cooler autumnal weather creeps in it's easy for people to neglect their skincare regime until the harsh winter weather has them reaching for their rich, comforting oils and creams. But prevention is always better than cure and skin improvements don't happen overnight. Now is the time to start safeguarding your skin so it can stand strong in the face of the coming winter season. Think of it as your winter skinvestment!”

Skinfoliate

Exfoliate with Jane Scrivner Skinfoliate -£26/150ml

  • gently slough away a season long build-up of dead, dull skin cells with this 100% natural and organic blend of AHA & BHA acids

  • phyto origin malic, lactic, salicylic, citric, tartaric and glycolic acids work on every level of skin exfoliation and stimulation for a clearer, fresher, smoother, brighter complexion

  • formulated with English raw, organic apple cider vinegar with Mother ferment keeps skin's natural flora intact

  • this blend works to stimulate cell renewal, boost collagen and elastin synthesis, decongest and clear skin and reconfigure skin's natural acid mantle to the ideal pH

Repair Restore Facial Oil

Replenish with Jane Scrivner Intense Oil - £25/30ml

  • formulated with 100% Organic C02 Critical Extract of Chilean Rosehip Oil, a potent, fortifying treatment oil with amazing reparation and regeneration properties, often used to treat post-operative scarring so imagine what it could do for your fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation, sun damage and dry skin.

  • rich in linoleic acid thanks to the heavy-duty Omega's 3 and 6 which work to plump, smooth and moisturise the skin.

  • also rich in vitamins E, C, and Beta Carotene - an excellent source of trans retinoic acid, a natural form of Vitamin A, to encourage cell turnover and reparation

OO Cream

Protect & Moisturise with Jane Scrivner OO Cream - £27/50ml

  • this golden orange moisturiser acts like an overall for your skin

  • formulated with Critical Rosehip Extract rich in Essential Fatty Acid's, calming and protective Argan Oil and Vitamin E to hydrate and nourish the skin and to replenish barrier function

  • the Beta-Glucan rich Colloidal Oatmeal forms a slightly mattifying, tissue fine barrier on the skins surface, which acts like a protective coat for your skin, fortifying your barrier function, locking in the nutrients from your skincare and preventing TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss)

  • apply after your facial oil all over your face, neck and décolleté to keep skin smooth, protected, hydrated, healthy and radiant.

To learn more about the Jane Scrivner range see:

Jane Scrivner Website

Jane Scrivner Instagram

Jane Scrivner Facebook

Jane Scrivner Twitter

Perlier New Limited Edition Lavender Honey Collection

The Italian brand Perlier has become a major part of the beauty Lexicon with their beautifully packaged, inspirational collections and Italian style. The newest addition to the roster; The Perlier New Limited Edition Lavender Honey Collection is a prime example of the thought and care that goes into their range and illustrates perfectly the beauty of Italy alongside their innovations in the cosmetic arts.

Perlier New Limited Edition Lavender Honey Collection.png

Inspired by nature, Perlier brings the best of Italy directly into your home with their luxurious bath and beauty products. For generations, Perlier's formulas are carefully crafted at La Carignana on 150 acres of botanical gardens located at the base of the Alps near Turin, Italy. 

Each year, Perlier travels to different regions of Italy to source rare and unique honey for their limited edition honey collections. For 2019, Perlier is excited to introduce their limited edition Lavender Honey line from Liguria, Italy. Protected by a mountain range but parallel to the sea, Liguria is a unique region in Cinque Terre that produces the precious and exclusive Liguria honey, rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants. Also known for their extraordinary variety of flowers, Perlier uses lavender extract from the region in their new limited edition Liguria honey line that includes four speciality products:

-Liguria Honey & Lavender Body Cream: $30.00

-Liguria Honey & Lavender Bath Cream: $20.00

-Liguria Honey & Lavender Hand Cream: $20.00

-Liguria Honey & Lavender Body Powder (no talc): $18.50

Availability: NOW at perlier.com.

To learn more about the Beauty Made in Italy program see: https://beautymadeinitaly.com/

Alfa Italia’s Tropea Pro Styler

There is something so about Ala Italia hair tools that makes you feel like you are buying not just the elegance and Italian style of the product but the whole professional realm that they embody so well from their consumer tools to the professional range they offer.

Alfa Italia’s Tropea Pro Styler

Alfa Italia’s Tropea Pro Styler

The new Alfa Italia Tropea Pro Styler, With three interchangeable barrels this new styler is a perfect addition to a weekend bag or a compact dressing table, offering maximum style and impact with minimal fuss. Ideally suited to travel (or as a gift for a beauty enthusiast) there is something special about the Alfa Italia styling tools range that is more than professional, it is a lifestyle. Looking closely at the styler we see the same professional elements we would expect in a salon down scaled and ready to use at home with the added benefits that only Alfa Italia can offer with style and grace that says Italy:

  • Titanium Barrels - fast becoming a go to option for professional stylists, this material offers superior heat conductivity and an ultra-smooth surface that makes for silky, shiny curls.

  • • MCH heater - emits far-infrared heat that instantly penetrates the cortex of the hair cuticle, heating from the inside outwards. The hair is heated evenly and in half the time of conventional heat, reducing the risk of damage.

  • Lightweight - titanium has the highest strength to weight ratio of any material used in professional styling tools.

  • Easy to use - the digital heat control interface allows for precise setting and monitoring of temperature from 121oc up to 232oc for consistently effective results. And auto shutoff means no more worrying if you’ve switched it off when you leave the house!

  • • Protect your digits - heat-resistant 3-fingered glove gives flexibility and more precise curling - without burning your fingers.

  • Agile - an easy grip, 9 foot 360° swivel cord made of heat-proof, up to 232oC, rubber and a professional

  • hook makes using and storing this tool super easy.

  • Dual Voltage 110–240 V – perfect for international travel.

  • 1-Year Alfa Italia Warranty - for extra protection and peace of mind.

To learn more about the Alfa Italia Range see:

Alfa Italia Website

Alfa Italia Instagram

Alfa Italia Facebook

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny MBE

Leighton Denny (MBE) is the ultimate beauty success story, his international reputation for nails has brought him and the nail industry into the mainstream in a way that is beyond comprehension and owes a lot to his humble roots and overall demeanour.

Going from being a fork life driver to founding the multi million pound beauty and nail expert shows the grit and determination of a man who’s talents go above and beyond that of a nail tech into the realms of business giant. From the award winning crystal nail file and fragrance (sold worldwide to a point where it could fill an Olympic swimming pool), Leighton has become the go to guru for all things beauty.

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny MBE

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny MBE

With four key areas of his business, it is no surprise to see that the LD boutique range is a global phenomenon. Starting with the nail varnishes through to the self tanning range it is a company that has sent beauty over the edge and created its own standard and a benchmark for the art form.

"Leighton Denny Expert Nails is where it all began, and we still have the same award-winning polish formula that we launched in 2005. It's stood the test of time! From hand creams and cuticle oils to gel polishes and pedicure sets LDEN will always deliver. My iconic Crystal Nail File has won its 15th industry award and is the key to a salon finish."

"Sun Believable is a 'no gimmicks' tanning range that's moisturising, kind to the skin and delivers a healthy looking, multi-dimensional, long lasting tan. And there's something for everyone! From the antioxidant instant tan BRONZE Me (£16/200ml), to the deep, overnight tanning mousse TAN Me (£25/300ml) to the natural tan accelerator ACCELERATE Me(£20/200ml)."

"Lip Dual (£12.50) allows you to create a matte, natural, bold or sheer lip colour, all with one product. The dual ended lip system holds a rich and luxurious lipstick at one end and a magnetic-like lip "stain" on the other so you can stain it, layer it, tone it up or tone it down and wear your colour your way, every day!"

"There are four unique and intoxicating fragrances in my LIGHT & DARK- two female (Original and Delightful) and two unisex (Lively and Desire) fragrances, you can find a perfect scent for your mood. I designed each LIGHT & DARK fragrance, so they blend seamlessly with each other, so you can wear alone for an intriguing scent or layered together for your own personal fragrance cocktail. My LIGHT & DARK Discovery Collection (£38) is the perfect way to test and trial the collection and create your signature scent."

A company to watch, the Leighton Denny range is growing in the beauty market and as a household name is second to none in its innovations and standards.

To learn more about the range see:

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny Website

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny Instagram

LD Boutique by Leighton Denny Twitter

Ariane Pool Makeup Through the Seasons

Ariane Pool has over the course of her 40 plus year career has become a leading light in the professional sector and was part of a handful of artists who changed the face of makeup and has given both consumers and professionals in the business a range of cosmetics that has become synonymous with celebrities and bridal. An in demand makeup artist herself and known for her calm, collected approach to cosmetics especially when dealing with the white glove service of weddings Ariane Pool is an artist and cosmetics creator who has become a household name for good reason.

One of the keys to this is her ability to work with the clients and create what has been termed the transitional collection. As the weather is so often changeable and undecided (especially in the UK) she decided to give us a set of key components that will make your beauty life that little bit simpler.

Ariane Pool Concealer Palette

Ariane Pool Concealer Palette

Starting with the concealer palette, The creamy formula is soft enough to work underneath the eyes but dries down to demi-matte finish, concealing blemishes and high colouring beautifully. A must have for your beauty space or kit as it allows you to customise your look as and when you require with the minimum of hassle.

Ariane Pool Waterproof Lash Coat

Ariane Pool Waterproof Lash Coat

Waterproofing your lashes is a must regardless of the time of year and this clever innovation of the transparent topper will transform any mascara into a waterproof formula that can withstand water, rain, sweat and tears. Simply sweep over your normal mascara, for lashes that won't budge.

And finally, the blush and bronze With a pigmented sheer blush on one side and a satin golden bronze on the other, this duo allows you to sculpt, contour, highlight and blush, all at once. Use the blusher alone for a fresh summer flush, mix the two together for a warmer autumnal shade or use the bronzer alone to sculpt and contour your complexion.

Ariane Pool Blush and Bronze Duo

Ariane Pool Blush and Bronze Duo

Taking your makeup to the next level with smart placement and transitional products that will see you throughout the year without hassle, Ariane Pool is the artist to look to for smart makeup. To learn more about the range see:

Ariane Pool Website

Ariane Pool Instagram

Ariane Pool Facebook

Ariane Pool YouTube

Ariane Pool Twitter

Summer in a Bottle with Beauty Made in Italy

Do you want to travel without leaving the comfort of your own home? Well your in luck, the team at Beauty made in Italy have come up trumps with some of the most beautiful scents that will transport you to the Italian Riviera without the need for a passport. The latest collection of fragrance has all the hallmarks we have come to expect from Italian style and will bring out your inner traveller.

Acca Kappa Tilia Cordata

Acca Kappa's Tilia Cordata Parfum is a floral citrus fragrance with notes of bergamot, lemon and jasmine that will instantly transport you to Italy's Mediterranean valleys and Venetian gardens. Available at accakappa.us. Retail price: $88.

Mediterraneo Eau de Parfum

Carthusia's best selling fragrance, Mediterraneo is THE quintessential scent of summer. Blending the freshness of lemon leaves with sparkling tones of green tea, Mediterraneo is Capri in a bottle! Available at bigelowchemists.com. Retail price: $80.

jusbox cheeky smile

Inspired by late nights and discotheque, Jusbox's new fragrance Cheeky Smile will keep you dancing until sunrise. The bottle is finished in a special varnish that appears light grey in daylight and turns into a vibrant, acid-green color when seen under ultraviolet light. Retail price: $210. Available at 10 Corso Como NYC and jusboxperfumes.com.

proraso cologne wipes

Proraso offers men an innovative and convenient way to wear fragrance on-the-go with their Azur Lime Refreshing Cologne Wipes. The single-use sachets are the ideal finishing touch, offering freshness anytime, anywhere with a fresh citrus, energetic mint and juniper scent. Available at bigelowchemists.com. Retail price: $10 for pack of six wipes.

'Beauty Made in Italy' is a program launched by the Italian Government to promote the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian beauty brands to the US market.

Hard Candy By Stewart Nicol Soutar

Intentional or not there is something about the painting Hard Candy by Stewart Nicol Soutar, that makes me think of my childhood and everything candy coated and sweet yet still has a little of the edge I have come to expect from the artist himself.

Yes, the title itself does imbue a sense of the nostalgic, it does go a little deeper in the usual abstract sense that only Stewart Nicol Soutar seems to be able to do and gives a depth of something dystopic whilst maintaining that nostalgic edge in the same breath, a neat trick that I have yet to see another artist pull off with the same degree of aplomb.

Hard Candy' - (A Pokey o' Cut Roak, Easter 1960). Oil on canvas. 50" x 60",

Hard Candy' - (A Pokey o' Cut Roak, Easter 1960). Oil on canvas. 50" x 60",

The painting itself conjures up images of my childhood with the “poke a sweets” or “a 10 pence mix up”, the white paper bags so often thin tantalised, hinting at a secret inside, did you get your favourites? Or was it a random mix, something new to taste? The specks of colour hinting at the delectable treats inside, the twisted edges holding closed the bag till you could get outside the shop and delve into its delights.

The background reminiscent of the box, a standard of the local newsagent or sweet shop was the box of “mix ups”, so often filled to the brim with these paper bags the image in and of itself sets your taste buds into motion like a Pavlovian dog anticipating a treat.

Somewhat darker (and perhaps more personal) is the lower edge of the bag, yes the sharp edges curled up are exact replicas of the childhood treat but also hinting at something more sinister, sharp teeth waiting to devour perhaps, a touch of the darkness in my own mind or that of the artist its open to the interpretation of the viewer, which is how it should be when viewing art.

With an overall sense of mystery I err on the side of nostalgia for my youth in what could be seen as a departure form his usual darker social commentary, it is still an insight into both (my own mind) and the artist, perhaps longing for a youth that is at the heart of us all and a testament to the Stewart Nicol Soutar that it opens your eyes to what is either a youthful reminiscence or something darker, a message, a sigh for long lost whims and hopes that were simpler or a sinister message to the unfortunate children who view it: what is now a pleasurable escape and sweet moment is really a trick and that those sharp callous teeth are waiting to bite.

For me, the overall theme of the painting is truly open to interpretation but ultimately has all the hallmarks of a nostalgic, wistful trip down memory lane and I intend to stick to my gut instinct and hold true to the memories it brings up, and let (you) the viewer decide its nature.

To learn more about the artist see the:

Stewart Nicol Soutar art website.

Explaining the Lost Boys

The Lost Boys as a concept has a dark heart, its a patchwork of different aspects from the darker side of the Peter Pan story to the current social and political atmosphere where we see people such as Milo Yiannopoulos who has talked openly about the disenfranchisement of young men over the last decade.

Abandoned spaces (image for illustrative purposes only)

Abandoned spaces (image for illustrative purposes only)

Melding these elements together The Lost Boys became a sort of tongue in cheek reference to the way men are viewed and takes some of the “boy who never grew up” stories and expand on them with a touch of the grunge movement, American Gothic and the subversion of masculinity.

The images themselves will be built around derelict buildings, waste ground and a fractured symbolism of nature. Each model will have his own story that will hint at both the inspiration of Pans Lost Boys to the more dystopic visuals of the backdrop to fit with the “council estate boys" look of the models.

Additionally, to the clean makeup looks I have planned, there will be integration (slowly) of character makeup elements such as scarring and bruising to add depth to the characters to give a level of the cinematic and a harsher reality of the concept.

I am going to add extra kit soon and will release details on what goes into a lost shoot in terms of gear from the camera equipment to the makeup and brushes used which in-itself will be released as a blog or blogs.

While I appreciate this is a personal project it will be used to promote the Lost Project and give a voice to a different side of my own commercial/media background in makeup design taking a little of the narrative described above into projects that are currently being scripted with a view to building a stable of work.

The latest travel kit from Alfa Italia

Alfa Italia has done it again, there new limited edition travelling kit hits all the markers for chic and Italian style like no other brand. The sleek and stylist set which is being aimed at the consumer market is THE travel accessory de jour for the jet setter who wants something with that little extra chic edge. With Christmas just 5 months away and the release date of September, the timing is perfect to pick up a gift for the holidays or that late in the year winter bird trip south to warmer climes.

alfa italia

Known throughout Europe the UK based company has won multiple awards within the hair and beauty realm for their unique and beautifully crafted brush and tools, a staple of the salon as well as the home there is something uniquely beautiful about their kits and this new travel set is no exception to that with its decadent colour tones and the frankly delectable names, it is easy to see them being The gift of 2019.

The Lazio Collezioni, a limited-edition travel styling kit inspired by delicious Italian desserts. Taking its name from the stunning mountainous region in central Italy, the Lazio Collezioni features deceptively powerful mini hair styling appliances for on the go styling.

The limited-edition autumn/winter 2019 travel kit is the perfect travel companion for the festive season and makes a great addition to any Christmas list. The ultra-compact and lightweight dryer and irons provide near salon performance and help ensure you maintain your look while on the go.

The new Lazio Collezioni hairdryer utilises Alfa Italia’s powerful 1200w motor, which has two speed settings, to create the same styling power as its full-sized counterparts while the ceramic styling iron is capable of heating up to 190°C and comes with two sectioning clips.

Available in Berry Tarte (deep red) and Creme Caramel (beautiful tan), the sets are contained in a luxuriously stylish compact travel case.

Adam Tudor, Creative Director of Alfa Italia, said, “As ever with our limited edition travel sets, we wanted to create a luxurious, yet affordable mini kit in the new season’s key shades. This autumn it’s all about classic berry tones complemented with soft, earthy colours and we feel the new Lazio Collezioni embodies these trends beautifully.”

Alfa Italia is a UK based brand specialising in professional hair styling tools and appliances designed for salon and home use. Alfa Italia prides itself in its extensive research and development of their tools, all of which have been inspired by Italian elegance.

Available from September for a limited time only in hair salons nationwide and at www.alfaitaliapro.com priced at £44.95.

The Lost Narrative Defined

I have written a few blogs over the last week or so that while I stand by the commentary I did feel it was ott and dramatic and deserved to be pulled so if anyone is wondering why its simple. I do stand by it but just decided that its not worth the hassle and I want to focus my energies on better things. While this may seem like an admission of guilt its far, far from it. Call me a primadonna if you wish, I really don’t mind. I want to clarify a few small points and clear the air before I start my run at defining what the Lost Boys and Lost Girls story is as a narrative and visual concept, it has a little touch of darkness to it and has been brewing in my head for a long time.

same shit different day

In addition to this as a means to move forward I spoke to one of my scriptwriters and will be sitting this weekend sketching, going through old designs and knuckling down to do the creative and commercial work I have been promising myself I would get done. Calls will be made to those who have shown loyalty and I am going to reinvest not only in my own business again but in the work I have been postponing to support others.

This does not mean I will not be available for clients, far from it, what it does mean is that priority goes to my own work and I will be extremely selective who I work with from this point on.

While the sentiment may be same shit different day, it won’t be my groundhog day and I can see a way to end the current narrative. The problems are no longer mine and I can finally put this to bed and give myself the opportunity to showcase my own skills.

Watch this space, The Lost Stories (combined with Behind the Brushes) is coming back with some fantastic narratives and beauty launches thanks mainly to my connections to various PR agencies which will allow me to give a little time to clearing the cobwebs creatively and finally doing justice to the Lost Girls and the Lost Boys concept that I have on paper created giving it a more visual sense of what its all about.

Skin&Co Roma - Truffle in Paradise

Another beautiful entree into the realms of the Beauty made in Italy catalogue in the form of Skin and Co’s new Truffle therapy Collection. Decadent, luxurious and wholly Italian this is set to be another sell out item for the company.

Skin and Co Truffle Therapy Collection

Skin and Co Truffle Therapy Collection

With a passion for truffles, Skin&Co Roma is a family owned beauty business in Umbria, Italy where they source, grow and extract the best ingredients from their private truffle farms to create natural active skincare. This family business also includes Sabatino Tartufi Truffles, the world's largest truffle manufacturer dating back to 1911. Thanks to their love for truffles, the family's hard work and dedication to their land, beauty aficionados and celebrities (including Oprah Winfrey) visit the truffle farms every year. 

Skin&Co is part of the 'Beauty Made in Italy' program launched by the Italian Government to promote the awareness, availability and excellence of Italian beauty brands and products to the US market and consumer.

Today, Skin&Co infuses their signature ingredient, Black Winter Truffle, in two new products: Truffle Therapy Body Oil and Limited Edition Truffle Therapy Shimmering Body Oil.

Perfect for a head-to-toe glow, the new Truffle Therapy Body Oil is formulated to absorb quickly and deeply hydrate the skin while protecting it from free radicals.

Retail price: $45

Luxuriously indulgent, Skin&Co's Limited Edition Truffle Therapy Shimmering Body Oil provides multi-layer hydration while wrapping the skin in a shimmering luminous veil for the ultimate day-to-night body glow.

Availability: NOW through September 2019

Retail price: $65.

Both available at skinandcoroma.com