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

Shining Boy BB Cream

Shining boy is a brand I found by sheer chance and it falls into that category of quirky and outwith my norm for male grooming but this does not detract from the company in any shape or form. While many say that makeup is universal there is still a degree of stigma attached to men buying makeup that they are working to take away with their quirky concepts.

shining boy makeup.jpg

For those taking their first steps into the world of makeup as a boy/man or just looking for something that will be quick, simple and easy to use then a BB cream is generally a good starting point. With the Shining boy BB cream, its targeted specifically at men and boys with a view to making clean skin a quicker process and creates a gateway to experimentation with the wider range of their cosmetics (in particular the eye shadow palettes).

The silver tone of the packaging and overall feel is standard and would not look out of place in a gym bag as it resembles a moisturiser or a post shave balm. The actual product has all the hallmarks of a premium BB cream (BB standing for Beauty balm) in that it offers an all encompassing product with skincare, concealer and light coverage that will in essence give the skin a fresh, rested look. Available in two shades of light and wheatish (medium/tan). Like many BB creams it is still advisable to use a powder to set although it is relatively long wearing depending on your own skin type and texture. The ingredients overall do have all the qualities I would expect and the added bonus of being waterproof making it an ideal addition to a summer regime.

The rest of the shining boy range is more about fun and experimentation with vibrant colour palettes and a more whimsical sense of playfulness but it is the BB cream that does stand out in the range from a grooming perspective as its designed to be easy to use and stands as a reminder that grooming (in the social media age) is an important factor for the well dressed gent or artistically minded soul who wants to be seen in the best possible light.

To learn more about the company see:

Shining Boy Website

Shining Boy Instagram

Shining Boy Facebook

*A quick google search on the Shining Boy brand is enlightening and offers an interesting perspective on the range but in all honesty it doesn’t detract from the company for me it just allows a little insight into the company and the nearest competitors in terms of look and ingredients (not to mention pricing)

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 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.

A Question for Creatives

Over the last two months I have been talking about a Scottish fashion event, a range of Prestigious brands from London, who will come to Scotland and showcase their designs and work here in what could and should be a huge market for designer clothing, a market that has demanded that it be taken seriously in the fashion stakes yet here we are just over a week away and the ticket sales are stagnant, the press and councils event departments, creatives ranging from makeup staff to photographers and even the fashion bloggers have been markedly quiet.

creative questions

Why is that? As a former writer for a fashion and lifestyle magazine I can tell you that people will flock to London for events UNPAID for the prestige, run riot at shows with their demands and attitude (getting them barred), but when it comes to Scotland you all go quiet. Strange that.

What exactly are you waiting for an engraved invitation begging you to bring your newly minted “skills” and “talents” to a show?

Where are the makeup staff who all claim to be editorial and fashion artists? Here is a chance to be a part of a team that will showcase and bring designers to Scotland but you are all sitting on your hands. Is it because your not being begged to work or being given an award for your selfies?

The ongoing complaint I hear Scottish creatives is “we don’t know any better,” OK thats cool, so when an opportunity comes up what do you do? Sit back and wait to be asked to come on board and be applauded for doing the job you are “passionate” about. Smart move.

Come on folks, you want the events, you want the professional credentials then earn them by working WITH others or here is what I did, CREATE SOMETHING.

Stop complaining that no one is GIVING you the chances to showcase your talent when you are not reaching out to the people creating the events. Assistant is not a dirty word. Its part of the journey.

The way this is going Scotland will lose creative talent. If you won’t hire talent, if you won’t support your own, then me and others like me who are trying to create will just pack up and go where we are valued.

If you are unwilling to do the work to be at the top, then you cannot and should not be demanding reverential treatment.

So here is my big question for the creatives out there. What are you waiting for?

Mothers Day With Beauty Made in Italy

Mothers day is an important day across the world and the team at Beauty Made in Italy know this only to well and have curated a beautiful range of gifts for the USA mothers day (Sunday May the 12th) that will make it a little more special for all concerned.

Acca Kappa White Moss Body Lotion

Acca Kappa White Moss Body Lotion

Treat mom with Acca Kappa's White Moss Body Lotion.Inspired by the freshness of Spring in Italy, this soft and creamy lotion is full of antioxidants and contains lemon extract know for its invigorating and vitalising properties. Retail price $58. Available at accakappa.us

Jus Box Feather Supreme Perfume

Jus Box Feather Supreme Perfume

New to the US market, surprise mom with Jusbox’s Feather Supreme fragrance. A symbol of strong female voices and inspired by Aretha Franklin, Feather Supreme has notes of mandarin, bergamot, rose and patchouli. Retail price: $190. Available at bloomingdales.com and jusboxperfumes.com.

Perlier Overnight Cream

Perlier Overnight Cream

Perlier's new Black Rice Rejuvenating & Renewing Overnight Night Cream contains Retinol and  Vitamin C to keep mom's skin radiant and youthful. This targeted treatment fights against ageing and helps increase the  production of elastin and collagen while perfectly hydrating the skin. Retail price: $70. Available at perlier.com.  

Skin & co cleansing oil

Skin & co cleansing oil

Skin&Co Roma's Truffle Therapy Cleansing Oil will help mom end her day with moment of pleasure. This bi-phase makeup removing cleanser is formulated with Skin&Co's exclusive Black Winter Truffle, Sweet Almond Oil, Argon Oil and Aloe Vera to soothe and protect the skin while removing impurities accumulated throughout the day. Retail price: $32. Available at skinandcoroma.com.

The team at Beauty Made in Italy select only the best products for any occasion and we will soon be covering Fathers day and its worthy of note that no matter the occasion Beauty Made in Italy bring the best products and collections to the beauty table.

International Fashion Designers Exhibiting In a New Marleybone Popup Show

This May sees a unique opportunity to see and buy new designs from international designers at a new pop-up shop in Marylebone, London. The event on 13-26 May is organised by ‘Silk Road Fashion in London’ and ‘Adam and Alice’ brands.

With Creative director JamesC joining them on the 14th of May as head of makeup for a multi designer catwalk segment, we are really excited about the prospects of the show and what is to come from it. We are already prepping a range of new designs for future projects and working out potential marketing avenues to support the show.

The term silk road in and of itself is really clever and has its roots in trade roads and travel which is really appropriate given the upcoming event which is designed as a showcase. The event is designed to mimic the bizarre’s of the past where people of all cultures and creeds would gather to meet and greet, see friends, do business and the find the latest fashions. Seeing the combination of the Silk Road team and of course Adam and Alice is fantastic and will open the doors to a wide range of creative opportunities for artists across the board and as a makeup artist and creative team we are really excited to be a part of this.

As a networking opportunity this is an amazing place to be and over the run there will be a variety of small shows, open days for the public, guest speakers and lectures all based around the fashion world.

The leading lights behind this show Adam and Alice and The Silk Road Fashion in London team have put together a stellar itinerary and we are really excited to be a part of this.

To learn more about the event or purchase tickets see Event Brite.

Creating The Narrative

Creating The Narrative and bringing the light

Creating The Narrative and bringing the light

We are really excited about what is happening here at The Lost Project, not only have we created a whole new narrative that we and several of our clients are excited about. Which in and of itself is really good news and will with time put us in the place we want to be.

Naturally we are taking this slow and making sure that all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. While there are some areas that are being discussed that will open doors and opportunities to new and established creative talent that wants to step up. We will support this but for our own projects we are going to be taking smaller steps and keeping things small with a carefully structured hand picked team of people from locations that we are familiar with and know we can trust.

With the potential avenues that are being brought into play, we are really excited about the prospect of whats coming up and will be revealing details over the coming weeks.

From fashion to film and TV, there are endless opportunities to be had, we are already seeing the potential of this and given that we want to specialise more in the film and TV sector we will only dip our collective toes into the water of fashion for that, we have some ideas that need support from designers and have already put the feelers out on that front.

Our team is pushing hard to create something special and stay within the boundaries of our remit, commercial and art can work together and we fully intend to prove it.

We are now sketching out designs to pitch to a designer for a pop up show and a PR agent is backing the plans which is fantastic news and will add an extra edge to the work coming up.