Monday, 29 April 2013

Brand Masterclass - Lancome

Founded in 1935 by Armand Petitjean in France, Lancôme celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010. Petitjean’s motive was simple: to create a beauty brand that would deliver French elegance around the world. The name “Lancôme” was inspired by the ruins of a castle, Le Château de Lancosme, while the roses in the area inspired the company’s symbol of the single golden rose.

Armand Petitjean
Armand Petitjean was already 50 years old when he start Lancome, and originally was an importer of goods from around Europe, but he has also work in the French foreign office and, more notably, for Francois Coty, a skilled perfumer. However, Petitjean did not approve of the path Coty was taking his brand, rather than focusing on quality he was going towards the mass market line.

Pettijean decided he wanted to be prestige market or not all, with that he gathered several like minded colleagues including d’Ornano brothers, the chemist Pierre Velon, and Georges Delhomme, Coty’s former design director. While they created he put together Lancome, “Why did I create Lancome?” he said one day, “Because I had seen that two American brands had taken control of the beauty industry. A French brand should be up alongside them.”

They launched with five fragrances - Tropiques, Conquete, Kypre, Tendres Nuits, and Bocages, as well as their bottles ornamented with gold, orchids, green forests, or moldings of cargo ropes, were a snub to the ascetically geometric Art Deco of the moment.

After the building success from critics, he turned to Dr. Medynski, a veteran professor whose recent discovery of stabilising horse serum in skin care, and the industrial chemist Pierre Velon. Together they created the Nutirx range, a regenerating night cream, and a range that still sells in high numbers to this day.

In 1938 saw the start of Lancome make-up with Rose de France, a pale pink rose scented lipstick that soft and creamy, truly against the lipsticks of the time that were indelible and dry. It was an instant best seller.

1953 Tresor Magazine Advert

Lancome was the forefront of beauty of many years,  rapidly established itself with three branches of cosmetic activity, each with its own emblem: a rose for perfumery, a cherub for makeup, and a lotus flower for skin-care products. Behind the scenes things were not so calm, Petijean's son decided that he did want to enter the business, and he was given no choice but to start looking at alternatives.

Many companies started to woo Lancome - Revlon, Yardley, Payot, but all had one thing in common, they were not french. Until L'Oreal approached them in 1967 with already great influence in the international market and a large money backing, they were the choice. 3 years later Petitjean passed away at the age of 84.

Lancome in the modern era still hold the original ideals that the founding father created. French cultural values and the French perception of elegance and beauty as a whole.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

FOTD: BTEC Coursework - Fantasy Inspired

This was the piece I got most excited about as soon as read the brief, it was themed on musicals and creating a competition piece themed on the chosen piece. I love Phantom of the Opera and instantly wanted to attemp the iconic mask from it usin make up. In Phantom you get two stories, Christine, the brilliant but ophaned songstress that has had private teachings from the "Angel of the Night". It's a twisted and wonderful love story. My inital design was to combine bot stories the phantom one side and Christine on the other.

I started with the phantom side as I knew this would take the longest, the paint is a white face paint taht is activated using water. This means you have to build it up in layers until you get a white canvas, I used a black eyeshadow to soften the lines to look like shadows.

On Christine's side I used the following:

Foundation: Rimmel Wake Me Up in Ivory
Blusher: MUA in Shade 4
Eye shadow: Sleek Make Up palette in Sparkle 2
Eyeliner: Lancome in Black
Eyebrow: Avon in Black
Lip liner: Estee Lauder in Fig
Lipstick: Burberry in Rosewood

The all over look is stunning, the mask came out better this time than the second. The first time didn't go to plan and I passed because I was abjective in my alaysis of the look. I love the eyes in Christine's side, the golds and black look striking, I did a black and white shot of them and loved them even more. The mask still needs work but it is much better than the first attempt.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Garnier Oila Permanant Hair Dye - Deep Violet

I have briefly touched before on my history on dying my hair here as well as my experience using Boots own brand, which since I have been using since as the colour of choice. Why the change? First of all dying dries out my hair, I probably use more conditioner than I should (I do thoroughly wash afterwards). Secondly, I want to change my colour from a deep brown to more of a violet tint which a lot of the own brands do.

With this in mind, I brought this from Superdrug for the full price of £6.99. I did do a patch test, however a little research on twitter it was interesting to see that the amount of people don't. I won't give a lecture, but it is still important to make sure you get no reactions that can harm you or your body.

Box with a snippet of the finished colour in the bottom left corner
You mix both developer and cream together in the tear drop bottle, shake and put into the hair (not the bathroom, floor, etc). by splitting into sections and work thoroughly. Leave for the allocated time, wash and condition. Hair dye done.

To me the colour came out well, it completely covered the grey, with my previous dye it seemed to struggle to cover the whitest ones. The colour as you you can see has more of the tint of violet, with the box looking it would be deeper in colour, I can accept that it is that my hair is dark already to start with.

I am now on week 3 since I've done it and the violet is less strong and my natural deep brown is starting to come through.There is no signs of any dye coming away from the hair, looks naturally and the whites still look unnoticeable. The conditioner supplied is still moisturising without being heavy, but didn't really wow me.

I would get this again but more when it's on offer.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

FOTD: BTEC Coursework - Bridal

It feels long ago now to be talking about my final pieces from my BTEC in Make up artistry coursework. I qualified for my BTEC in Make Up Artistry in February after submitting a portfolio of evidence. The final pieces were 5 set briefs (you will see four of them due to model agreements) that needed to be filled, over the next few weeks I am planning to share as many of these pieces as I can starting with Bridal.
With the bridal brief it was for a 20-30 woman who hardly wears make up and wanted to still look natural but still had in mind the needs of the day.
Primer: MUA Cosmetics
Foundation: Rimmel Wake Me Up in Ivory
Concealer: Estee Lauder Disappear in Light
Blusher: MUA in Shade 4
Eye Shadow: Sleek Sparkle 2 Palette
Eye Liner: Rimmel liquid in Brown
Mascara: Lancome Hypnose Drama in Black
Lip liner: Estee Lauder in Fig
Lipstick: Estee Lauder in Vintage Mauve
Of course using a foundation with SPF produces the 'ghost' effect that is produced here, so if this was put onto a bride I would use one without. However the really like the glow finish of Wake Me Up foundation, the coverage is build able and photographs well. I still like to use my creamy Estee Lauder concealer, it blends well without creasing as well as being light enough for pale skins. You will notice that the Sleek palette appear more over the next few weeks, it has been my go to because of the pigments and shimmer/sparkle.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

#ldnbbmeet - When Bloggers Attack Selfridges

Monday was something that I had been looking forward to since my holiday had been confirmed at work and I put my name done as coming. Organised by Tattooed Tea Lady (assisted by Lisahh Jayne and Sophie from Candy Cane Heart), it essentially was a meet and greet with an hour touring the beauty halls of Selfridges.

I decided to make a day out of it as the event wasn't until the mid afternoon and I really love spending days ambling round London, I was over due for a trip. I first went to Convent Garden and ambled round the antique stalls, restrained myself at Forbidden Planet and brought a vintage scarf from Rokit for £3.

For my birthday (thank you for the best wishes last week) my husband brought me Gok Wan's Chinese cookbook and a wok as I've been saying that I've wanted to try and cook Chinese for ages. I did my first dish over the weekend (Traditional Noodles with chili), I was eager to go to Chinatown and go round the markets to get some inspiration as well as steamer so I can do some Dim Sum.

After a quick pit stop I started the slow walk down to Selfridges viva a few shops on the way. I did, as well as a majority of people, go into the new & Other Stories store, the new older sister of H&M. I skipped over the clothes, being a plus size person I wasn't holding much hope, I headed straight towards the beauty section. The store is airy and clean with everything laid out making it easily viewable. I ended up with Twill Blue nail varnish, a £5 dupe of Nails Inc Baker Street.

I arrived early so after a sit down and a pot of Earl Grey, I lingered at the Selfridges entrance. Being one of the 'older' beauty bloggers it was over whelming at first, I managed to grab someone I recognised (thanks to Bex for rescuing me, sorry if I sounded like a crazed woman at first!), everyone was welcoming and also felt in the same boat.

We descended on the poor people of Selfridges and brought like mad woman but alas it was soon time for people to move on to other things. A small group of us has agreed before to continue shopping and hit the bar afterwards. The shopping didn't last long and was soon chatting away with a jug of Pimm's, topics included Beauty boxes, youtubing, foundations for pales, and how Superdrug are now doing 50 Shades of Grey kits. We then adventured into Primark afterwards which I'm really surprised we didn't get out for the amount of laughter that was coming from us!

Team Pub was Indra from Alice in Beautyland, Sarah from Some Sparkle and Shine, Face Value Blog, Leotard in Leopard, Kimberly Beauty Blog and Amy from Amoi Universe.

As well as my Chinese food ingredients and & Other Stories polish, I got Antitopdes Avocado Oil and Rosehip facial oil, Whitard of Chelsea instant teas in Turkish Apple and Dreamtime, and Sinful Colours nail varnish in Nail Junkie.

I had a brilliant day and evening, it was great to met some people I knew from Twitter already and a whole new bunch to talk to. It was brilliantly organised and we had a drink to the hard working girls that night.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Another Year Passes

To my long suffering husband who puts up with all the make up, skin care and nail varnish. Happy 3 year Anniversary of being married to it all.

Have a great week everyone I'm off for a few days to also celebrate (work) my birthday and spend some time with the other half where I don't threaten him with a manicure.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Brand Masterclass - Essie

Essie Weingarten was inspired by shopping trips with her father, after ballet lessons (the only feminine past time with sport mad tomboy had). She visited a apothecary that her distance family owned. After a few more years in hosiery sales she saw a market, brands were investing in lotions and make up but not nail varnish. Stores would hold limited colour lines, her dream was to crate a range that not only inspiring but wet looking and iron strong that would last a over a week. With $10,000 investment she looked for a chemist to make her the formulation that would work, with that soon solved, she created a line fo 12 colours to launch with.

Out of the original line up "Bordaux" (a deep wine red), "Blanc" (Chalk white) and "Baby's breath" (a soft white used for french manicure) are still in the current line up of 200 colours. Essie got inspired from the world around her, "Fiesta" was from a pin cushion that owned and loved the colour of. The now famous "Ballet Slippers" was of course from her childhood days of the shoes of ballet dancers.

Essie sold door-to-door, flew in from New York to Las Vegas to capitalise on the disposable income and high life of Vegas. She left with 10 cartons of nail varnish and never looked back. Starting from the 100 odd salons of Las Vegas to now sold in 95 countries in 30 years, not many brands can say that their polishes have been requested by the Queen to grace her nails (Ballet Slippers for your information).

Purchased by L'Oreal in 2010 they went from being a professional only range to now dominated the nail varnish market.

While researching this I came across a brilliant article and interview by Into The Gloss and would encourage to read it, as I find out inspiring and an interesting look into the brand.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Money Talks by Dainty Doll

I am pale and being a pale woman I wanted to try the Dainty Doll range created by Girl's Aloud Nicola Roberts. She was inspired by her own struggle to get cosmetics that will suit her skin that wouldn't look orange or make her look like Coco the Clown. This echoed my sentiments exactly.

Like the whole entire female population that has access to the Internet, I ordered my Dainty Doll items from Fragrance Direct. I spotted them annouching it on their twitter that they've just started stocking it. I ended up investing in the palest foundation, concealer, wonderbalm and this blusher. I still have to try the others as I am still using the last of  what I'm currently using now.

The blusher I had previously just wasn't looking right on me and decided one day to dig this out and see if I could find a new improvement.

I like the colour in the pan, it's a mixture of bronze and plum with shimmer. The compact is the size of a small mug, so it fits snugly in my small palm (I do have very small hands). The mirror in the back is the size of the lid and clear. I actually use the mirror from this a lot because it's the perfect size.

The pigment of the blush provides a good cover of colour with one layer, I find this is prefect for me as I do have high colour on my cheeks. It's lasts the whole of my 8 hour shift which is the key thing for me, I have a busy day job and don't have time to top up really.

Please excuse the spots this is when my skin broke out - Grr

This has now made it into my everyday make up bag, I whole heartily recommend this. It normally retails for £13.50 while I got mine for £1.99 (P&P starts at £1.99 with Fragrance Direct). I would however pay the full price for this because it is so rare to find a blusher that makes me lot health and suits my skin tone. I cannot wait to try the rest of the items I have from the range.

Any other Dainty Doll love out there?