So I am in Los Angeles visiting my family for awhile (since I haven’t been back in 3 years) and I was itching to get my nails done as it was something I stopped doing in London because I never seemed to find the time……and since I’m on holiday I have nothing but time! The hard part was finding somewhere that seemed to match the talent I’d grown accustomed to in London. Somewhere clean and reputable. This wasn’t as easy as I’d hoped since I didn’t have anyone I could ask for a recommendation so I went to the internet. I searched long and hard to come up with MARS SALON (picture above is from their website). They are nestled just off Melrose on Westmount in the big shopping area of town. When I read their website it seemed pretty clear I’d found the salon I was looking for…they stress hygiene all over the place and it just looks inviting. It is a nail salon/spa that started in Tokyo and now has a Los Angeles branch. So I knew I would be in good hands as Japan is held in high regard when it comes to nails and quality! Everyone has a private room so you can relax and watch telly while your hands/feet are worked on. I knew I wanted some type of extensions as my natural nails are weak and short and gels seemed like a good idea as my natural nail can strengthen while my hands look pretty (and having nice nails is crucial for hand confidence in my opinion!).
So I tried to document the process as best I could since it’d been ages since I had anything nail professionally done. Everything in MARS was as hygienic as expected, individually wrapped tools…everything clean and used only on me before being disposed or cleaned for another person. Exactly what I want in a salon and something that I find rare in the majority of nail salons that line each street. This level of cleanliness is often something you pay for and it is worth it in my mind! I am pretty sure this is pre-gels and my nails are just prepped and ready to go! (see how clean and sanitary it is!?!?!)
Okay so you can enlarge this and see my fingers with the gels on…it was totally weirding me out having these clear extensions when I am accustomed to fibreglass!! I did a better “in action” shot when she was doing my right hand:
This is how the gels were applied – I had these things wrapped around my fingers and the blue bits just under the tips of my nails and the blue part had lines for length and I was told that gel wouldn’t work if it was extended too far beyond my natural nail length (which is quite short). I was advised to go with the short nail length on the blue nail guides. So they were painted to the short length and then I cooked my fingers under a UV light and then…..
The blue bits were peeled off carefully and then my gel nails were revealed!
Of course since I prefer an almond nail shape they were filed to my liking and then I picked a colour…a sparkly grey/black (I was feeling dark and mysterious!)
Voila! The finished product!
One more for good measure. A bit more rounded than I would normally prefer but as they were working with such short nails I think they did a fantastic job! I am definitely going back. I will have to make sure I save my pennies as this cost £85…I don’t know how much a refill costs yet so I will have to set that aside again. Nails are a worthy commitment and as I am trying to get strong nails I am happy with gels.
MARS THE SALON LOS ANGELES – http://www.mars-salon.com/los/index.html
So everyone and their mother/sister/brother/cousin/bestie is talking about Charlotte Tilbury. It was one of the most lauded launches and has been pretty raved over everywhere. I bought some of her products right after the brand launched in the UK and I don’t think I ever got around to talking about it…mostly because everyone else already was and I was busy doing life stuff! I cannot afford her products without saving up because they are expensiveeeeee but in my opinion the lipsticks are great. Moisturising and filled with pigment, I would be satisfied wearing a great clear colour if it gave me the moisturising benefits I crave! Thankfully I get pigment too! It comes in at [a whopping] £7 cheaper than my beloved Chantecaille Lip Chics which are chapstick-lipstick combined.
The first Charlotte Tilbury product I acquired was the “Perfect Pink Kiss” set of a lip brush and coordinating lip pencil/gloss/stick. People who know me well are aware that red lipstick is my comfort zone. Reds of all shades and dark berries I am okay with…or chapstick. Light colours and nude-esque colours tend to worry me and I always think I look silly. I have the anti-nude problem? So this was very “bold” of me to try and venture out of my traditional colour wheelhouse! Thankfully it was worth the risk because I LOVE the colour and the lip gloss. I find my lips to be naturally quite red/pink/coral and not as milky to brown shades of nude that exist, I’d blame it on my rosacea but it ignores my lips and bursts the capillaries in my cheeks for great rubicund colour that never goes away (please note the sarcasm)! The gloss is okay, I love that it is just as moisturising as the lipstick but like most glosses I find it to be rather sticky. It has great lasting power I think (well, provided you don’t do anything ) or maybe it is that the colour match is so strong (Portobello Girl is the coordinating lip lacquer) I find I don’t need to use much lipgloss to coat my lips so it lasts as a product in the tube for a good length of time for the price (£16.50). I genuinely can’t remember if I’ve ever used the lip pencil…I probably did when I first received it but that was awhile ago and I never use lip pencils…I know you are supposed to…I guess I just don’t see the merit. I have a small break in my lip line and lipsticks and glosses will feather in a funny way and using lip pencil doesn’t prevent this (although I am intrigued by a silicone/clear lip liner by Poppy King to see if that keeps my lipstick from feathering – but that is another topic for another day. I would have to acquire it first!).
This is the second colour I acquired from Charlotte Tilbury (Penelope Pink), I thought I would try out the nude thing that everyone keeps raving about. Sadly I hate this lipstick. I think it looks ridiculous on me and it has been resigned to the “not to be seen by anyone other than my dogs” box (that exists only in my head…but this is a one time only deal, I had to show how different the two colours are because even though they look like they could sort of be similar…they just aren’t and I needed to try this nude trend and I am just not this kind of nude. I don’t really know what I was thinking, there are great pictures on the Tilbury website of the actual lipstick on lips but somehow I just imagined it would look different on me….than a lip model….because I am a silly bird! I have never been a brown shade and I cannot tell you what was going on in my head when I thought I could pull this off. I clearly had a mental lapse. I mostly need to keep it away from my mum because she loves brown lipstick even though she looks so great in bright colours. So no stealing this mum! I really wanted to be able to like this colour but nobody loves everything from every brand ever always. I don’t think?? Anyway, my opinion on this colour (on me) is that it washes me out in a bad way…sort of takes away any pigment in my lips and neutralises them. It is just not flattering. I tried it with a dramatic eye look but my lips just sort of disappeared. Not right for me sadly!
If you click on the photo to enlarge I have Penelope Pink (I feel this is misnamed…maybe Bettie Brown or something instead?!) on the washed out side and Coachella Coral on the pinky side. The difference here is immense, really showing how different they truly are! If you see in a wider shot you can see that the Coral isn’t that much stronger than my natural lip shade. I will have to remember to post a picture of just the Coral with my natural lips instead of the brown shade.
The next colour I acquired was a fun one…fuchsia pink! Keep your eyes open!
Coach is kicking off 2015 with its first acquisition ever. The American leather goods company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Stuart Weitzman from its current owner, Sycamore Partners, both brands announced Tuesday. The news follows reports from last August that Sycamore was looking to unload Stuart Weitzman after its buyout of Jones Group. In the latest bidding war, Coach reportedly faced competition from Brown Shoe Co. and private equity firm Advent International Corp for the luxury shoe brand.
The winning deal? Coach will initially shell out approximately $530 million cash to Sycamore Partners, in addition to another $44 million, give or take, contingent upon “selected revenue targets” over the three years following the close of the transaction, per a release. But considering that sources expected Stuart Weitzman to be worth closer to $800 million, it appears that Coach is getting a pretty good deal.
Coach CEO Victor Luis said in a statement that “the size, scope and vibrancy of the Stuart Weitzman brand, along with the continuity of its management team, allows for a seamless transition to Coach ownership, as we continue to focus on Coach’s brand transformation,” adding that he plans to develop Stuart Weitzman globally and also benefit from the brand’s “expertise in footwear development where they’re proven leaders in fashion and fit.”
“In Coach, we have found a strategic partner that respects our culture, and offers the scale, resources, and global business acumen to enable us to realize our full potential,” said Stuart Weitzman, the brand’s creative director and executive chairman.
While the acquisition is a bit of a surprising move for Coach, Stuart Weitzman’s steady sales growth should help steady the company during the tumultuous revamp phase of its flagship brand.
Give and Makeup have run the past 4 years to help children and young people living in domestic violence shelters across London. This cause is near and dear to my heart because I have been a victim of domestic violence in my childhood and in my adult relationships. It is not something you hear people admit but I am admitting it. I am a victim of domestic violence. It happened to me. It was a horrible thing and I am genuinely sad it happened and I am fortunate to have had allies in family and friends who trusted and believed me and helped me move on with my life into more positive situations. I am lucky. Other people are not so lucky and they must leave their homes and they have no one to rely on and must move to shelters and rely on people like us who have something, anything to give. Here is what is acceptable:
They can have anything – pyjamas, clothing, slippers, books, crayons, colouring books, suitable dvd’s (they will be checked anyway), toys, sweets, chocolate, magazines – pretty much anything that you know a child/young person will appreciate.
- gifts are suitable for ages between newborn and 15
- no toy weapons
- no borderline ‘sexy’ items of underwear (it has happened in the past)
- no items of a religious nature
- new or nearly new please
- boxes can be packed according to one child/gender or a mixture across all ages
Please send your donations to:
Give and Makeup c/o
PO BOX 855
Thank you so much for your continued support. You are changing people’s lives.
Please, please support. Anything you can…anything is better than nothing. These families are starting over with nothing and you have no idea how hard this is…as someone who has started their life over in the past and choosing to disclose now in the present I hope you can find it within you to give something.
NEW YORK (AP) — Beauty products company Estee Lauder is buying fragrance company Le Labo to expand its offerings.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Le Labo, which also offers body care products, candles and other items, was founded in 2006 by fragrance industry veterans Fabrice Penot and Eddie Roschi. It has offices in New York and London.
Estee Lauder Cos., based in New York, has brands including Bobbi Brown, MAC and its namesake.
The transaction is targeted to close in November.
Personally as a massive fan of LeLabo – their London exclusive scent is the ONLY scent I can wear as an incredibly scent sensitive person, I’ve tried hundreds…thousands of perfumes from different brands, styles and all the rest I’ve tried trigger migraines. I loved this company for it’s niche business concept and now to see it be picked up by a massive conglomerate….means the business has done really well but it saddens me to see a brand I love go under the big corporate umbrella and away from its independent roots.