Monday, 29 April 2013

Make it happen! Get into good habits and join us on Twitter...

According to new research, three quarters (84%) of us are feeling positive about achieving our health and beauty goals throughout 2013 - I've already started juicing and eating more healthily in time for summer and getting my skin in great shape for baring all too! So I was interested to read about the new initiative from Boots 'Let's Make It Happen' which is set up to help and encourage us all to reach our goals!

I know that just a few small changes can have real impact - whether it's regular exercise (use that gym membership people) or taking much better care of our skin, it doesn't really need a whole lot of effort to feel a whole lot better about yourself. Identifying what you want to change is where you have to start so Let’s Make it Happen will help you identify what you want to achieve and in the context of Boots is about what you need to do to get to grips with those health and beauty goals, with lots of information on services, support and must-have products.

Boots currently have a partnership with Mumsnet and various radio stations and everything is hosted on The Feel Good Forum on Mumsnet - all shows are fully accessible now so have a listen. 

Come and join top bloggers Beautyandthedirt and Thehighteacast at a Twitter party on May 2nd between 1-2pm using the #bootsmakeithappen hashtag to discuss your own goals (and theirs) and to ask questions of the always helpful Twitter community. Follow them on @beautyanthedirt and @thehighteacast

I will be taking part on Thursday lunchtime so join me @scaredcrows and the others to talk all things beauty! There will be some beauty goody bags to win for a few lucky tweeters too....

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sneak preview on Autumn/Winter 2013 Jaeger collection

Sneak preview time and once again we got to take a look at the Autumn/Winter collection at Jaeger. I love Jaeger, they create classics that are both wearable but are also on trend - just check out the neon's that are currently in store and continue into the winter. Fabrics are always high quality - soft woollens, silks and cottons.

Here you go - enjoy!

What's not to love about this brilliant red dress?

Brilliant and bold acid yellow - perfect for dull days

Monochrome and pales in fabulous fabrics

Hot hot pink - and check out the Twitter bird print too

Gorgeous twist on a traditional skirt suit - or wear as separates

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

Rigby & Peller go wild with colour this Spring/Summer

I won't bore you with my problems in finding lovely bras and knickers that fit my 'more than average' handful - and that isn't a boast it's the simple truth. I have to shop carefully to get the right fit, especially as more support than ever is needed with every passing year. The great thing about it is that I can justify the occasional trip to shops like Rigby & Peller who have a superb in-store fitting service where the ladies can tell your exact size simply by looking at you! No tape measures in sight, it's an experience you won't forget...

I was invited this week to go along for a fitting and to choose some lingerie and I do realise that I am very lucky to have been treated in this way, but to be fair I have also shopped their too.

The latest story for this Spring/Summer (yes, you get seasonal stories even with underwear!) is one of amazing colour - certainly a welcome change with all the hot pinks and neons around at the moment it's great to be able to reflect this in your underwear too.

These are some of the things in store now that I fell in love with.

Marie Jo Avero bra, £69.95
Empreinte Thalia balcony bra in sapphire, £92.95, short brief £58.95

This set above is the one I chose and I must say the fit, especially for a balcony bra which doesn't often work well in my size, is fantastic.
Simone Perele Marilyn bra, £78.95

Simone Perele Marilyn short, £49.95

Marie Jo L'Aventure Ernest bra in coral, £71.95

Marie Jo L'Aventure Earnest shorts, £31.95

Check out the Rigby & Peller website for your nearest store or to by online.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

As Seen In Blitz - fashion from the iconic magazine

From former fashion editor of Blitz magazine comes As Seen In Blitz, a celebration of the hedonistic, creative and 'subversive' fashion pages that set the style for a whole generation going out in the 1980's. After Punk and before the internet, the club scene that emerged was New Romantic and had a cast of characters so colourful I can't quite believe there are not more books and exhibitions to celebrate them. Iain R Webb was at the centre of this fashion and cultural revolution and this book looks to present over 100 of the Blitz fashion stories plus previously unseen archive content. There are interviews with designers and memories from a time that was important to those who lived it and to those who came after.

So if you wore Bodymap, Comme Des Garcons, Jasper Conran or Vivienne Westwood or strutted at Club for Heroes, The Wag or later the Camden Palace alongside Boy George, Marilyn and Steve Strange then this is definitely the book for you.

Order it today from Waterstones, £35 and get free delivery.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Philosophy Microdelivery Peel kit reviewed

I was given a voucher for my birthday recently to decided to buy myself the Philosophy Microdelivery Peel kit which I had tried out a few years ago and been longing ever since to replace. Yes this product has been on the  market a while, yes it works.

The word 'peel' always makes me a bit worried as I think of horrible red skin afterwards but this peel is gentle and really lovely to use even though it does contain both lactic and alicylic acid. First off you apply about a teaspoon worth of  the microdelivery peel vitamin c crystals to clean, dry skin. Once covered you gently massage the face avoiding the eye area for up to 60 seconds. The smell is an overwhelming one of oranges and is quite delicious. You then add, with your fingertips, about a teaspoon of activator which turns the granular mask into a gentle white foam as it by magic. This activates the vitamin c and peptides and you leave it on your skin for 1-2 minutes then simply wash off.

It's recommended that you use it once or twice a week before applying other beauty products but as it is so simple and quick to use (the whole process takes 5 mins max) this is no chore and the results are quite dramatic. My skin feels really really smooth and after a couple of weeks looks brighter and younger (less noticable lines).

This is not a cheap product but a little goes a long way and it is just as effective as a salon facial (in my opinion anyway). For those who want to liven up winter skin in preparation for the summer it is a must!
The Microdelivery Peel from Philosophy £59.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Spring/Summer at Uniqlo

There are some great collaborations in store and online at Uniqlo at the moment so I felt compelled to share.

The Cabbages & Roses floral print collection has more than just a touch of vintage too it but is wearable whatever your age or shape.

I have this t-shirt from the range.

Celia Birtwell has put her name and her pattern book to lots of ranges recently and her is her latest. I have a pair of fantastic cropped trousers with a more monochrome print waiting for some good weather, but how can you resist these fabulous colours?

And last but by no means least, Lulu Guinness has produced a range of simple yet stylish t-shirts to team with black cut-offs or wide skirts.


In my experience Uniqlo clothing is great value for money but also wears pretty well for the prices and wash a treat!

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Clarks Autumn/Winter range preview...

Getting a sneak preview of Clarks ranges is always an extra special treat as they always push the boat out to ensure that the event is fun and a bit different. This one, for Clarks Autumn/Winter women's, men's and children's collections was no let down with a Farmer's Market theme. We were even encouraged to help ourselves to fresh artisan loaves, fruit, vegetables and cake! The shoes were great too and here are a few of the styles we can look forward to later in the year.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Hydratation Mask

Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Hydratation Mask (so good they almost named it twice) appeared on my doormat a few days ago (thank you PR) so what with wanting to dabble with a less-make-up-is-more look with the sun coming out and all that, I thought I'd give my sad winter face a bit of a boost.

I have written about Burt's Bee products a lot in the past. Their lip-balms really do work to rescue the most chapped of lips and their body butters are pretty heavenly. This new product which comes in the form of a treatment mask and contains Clary Sage, is no different. I cleansed my face thoroughly and applied a thin layer which was left of for around 10 minutes then anything that hadn't been absorbed (well I knew my skin was dry) I massaged in. Doing this just before bedtime meant that I went to bed with a heavenly scent on my skin which helped me drift off too...

In the morning my skin definitely felt softer and looked more hydrated. One to add to my list of must have Burt's Bees products. It contains Mafura and Tucuma butters and like all their products is free of petrochemicals and other synthetic ingredients. Nothing is tested on animals either.

Intense Hydration Hydratation Treatment Mask (110g) from Burt's Bees,  £19.99

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Nearly Scammed! Internet fraud

I have worked online for the past 11 years so am a bit of a veteran really but even I was nearly scammed by a very persuasive and clever company this weekend. This has actually been written about in the papers but I must have missed it so I am writing this up to spread the word so no-one else gets caught.

Saturday morning my home phone goes off and there is a pleasant male Indian voice on the other end of the line telling me that he is calling me on behalf of a company employed by Microsoft. Immediately I think 'oh no cold call get rid quick....' so I gave him the usual, 'sorry but I don't respond to cold calls and I'm really busy'. He immediately and very politely (calling me madam) said that Microsoft in the US had been receiving thousands of error reports from my computer and that it was due to a new Trojan virus which does not show up in any firewall or antivirus programme alerts. I happened to be sitting at my computer (luckily with the internet connection not working as we keep being knocked off the system) and without even thinking found myself at his behest going into my 'run' box and searching for eventwr.msc which showed me 29,000 error reports and danger reports. Every piece of my 'being' told me that I was about the be scammed, but he was very very persuasive as to how dangerous the bug was and how we could fix it there and then, and I almost ended up letting him take control of my computer remotely.

WHAT WAS I THINKING! As I said my internet connection was down so I couldn't connect and explained that we weren't going to get anywhere and thanked him for the alert and that I would look into it later. It was then he got very heavy about how important it was that we sorted the problem and how he could help and would call back. I got rid of him eventually and slightly shaken realised that I had probably nearly handed over every piece of secure information ever typed into my computer.

That afternoon at 3pm the phone went again with the same guy. But this time he got my husband who was waiting for him. He was firm and polite, but ended up threatening to call the police - this is how persistent this particular organisation are. Even when we asked for their phone number to check them out they gave us our own phone number with the last digit changed!

I realise this all sounds completely mad in the cold light of the next day - and reading it myself I cannot quite believe that I was so stupid to have even got as far as checking out my computer with him. But I did and can imagine how the many thousands that have been caught out have done so.

So remember the likes of Microsoft don't have your home phone number (oh how stupid am I) and they don't work with third party companies. End of. Please don't get caught, had he taken control of my computer he would have loaded up a virus which would have accessed everything and robbed me blind.

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Saturday, 13 April 2013

Timothy Everest launches women's tailored range for Superdry

Last night I went along to the launch of a brand new, tailored range for women from Timothy Everest for uber brand Superdry. Before I wax lyrical about the collection, the store itself in Regent Street is one of the largest single brand stores I have ever been in. A whole floor dedicated to t-shirts - imagine! Although I can only really get away with the occasional piece from here I love the Superdry mix of acid brights and pastels which have become signature, so this tailored and more downbeat collection is a bit of a departure but still has fun elements and gives a bit of a twist to classic shapes.

Following on from the launch of tailoring for men, the Women's Sebiro range feature everything from 'rock chic' to 'country rebel' with lots of fishbone and herringbone with fantastic shapes and cuts.  Four models each wore pieces from the four ranges which are The Town Coat, The Country Rebel, The Rock Rebel and the Muse. All the range can be  dressed up or down so there is definitely something for everyone.

Prices range from £75 to £250 and wwill only be found in the Regent Street store and selected UK Superdry stores.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Claudia Bradby jewellery - one for my collection

Turquoise Margareta bracelet, £48, Claudia Bradby
Gorgeous jewellery whatever your age - that is what I try to feature often on The Life Edit. I follow in my grandmother and mother's footsteps when it comes to a rather unhealthy liking for jewellery - a pile of jewellery boxes in my bedroom at testament to that!

So another week and another jewellery designer - British, loved by royalty and amazingly affordable, Claudia Bradby works with pearls, semi-precious stones and will look good whether you are 18 or 80!

Here is my pick of her site...

Celeste earrings, £63, Claudia Bradby

Jade, Opal and Pearl Raspberry Hoop earrings, £59, Claudia Bradby

Cerulean Hoop Earrings, £59, Claudia Bradby

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sheswai Lacquer for perfect nails

I have finally managed to grow my nails a bit so rather than hide my hands I've been giving varnishes a bit of a blast recently. But to my dismay my collection that has been festering in my drawer for months due to non-use (and out of the clutches of daughters) are all thick and gunky and not really on trend either. They might as well have had the use of them. So I took my begging bowl in hand to deputy ed of Beautyandthedirt who always has lots of samples lurking on her desk, to be recommended a new lacquer that I could play with...

She recommended that I check out Sheswai Lacquer from the USA and gave me a sample to try out. I know that committed beauty bloggers have been writing about this brand for a couple of years now but it is new to me and I really like both the colour range and the ethos. It also goes on well with two coats giving really good coverage and drying time being about average. Nice deep colour, nice packaging - what's not to like?

Sheswai Lacquer doesn't contain toulene, formaldehyde or DBPs. It has cool packaging and the caps are made from sustainable wood with the logo, which represents a golden tree and bird representing 'the freedom and playful nature of California which inspires us'.

I have found them for £12.50 on Mise beauty.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Mid-season Sweater from Top Shop

I am still freakin' cold and getting fed up with looking at hosts of pretty, flimsy, light Spring fashion that I just won't be buying yet! So I went on the hunt for a great S/S sweater that I will probably end up wearing all year at this rate. I love this one from Top Shop - reminds me of one my husband wore in the '80's in terms of the pattern. His didn't have the fantastic two-tone sleeves and was in wool - and I'm sure his was from a second-hand shop so was probably a '70's one in actual fact.

Cotton/acrylic mix sweater, £40, Top Shop.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Adding Colour for Spring with Clarks

La Chantilly in raspberry suede, £80 Clarks
The new suede shoes that are ready to literally burst into Clarks stores for Spring/Summer are a welcome sight for sore eyes and feet. Love the mid-heel. Love the colours to brighten up all my neutrals. Love the prices. What more can be said really....

Cloudy Skies in fuchsia suede,  £45 Clarks

Drum Major in orange suede, £50 from Clarks

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Just a handful of talented UK women

I've got some really talented friends. Not the one's I've worked with over the years (though boy there's amazing talent there - I'm so lucky) no, I'm talking about friends who live locally to me and have just become friends through schools and streets really...

There are a huge amount of amazing women out there in the UK creating wonderful things and I am lucky that my friends are amongst them. Wish I could say the same!

So I am unashamedly going to introduce you to four of them here, all of them who have brought up children, run households and are fabulously creative.

Cheryl Powling

Cheryl keeps and hatches chickens as a sideline - check out her blog Mucky Hen. But her real talent lies in stained glass and as we are an Edwardian area there's lots of it that needs restoration and replacing so she is always busy. She also runs workshops for those who want to learn the art of stained glass. She's also quite mad (again see her blog).
Here is something she made for me for my birthday with handpainted glass (all her own work too). She knows I love bees (I have a tattoo).

Oh and she also does a bit of mosaic when the fancy takes her...

Then there's Tami Hedley. She also works with glass using fluid dyes on the reverse of glass bowls and dishes to create the most wonderfully vibrant pieces which are sold all over the world. I love the colours she produces and she also works as an Art Therapist with youngsters who need help and a creative outlet. How beautiful are these?

No list of my talented female friends should be without commercial artist, Pauline Hazelwood who produces large paintings, smaller watercolours and illustrations. She is an acclaimed artist who has had her work displayed at the Mall Galleries and the National Gallery. I love her children's book illustrations which I first learned about from a set of greetings cards which I came across on sale. One day I will treat myself to one of her painting classes (especially the one's she runs abroad and in the sunshine - sounds like bliss) where she will learn how bad a painter I actually can be. Needless to say her sons seem to be following in her footsteps with amazing success.
Here are just a few pieces of her work...

and here is one of her children's book illustrations which I love...

And last  is Helen Masacz whose portraits have been hung in the National Portrait Gallery and whose star is very much on the ascendant in the portraiture world. I am proud to say that I was one of the first people to commission her to do portraits of my girls - now I can't afford her which is a good thing for her but bad thing for me (though she is still very affordable for what she does I hasten to add). Anyway she too has brought up children and created a business from home - here is a taster of her amazing work...

She also has produced a series of wonderful still-life paintings too...

We all have talented friends so if you want to let me know about your's I'll certainly blog about them here - would be delighted to showcase more amazingly creative women of the UK! Follow on Bloglovin

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