Saturday, 31 December 2011

February Elle UK - Dakota Fanning

There's nothing like the latest issue of one of your favourite magazines landing on the doormat to herald the start of a new month, and indeed the start of a new year! I've said it before, but I really love the subscriber covers that Elle do. As they don't have all the text and coverlines that you get on the standard copy of the magazine, you can really focus on the great photography.

This month's cover star is 17 year old Dakota Fanning, featuring on her first UK glossy magazine cover. I am seriously coveting her makeup look. I love the matte red lip (Lancome L'Absolu Rouge in Rouge Odysee - £19.50) and the red nail polish (Rimmel Lycra Pro in Hot Gossip - a very purse-friendly £3.99). I have one matte red in my collection (Revlon Strawberry Suede) so I think I will give that another wearing after seeing Dakota's lip look.

This month's magazine also comes with a 'Front Row: The Runway Edit' supplement, which highlights the key trends for S/S 2012 and the key designers from each Fashion Week. I love these supplements as they give a really good flavour of the style highlights to come over the next few months. It's the perfect read to get 2012 off to a stylish start.

I love the 'Techno Print' trend that is featured, as it includes one of my favourite designers, Mary Katrantzou. I recently had to choose a non-work related topic to give a presentation on, and I chose Mary's work as my focus. I opted not to have any text in my presentation so as not to distract from the beautiful clothing, which meant that I was wholly reliant on knowing my topic inside out. I'm happy to report that it went really well. Given that nobody else in the group was interested in fashion, they hadn't heard of her. But by the end of my 25 minutes, they all said they had found it really interesting and enjoyable and loved hearing about her work. A few more converts to the Katrantzou cause!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Visionaries: Inside The Creative Mind - Tom Ford

Style Forum Special from Music Guy on Vimeo.

I just wanted to share this great Tom Ford documentary with you. It was aired in the U.S.A. earlier this year, on the Oprah Winfrey Network, as part of a five documentary series which focused on creative artists from Tom Ford to James Cameron. The films take a look at how prominent figures in the art and design worlds create their work.

The Tom Ford film is a great combination of behind-the scenes footage from the launch of his own womenswear collection for S/S 2011, and Tom talking to camera about his experiences and what motivates him.

I loved Tom Ford's 'Studio 54' style collections for Gucci in the mid-90s, and I had the images on my bedroom wall as a student. Looking back, those images provided a much-needed dose of glamour to my room in student halls, in amongst the politics and history textbooks!

Sadly, the only Tom Ford item I own is the 'A Single Man' DVD, so it was interesting to hear him talk about why he wanted to make the film, which he describes as his "mid-life crisis on screen".

A number of items from his makeup and fragrance collection are on my wishlist, but until such time as they are on my dressing table, this documentary will have to provide me with my Tom Ford fix!

Here are some quotes from the film:

"Style is someone who figures out who they are; what works on them; what they feel good in, and develops that and their character. The outer expression of their character is what is style."

"You've got to figure out what you love in life. You've got to do what you love."

"If it's not fun, I'm not going to do it."

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Bobbi Brown Beauty Masterclass

A few weeks ago I was invited to a Bobbi Brown 'Christmas Beauty' masterclass being led by the company's Head of Artistry in the U.K., Paul Herrington. The event took place in John Lewis' Cardiff store.

Paul and the other lovely ladies and gents from 'Bobbi Brown' had taken over the Espresso Bar, where we were invited to relax with a glass of something fizzy and a mince pie. Perfect to get us in the festive mood! There was a real range of ladies at the event, from teenagers to grandmothers, and that reflects the approach that the brand has.

Paul talked us through his 10 key products from Bobbi Brown, which he thinks are essentials. Unfortunately, I lost my notebook which had my notes from the evening, so I haven't got all the details of the products. But I have been really impressed with the products that I bought on the evening, so I still wanted to post about the event.

I really enjoyed the format of the evening. Firstly, Paul demonstrated the products on members of the group on stage and took questions from the floor. The second part of the evening was where we were invited to sit at tables named after Hollywood stars and to have small-group consultations with one of the makeup artists, where we could ask more individual questions and get our hands on the products to try them

Here are some of the key products that Paul talked about over the course of the evening:
  • Hydrating Face Cream - Bobbi believes that the most important skincare step is ensuring hydration, and this product is designed to provide hydration throughout the day. 
  • Foundation Stick - this is one of Bobbi Brown's most well-known and award-winning products, which is designed for all skin types except really oily skin. This is great for giving easy coverage on the go.

  • Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner - this is another one of Bobbi's products which has won many awards, including an 'InStyle Best Beauty Buys' award. This long-lasting and water-resistant product gives the look of a liquid liner, but with a gel feel. This is definitely going on my 'to-buy' list.
  • Long-Wear Cream Eye Shadow
  • Metallic Long-Wear Cream Eye Shadow - this still gives the long-lasting coverage of the original cream eyeshadow, but with an added sparkle
  • Pastel Sugar Sparkle Eye Quad - this is part of the brand's Christmas Collection. The sparkly, sheer texture of these shadows means that they are great for layering over neutral shades such as 'Long-Wear Cream Eye Shadow' in 'Bone', to take you from a day to an evening look.

  • Shimmer Brick - This is perhaps one of Bobbi's most iconic products, and it is fair to say that there were more than a few fans of the product in the room. The shimmer bricks have 5 different bars of colour, which work together to give the skin a glow. The product can be used as a highlighter and shimmer eye shadow. There are 5 options: the original Bronze Shimmer; Pink Quartz Shimmer; Nectar Shimmer; Rose Shimmer and Beige Shimmer. 

  • Pot Rouge - This fantastic cream-based blush comes in five different shades. Paul recommended 'Powder Pink' as being suitable for my colouring, so I added it to my shopping list. I have been using this nearly everyday since, and I love it! It gives a really natural flush to the skin, and can also be used on the lips. It also transpires that it is the blush used by my good friend Liz, whose blusher I always love. It was obviously meant to be!

I also purchased one of Bobbi's new high shimmer lipglosses in 'Bellini' (a nude pink and silver pearl). I really like this product as it gives a subtle shimmer effect, and without the sticky finish that so many glosses can leave. 

Have you tried any of the products on the list? How did you find them?

Monday, 19 December 2011

Lou Lou Chats to Lynnette Peck Bateman of Lovely's Vintage Emporium

Next up in my Lou Lou Chats series is Lynnette Peck Bateman. Lynnette manages to combine a busy career as a fashion and beauty journalist together with running her own rather fabulous vintage fashion website, Lovely's Vintage Emporium


Describe Lovely’s Vintage Emporium in three words.

Trends-led fashion website.

Please tell us more about yourself.

I have worked as a fashion and beauty journalist/stylist for magazines and newspapers for 19 years (Cosmopolitan; Vogue Australia, Celebrity Homes, The Daily Telegraph, Eve, Now etc), plus I do personal shopping for clients and consult for beauty brands and PR companies.

1960s Jaeger wool plaid cape - £75.00

Why did you set up Lovely’s Vintage Emporium?

Because I am obsessed by both vintage fashion and shopping online, and I really felt there was a gap in the market for a website that offered a more modern, trends-led, magazine-like approach to vintage. It was also an excuse to buy lots more vintage clothes and jewellery without my husband complaining!
What do you think differentiates Lovely’s Vintage Emporium from other vintage online stores?

I could not find a website that was selling vintage that correlated with catwalk fashion trends and I am still the only one that does. If polka dots and red dresses  are in fashion then you will find them on Lovely’s Vintage Emporium. I am in a position to know trends ahead of time as I attend London Fashion Week and get invited to fashion PR events. My website is easy to navigate, does not have an old-fashioned look and is relevant and modern to young girls and women today. Plus the vintage sourced is immaculate, dry cleaned and has been individually sourced by me. In effect my customers are buying a vintage piece curated by an experienced fashion stylist so they can trust what they are purchasing.

1970s black dress with lace polka dot bodice -  £85.00

Where do you source your pieces?

If I told you that everyone would be doing it!
What has been the highlight for you since starting up the business?

Probably when I opened the December 2011 issue of Cosmopolitan and turned to the fashion pages - they had featured one of my vintage hats on a model over two pages. Plus when the TV show This Morning on ITV1 used a pair of my earrings in a fashion shoot.

Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently?
I would have given myself longer to set up the website and launch the business. I was so eager that I set myself a deadline that was too tight. I managed it but was still writing different sections of the website right up until the minute we launched at 6.30pm on March 31st 2011. It was an amazing feeling though.
How do you combine your different careers?
By working all the time! I am answering this sat on a train. I like the variety though. One minute I am on a beauty photo shoot for a magazine and the next I am uploading images and writing captions for my website.
What motivates you?

I have turned a huge hobby/obsession into a career. I would always suggest that you do a job that comes from a place of love.
What advice would you give to people who are looking to start their own fashion business?
Work out exactly who your market is and only buy pieces that you love and know your customers will too. Do not over buy stock (I have far too much!). Keep an eye on your finances very carefully. Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
1980s Chanel handbag (Never Used) - £799.00

What’s in the pipeline for Lovely’s Vintage Emporium in 2012?

I will be expanding the vintage homewares and vintage beauty section of the website. We may start sourcing vintage menswear as I have had a lot of enquiries from men asking me to help them too.We currently only have cufflinks . We will also be stocking vintage wedding dresses. I have four in my stock at the moment that need photographing but there will be many more to come. The designer vintage will grow too as we have seen very good sales on the more luxury vintage items .
Top Tip?

Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you, i.e. treat others as you would wish to be treated

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

100 Follower Giveaway: Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush & Waterbrush

 Typical. Just as I reach a Goggle Friend Connect milestone - reaching 100 followers - they decide to do away with it. Anyway, to celebrate reaching 100 followers I've decided to channel my inner Father Christmas, and do a little giveaway. The prize? Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush in 'Pop' (a Limited Edition shade) . To help give the best possible application I am giving away a Daniel Sandler Waterbrush with the blush. I chose this as the prize as it has had some great reviews, (including from me!), and I know that a lot of people are keen to try it. You can check out my review here.

To enter, please leave your name and email address below, so that I can contact you if you are the winner. I am really interested to know how you access my posts, i.e. via Twitter links; on Bloglovin' etc, so it would be great if you could let me know in the comments box when you leave your details.

You will get an extra entry by tweeting: 'I entered @LouiseHartrey 's Daniel Sandler Watercolour Blush & Waterbrush giveaway over at '

If you share the giveaway via  my blog's Facebook page then you will get another entry.

The giveaway closes at 11:59pm on 28th December 2011.

Good luck!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Lou Lou Chats to LILIFI designer, Kathleen Reardon

After my Q & A with Jinty Day last week, I've decided to start a new feature called 'Lou Lou Chats' where I get the opportunity to interview people who are working in the fashion and beauty industry, be it designers, makeup artists or store owners. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do! Next up in the series is the lovely lady behind LILIFI (and designer of my dream clutch!), Kathleen Reardon.


Describe LILIFI in three words.

Stylish / Tactile / Trend-led

Please tell us more about yourself.

I studied at Cordwainers College (1996-1998), undertaking a HND in footwear/accessories design.  Whilst at college, I worked for John Lobb and Pentlands.  After graduating, I landed a fantastic job, trend forecasting at Insight Ltd - amazing bridging for a colourful career.  I have worked in many establishments before embarking on what is now known as LILIFI.

Animal-print Satchel, £189

Does LILIFI have a signature style?

Yes. Quintessential British style, mixing up textures, for girls that want the whole collection.

Would you say LILIFI is more classic, or trend-led?

Both equally. Classic styling with trend led colours, textures and silhouettes.

There are lots of lovely bags and accessories in the collection, but have you got a particular favourite?

Difficult, as each bag is designed for a different occasion. That’s why I have the whole collection to hand! It is very important to wear and test the styles, but if I was pushed to decide, then it would have to be studded satchel.

What is in your handbag?

Today I am using the tan studded satchel. In my bag is, LILIFI black python purse clutch, with passport included (just incase of that emergency get away); my note & sketch book; torch pen; chewing gum; keys (lots of them); lighter; lip gloss; business cards; tape measure; spare pair of earrings (always), and forever present is a toy or picture from my daughter.

Cream Leopard Wrist Clutch, £110

What has been the highlight for you since starting up LILIFI?

Everyday is a highlight. No two days are the same. There are highs and lows, and everyday brings something new and exciting. 

Looking back, is there anything that you would have done differently?

Yes, the list in endless. I am very lucky to have such a strong and supportive family behind me. However, the mistakes made, are my mistakes. It's called experience.

What motivates you?

Living. I love life. My family; my friends, and the world.

Tan Satchel, £149

What’s in the pipeline for LILIFI in 2012?

That is a close guarded secret. All will be revealed in January 2012! We want to focus and honour our current customers.  Keep the momentum going!

What advice would you give to people who are looking to start their own fashion business?

Plan, but be flexible, listen and adapt to find solutions to hurdles. It is good to have family & friends behind you. Trust your gut intuition, and never put all your eggs in one basket.  Keep your independence. Remember it's YOUR business. You hold the steering wheel and you pave your own way.

Where can we find LILIFI?

Currently we are stocked in over 50 boutiques in the UK, but to name just a few are,, and  Japanese stockists include Soarek, Rosebud, Frees and Isetan.  In Italy you can find us at Brik Fashions.

Top Tip?

It isn’t the hand you are dealt; it’s the way you play them.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Leopard Print Love - Part II

As you will know from my post earlier this week, I am a lover of all things leopard print. And here is one of my most recent purchases which has helped to satisfy my accessory animal passion!

One of my favourite pieces of my leopard print selection is the LILIFI clutch bag in cream, which I first spotted on the gorgeous Style Crusader 's blog. As soon as I saw it, I clicked through to find out more about LILIFI, which was a brand that I hadn't come across before. And it was love at first (accessory) sight. As I had just come back from two weeks of shopping in Italy, I resisted buying the cream clutch, but couldn't resist investing in this brown leopard print clutch which was in the sale for £40, as it is the slightly different version with a large gold bow on the side.

As someone who doesn't generally travel light, it is great that you can fit a lot in the bag, or can fold it in half if you are the type who can travel light (How do you do it?!) I had originally planned on removing the gold bow, as I wanted a simpler look. But I haven't got around to it yet! However, as the leopard print cow hide is so soft, I can just fold the bag in half the other way to conceal the bow. It is definitely a case of leopard print lust! Now to add the cream one to my collection.......

Friday, 9 December 2011

Festive Beauty Offers at Escentual and Urban Retreat Beautique

I'm finally feeling festive and looking forward to Christmas. But before I sit down with a glass of wine to write my Christmas cards, I thought that I would write a quick post to let you know about some festive beauty offers which are running at the moment:

  • Today (9th December) Escentual are celebrating the birthday of their lovely blogger, Emma, by offering 15% off all Dior products. In order to claim the discount just enter the code: EMMASBIRTHDAY at the checkout.

  • Urban Retreat Beautique are running a 'Festive Friday Christmas Treasure Hunt' every Friday until Christmas. Every Friday, you will be able to search through the brand and product pages and track down three prizes on offer by looking out for the pictures below. Once you have found the hidden prizes you can purchase one of them for 1p (including P & P!). The prizes on offer include: a beauty hamper worth £100; a gift voucher worth £50, and a gift worth £25. Once you have found one of the prizes you must make sure that you checkout quickly, as the hunt isn't over until you've checked out! You can find more details at:

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Leopard Print Love - Part I

Leopard Print Love

"My name is Louise, and I'm addicted to leopard print.". There, I said it. I know that it can be the marmite of the print world, but I LOVE a bit a lot of leopard print. I can't explain it, but I seem to be drawn to anything leopard print like a moth to the flame. However, I know that I'm not alone in this, so decided to share some of the lovely leopard print pieces that are out there at the moment.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Lou Lou Chats: Q & A with Makeup Artist Jinty Day

At my recent photo shoot for 'Red' magazine, my makeup was done by the lovely Jinty Day, who is a makeup artist who bases herself in Cardiff and Swansea. After the shoot I decided to do a quick Q & A with Jinty to find out a bit more about her work.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a professional make up artist with a wealth of experience in the industry. Having lived and worked in London for five years doing catwalk shows, fashion shoots etc. I returned to South Wales. As a freelance makeup  artist I travel all over doing different types of make up, from weddings to photo shoots. I am also in the process of opening up an academy of makeup, which will be up and running by January.

An example of Jinty's work

What's the one product you can't live without?

I would say the product I can't live without would be Mac 'Face and Body', as it is so important to get the base right. I also love the Bobbi Brown long lasting gel eye-liners and the Dior Addict lip gloss

What's your number 1 beauty tip?

My number 1 beauty tip would be fresh, clean-looking skin. Once the skin is perfected, everything else falls into place.

Have you got any style/beauty inspirations?

I would say there are many style/ beauty inspirations. One in particular would be a makeup artist called Rae Morris. Her work is out of this world.

An example of Rae Morris' work from her website. Source -

Do you have a signature look that you do?

I don't have one signature look in particular, as I think it is good to be quite versatile. But I do try to focus especially on perfecting the skin and giving the brows a good strong shape.

What's your makeup motto?

My makeup motto would be "Practise makes perfect."

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

I love the variety of my job, and I get to meet lots of great people. One day I can be teaching a private lesson or doing a wedding, then I could be doing a fabulous photo shoot. Every day is different.

Another example of Jinty's work

What's been your most memorable moment as a makeup artist?

My most memorable moment? This one is hard, as there are so many. It would probably have to be London Fashion Week. There is always such an amazing atmosphere - a buzz in the air.

Have you got any beauty pet peeves?

I would say it has to be when people get the wrong colour and texture of foundation. Foundation shouldn't be used to give you a tan. It should match your skin tone.

If you want to find out more about Jinty, then check out her website

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Clarins TriActive Body Treatment at Central Pharmacy, Cardiff

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you might remember that I recently blogged about Central Pharmacy's 25th Anniversary celebrations, and that at that event we were given demonstrations of the new Clarins TriActive Face and Body Treatments. So when the lovely Sam from Clarins HQ offered me the chance to try the TriActive Body Treatment I jumped at the chance. After a very busy week I was really looking forward to a bit of pampering, and this treatment definitely didn't disappoint.

There are three different TriActive body treatments to choose from:

  • The Body Sculptor - "a pampering shortcut to a body that's svelte, toned and silky-smooth"
  • The Moisture Quencher - "for a body that gleams like satin and is velvet to the touch"
  • The Firming Age Corrector - "an all-in-one body youth boost"
  • The Body Polisher - "for a body that's super soft, supple and smooth...helps minimise dark spots and stretch marks"
I opted for the 'Body Sculptor' treatment, as it is fair to say that my body is not particularly svelte or toned. Before the treatment, I had a thorough consultation with Natasha, the beauty therapist, who asked if I had any particular concerns and talked me through what would be involved in the treatment. I can certainly see how the salon has been awarded 'Gold Salon' status by Clarins, one of only 76 salons in the U.K. to have received this award.

The treatment began with an all-over body exfoliation so that the products used could really be absorbed into the skin. After that the therapist applied Clarins 'Body Treatment Oil - Relax' to my décolleté in order to help me relax. Natasha used the Clarins 'Body Treatment Oil - "Anti-Eau" to do the massage. The massage incorporates a series of movements designed to help streamline the body and boost circulation, which assists with reducing fluid retention. Towards the end of the one hour and twenty minute long treatment, Natasha applied a mask to my problem areas, to which she had added firming serum. She then applied plastic wrap over the mask which helped the product to be absorbed into the skin. This was kept on for fifteen minutes, which gave me some much needed relaxation time whilst I was given a head massage. 

At the end of the treatment Natasha sprayed Clarins' classic treatment fragrance, 'Eau Dynamisante' over me, which helps to invigorate the client. I would thoroughly recommend this treatment, as it was the perfect combination of invigorating and relaxing massage, and I felt really refreshed after leaving the salon. I definitely felt more streamlined after the treatment and my skin looked more toned. I will certainly be booking myself in for another one of these treatments soon.

Fine print: I was given the chance to try out this treatment for free by the Clarins Press office for the purposes of this blog post.


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