I’m loving these new nail topcoats from MAC, in collaboration with mega manicurist Marian Newman. Marian is arguably one of the world’s top nail technicians with over 50 British Vogue covers under her belt, and given that her career before becoming a top manicurist was as a forensic scientist, the precision and perfection of her work has to be seen to be believed.
Marian would quite often be booked on the same shoots as Kay Montano when I was assisting Kay, and I used to love chatting to her as she was so lovely and fun to be around. She gets booked for countless celebs (from Keira Knightley to Lady Gaga) and runway shows in the dozens from Valentino to Givenchy. I remember one Vanity Fair shoot with Miles Aldridge shooting English actress Gemma Arterton, she very kindly chatted to me for ages about the best nude nails – and I still have the polishes she gave me from her kit. How lovely is that?
When MAC asked her to create a collection, Marian wanted to make it something exciting, that could expand on your existing nail wardrobe and create a myriad of looks. Check out the video below for all the different finishes:
I’ve discovered the most delicious new nail polish collection, from the house of Balmain in Paris. I’ve been a fan of their clothes ever since Olivier Rousteing became the house designer in 2011. Three nailpolishes in all that I think are so
chic, so beautiful, so perfectly chosen – like everything at BeautyMart, who stock them, which if you haven’t heard is just about the hottest beauty destination in the world right now.
BeautyMart is the brainchild of Millie Kendall (yes, of Ruby and Millie fame – what a great beauty brand that was!) and Anna-Marie Solowij, who has been a beauty journalist for twenty years. Six of those years she was Beauty Director at Vogue, so she’s no slouch in knowing great makeup and skincare when she sees it. In short, these two know their stuff. So they pulled together all their favourite, fool-proof beauty products and created BeautyMart. It’s at Harvey Nicholls, in Shoreditch (bien sur), and now online. They stock all kinds of makeup and beauty deliciousness, cherry picking the best of Paul & Joe, Bourjois, TopShop, Revlon, Illamasqua, Homeoplasmine, Japonesque, Barry M, to name a few – I’m getting a bit breathless just typing it.
The Balmain Paris Nail Couture collection funnily enough fits with my perfect nail wardrobe, which has been classic red (Chanel Fire or Pirate), black (Chanel Black Satin), or nude (Essie Ballet Slippers) which I’ve been sporting pretty consistently for years. Plus it has a matte Top Coat to give your nails just the right finish. So here it is, in one gorgeous coffret, from the achingly cool and reinvigorated House of Balmain – the ultimate red, black and nude polish to take you wherever you need to go. Which in my case is going to be straight to BeautyMart, as soon as I land back in London.
Every year Chanel do incredible events for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out, around the world. Here’s a lovely video from London a couple of years ago, with two of my favourite people, makeup artist Kay Montano and lovely British supermodel, Daisy Lowe, getting into the spirit of the evening:
Chanel is also renowned for launching special, liimited edition products for the occasion, and this year in Sydney is no exception. This Thursday, 6th September, will be the launch of Les Twinsets de Chanel, created exclusively by Peter Phillips, Creative Director at Chanel Makeup. Les Twinsets will be available exclusively at The Chanel Makeup Studio, Myer, Sydney City for Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out.
There are three unique harmonies in the range, matching lips and eyes like a twinset – resolutely feminine.
ROUGE ALLURE VELVET and LE VERNIS:
LA PROVOCANTE & PROVOCATION: a unique Autumn plum shade.
L’INFIDÈLE & INFIDÈLE: an intense pink with a burst of energy.
LA DÉLICATE & DÉLICATESSE: a refined expression of beige to play on the
natural side of sophistication.
This is the perfect excuse to indulge in a bit of Chanel lipstick and nail polish action – like you ever need one of those.
One of the biggest revelations for me from my recent sojourn to London was getting to try Top Shop’s range of makeup. One of my very first (in fact embarrassingly fast after we landed) trips was to the Top Shop flagship store on Oxford St, where I was, literally, like a kid in a candy store. The nail polishes are like yummy gum drops, the range of lipsticks is to die for, and they have all these cool lip markers and chubby lip and eye crayons in all sorts of amazing colours.
So I picked up quite a few pieces whilst I was there and then as soon as I got home I did some fancy rearranging and muscled them into my kit, and now with summer shoots coming up, they are doing me proud.
My absolute favourites are the nail polishes and the lipsticks. When I was in London I was on a job with a top manicurist – I won’t say their name as they have a contract with another company, but they were raving about the staying power and the colour selection of the Top Shop polishes, comparable to some much more expensive brands on the market.
I snapped up the nail polish in Late Show, a bright purple which for some reason reminds me of Willy Wonka (don’t worry, that’s a good thing!) as it’s the exact shade of his jacket in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
PS How crappy is that machine in the Willy Wonka YouTube clip? It looks like something that Sooty and Sweep might have put together. But I digress…
and Easy Breezy, the perfect turquoise robin’s egg blue which I pulled out recently to use on a Virgin Suicides shoot as it’s 70’s girlish innocence in a bottle. It’s the colour of the dance (if a 70’s high school prom could be a colour) from the Sofia Coppola film. It also fits perfectly with the season’s blue obsession. It’s like a mintier version of Chanel’s Nouvelle Vague from a couple of season’s ago. Delish.
This season nail colours have all been a bit off, a slightly kitchsier, more interesting take on classics and these were no exception. I’ll be doing more Top Shop beauty reviews over the next few weeks as I’m yet to find a product from the range that I don’t like – and they’re a bargain as well. Top Shop, you can do no wrong!
If you fancy a little bit of this in your life - You need a bit of Revlon Fire.
At the moment I am loving high octane glamour – full on, no holds barred, take it to the edge over the top Alexis Carrington style glamour. The type of woman who oozes diamonds and confidence in equal measure. I love red lips, expensive hair, and a blood-red nail, as epitomized in Helmut Newton’s classic photographs. And I’ve found the nail polish his models would be sporting (if he were still alive, which sadly he is not. Luckily we have his incredible work archives to remember him by).
The polish is Revlon Top Speed in Fire. It’s the perfect glamorous red as it’s just on the orange side of a pure red. It is decadent, luxurious and gives a nod to the late 70’s, early 80’s which I’m all about at the moment.
I used Revlon’s Top Speed nail polishes years ago and I’d totally forgotten how good they are. They dry fast which is great at work as no one wants to sit around waiting for nails to dry when there are pictures to take, and I now use it personally as well as I always seem to be doing my nails whilst I’m running out the door/on a call/packing my kit – the curse of the multi-tasking modern life I suppose.
This is, quite literally, a hot polish. It’s a fluoro orange colour that’s so bright that it hurts your eyes, and it’s exactly what I need at the moment. I’m in desperate need of a holiday and I’ve been quitting caffeine, so when you’re tired and the only vices you have left, are well, nailpolish and other assorted beauty items, you want them to be retina searingly fun. And Gamma is that. It’s the type of polish that looks like Gidget in Hawaii on acid, and I for one am currently in need of both (well, Gidget in Hawaii yes– less so the acid part.)
Why is this my new favourite hue? I’ve had it for awhile and I pulled it out to use it yesterday, only to discover the most perfect scarlet polish ever. It’s just the right balance between blue and orange and makes me instantly think of Betty Draper in Mad Men. (And I think we all know how I like to think about her).
Since red is one of the hot colours for European Autumn/Winter I’ll be wearing this frequently, and coming over all 1950’s housewife – except for the stifling girdles, obsession with what the neighbours think, and cripping bouts of depression to be medicated by cocktails, cigarettes and Valium. You know, just the good bits.
London mega-manicurist Sophy Robson has been at it again, this time nailing (excuse the pun) the provocative new Tom Ford Eyewear campaign (see image above). If that doesn’t make you look, I don’t know what does!
The campaign was actually shot by Mr Tom Ford himself who has added photographer to his already pretty impressive CV, and the model is the ever gorgeous Dane, Freja Beha.
The deep blackened purple on Freja’s nails is Sophy’s Polish Pick of the Month, and it is a new colour for autumn, Dior’s Black Plum. Set to be huge again this autumn/winter are variations on black, so Dior’s new nail polish is typically of the moment.
Sophy has another nail tutorial as well – this time a Chanel nail tutorial, which I’ve included below.
She’s been a very busy bee the last month, shooting campaigns for Jil Sander, Tom Ford Perfume, Loewe, Armani and Givenchy, and editorial that includes a cover of Marion Cotillard for Paris Vogue and M.I.A for Interview magazine as well as her usual slew of editorials in British and Japanese Vogue and Love magazine. Phew!