Article Archive: December 2011

Glitter Girl!

It’s incredible some of the fashion things I’ll allow myself have when people start running around in Christmas Sarah Lund jumpers. I know perfectly well that my current jumper fixation has everything to do with today being the first day of winter in London and nothing to do with the fact that it’s been winter in Scandinavia since October 14th. (Their winter runs from October 14th to the end of February). But let’s not talk about wintery things yet, OK? I’d much rather talk about the carbfest which was my huge dish of cuttlefish pasta yesterday, it was yum until someone told me that a cuttlefish uses its cloud of ink to hide from a predator so in honour of the little cuttlefish and still ignoring winter for a while I’m giving my dark inky nail polish a rest. I’m sitting at the airport here, sifting through these shots and I’ve fallen in love with these nails I shot at Ashish’s Spring/Summer 2012 show. Aren’t they the perfect winter antidote?

Watching backstage while model Flaviana Matata had her beautiful long fingernails painted, I vaguely remember asking if this glitter would suit ‘lil old pasty me. OK, I’ve just looked at my scribbled answers in my notebook and the answer in BIG writing says NO!… So for everyone else…here’s what I was told. “Deep coloured polish is more flattering on pale skin because of the contrast it creates. Look for opaques, dark purples, inky blacks anything along the lines of Chanel’s Rouge Noir. (Sorry Mr. Cuttlefish). Olive skin can look sallow with dark polishes so slightly lighter and more vibrant shades such as intense navies and and royal purples will brighten the skin.” And dark skin like Flaviana Matata’s beautiful hands? “Dark skin can take the drama of shimmer and bright colour and anything with sparkle.” Right so maybe this sparkle doesn’t suit me but when has that ever stopped any of us?

So if you’d like to attempt this, first up you’ll need good nails because this look is basically nude with glitter on top. I was advised at this point to exfoliate once a week with a hand scrub and moisturise frequently and then buff with a buffing pad to smooth ridges away. Anyone who wears dark nail polish can stain their nail so a nail technician suggested I swab my nails with hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball to remove discolouration (warning do this no more than once a month).

Then the whole glitter look is really quite simple, just a few products, paint on Lumos Instant Impact Bottom Coat onto the nail and then immediately add some glitter while the Bottom coat is still sticky. Then add a coat of Lumos Instant Impact Top Coat to seal the glitter in place. The technician was using a MAC pro product but glitter from an art shop is just as good.

I’d intended doing this myself… I mean how hard could this be? Answer. A bit maybe – look at the special bottle action in the picture above, the technician is holding the Bottom Coat bottle and glitter in one hand so the minute the bottom coat is on one nail she can get straight to work on dabbing on the glitter. Up close this bit looked fiddly as she dabbed the glitter on gently with this brush above. But I’ll try anything once so here are a few more things to keep in mind if you’d like to try this yourself. 1. When applying polish at home, steady your hand by anchoring your little finger on your work surface and 2. Grasp the brush with your other hand between your thumb and three fingers. Oh and when applying any type of polish wipe one side of the brush against the lip of the bottle, then use the other side to paint one stripe of colour up the center of your nail and one stripe on either side. Dry for two minutes, then apply a second coat.

Here’s the technician giving a quick slick of glitter to my fingers when everyone else was finished. See what I mean about my pasty digits?

The same look on Flaviana Matata’s fingers looked a million times better and then of course there were the eyes (a separate post maybe if anyone wants). So this little glitter injection has made me feel a lot less wintery this morning (Yeeeeeeeaaah!). Now to find some more winter cheeryuppage. Hmmmmmmm!

Delicate Balancing Act

Many thanks for the response to my last post on superhero special powers (I wish I’d had some last night). I’ve had mails and comments from all over with the best (and last) coming from a girl called Weda Larsen so I’ll take a wild guess and say that Weda might be a Dane. (Hope I’m right). I’ve always admired the Danes, partly because of their noble record of helping their Jewish compatriots during the war and most recently because of Helena Christensen, Lego and my friend Nik (my three favourite Danish exports).

So to these pictures here. They do have a point. Maybe ask yourself these three questions while looking at them: Do I want nails this colour? (YES). Do I want nails this long? (NO)
Don’t you think this Kiki De Montparnasse ring is lovely? And Lisa’s finger tattoo backstage at Marios Schwab Spring/Summer 2012 show? I lapsed into silence while I photographed it and realised that I really wanted the ring. The thrill of shopping for it, the trying it on. Shopping is a bit different when you see so much clothing and collections but I’ve only recently started to relish the experience of real shops again as opposed to online shopping (it’s crept up on me. Most likely because I’ve scraped together a proper budget and my fingers are a bit less fat.) So I really enjoy trying on things. Right near the door I met Lisa and seemed to have met myself. Let me rephrase that, Lisa told me “I mix masculine and feminine but I dress for nobody but me”. And do you mix masculine and feminine and dress for just you? Or do you dress for other girls and boys???? My own answer to Lisa was rather simple. My style = Anything that will confuse a boyfriend and my mum.

You might remember that I mentioned meeting Terry Richardson’s favourite model here a while ago – fuck yeah it’s Charlotte Freed, well I was telling Lisa about Charlotte’s pink hair. A tomboy attitude but with pink hair like the characters in my favourite annual. She asked me to explain. So I put my camera down and announced, “Applejack and Fluttershy,” to a backstage full of people.
“Sparkleworks, Rainbow Dash and Wisteria, Cheerilee and Hearthrob.” I was getting funny looks.
“Pinky Pie, Lily Blossom, Rarity and Sweetie Belle.” Seriously. Anyone! “And Starcatcher?” By the time I’d finished, those around me unfamiliar with My Little Pony characters (let’s say everyone) just stared as if I’d stoopped maturing at seven. Still, Lisa understood because she told me her cute “My little pony” blouse (and her leather trousers) were from Zara. (And that’s what I really wanted to know).

In truth I could justify the purchase of this blouse as a quick way to transform my hard edged separates. But with a closet full of black things already, if I were to add these trousers, what would my justification be? Let me try to find one (or five). First, I already have trousers like these, a present a year ago. I’ve worn them a lot and now they’re getting kind of baggyish. If I buy two pairs of these a year, realistic at my current rate of usage, that averages out at £4 a week on trousers, not so much in the great scheme of things. Second, I barely drink alcohol and go almost everywhere by Tube, bike and bus. Third, throusers are useful. Fourth, they contribute to my calmness, and thus to that of those around me, immeasurably. Fifth, I’ve learned the secret of having them altered to suit me (Designer Alterations in London 020 7498 4360). There’s a lot that can be done – the waist can be taken in through the sides or back and the width can be tapered. Convinced?

And it’s a great way to toughen up that feminine “My Little pony” blouse especially with these nails. I like the way Lisa has made the blouse and trousers work simply for her.

Oh and this nail colour (Lady in black by OPI used in the Marios Schwab Spring/Summer 2012 show) toughens up this very delicate ring. I suppose what I’ve been trying to say all along is that it’s a very delicate little balancing act.