Bank Holiday chats and a current wish-list…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 28 - 2013

Did you have a nice weekend?  It’s been a bank holiday in the UK, which coincided with the last few days before my husband returns the in-laws back to their home in the North East after a fortnight’s holiday with us.  Let me tell you, as much fun as it’s been, I can’t wait to get my own bed back.  Two weeks and one day on a blow up mattress has done nothing for my beauty sleep!

Anyway, hasn’t the weather been kind to us this weekend?  Friday’s utter shitness aside, we’ve been blessed with three whole days of glorious sunshine and somewhat balmy temperatures (at least, down here in the South)… so we took advantage of this rare occasion by hitting up some of Hampshire/Dorset’s best locations.


Sadly, I didn’t get to do any shopping this weekend, not unless ice-cream counts as a legitimate “haul” (rum n’ raisin ftw) and so instead, I had much fun compiling a little wishlist of stuff that has been making me swoon recently.


L’Occitane Vetyver Eau de Toilette (

Vichy Idealia BB Cream (

No7 Intelligent Colour Bronzer (

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter (

Boots 17 Lip Crayon (

The L’Occitane Vetyver is top of the list because it’s such a wonderful, almost summery take on the kind of scent I usually wrap myself up in when the weather gets cooler.  You know how it is, you just don’t want to let go of those fragrant notes that see you through the cold months… I don’t care that the mercury might finally be rising, give me my vetiver damnit!

Vichy does BB cream… well, who wouldn’t want to give it a go?  Apparently it contains “pink pigments” to ward off the traditional BB Cream grey cast.  Either way, it’s cheaper than RRP over at Escentual.

You know, except for Guerlain’s beautifully-crafted compacts, I’m still mostly just frightened of bronzing products but I’m tempted by No7’s summer offering which promises a super-blendable mousse.  At the moment, I’m still hung up on my bronzing translucents but this is certainly swaying me!

Ahh, The Body Shop’s Coconut Body Butter is celebrating 21 years!  The original, and in my opinion, still the best (Sweet Lemon runs it a close second mind!)  So tropical, it’s one of those products that really makes the whole bathroom routine thing less of a chore and more of a joy.

Finally, Seventeen have just released a bunch of lip crayons to compete with those famous department store counterparts *cough* Clinique *cough*.  Lip crayons are still enjoying their “moment” aren’t they? And providing these pack enough pigment, I’m jumping all over ’em!

What’s been on your Bank Holiday wishlist, and did you indulge?

Leila turns 4…

Posted by Lipglossiping On May - 20 - 2013

In what has become a bit of a blog tradition, please excuse me as I take a moment again this year to pen a letter to Leila in honour of her birthday.  Sorry for the self-indulgence, it’s long and not terribly interesting.

Where did the last 12 months go bub-a-lubs?  It seems like only yesterday we were Thomas-the-Tanking it up for your third birthday and here we are now, tidying the remnants of your Alice in Wonderland extraordinaire!  So much has happened this past year as you’ve taken some serious steps towards becoming a proper kid, no longer a sproglet but a bonafide little girl with the sass to back it up.  As I sit here trying to recall the moments and peculiarities that have made this past year such a joy to share with you, I’m overtaken by the realisation at just how much you’ve had to adapt in this time.

In 2012, we moved from Nanny and Pop’s house to our new flat… a monumental occasion that you would have done absolutely anything to reverse.  “Do you like your new flat?” we’d ask, ever more hopeful each time…

“No”.  Would come the reply.  “Can we go back to Pop’s now?”

Each Thursday night, when I take you for your sleepover with Nanny and Pop, it’s a grand reunion with more melodrama than a night at the TV Soap Awards.  “But I’ll miss you Mummy!” you say with all the sincerity of a politician.  Sometimes, you even phone me an hour later just to remind me that you’re still missing me.  “Would you like me to come and pick you up?” I offer.  “Oh no! I’mokMum, seeyoutomorrow!” you say faster than Usain Bolt on speed.  *Click* goes the phone.  You big spoofer.


As if that weren’t change enough… last September, you started pre-school and things didn’t run smoothly.  Your usual, cheerful little self turned upside down and inside out as you struggled to cope with such a huge watershed in your life.  Not used to the company of so many other children, you rejected the noise and clamor of the environment you’d been thrust into… that is, until you actually stepped through the door.  And so this continued for months, dismayed by the thought of returning to nursery while at home… but not wanting to leave it whilst there.  Apparently, this is pretty common for children who haven’t been brought up with other children around them.  Knowing this didn’t help ease the transition at the time though.

But now, as you turn four… you’re desperate not to have to leave pre-school this Summer.  You know that “big” school is around the corner and I can see the cogs turning as you think about what this means for your future.  The thought of leaving your beloved “teacher” Susan behind at nursery is too much to contemplate, even though you seem to be the only child there who likes the rather prickly, older lady (and I can’t help but love you even more for that).  I’ve heard that you and her sing show-tunes together while you do all the jobs that the other kids don’t have the patience for.  Susan tells me that you are a methodical child who completes her tasks with care and precision, I secretly think that this may be code for OCD but either way, you’re definitely your father’s daughter when it comes to your perfectionist tendencies.  God help me.

Talking about your inherited personality traits… today, I watched you dance around on a makeshift stage that you’d conjured up from a set of paving stones and I wondered where you could have possibly come from.  Unlike both me and your dad, you love nothing more than to perform.  I always roll my eyes and say “trust me to have gotten the jazz-hands kid”, feeling terribly disloyal all the while.  Because you see, it’s not a fair description of your passion for a performance.  You’re a storyteller my little girl, and a good one at that.  You’re actually a bit of a shocking dancer, with the grace of a thousand, heavily sedated elephants but what you lack in finesse, you make up for in your sheer determination to put on a good show.


But perhaps, out of all the things that have happened this year, the most groundbreaking has been your discovery of The Princess.  You told me yesterday to save a birthday cupcake for your “prince”.  When I asked if you meant Daddy, you couldn’t have looked more horrified (poor Daddy).  I don’t know much about this mystery prince of yours but apparently he has red hair and a kind heart.  He sounds alright to me, just make sure you leave it until your 32nd birthday before introducing him to Dad.  And how could I forget Galahad, your imaginary steed who accompanies us wherever we go, helping you ride safely over kerbstones whilst avoiding the cracks in the pavement.  You don’t know it yet, but you’re going on a pony-trek as your birthday surprise next week.  I can’t even wait to see your face.

Other memorable milestones of your third full year included a trip to Disnleyland Paris (where you met the beautiful Snow White), a Christmas spent with your family from Australia, a bout of chickenpox (and croup), a couple of day-trips to Chessington (you’re a daredevil rollercoaster rider), and a summer holiday in the exotic climes of Liverpool & Manchester where you could barely contain your excitement at the trams, no really.

You still only really like chicken nuggets and IKEA meatballs.  Sometimes tomato soup and always, always cheese.  Like a little mouse, I know your Pop sometimes sneaks you a slice to eat in bed after you’ve brushed your teeth on a Thursday.  Co-conspirators.  I pray you are gifted with many more years to bask in your Grandparent’s adoration for you.  You refuse to get your hair cut.  After watching Tangled, you’re convinced that, like Rapunzel’s, your hair will turn brown if it meets with a pair of scissors and I haven’t got the heart to tell you that your blonde locks are already looking darker than they were six months ago.

You’re still fascinated by people’s earlobes.  You reach up to play with mine at least 10 times a day, a comfort thing I’m sure.  I shall be one of those old ladies with ear lobes that reach their shoulders and I shall blame you for it.

The final thing I want to remind you of in years to come is your solemn promise to never grow too old for a cwtch.  Right now, as I write this after putting you to bed, you love me to the moon and back… although sometimes you only love me “zero” and I have to tickle it out of you until your arms are outstretched in demonstration of how big your love is.  You’ve taken to calling me “Mama” and although it sounds so frightfully middle-class, it melts me every time.  I’m sure you know this.  You’re not daft my girl.

Happy birthday my dearest darling duck, you’re such a plonker and I love you more than “baninna” ice-cream.

Thank You

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 25 - 2013

I’ve been blogging as “Lipglossiping” for four years today, and I just wanted to take the opportunity to say “thank you”.  It’s a bit Gwyneth stylee, but with less tears and wayyy more sincerity!

To my readers.

Thank you for making me feel like what I’m writing is (more often than not) worth interrupting your day to read.  Thank you for your comments, your emails, and your friendship(s) on Twitter.  Thank you for saying nice things about my makeups.  Thank you for always being so generous in your praise of my daughter.  Thank you for being only gently disapproving when I dye my hair and it doesn’t look good, it only takes me a few months to catch up.  Thank you for clicking through my affiliate links and spending your money on my recommendations, I hope I don’t let you down very often.  Thank you for not unsubscribing when I’m supposed to be a beauty blogger but all I really want to blog about is my dinner that day.  Thank you for keeping me on my toes by reminding me that some of you are far more knowledgeable about the things I write than I could ever be.  Thank you for keeping my feet on the ground and for making me feel as though we’re all in the same room, at the same level.  Thank you for the holiday tips.  Thank you for never trolling me.  Thank you for the conversations about PCOS and never making me feel ashamed for (over)sharing.

To my peers. 

Thank you for the laughter at events.  Thank you for reminding me what it’s like to go on a school trip.  Thank you for girly sleepovers that I should be far too old for.  Thank you for a shared excitement in something so superficial.  Thank you for some of the best bitching I’ve ever taken part in.  Thank you for waiting for me so I don’t have to walk into a room of strangers on my own.  Thank you for running for my train with me.  Thank you for licking that canape.  Thank you for being both infuriating and inspiring.  Thank you for being there late at night to talk to.  Thank you for making me wish you lived a little bit nearer.  Thank you for not taking yourselves too seriously (and for tsking with me at those who do).  Thank you for being the kind of people I can simply pick up with where we left off.  Thank you for lusting over the same products as me.  Thank you for keeping in touch even after you fall out of love with blogging.  Thank you for still feeling totally embarrassed to admit that you’re “a blogger” to strangers.  Thank you for doing this for the right reasons.  Thank you for not blowing out my candle to make your own burn brighter.

To the industry people.

Thank you for sending me pretty things to try.  Thank you for not blacklisting me if I don’t get around to blogging about things in a super-timely manner.  Thank you for understanding when I don’t love your stuffs.  Thank you for checking the blog when I forget to send links through.  Thank you for inviting me to places I would never have had the chance to visit.  Thank you for continuing to invite me even though I can’t get in to London much now.  Thank you for not asking me why the email I sent you was time-stamped 3am.  Thank you for not being Mean Girls (mostly).  Thank you for treating my readers to some amazing giveaways.  Thank you for not always looking over my shoulder at the next person through the door, I appreciate a delicate balancing act when I see one.  Thank you for letting me bore you about how much I love/hate blogging.  Thank you for paying me to write things for your sites/blogs/facebooks.

To my husband.

Thank you for not making me get a job at the Co-Op instead.

I hope that I’ve got four more years of this in me, although I may have to lighten up on the FOTDs as the wrinkles set in 😉


RIP Chrissy Amphlett

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 23 - 2013

I was so sad to hear about Chrissy Amphlett’s passing yesterday. The only lady who has ever managed to make “duckface” look remotely sexy.

For those of your who don’t know, Chrissy was the lead singer of Aussie band, The Divinyls, and from their many hits… you will probably be most familiar with their 1991 classic, “I Touch Myself”.

Growing up, she was a bit of a poster girl for wannabe rock-chicks like me and my mates, and I don’t mind admitting that I may have been more than inspired by her style over the years. This fringe ain’t no accident you know!

I cut my makeup teeth on her nude lips and kohl-heavy combo, and although I could never get the bronzer application down to a fine art… her fierce, confident portrayal of femininity was a template that, growing up, I completely adored.

One of Chrissy’s (hopefully) lasting legacies was announced by her husband, Charley Drayton, who said yesterday: “Chrissy expressed hope that her worldwide hit “I Touch Myself” would be utilized to remind all women to perform regular  breast examinations.”

Read here for more information on how to perform a breast examination.  And as unforgivably cheesy as this next statement is… go on, touch yourself.

RIP Chrissy.

The St. Ives Natural Beauty Challenge #StIvesNaturalBeauty

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 21 - 2013

So, what does natural beauty mean to you?

Is it poreless skin without the help of foundation?  Laughter lines that show a life well-lived?  Perhaps it’s simply the beauty of an unspoilt vista lifting your soul in a way that city-life never could?

St. Ives – creators of iconic skin-scrubbiness – recently approached a selection of bloggers with a creative challenge which celebrates the company ethos of imparting confidence and exploring the radiance of natural beauty.

The brand, who have been around for over 25 years now, are dedicated to harnessing the power of nature within their skincare range.  To this end, their formulas do not contain parabens or phthalates, the brand use sustainably-sourced ingredients wherever possible, cut waste, and employ eco-friendly packaging for all their products.

The brief itself was simple: “capture and share an image of natural beauty”.  So simple in fact that it left a lot of room for interpretation, perhaps too much for a procrastinator like me!

I’m incredibly fortunate to live in a beautiful part of the world with the New Forest on my doorstep, beaches a few miles down the road and the rolling hills of the South Downs only a stone’s throw away.  But the problem was, that despite a wealth of inspiration surrounding me… beauty that I was itching to go and photograph.  I couldn’t get over one small detail…

The greatest source of natural beauty was sitting right next to me.


A brush through the tangles, a crown of flowers, and a couple of “knock knock” jokes later and I had all the inspiration I could have ever needed.

Despite the rather obvious fact that she’s not pumping half a gallon of Double Wear onto her face every morning, Leila’s natural beauty lies in the fact that she is so wonderfully oblivious.  Every inner thought and feeling, like most children, is reflected upon her face: from the doughnut she can’t get enough of to the wonderment of seeing Sleeping Beauty’s castle.  From the pride that correctly identifying her ABCs brings her to the chutzpah that follows when she utters the words “I am rather marvellous, aren’t I?”

Her eyes are not only a window into her soul but a porthole, skylight, dormer, and sunroof… all untainted by the self-consciousness that adulthood brings with it.  She feels no need to mask her feelings or to “tone-down” her excitement, fearful of looking too eager or heaven-forbid, uncool.  If only we could all recapture some of that day-to-day, unbridled honesty in our faces.

And that is why she, and other children of a similar age, are such a joy to be around (in moderation, of course!) and for me, an unparalleled definition of natural beauty.

Do you allow your natural beauty to shine through in certain company or are you focused on maintaining a facade? 

If you fancy talking about what “natural beauty” means to you, feel free to use the dedicated #StIvesNaturalBeauty hashtag on Twitter.

* In the interests of full-disclosure, all photographic entries will be judged by beauty photographer Claire Harrison on behalf of St. Ives and displayed at a gallery-style event in London next month.  The eventual winner will receive a fabulous prize (and one to give away to a reader!) 

** On a plate beside Leila, sat a sausage roll… looking particularly beautiful.  To be honest, it was a close-run thing.

Bonkers for Bunting!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 18 - 2013

Just a quick one this morning before I head out for the day because I wanted to show you the ridiculously cute crocheted bunting that my lovely friend Row from Cosmetic Candy sent me.


Isn’t it adorable?  Clever bitch.

When we were fixing up Leila’s room, we asked her what theme she wanted. I was desperate for her to say something like “circus” or “wild west” so I could get my OHP out and start tracing on the walls.

Alas, the decision proved too hard for her and she couldn’t commit so we ended up going with “colourful” instead.

She was keen on one of those over-the-bed canopies you can get from IKEA but as you can see, anything like that would have blocked a large portion of light from the window. When we extend her toddler bed into a full-size single (and move it away from the window), her wish will be granted but as a stop-gap, we went with bunting.


Lots and lots of bunting!

Did you have a themed bedroom when you were a child?

Girl crushing…

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 17 - 2013

Girl Crush.

Definition: an overwhelming sense of awe felt by a girl for another girl.

In my life, I’ve probably had more girl crushes than I have boy crushes.  Is that unusual?  I’m not so sure it is.  There’s nothing us women enjoy more than a gossip about the merits and failings of another woman.  It would be nice to think that we’re more inclined to discuss each other’s merits… but well, you know… *looks guilty*.

In some small way of redressing the bitch-balance, I’d like to come clean and reveal some of my girl crushes.  These women, love them… all of them:

Anna Karina  |  Bjork  |  Dolly Parton  |  Audrey Tautou  |  Dorothy Dandridge  |  Shirley Maclaine  |  Charlotte Rampling
Helena Bonham Carter  |  Christina Ricci  |  Shingai Shoniwa  |  Rachel Weisz  |  Helena Christensen  |  Jean Seberg  |  Debbie Harry

To be fair, these aren’t quite girl crushes in the typical sense… I don’t necessarily admire these women for the way they handle themselves, the images they portray, what they’ve achieved or what value they have brought to my life.

I just think they’re all really, really hot.

Do you girl crush?  Who are your favourites?

The night that changed my life

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 15 - 2013

It was 1999, and I’d not long turned 18, yet despite this halcyon age, I was partying like it was 1949.  It was my 5th month in Australia and I’d only really made one friend.  I flew out to Sydney immediately after finishing at 6th form college… armed with a handful of disappointing A-Levels, I was toying with the idea that it would’t really matter if I didn’t return.

All this had stemmed from the age-old tale of girl meets boy, boy strings girl along for an indecent amount of time, girl knows that she’s had enough but isn’t strong enough to do anything decisive… you know, just in case.  Then one day, girl gets a serendipitous opportunity to leave the country.  Girl goes to the other side of the world to live with her sister and cries herself to sleep there instead.

And so there I was, over 10,000 miles from the source of my problems and equally unhappy.  Turns out, you can’t run away from them.


I’d been a huge Clash fan for a few years after having been lured into an appreciation for punk by the aforementioned boy.  Joe Strummer, their ex-lead singer was touring with his new band The Mescaleros and I’d repeatedly driven past a fly-poster advertising the fact in Sydney’s southern suburbs.  The gig promised to be an intimate affair in a local venue that hadn’t seen that amount of action in years.  I was desperate to go but didn’t know anyone who would go with me, not a single soul, and the thought of going on my own filled me with the fear.

So I pushed it to the back of my mind and carried on trying to find happiness in this foreign land.  Christmas rolled around and my sister’s best friend came over with a gift to say thank you for decorating her son’s room.  A ticket to The Metro Theatre to see one Joe Strummer, live in three weeks time.  Oh god, I felt sick with excitement, fear, anticipation, you name it… I had all of the emotions.

But the simple fact was, I had a ticket in my hand, how could I not go?  It’s one thing not to buy a ticket… quite another to waste one.  And so, I went.  I got trampled and bruised by over-excited middle-aged punks who later chaperoned me to the front after realising I was probably the youngest girl there.  I got to shake my idol, Joe Strummer’s hand and I came home with his guitar pick and set-list.  I sobbed my way through Straight To Hell, pogo-ed to White Riot, and sung my heart out to Safe European Home.

I would go on to see Joe play with the Mescaleros a further three times before his sad and untimely death in 2002, and although each time was an ear-splitting, heart-lifting event, nothing would ever quite compare to that first time in Sydney.

I’ve always been an introvert, and it was the first time in my life that I’d pushed myself so completely away from the safety of my comfort zone.  Not only did I survive the evening, it rewarded me with a real-life “coming of age” experience that 14 years later, still has the power to incite a buzz of confidence whenever I think of it.  The sheer inspiration of the evening had a profound effect on future resolutions to throw myself into creating my own happiness and living within the moment, something I strive to do today.

I flew back to the UK a couple of months later, never returned any of the boy’s phonecalls, enrolled myself in university and not-long-after, met my husband-to-be.  Thanks for making me a bit braver Joe.

Can you remember any moments in your life that have created long-term inspirations?

Leila’s Instagram Poster (and a download for you!)

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 9 - 2013

I decided to put my (many) Instagram photos of Leila to good use and create a framed poster for her bedroom.

Unfortunately, most of the Instagram printing services based in the UK are rather expensive and/or prohibitive when it comes to creating customised prints, some would only allow me to print x-amount of my most recent photos and not pick and choose just the ones that contained Leila!  I also knew that I wanted a square poster to fit an inexpensive IKEA RIBBA frame and custom-sized printing usually pushed the price way up!

So, I went for it and made my own template, here’s the finished result.

Instagram Poster1

Instagram Poster2


I’ve created a Photoshop template for anyone wanting to do something similar which can be downloaded here (let me know if the downloads stop working as I’m using a free service/may need to sell my soul for more bandwidth).

It will allow you to create a 50cm x 50cm poster (when having it printed, ensure that you select “full bleed”) containing a total of 81 instagram photos.  The PSD consists of a simple two-layer template, all photos should be resized (to roughly 540px) and placed on the bottom layer, you can then arrange/drag the images however you wish within the template.  Before saving, ensure that you’ve converted it to a CMYK file (Image>Mode>CMYK Color) for printing.

I had this printed at my local printers who I’ve used a few times, they charged me only £8 to have it printed onto 120gsm paper (not fly poster paper) and I collected it two days after uploading my image to them.  The total cost, including the frame, came to £17 – I’m really pleased with my bargain!

Would you consider making a poster of your favourite Instagram photos?

Lipglossiping (and family) do Disneyland Paris!

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 1 - 2013

Happy Bank Holiday Monday, you can put the chocolate down now. Put it down.

I’ve spent the last seven days enjoying all the wonders (mostly food-related) that France has to offer, and loving every minute of it.  We spent two days at Disneyland Paris (on a budget) and three days at my parent’s house in the Vendee, encompassing a 1000 mile+ round-trip seated uncomfortably in the back of a Citroen C3 Picasso.  My daughter was an angel, not once did I hear an “are we there yet” emanate from her lips, I am truly blessed.

If you follow me on instagram, you will have seen plenty of photographic evidence of the aforementioned wonders, both food AND Disney-related… but in the event that you haven’t already been treated to these out-of-focus, overly filtered delights, allow me…


It really is a bit magical


I got photobombed by the happiest face EVER


The Disney Dons


The view from the Queen of Heart’s castle is pretty impressive


New best friend. Could she be any prouder?


New best friend also!

I know that some of you on Twitter were interested in the logistics of my budget Disney break, so… to quickly break it down… we got 2-days of park tickets via a Sun newspaper promotion last November (they do these regularly) for the grand price of £40, our return ferry trip with LDLines came to just under £80 (Dunkirk out, Le Havre back), and a three-night hotel/motel stay on the outskirts of Paris in Torcy (Premiere Classe) came to £110 in total for the three of us (though I think I’d stretch the budget for the next door Campanile hotel next time!)

For lunch, we picnic’ed on sandwiches and pain au chocolat bought from the hotel’s nearby Carrefour, whilst dinner consisted of the 12.99€ menus at the Disney Village Sports Bar and Billy Bob’s Country Western Saloon, both of which were extremely reasonable and included dessert and a beer!  Finally, we bought a carnet of train tickets on arrival at Torcy for 26€ which covered travel to/from Disneyland to the hotel for the entire period.  I wish I’d factored in another day to travel into Paris itself but I wanted to visit my Mum and Dad’s house which I hadn’t seen since 2003-ish.

We may have scrimped in places but it certainly didn’t dampen our enthusiasm or enjoyment, it just meant that Leila got to bring home loads of Disney tat to be honest *le grand sigh*.

Disneyland Paris 2013_01

Disneyland Paris 2013_02

Disneyland Paris 2013_03

Disneyland Paris 2013_04

Disneyland Paris 2013_06

Disneyland Paris 2013_07

Disneyland Paris 2013_08

Disneyland Paris 2013_10

Disneyland Paris 2013_11

Disneyland Paris 2013_12

Disneyland Paris 2013_14

It was quite busy and the fast-pass system was out of action on a few of the rides but we still managed to make the most of the 48hrs at our disposal.  Leila’s favourite rides (useful for parents of toddlers?) included: Alice’s Curious Labyrinth (mostly because I chased her around, calling her “Alice”), It’s a Small World (I still have the song stuck in my head), Dumbo, The Flying Elephant (but the queues are not worth it!), Casey Jr. – The Little Circus Train, Orbitron, and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast.

Being rotten parents, we also dragged her on Phantom Manor (“noooo, it’s not scary!”), Pirates of the Carribbean (“nooo you won’t get wet!”)… etc. etc.  The shows were also great, Leila thought that Stitch Live! was pretty much the best thing she’d ever witnessed.

The only ride we missed out on (that wasn’t subject to height restrictions) was the Studio Tram Tour, everytime we went past, the queues were horrible.

Being only 3, I wasn’t sure if Leila was still a little too young to fully enjoy the experience but with the benefit of hindsight, I’d say that it’s a great age to take a little one – she was enchanted by the characters, shows and princesses in a way that only a 3-year old can be.  When she’s older, hopefully we will take her back to enjoy some of the more thrilling rides.

I hope my recap helps anyone who hasn’t been to Disneyland Paris before.  Being a bit of a cynical type who gets wound-up by the up-selling (“would you like to buy a bag/pen/DVD?”) at the local Disney store, I honestly didn’t think I’d enjoy it that much… but the truth is, I may have loved it even more than Leila.

Have you been to Disneyland Paris?  Want to go?  What were your favourite bits?

BIBA and Beyond Exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 23 - 2013

Whilst in Brighton on Tuesday, I went along to check out the BIBA and Beyond exhibition at the wonderfully-quirky Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, situated just behind the Royal Pavillion building. The museum is hosting a fascinating retrospective on the designs of Barbara Hulanicki whose iconic work span the last 50-years. She’ll forever be known as the woman who brought affordable fashion to the high-street back in the 60s with the launch and opening of her first shop in West London.

The exhibition centres around an impressive display of vintage BIBA clothing, donated largely by one Angie Smith, better known as “Biba Angie” for her obvious passion for the designer’s creations. From graphic dresses to flared trouser-suits, sharply-tailored coats to cute swimsuits, the display captures the essence of the polish-born designer’s imaginations and brings them back to life with a narrative that tells the story of the brand from conception to current-day.





Barbara’s work, first as a freelance fashion illustrator is documented via a series of drawings and sketches, most notably the one below of Audrey Hepburn.

The accompanying quote sets the tone for the exhibition that pitches the designer (quite rightly) as someone who was acutely aware of how the “real world” worked, she comes across as someone who has never lost touch with what it means to be a dedicated follower of fashion minus the limitless budget of the modern celebrity.

Her feistiness and determination to provide real-world glamour for the archetypal Biba Girl – feminine to the max but with a tough, untouchable edge – reached its peak in the early 70s when Big Biba, a seven-storey department store opened under the moniker “‘the most beautiful store in the world”.



The hallowed Art Deco building on Kensington High Street housed everything the BIBA fan desired, from trendy clothes to designer furniture, from makeup to paints and wallpaper, you could even buy Biba-branded soup and baked beans!

The collection of BIBA cosmetics on display at the exhibition has been loaned to the museum by none other than the wonderful Lisa Eldridge who has a great demonstration on You Tube dedicated to creating the Biba Dolly look as worn by the girls in the shop. BIBA was the first store that let customers try makeup before buying it, leading the way and creating the blueprint that other stores would follow.








The colours are vibrant and richly-pigmented, vampy Clara Bow-esque lips were the order of the day and smokey eyes with plenty of lashes contributed to the finished look.

The packaging featured the dinstinctive black-and-gold logo and delivered practical performance, something that was almost as important as the contents to the modern BIBA shopper.




I’m going to leave you with the rest of my photos from the exhibition, I’m not great at talking about or thinking about fashion and design… but if you have any interest in learning more about a true pioneer and forebearer to the modern high-street, do check out the BIBA and Beyond exhibition at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery before it closes on the 14th April. Adult tickets are £6, student tickets (with an NUS card) are £4.




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Photo Diary: An afternoon in Brighton!

Posted by Lipglossiping On March - 20 - 2013

As I’m writing this, it’s just gone 1am and I’ve not long got home from Brighton after spending a day enjoying the shops, doughnuts, sights, cocktails, and most importantly, the BIBA and Beyond Exhibition that’s currently being held at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.  I’m completely done-in!

Although it was bitterly cold today, the sunshine was generous and we spent the afternoon darting between the shadows in an attempt to defrost ourselves in its cautious rays.

I like Brighton but in all my years of living less than 65 miles away, I visited the city for the first time only two years ago.  I could lose myself in the Lanes forever looking at all the antique jewellery, and it often feels as though I have when the higgledy-piggledy back streets play their dastardliest tricks on my memory.

The North Laine area is a bit like Camden used to be, except I grew up paying rural-town charity shop prices for shabbies and can’t bring myself to spend ££££ on an old handkerchief vase or shirt-dress.  Bloody “vintage” ruining it for everyone 😉

North Laines

Shopping in The North Laine

Brighton tat!

Typical Brighton tat

The impressive Brighton Pavillion

The impressive Brighton Pavillion

Doing my annoying shooting-from-the-hip at Brighton Pavillion

Doing my annoying shooting-from-the-hip thing at Brighton Pavillion

Brighton Pier!

Brighton Pier

Pier Doughnuts!

Pier Doughnuts! (om nom nom)

Like the birds were gonna get a look-in, ha

Like the birds were gonna get a look in with the doughnuts, ha!

A trip to Brighton is never complete without...

A trip to Brighton is never complete without…

...a Black Forest Martini!

…a Black Forest Martini…

(or a Best of British - gin, rhubarb, elderflower, apple, honey and lemon)

…or perhaps a Best of British? Gin, rhubarb, elderflower, apple, honey and lemon

Choccywoccydoodah never fails to impress

Choccywoccydoodah never fails to impress

Choccywoccydoodah never fails to impress

…amazing cakes!

The Seafront

A lovely, albeit slightly moody seafront

A long but brilliant day!

I’ll do another quick post tomorrow or Friday on the actual BIBA exhibition, I wasn’t sure what I’d make of it but it was so incredibly well executed and I hope you don’t mind me going a little off-topic and sharing my thoughts.


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