TREND MILL | Neon inspiration

Just a quick follow up on the neon trend post earlier this week.

We love a bit of fresh, updated neon -  hint of glowing yellow peaking out from under the hem of a jumper, a brilliant pink maxi and flesh-toned tank...

But neon has a murky, dubious past. A past that those of us who lived through it the first time know all too well. It was a time when even the Rolling Stones committed full-body fashion faux pas.

Neon before it was refined for the new century:

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That's more '80s in one place than I've seen in decades.

[images found around the internet... too many to deal with but if one is yours and you would like a credit or to have it taken down, just email me!]

TREND MILL | Lip tattoos

WE'RE ALL about tattoos nowadays, huh? Hand puppet tattoos, nail tattoos, faux necklace tattoos. CHANEL, Minx, etc... So I suppose it wasn't long before we came to lip tattoos, was it? After all, there really aren't many other surfaces on the face you can tat it up in a stylish manner, is there? Lace-patterened cheeks would look a bit meh and eyelids crease too much.

Enter Violent Lips, the first (as far as I'm aware) lip tattoo brand. Within each packet are three appliques and they come in everything from dots to animal print, fishnet, rainbow and glitter.

They're currently offering free shipping and packets of three tattoos cost between $14.95 and $15.95.

We predict Rhianna or Gaga will be in a set of these before too long.

Our favourites? The Red Glitteratti and Pink Snake.

Violent Lips


TREND MILL | Pantone revisited...

WE'VE SEEN this movie before, and know how it ends. But we can't get enough of the Pantone trend! 

Nowadays, you can get virtually whatever you want in the Pantone aesthetic. Remeber my post on Pantone-inspired beauty brands and packaging?

Even iPhone and iPad Pantone skins too. Case Scenario is working with Pantone to produce limited edition A/W 2010-2011 skins in the season's Pantone picks.

It's the trend that just keeps on giving...

TREND MILL | Creamy-mauve-plum nails. Yes, it's a thing.

AND IT does feel a bit early 90210 (the real one). Brenda (who just published a new book, Badass) and Kelly both would have worn this nail polish with their high-waisted, pleated shorts (or, early '90s favourite, overalls), rouched white socks, applique waistcoats, wispy fringe and matching lipstick. So what once was old(ish) is now new again. The fashion cycle shortens with every turn, doesn't it?

Get your pick of top creamy-mauve-plum nails:

  1. Rescue Beauty Lounge in Bruised
  2. Glamour Woman of the Year Nail Polish
  3. Models Own Cream Polish in Purple Ash
  4. E.L.F. Nail Polish in Rosy Raisin
  5. Essie In Stitches
  6. CHANEL Le Vernis in Rose Confidentiel
  7. Sephora by OPI in Do I Know You
  8. YSL La Laque in Purple Rose
  9. Estee Lauder Pure Color Nail Laquer in Surreal Violet
  10. Zoya Nail Polish in Kate and Dawn

TREND MILL | Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique rocks


A LARGE swath of beauty bloggers on the interweb are obsessed with nails. So obsessed that they take daily pics (NOTDs to you) of a different manicure. I wonder how they’ll react to the launch of Andrea Fulerton Nail Boutique this month. Because it’s a cracker of a range.

First, Fulerton is always behind the scenes at the hottest fashion shows, works with the top stars and knows what’s going to be a hit trend seasons before it is. She knows what you’re going to want to be wearing on your fingers next fall before it’s even a glimmer in your fashionable eye.

She’s also incorporated some pretty interesting concepts into the range. There’s a stand-alone kiosk that is stocked with double-ended bottles, nail art, glitter, nail tools and all sorts that Andrea has clearly thought long and hard about. In fact, I bet most of the products came about because she wanted them for her own use and couldn’t find them previously, like the credit card-slim buffing block. There are 78 SKUs in all.

TREND MILL | Top 5 beauty trends NOT to wear to work

BEAUTY TRENDS can look great when worn the right way. Gray and beige nails look sophisticated. Coral blush can perk up your appearance. But some trends, no matter how gently you tread, are best checked at the office door:

1. Nail art (even though I'm a fan) – In east London and on the Lower East Side, perhaps you can get away with nails covered in diamante or cute renderings of Hello Kitty. But nail art in even its most subtle form is a no-no for any other professional setting. Buffed, clear gloss, basic or muted shades of nail polish are best for those employed in traditional fields or, really, any fields except for fashion, music or magazines.

2. Burgundy lipstick – Under low lights in an osteria with gently mussed hair and minimal makeup on the rest of your face, burgundy lips (like Revlon Lipstick in Black Cherry, which is heaven) are downright sexy. It’s a great, bold color that has helped herald in the new era of lipstick after decades of wearing lip gloss. However, your boss will not be pleased if you show up to the boardroom in a killer pant suit, pumps and… burgundy lips. You’ll look more reformed female gang member from 1990s LA than sophisticated business lady. As with your nails, keep lip color at work understated and un-distracting. Nudes, pinks, gentle reds and beiges are all great to give your lips a color boost without looking out of place. 

Continue reading on the Smarter Beauty Blog...

TREND MILL | Flower-powered skincare


IF YOU'VE ever felt better after gazing at a beautiful bouquet of flowers, then you’ve experienced the mood altering effects of flower essences. Unlike essential oils or plant tinctures, flower essences have no fragrance or flavor. Instead, these unique substances capture the energetic, emotional and spiritual imprint of flowers. Beauty products infused with essences designed to heal and sooth are growing more popular as flower remedies take on a starring role in makeup, body scrubs, bath teas and more. Check out some of the amazing niche products listed below to try out the power of flowers while you primp, bath and moisturize.

Ella Flor – Scented with Palo Santao essential oil and featuring both flower and gem essences, Ella Flor’s range of bath and cleaning products are a treat for the body, mind and spirit. If you want to put “put a little ohm in your home” this organic, all-natural selection starts you down the right path. The bath tea with rose petals and Palo Santo essential oil is particularly enjoyable. The creamy, foamy hand cleanser with flower essences leaves you feeling uplifted.

Hawaiian Rainforest Naturals – Commune with the Aloha spirit with this Hawaiian bath and body range. Flowers used in the essences are hand gathered from the Ohi a-Lehua Rainforest with special care to not damage the environment. This family-owned company makes a lush selection of body care products including a Wild Lehua Honey scrub that helps release emotional tension while moisturising your skin with rich Hawaiian honey at the same time.

Golden Path Alchemy – Awaken, Purify, Refine and Renew are the names of each of Golden Path Alchemy’s skin care lines. Featuring Chinese and Western medicinal herbs, flower and gem essences, this organic California company creates its products in small batches to ensure quality. The Purify facial serum awakens your senses with the astringent smell of rosemary essential oil and purifies your energy with a potent flower and gem essence blend.

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques – This cosmetic range from Utah features foundation, lipstick, eye colors and body care. Using a unique blend of natural and organic ingredients such as mica and raspberry extract, Lauren Brooke also incorporates flower essences into their Silk Veil powders, which have a smooth texture and provide a light foundation coverage. The powder puff in the container is great for quick and easy application.

Editor's pick of the best mainstream products packing a floral (although not necessarily essence) punch:

  1. MV Organic Rose Hydrating Mist - Spritz on chilled to calm fiery, sensitive skin.
  2. Chantecaille Flower Infused Cleansing Milk - Gently wash away the day with Mimosa, Jasmine and Narcissus.
  3. Julie Hewett Camellia Lip Balm - Melts away any dry or flaky patches on lips thanks to a healthy dose of oleic acids.
  4. Weleda Calendula Oil - Calendula (or the garden variety marigold) healths wounds and soothes skin. Excellent for the acne prone.
  5. Darphin 8-Flower Nectar - Heavy, decadent jasmine-scented flower essence oil that helps everything from dry skin to wrinkles, crepe-y chest or simply a down mood.
  6. Jurlique Elder Cream - Elder flower has a gentle bleaching effect on the skin giving it greater brightness and luminosity.
  7. Jo Malone Orange Blossom Bath Oil - Smells like a hippie who's cleaned up and hit it rich. You'll relax instantly.



Written by San Francisco-based health and beauty writer Heather Vuchinich for Check out her blog at Spalicious.


TREND MILL | No-chip manicures


IN THE UK, Creative Nail Design (well done, CND) seem to have cornered the market (or at least the column inches) for this new trend with their Shellac system. But, as you might have guessed from the previous sentence, they are simply one of many players in a larger production that is called the no-chip manicure. 

Since the beginning of 2010, no-chip manicure signs have been cropping up in the front windows of nail salons across America. From California to New York (and, yes, I have seen them in both places with mein own eyes), the grubbiest to the poshest places are now offering to give you a glossy, professional manicure that lasts longer than many relationships. That would be two weeks.

So, let's break it down for you, shall we? The who, what where, why and when of it all.

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TREND MILL | Topshop Make Up revealed

"YESTERDAY I swung by Victoria House in Holborn to check out the new Topshop Make Up range – a collaboration between the Topshop design team and makeup artist Hannah Murray. First impressions?

Wow, great packaging (thanks to Topshop’s Sarah Thorne and her graphic design team). Loving the monochrome polka dots and stripes. Very cute and just the kind of thing I’d be happy to whip out on a Friday night to lend to a pal. First off, I tried the black eyeliner. Soft, smudgy and thick. I put on a small line beneath my lower lash and the rest of the day I had that rock-chick smudgy eye thing going on – this is a look I’m happy to rock at all times not being a prim and proper suit-wearing kinda girl, but maybe not be so great for the office – this is definitely a party time eyeliner. I then opened a bright blue mascara, then brown before I found my beloved black. The wand is pretty standard, however, the consistency is good, not clumpy. Although you’d definitely need a couple of layers to give good lash.

Next I picked up one of the pinky-red blushers with an inviting creamy texture, but managed to mess it up with my black eye-linered finger, so I quickly moved on to the crayons and lipsticks. Nice range of light, bright colours and hugely creamy on the skin. “Juicy” said the girl next to me, who I have to say was looking very fab in one of the pink lip colours. Very cute little pots of lip balm, watermelon and rose, which I’m dying to get my hands on and there was also a tube of foundation which I must admit I didn’t try – sorry, girls.

But this range is really all about the lip and eye colours. And the prices! The Core range is priced £4-£10 and the smaller Spring-Summer Limited Edition Trend range, which is all glam-evening and disco colours, is £5 to £15.

The core range available this May at select Topshop stores and The Limited Edition Trend range available late May via the same outlets."

Written for by Julia Rebaudo. Check out her new blog Planet707.

TREND MILL | Pantone colour cosmetics

THERE IS a quiet genius about the Pantone colour system that beauty brands have slowly been cottoning onto in the past year. Starting with Fred Farrugia, the concept of a sleek, minimal makeup system that focused on the colours and products instead of distracting packaging. The paint chip-style sets are compact, efficient and give you a brilliant palette of full makeup you can take anywhere.

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TREND MILL | Paperlash eyelashes

NOW BOYS will look not twice but thrice when you bat those butterfly lashes at them. Why? These very pretty paper cutout lashes, the latest development in our collective obsession with lashes. Lash products are one of the fastest growing product areas in beauty. Everybody's doing it -- false lashes, growth serums, semi-permanent extensions. So why not have a bit of a laugh wearing peonies, peach blossoms and horses (inspired by Chinese paper cutting) on your tide line instead? Flutter away... 



TREND MILL | The big wall of autumn/winter beauty trends

BECAUSE ALL the fashion weeks are (finally) over (for those of you who follow them)... Here's what the powers that be think you'll be wearing on your mugs at the end of this year. You couldn't pay me to smear ash (or very expensive cosmetics that look like ash) across my cheeks like a chimney sweep or Mugatu lackey (ahem, you know who you are) BUT I will happily face plant in a pile of craft glitter to get the pout above... in fact, might have already done to see what it looks like. True story.


Read musings and sniping on the beauty trend mill in this space every Tuesday.

The big wall of autumn beauty trends

DO YOU care about cataloging looks by fashion week or fashion house? No? Neither do I. That's why our inaugural Wall is covered, irrespective of city or brand, in a simple melange of makeup and hair looks... Among things that come to mind when reviewing beauty trends for fall (if we're playing a word association game) are Derelique and Send In The Clowns.

Go to the big wall of beauty trends.


Pondering the accent nail

It's been called Blackberry Bling if worn on the thumbnail or simply an accent nail if on any of the other remaining digits. What is it? The act of painting one of your nails a different colour from the other four on each hand (or foot). Seen on the red carpet and at fashion week this season, it looks like the mainstream has started to accept (or at least absorb) some of the kookier nail trends being dished up over the last year. Now I'm not sure the childhood obsession with painting all your nails a different colour will resurface, but this subdued nail schizophrenia could be the way forward. And why not? You can do it with incredibly different shades/patterns or simply different weights of the same hue for a more minimalist COS-style look.

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Loving this now | My Mom, The Style Icon

If you haven't seen this yet, chances are it will make it onto the periphery of your pop culture radar soon. My Mom, The Style Icon is a  blog that has - faster than a speeding bullet - become the next blog-to-book project, having been commissioned by Chronicle to produce a print edition of all the stylish retro mamas out there for 2011.

The blog is an homage to real-life style icons - mainly, our mums. The pictures tell the story, as do some of the comments. I particularly like her observation "that Women really knew how to accessorize in the '60s. Pins, hats, ribbons. If you wear any one of those items these days you better be prepared for some not-so-gentle ribbing. I think I liked people in the '60s better than us." Too true, lady, too true...

It's a log of inspirational pics. Women living life stylishly everywhere, everyday, without (in large) a staff to do it for them, the help of disposable fashion (a la Primark), endless credit and over-night shipping. 

If you've experienced internal strife about breaking free of the parred-down, frump-tastic modern woman uniform (more prevalent in the US than the UK, bless the British) of North Face fleece (in, of course, your colour of choice as a means to let your personality shine through), boot-cut jeans, running shoes, scruffy ponytail and nary an accessory in site, let this site inspire you to break the shackles of said uniform and live life with a bit of stylish elan.

My Mom, The Style Icon

A look ahead to spring 2010 beauty trends

We'll hold off until December to weigh in on how this year's trends turned out. For now, here's our round up of what you'll be buying and doing in beauty in 2010. We cover new collections, colour trends, professional trending reports and our two cents on what's going to happen in 2010. FYI: it's not an exhaustive list; it's an edit of what we think is the best of the bunch.


PASTEL (including dusty rose, lilac, sherberts and corals) - This is the top colour trend for S/S10. Lids are monochrome washes of lilac at Givenchy and MAC. Essie's Spring colour collection includes every single one of the colours above. Bobbi Brown's spring collection is called Cabana Coral, Benefit's new look eyeshadows come in a range of sage, lilac and sherbert. Of the pastels on the table, lilac is numero uno. Everyone has a lilac product launching this spring - get Revlon nail varnish if you're on a budget or NARs D.Gorgeous eyeshadow if you have change to spare. 

LILAC - Did we say lilac was a colour you would be seeing a lot of this spring? Yes, we did. And it is. So much so we thought it merited a solo mention. It's on eyes (all the Dior Boudoir shadows are some shade of lilac), lips, in iridescent powders, on nails, on packaging, in body washes... it's everywhere, which makes sense since florals and girly girls in Liberty prints are in this spring.

THE COLOUR PURPLE - Lilac is in, but so is a bold royal purple. We saw a brilliant purple polish at Givenchy, Sephora (with chunky glitter), MAC's Give Me Liberty has a reddish purple shadow, there's Eyeko Line & Shine amazingly pliable, chunky liner (I'm already using the electric purple/plum Superstar Eyes on a regular basis. It makes green eyes pop.), Stila's eyeshadow trio features a shock of royal purple... 

CORAL - Michael Kors Very Hollywood for Estee Lauder, Givenchy, Guerlain, Benefit, MAC, Clinqiue et al are re-embracing the coral trend. This time, a fiery red-coral has been swapped for subdued pastel corals and peaches. 

COPPER - Metallic shades aren't huge this spring (although there'll be a resurgence of metallic finishes on nails) but copper is the one exception to that rule. It'll be on nails (like Essie The Cove Copper), pressed onto lips and worn as a colour wash on the lids. Seen at Prada A/W10 as interpreted by Pat McGrath (with a touch of burgundy), this one will leak into the collective consciousness a few months early with the likes of MAC Warm & Cozy et al.

NUDE-PUTTY - But not that matte, wan variety. It'll have texture and layers. It'll play with light to make you look radiant not just bare faced, as seen with CHANEL Les Impressions. There's grit, texture, some shine and muted putties, pinks, roses, sand and mauve. It's a lovely nude that you can wear by day and dress up by night with a bright, streamlined eyeliner. OPI, MAC, Essie, etc. all have Nude colours on the block this spring. 

COLOUR WASHES - Forget layering your colours. Spring 2010 is all about single blocks of colour wash, which is great for those of us without the touch of a professional makeup artist. On eyes, use your index finger to smear a bit of lilac from lash line to brow bone and smudge in a bit. Press a touch of liner at the base of the lashes to give it some depth and you're good to go.


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Year in review 2009


It was a strange year... deep in the depths of a recession that's having a so-called 'jobless' recovery [read: not recovering] and the end of a transformative (good and bad) decade worldwide. Lest we stray and get all serious, without further ado, our 2009 List:




The coolest, cleverest and most exciting things in beauty last year...



ELLIS FAAS - This range has innovative (and clever) packaging, it's stylish and subtle and the colours are beautiful, moody and the Ellis Red is one I hope to see around (and use) for years.

THE PREEN POWER DRESS - Looks good on everyone, even Amy Winehouse and the two baps she's smuggling on her chest.

MAISON FRANCIS KURKDJIAN BUBBLES - Yet another innovative and playful product. Using bubbles to create a home fragrace. Whimsical and beautiful. What a great addition to the beautyscape.

LIBERTY BEAUTY HALL - I mean... it just gets better and better every year. Bravo. By far the coolest bricks and mortar place for beauty with some pretty cutting-edge brands.

LIVING PROOF no frizz - It's like teflon for the hair, so it keeps it frizz free but doesn't weigh it down like traditional anti-frizz serums do. Even good on thin, fine hair. Science being used for good, I say.

NICHE SKINCARE - 2009 was a beautiful year for niche brands and the free flow of foreign brands to new lands... evolve beauty, Absolution unisex skincare, Nature Girl, Nia, MV Skincare et al. It's a fine time for consumers on the prowl for something new and, possibly, quite good for you.

MIDDLE EASTERN SCENTS - Never ever before have I liked heady, syrup-y, smoky scents, but it was love at first sniff for me all because of Amouage Epic. We re-entered a bygone era perfume and, god damn it, I like it.

RENAISSANCE OF COCO - CHANEL and its namesake were everywhere this year, and we will happily be sporting our CHANEL badges and our Rouge Coco lipstick (launching February) straight through 2010 as well. We loved the movies, have the book on hold at the library and are over the moon about a strong, unique, truly accomplished woman being at the forefront of media attention again.

HOME FRAGRANCE - Frederic Malle, Hermes, Prada... everyone is getting in on the home fragrance game, with funky products like rubber incense, scented paper and diffusers. Haute fragrance for the home.

THE RECESSION - No, I know, the contracting of an economy does not feel good, but hopefully you did buy less useless shit this year, and that includes beauty products you never intend to actually use.

PACKAGING - Rob Ryan for Snowberry, evolve, Elis Faas, Le Metier de Beaute, Andrea Garland, Model Mirrors... The list goes on. Many are clever and beautiful, making our daily routines that much more streamline and pretty (and maybe a touch more environmentally responsible too).

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Beauty crystal ball: V Magazine gets industry insiders to talk trends for beauty 2010

Halloween has come and gone again, which means it's a made dash to the end of the 2009 (and the decade) from herein out. We're starting our slippery slide down that annual slope with beauty predictions for 2010 from V Magazine, who've questioned models, stylists and creative directors how they think beauty will shape up in decade two of the 21st century. Here's what they had to say:

"More is more! Women want to look strong, powerful, and sexy again," – Aaron De Mey, Creative Director, Lancome (DARIA WERBOWY photographed by Mario Sorrenti, makeup by Aaron De Mey, hair by Didier Malige for Frederic Fekkai) 

"The future of beauty lies in personality, which is far more interesting than just being beautiful. Knowing yourself and making yourself known as you want to be – even being someone else if you want." – Christophe de Lataillade, Creative Director, Thierry Mugler Parfums (ANNA VYALITSNYA Photography by Richard Burbridge, makeup by Kabuki, hair by Shay Ashual, styling by Brian Molloy  (Bustier by Thierry Mugler; Earrings by Cartier) )

"The future of beauty is the pursuit of a cyber-esque perfection. I wanted to transpose this virtual world onto a real face." – Val Garland, Artistic Adviser, YSL Makeup (KAROLIN WOLTER Photography by Miguel Reveriego, makeup by Val Garland, hair by Peter Gray)

"Beauty in 2010 will focus less on the external and more on the internal. Our health, mind, energy, and, most important, spirit will be the new foundations of true beauty." – James Gager, SVP and Creative Director, M.A.C. Cosmetics Worldwide (ALI MICHAEL Photography by Miles Aldridge, makeup by Ellis Faas)

"Beauty 2010 is about spontaneity, freedom of expression, and confidence." – Linda Cantello, International makeup artist, Giorgio Armani Beauty (KATRIN THORMAN Photography by Daniel Jackson,makeup by Linda Cantello, hair by Esther Langham, styling by Marie Chaix)

"Modernity is taking the classic and making it surreal." – Kamo (MIYUKI KOIZUMI Photography by Kazunari Tajima, makeup and hair by Kamo)

"Black is the new black." – James Kaliardos, Creative Director, L’Oreal Paris International (HEIDI MOUNT AND SASHA PIVOVAROVA Photography by Mario Sorrenti, makeup by James Kaliardos, hair by Recine, styling by Jane How)

"The future of beauty is about letting your freak flag fly. Anything goes when the whistle blows!" – Jimmy Paul, Editorial Stylist, Bumble and bumble (COCO ROCHA photographed by Alasdair McLellan, makeup by Kaoru, hair by Jimmy Paul, styling by Marie Chaix)

"Optimism. The more, the better.– Gucci Westman, Creative Director, Revlon (NATALIA VODIANOVA photograped by Craig McDean, makeup by Gucci Westman, hair by Julien d’Ys (necklace by Tom Binns Design))

"The past inspires the future." – Aerin Lauder, Senior VP and Creative Director, Estee Lauder (Photo (1983) by Victor Skrebneski for Estee Lauder)

Images and copy courtesy of V Magazine.