Beautiful beauty products... & Other Stories

I have no idea how good the actual products in this range are... if the mascara flakes or stays put, if the eye pencils are hard or creamy, whatever.

What I do know is that this range is gorgeous. It has a slightly messy chic look that's hard enough to capture with clothes and fashion and nearly impossible to do with beauty products without looking tatty.


The mix of white, lucite, serif and cursive fonts with suitably smeary (and unique) shots of the product is cool. I'm a big fan of real photography on packaging when it's done right... like it is here. & Other Stories has made a mid-range, achingly hip beauty brand that, perhaps, Topshop makeup wanted to be? As much as I do like Topshop, its makeup range is sort of missing the coveted edginess I see here. It feels a bit like Benefit's slightly less twee older sister.

& Other Stores Makeup.jpg

This range doesn't. Probably because it's been designed by teams in Paris and Stockholm. Now that I think of it, it does feel very French, doesn't it?


& Other Stories is a subsidiary of H&M, so not some indie cool company, but still pretty cool, mainstream brand or not. They also sell other brands that you might have seen in so-hip-it-hurts places like Colette... Uslu et al. 

Beauty is just one of the categories of merchandise made and sold by & Other Stories

Currently they're only in Europe. 

Art thing of the week... Eerie fallen princesses

Pocahontas grows up to become... the creepy cat lady.

Eerie yet so so brilliant at the same time. This series is a fantastically droll take on what comes after the happily ever after... mostly, it seems, hot boxing farts under the duvet without announcing it first to catch your spouse unawares. 

Check out the entire series of Disney Princesses in the 'after' versions of their lives here.

The photographer's work is slightly reminiscent of Greg Crewdson (for you art nerds out there), don't you think?


The subcontient calls

The first time I visited India I was, in a word, shocked. It wasn't my finest hour as a world traveler... I would shrink away from the roving street urchins in revulsion or sneer at a taxi driver asking me prying questions about if I had children -- was he hitting on me the moment my husband jumped out of the cab to use an ATM or just curious about his very foregin fare?

This time, I'm ready for it and rather excited. It's a beatifully messy corner of the world that is incomparable to any city or area of the USA or Europe. People liken Mumbai to NYC but, in fact, there's not a place in Manhattan where you'll turn a corner and run head-long into a cow or a man pulling a cart down a dirt road.

India is I imagine like broccoli for some people. Some instantly love it and want it all the time.

Others recoil at the new taste the first time they try it, perhaps put off by the strangeness of it. But with each new nibble, the taste grows on you more and more until you crave it and can't believe there was a time when you didn't like it.

Others hate it for life.

I fall into the second group and thankfully it only took two nibbles, so to speak.

It didn't take me more than my second trip to decide that I liked India... that I really liked it, that I was going to open up and not have a reactionary, knee-jerk response to the fact that things are very different, that I'm stared at incessantly, that I can't just pick up bits of the language as easily as I can throughout Europe. Thank goodness. Because airfare isn't cheap and I couldn't afford to go five more times before deciding I like it.

Anyway, more to come. That's just the snippet I can type out before having to slam shut my computer and run to my husband's office to deposit it for the duration of the trip (a laptop free holiday... I'm not sure how I"m going to handle this) and catch the shuttle to Penn Station.


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beauty blog link love

Beautifully Addicted To.... shows you how to create Galaxy Nails. Musicalhouses takes a look at Benefit's latest boxed blush offering, Benefit Hervana! Tigers get frisky on Valentine's Day as Addicted to Beauty enjoys London Zoo's viral campaign. At Musing on Beauty, Mariella tries two of the Edward Bess Quad Royale and is positively surprised! Dry skin got you down? Kajal Couture lets you in on an AMAZING new body moisturizer collection from Burts Bees. Beautywoome's response to the Kate Upton's Sports Illustrated cover is that real boobs have rights too! Valentine's Day may be over, but here at My Funny Valentine, we love pink lippies all year round! The Pink Sith has found yet another TAUPE eyeshadow to drool over. This time it's Rouge Bunny Rouge Loose Glitter Pigment in Caress Of Mink! Curious about the new NARS Cosmetics Spring Collection? Check out Krasey Beauty's swatches and review! Lisamarie from Beauty Crazed would like to escape the cold weather for a resort. But, since that's not happening, she's brought it to her fingers with the essie Resort Collection! Check it out and see if it brings you warm thoughts too! Looking for the ultimate baby pink lipstick? Amy Antoinette reviews Clarins Joli Rouge Baby Pink Lipstick. At theNotice, Rae takes you through The BB Cream Breakdown, with bare-faced (!) and full-face swatch comparisons of Garnier and Marcelle's BB Cream offerings. Tracy at Beauty Reflections shares her secret beauty habit and wants to know yours! Has Pammy Blogs Beauty discovered a new Holy Grail eye shadow? Check out her review of L'Oreal's new 24 hour Infallible Eye Shadow in Iced Latte. Phyrra debuts her first video tutorial of the year, a vibrant sapphire blue look with Makeup Geek & Sugarpill. --- Every woman wants soft, luscious, plump lips. Win a tube of 3Lab Perfect Lips from Prime

The Fashion Coloring Book

How freaking cool is this? My amazing friend and brilliant illustrator Carol Chu has created The Fashion Coloring Book. Buy it now. You know you want to. It's the most fun you'll ever have with fashion and it won't leave you feeling like a fat cow, as Heir Karl would have you do.

And it's sold at Anthropologie (or on Amazon).

Clearly she and Lulu are like the coolest people in the world.


Real boobs have rights too

What do you think of the group of derisive comments about young Miss Upton's boobs on the cover of SI this month? I don't usually pay attention to *news* on breasts (really, guys) but the jeering at her 'flapjacks', as one particularly trolly commenter coined her ample and natural-looking bosom, had me thinking about real boobs and why they get such a bad wrap for being flat or floppy or saggy or whatever. (I'll leave it to the others to comment about her relatablity, if her boobs are/are not fake or whatever and the other angles of this over-exposed story.)



I mean, it's just a matter of physics that large pockets of fat that hang suspended from one's chest will eventually end up headed south just like the rest of our physique will without surgical intervention. 

Have you seen a set of MOOBS (and boy are they on the rise) with nipples pointing skywards? Me neither. Maybe that's why all the très classy dudes at the beach in the summer swim in XXXL tees. Sexy. I definitely can't see your man boobs straight through that soaked, transparent white t-shirt. 

Interestingly, as the media storm around Upton's breasts was consuming the whole of the US last week, I happened upon some images of Marilyn Monroe disrobed more than usual in a magazine (they're from a new book of her photos).

Lo and behold, she has refreshingly natural breasts that do that flatten and spread thing that I think most sizeable boobs do.

Do you think she would have had implants had she been around today? Yes, a totally frivolous speculation, I know, but I do wonder if she would have bowed to the pressure to be even more perfect and have even more surgery than she already did.

I sort of fret for younger people, especially the ones with ready access to internet pornography, lads mags and reality slebs 24/7... I have to imagine that their idea of what boobs should look like is pretty unsettling. 

Anyway, the real question I have about Upton's cover is how they convinced her that the microscopic piece of fruit leather covering her hooha is a bikini bottom... have you ever seen such a teeny bikini? Maybe the shoot budget ran short so they had to make do with what was left at craft service?

They surely had to Photoshop out some of her anatomy in that too... like, say, her labia. Entirely. Sheesh.

So, the take away:

Boobs. Sometimes they're real. Sometimes they're not. Gravity affects them too, even those not featured on National Geographic.

Do you think real boobs get a little bit mistreated when they're in the public eye vs. implants (at least the well-done ones), at least from a male crowd? Just a question... putting it out there based local intel (eavesdropping) and online browsing I've been doing. 

In other news, I leave for India on Friday and will be there for Holi. That's the festival where they throw colored powder at each other all day. How cool is that?

And I've got a weekend-long Indian wedding to attend that'll ping pong me all around Mumbai, including a Mehendi session, visits to a tailor to have some saris and petticoats fitted (as it's Indian Formal), salon time for threading and other miscellaneous things. Cannot. Wait.


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Favorite backstage beauty spies for LFW

New York Fashion Week is a big old corporate production. It's slick and shiny and expertly packaged. London Fashion Week is a different kettle of fish. There's more indie goodness, it's a bit more interesting and individual. All four fashion weeks are great to get an idea of what sort of cosmetics we'll probably be wearing in the next 9 months.

But I like LFW for the coolest beauty inspiration... apparently this fall we'll be back to burgundy lipstick (thank goodness I still have my Revlon in Black Cherry) and in poufy hair with headbands.

My favorite sites to follow the fun:

Stylist Magazine's backstage beauty blog (images above from this fab blog)

TopShop Inside Out

The amazing Fashion Week microsite on

Grazia, of course

And here is a quick and sexy roundup of backstage beauty at NYFW. Thinking the 'Apres-Sex' look at Michael Kors is my favorite. Flushed and mussed and glowy. All good.