Archive for the ‘Fashion Features’ Category

English Rose Complexion – Hot Summer Look (for Men!)

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

Image: Topman SS17

In grooming, we look to the runways for inspiration.  Sometimes, they steer us in the right direction.  Men around the globe have fully embraced trends like extra-long hair and subtle contouring.  But sometimes, the runways get a little unrealistic and send us into dangerous territory.  Last year, and even early this year, men’s catwalks have been populated by men with dirty faces and unwashed hair.  Dubbed anti-grooming by fashion critics, the trend is reminiscent of punk culture and not fully applicable to everyday life-especially for professional men.  However, a big grooming trend this summer seems to offer hope that the fashion community to taking us to great new heights.  Say hello to the English rose complexion.

The English rose complexion is the look guys have after a long afternoon on the beach.  When you finally make your way back indoors, your skin looks flushed.  It’s either pink or red on your cheeks and forehead.  Typically, it’s an indication that sunburn isn’t too far behind. For guys who are fair-skinned, they probably end up rocking the English rose without intending to.  Feeling embarrassed or even feeling exhausted after a great workout can lead to rosy cheeks.

The English rose is, unlike many of the most popular runway grooming trends, a naturally occurring look.  However, the trend isn’t just about wearing your natural, rosy complexion.  If you already have fair skin, it’s about exaggerating the redness.  For those with darker skin, it’s about creating a red tint that’s not usually there.

Image: Mashable

It was first noted as a trend by Mashable after Topman’s Spring/Summer 2017 show.  During that show, almost every model floated down the catwalk with a red-tinted face.  Though they were well-dressed and even appeared to be freshly groomed, their faces seemed sunburnt.  The fair-skinned models and dark-skinned models alike all had the same rosy complexion. And it wasn’t just Topman.  British label Sibling accessorized its boldly colored swimwear and streetwear with rosy cheeks and foreheads.  Even fashion show attendees on the streets were seen rocking the look despite the stark contrast of cold weather outdoors.

Once upon a time, it was considered embarrassing to have a rosy complexion.  But now, fashion is telling us it’s cool to look blushed.  So, does this mean you should abandon sunscreen and sunbathe without a care?  Not quite.  As a word of caution, spending days at the beach without protecting your skin puts you at risk for skin cancer, sun damage and early-onset wrinkles.  Even if you want to be on trend, you still have a duty to protect your skin.  The men who are wearing this look are doing so artificially.

As it turns out, the English rose complexion isn’t as new as it seems.  The fairer sex has been mastering this look for ages.  The women’s version plays up rosy cheeks, but instead of a bright red forehead, the look is balanced by bold red lips, accompanied by bright, white teeth.  Their look is achieved with an arsenal of products: blush, lipstick, eyeshadow, mascara and eyeliner.

For men, you won’t need nearly as many things.  Your eyes aren’t part of the equation here.  But you’ll still need some makeup.  It’s time to get acquainted with powder blush and tint sticks. Powder blush is powdered makeup that comes in a variety of colors.  It’s easy to find in red and can be applied with a brush.  It’s often used by women for contouring their cheeks but your focus isn’t contouring.  Just a few strokes of the brush across your cheeks will leave bright red accents that echo the freshly sunburnt style of the runway.

If the thought of buying or applying powder blush is frightening, a tint stick is a little more discreet.  It looks like a permanent marker, but it discharges makeup in the desired shade.  A rose-colored tint stick can be rubbed over your cheeks to get the same effect as the blush. For guys who are already fair skinned, you might not need any enhancements for this look.  Yet, if you decide to use some artificial assistance, take it easy.  It won’t require much for you to go overboard and end up with a dramatic (and obviously fake) English rose look.

With each fashion season, women’s grooming seems to influence men’s grooming in greater ways.  Men’s designers are focused on communicating their message not just through clothing but through the entire package inclusive of hair and skin.  Some designers have looked to temporary tattoos, glitter (a la David Bowie) and dramatic makeup as ways to stand out.  While those trends likely won’t catch on any time soon, the English rose complexion is the way to go this summer.

Music Festival Chic

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Summer is here and with it music festivals galore. You can never be sure about the English weather, so you need to pack for every eventuality. We can’t all be pop stars, but we can try to add a little festival glam into our lives.

Let’s work from top to toe.


No hair dryer or straighteners mixed with rain and mud equals looking like some sort of scarecrow. Not a good look. Now some festivals have boutique hairdressing tents, with the option of a fully wash and blow dry, and GHD have also infiltrated some of the big festivals, much to our delight!

If this option is not available you have a couple of choices, either use dry hair shampoo spray or get a fashionable hat to hide the horror. A trilby should do the trick.


You need to remember to bring wipes for cleansing, moisturizer and sun screen. These items are very important. Along with that a basic make-up bag: waterproof mascara, under eye concealer (for the day after the night before) and a good lip gloss. Oversized sunglasses will also hide the multitude of sins while still making you look chic.


Denim shorts are a festival favourite, they look great teamed with boots or sandals. Playsuits are cute and bang on trend, although navigating portaloos could be a bit tricky.

For cooler days or nights add knee socks or change into jeans. Vintage t-shirts and a few long sleeve tops are great for layering while a dress is certain to impress in the dance tent. Another essential item would be a rain mac.


Wellington boots are pretty much a staple of the UK festival, with Hunter Wellies being the celeb choice. You may be trudging around in mud but you can look cool doing so, with a host of colours and patterns to choose from. If the sun does decide to shine, a pair of gladiator sandals would be perfect.

Whatever the weather you can too can be a festival goddess!

Fashion Tips for Every Occasion – For Men

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

For men, it’s often harder to come up with fashionable ensembles for different occasions than it is for women. If you’re a man seeking ways to look pulled together, perhaps even stylish, for any occasion, then read on! If you’re a woman trying to encourage your man to dress a little more stylishly, then these tips can help you too.

Start with a clean shave. No matter how fashionable the clothes you’re wearing are, you’re not going to look pulled together if you’re in need of a haircut or shave. Although men’s hairstyles and facial hair choices are certainly more creative than they used to be, it’s important to project a well-groomed image. A scraggly beard is not designer stubble.

Don’t be afraid of patterns. Patterns are perfect for men’s wear for formal or casual events, if you wear them in the right way. Start small, with a patterned necktie. Or go with neutral slacks, solid blazer, solid tie, but patterned shirt. There are many different ways to work eye-catching patterns into your wardrobe without looking like a clown.

Colour is another thing you need to feel comfortable with. Try a colourful tie if you’re shy with bright’s, and keep the rest of your ensemble neutral. To look polished in a hurry, match your tie to your shirt for a stylish monochromatic look. Try deep wine, royal blue, or hunter green.

Vintage is the new Black

Friday, November 13th, 2009

The craze for yesteryear clothing is going full throttle, we want, need, must have that 1950′s top, 20′ dress or 70′s pair of boots. What your mam threw away we are all fighting over, out bidding each other for or stampeding towards. There are lots of Vintage shops around, areas like London’s Brick lane doesn’t seem to have many shops selling new clothes anymore; you’re literally tripping over vintage wear.

One of my favourites is Beyond Retro, on Cheshire Street, many a Saturday afternoon has been well spent trawling through retro hats, shoes and dresses. I recently bought a red 50′s nightie which I’m now in love with, not for bed of course, for nights out.

On a weekend in Brighton I found some great items as well, they were begging me to take them home; of course I needed that feather covered hat with the berries on top. Odd to think that I would run from a second hand store, afraid of kooties, but join the throngs of women in trying out retro boots that have been worn by someone thirty years ago. There are countless online Vintage shops that you can peruse at your leisure, so get bookmarking.

It’s All About Boots

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

I love the winter, really I do. It’s not Christmas, it’s not the snowflakes, it’s not the January sales. It’s my passion for one thing – Boots! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the sandals of the summer just as much as the next girl, but come August, I’m pretty fed up with blisters, painting my toenails, making sure my feet have been shaved (urgh) and I’m ready to slip my tanned feet into some sexual boots.

Now I am a shoe lover of gargantuous proportions. From New look to Mui Mui, I don’t have a favourite brand – I just love shoes! In fact it wasn’t until I had to move house that I got found out for my addiction. When the removal men dropped one of my 15 boxes labeled ‘Scientific Equipment’ and ‘Clever Books’ and 18 little boxes slid out… not revealing more boxes like a Russian doll, but yep, you guessed it. SHOES!!

So what boots am I excited about this winter? Well, boots are still very tall this season, and by tall, I mean long up the leg, knee skimming, even over the knee is definitely in. Pirate is fading away as are over complicated boots, tassles, ties and so forth are taking a back seat, although minimal use is still ok. Cowboys, thank you Jesus, they are still here in a full force. As is wearing your boots over your jeans, which is the best trend to ever hit this side of the Atlantic with our rainy weather… No more going home with jeans sodden up to the thigh as if you’ve been on a fishing trip.

Shoe Trends to Die For (Literally?)

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

For the last couple of seasons, footwear fashion has been kind to us. We’ve had ugg boots which were as comfortable as slippers, pirate boots which you could wear for days without taking off, pumps which you can dance all night in without the need for gel inserts, and roman sandals that never blistered.

Well, it’s payback time! Shoes are calling out for blood and they want it now. It’s the return of the skyscraper heel.

Remember when spike heels came back in? They made us look leaner and sophisticated and we swore blindly that we would never wear another wedge heel. Wedges were dirty, reminded us of the spice girls, and gave us a clunky almost clumsy look. Oh, what a difference a couple of seasons makes. Wedges are firmly back in the stores and back onto our precious feet. (more…)

Cosmetic Surgery for Feet – A Step too Far?

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

We’ve all been there, and on a regular basis. Those gorgeous heels that cost a week’s wages and are puuurfect for your outfit are real foot killers. You end the night limping, bleeding, oozing or going barefoot. It’s the same the world over; women’s shoes just aren’t always made for walking, from the extreme Chinese foot binding customs of olden times to the less drastic 6 inch heels of today.

You do have a few options, you can a: wear comfortable shoes (yeah right) b: get gel inserts to cushion the blow or c: get plastic surgery for your feet.

There are a few different procedures you can opt for, from collagen injections to the balls of your feet to toe amputation to make it easier to fit into your favourite Jimmy Choos. Now some people have problem feet that do need surgery, but there is a difference between that and cosmetic procedures.

America’s Next Top Model – Cat fights on the Cat Walk

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

I’m addicted to America’s Next Top Model, created by Tyra Banks. Young hopefuls battle it out for a modelling contract, pitted against each other in a Big Brother style house with tasks to achieve and contests to win. Watching these beautiful girls scheme, plot, cry and argue is just too much entertainment, and add to that the show’s judging panel and you will either be rolling about laughing or cringing in embarrassment.

Tyra seems to get more outlandish with each series, or ‘cycle’ as she calls it. I feared for her sanity slightly when she play acted a ‘diva’ skit, it really was a case of perhaps a white coat may suit you best.

Twiggy, ‘fashion icon and living legend’ is down to earth, while the shows Miss J. Alexander, a very talented cat walk coach, flounces about in alarming outfits certainly not flattering to his frame. Nigel Barker, famed photographer and former (hot, oh yes) model, adds a good balance.

The Posh V Kate Debate – Our English Roses

Monday, September 17th, 2007

Fashion Icons, women you want to emulate, drop dead gorgeous and dripping with effortless style… Or are they? Is it really as easy as Kate makes it look? Does Vicky Beckham have a team of stylists working round the clock to keep her looking amazing?

If you had the choice, who would you like to be when you grow up? Miss Moss or Mrs. Goldenballs? As for me, it will always be Kate, the goddess, the trendsetter, the girl who brought us skinny jeans! Try to prise mine from me and I’m likely to go feral.

There are some very big differences between Kate and Posh, though you can’t pick up a paper or magazine without seeing at least one of them.

Kate is the uber Supermodel, Posh the former Spice Girl who married a footballer done good. They are both involved in their own fashion lines, with Victoria’s range of VDB jeans, sunglasses, handbags and jewellery and Kate soon to launching one of her own, which I await with baited breath. Both of these lovely ladies have their own style and following, though I feel that Kate has more of a down to earth look we can all try to copy, whereas Posh seems to wear couture which is impossible for mere mortals to achieve.