In case you haven’t noticed, Christmas is just around the corner (I know, time flies; it’s scaring me, too). To this end, late-night shopping was initiated last week when I saw the Daylesford Christmas Fair advertised on twitter, and well, that was that. I know what to expect from Cotswolds Christmas Fairs: tented villages, home-brewed gins, and well-preserved women in their fifties flogging you fur, but admittedly, I love them to the power of Jude Law’s face in The Holiday and was especially keen on Tuesday night. Gin & elderflower cocktail in hand, I wandered the aisles, everyone else’s gifts to myself in mind.
I went, I saw, I lusted. (I even bought a leather notebook for myself with not an ounce of guilt nor remorse, but more on that later). The point of Christmas shopping is to consider everyone else’s needs and desires, but my shopper’s tunnel vision was turned up to level: expert, and all I could see were potential outfits, lust-have overnight bags, candles, lavender fudge, and obviously, the medley of fruit gins that would really enhance one’s alcohol stash.
As the first of regular Dream Edits, it felt right to begin around the time Santa assembles his reindeer and shoppers empty their bank accounts pre-payday. The Dream Edit will be a wishlist of products that I’ve seen/ want/bought, comprising of beauty, fashion and lifestyle goodies. Obviously this list has largely been influenced by scenes at the Christmas Fair, but some have been on my radar for some time. Happy shopping!
They say smell is the strongest sense so reward your nose/abode this Christmas with this dreamy smelling potion of botanical treasures. Aptly name ‘Garden of Eden’ the scent is pleasantly rich and lives up to every expectation. It very much reminds me of my favourite Jo Malone fragrance, Tuberose Angelica, which is all about white florals and amberwood. Granted, this has some rose notes about it as well, but it honestly puts any other incense you know in the shade. The tinned candles start from £15.
Eddie Harrop Voyager Bag, £650
Somehow I’d never seen Eddie’s collection before Tuesday night, but it’s beautiful! Sold on the ultimate online fashion mecca, Net-a-Porter, The Voyager bags were made with cabin luggage restrictions in mind, so they’re perfect for the jet-setting stylista, or even the girl having drunken sleepovers at her best mate’s house. (Me). Handmade in Vietnam, the Voyager is constructed with calf leather and suede so soft you wouldn’t believe it’s not butter. There are six styles to choose from but predictably I was drawn magnet-style to the black and gold starred bag. This is a really luxe weekender bag, but there’s no doubt when I get one I’d find a reason to tote this bad boy every day. My, I think that’s New York calling, and I’m taking the Voyager with me.
Uh, this was such a steal! I saw it at a general gifting stall, Heaven Sent, and fell hard. (In love – not into the table, it was only one Gin). Owning any form of leather-housed stationery is code for Lit geek, but I’m happy to report that this little gem will up the IQ of anyone that whips it out their handbag, because who needs iPads, anyway? It’s completely charming where tablet devices just aren’t, and a really thoughtful gift for a bookworm or stationery collector in your life – we all know one. I feel my creative juices flow all the more for its presence and feel, and now here I am, leather notebook in hand, taking on the world one blogpost, magazine article and ghost-written piece at a time. When I accept my Oscar for Best Screenplay, I will remember the Sea Foam notebook that marked the start of a glittering career. (And that gold bee on the front cover!)
Launched in July, this cartridge satchel doubles up as a gorgeous shoulder bag – a perfect size for having a style moment; eye-catching yes, but not trying too hard. It’s long been the truth that the more space you have the more you’ll try and stuff in your bag. I learned this the hard way in the summer when overloading an all-leather bag which caused the hide to stretch and loosen the stitching. Thank God for great seamstresses! Damn you high street manufacturing. I won’t name names. (Cough, TOPSHOP).
Back to the Cartridge bag, there are several colourways to choose from but personally I love this Havana style offset against the resplendent orange flap. It’s completed by the beautiful snakeskin texture and is a really great city-to-country crossover piece. Prices for this line start from £110.
Announcing that I’m not opposed to wearing real fur may not be what you’d hear from mainstream blogging circles, but I don’t feel that I need to conceal my tastes or background; I’d wear fur just like I wear leather shoes, carry leather handbags and eat meat. After all, steaks and lattes aren’t necessities, but we consume milk and meat anyway because we enjoy them. The same principle applies to wearing real fur, only there’s a host of further benefits that don’t include the risk of rampaging carcinogens or atrial fibrillation. If you don’t agree/can’t fathom donning a pelt, please read this great article by a fur-wearing vegetarian, because she really hits the nail on the proverbial of this debate: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/sep/18/happy-wear-fur-vegetarian
Back to the cape, whilst some styles can be trite, this cut really caught my eye and that’s on a rail bustling with wispy creations. Rex Fur is a blend of Chinchilla (*Crazy in Love video, anyone?) and Rabbit. This means the fur is extremely plush with a velvety handle and deep chocolate colour that’s highlighted by creamy tips (like a balayage ‘do). Rachel explained that although the individual species are different, the disparities in their fur and hides really complement each other when produced together. It’s hard to identify one usp about this piece, but I’ll certainly try. It feels very a la mode given the high neckline, but it will always remain timeless, so it is an investment for your wardrobe. As a cape it will always fit (hoo-ray) and its very versatile; you could wear it with jeans or over dresses and it will undoubtedly complete any look with panache. Rachel’s fur is responsibly sourced, but I did forget to ask if it was vintage *uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh, oh na-na.
Also, because I like to be fair, here’s a smart faux alternative if you’re looking for a fur cape this season. It’s by Michael Kors and I found it on Polyvore, but Shopstyle is also a great site for browsing fashion categories.
So nice I bought twice. It had to be done. (I like to have a tawny glow, aka, a spray tan every now and then, so use yellow-based Stromboli for my honey-hued times while Santa Fe with its cooler, neutral undertone, is for when I’m how nature intended). I haven’t found a foundation that I love as much as this one in a while and that’s nothing said of the price either, which is quite amazing value given the professional artist’s quality you’re getting (it remains below its competitors to the tune of a good £5 or more). As a regular darling amongst all beauty editor’s foundation crunching roundups, I’d long anticipated trying it, and I don’t think I’ll be looking back. In fact, I’d like to corroborate everything they’re saying. Offering a sheer to full coverage depending on how you like to build it, Sheer Glow is the natural look everyone pores over, but at the same time, you look ‘done’. I hate the clichés that haunt the ‘natural look’; when I spend money on makeup, it’s not because I want my face to look the same as it does without any on. I want to look enhanced, sculpted, like a supermodel; Sheer Glow offers this by working in sync with other cream/liquid/powder colours as its blendability is second to none. The NARS Complexion Brightening Formula infuses the skin with the equivalent of unicorn tears and fairy syrup to lighten the skin from within. Trust the Beauty Laureate, if you’re looking for immaculate coverage that flatters your skin tone, Sheer Glow will leave you fresh-faced, but F L A W – L E S S
Charlotte Tilbury is a pioneer of makeup artistry who celebrates rich, decadent cosmetics and expresses it with a similarly charismatic brand voice. ‘Cast a Spell’ this collection purrs, it is honestly my dream to be a content exec for CT one day…
As a child, I couldn’t be trusted not to eat all of the chocolates in my advent calendar at once. Luckily, I’ve grown out of such folly (or rather, I haven’t been bought one in 15 years) so this festive season I feel the need to replace the calendar-shaped hole in my life. Queen of the Vogue cover and red-carpet makeup extraordinaire, Charlotte Tilbury has launched her Book of Magic for the 2015 gifting season and I’ve promised myself a purchase before they’re all sold out. *Disclaimer* This tends to happen with her limited edition lines. It offers 12 days of uber-luxury products including a full-sized lipstick alongside minis of her magnum opus moisturiser, the Magic Cream, and *gasps* a sneak preview pot of her Magic Night Cream! Be spellbound this Christmas. But not before I get mine.
Aren’t contacts just everything? “It’s not what you know but who” as my mother will trill at any given opportunity. Yes Mum, I know. But last Saturday these sage words rang even louder in my ears as a friend who so happens to work at the Sisley counter offered trial sachets of some of their best-sellers and products relevant to my skin worries. That wording makes it sound like I’m discussing a mortgage, but in truth, you should really invest in your skin the way you do your home – after all, you’ll only inhabit the one hide. Using anti-ageing treatments in your 20s may sound overly cautious, but your skin ages the second you depart the womb – from there, it’s all downhill. To preserve mine, I invest in skincare because I want the face I have in my 20s to be the one I do in my 40s (or at least be damn close) and there’s no reason why this can’t be achieved. Drink enough water, cut out the caffeine or cigarettes, should you be that way inclined, and use good skincare! Or, as Rosie H-W advises, the best your budget will forgive you. Sisley is pretty high-end but I can feel the difference after using my favourite products which include the Black Rose Cream Mask, Global Perfect Pore Minimizer, Gentle Facial Buffing Cream and the Self Tanning gels. These products range from £55 to well over £100 so they are indulgent, but thank God we can just blame this one on Santa. A full write-up of all the goodies I tried will be coming soon in Cosmeticary!
I remember the first time I saw the Stuart Weitzman Highland boots. It was Thursday the 24th October 2013 (such is my devotion to the Daily Mazza website & its sidebar of shame), Rosie H-W had been snapped wearing the grey pair with a skirt in LA, and since then, my fate has been sealed. I have lusted over the boots retailing just shy of £600 for near on two years, but I just can’t bring myself to sell my horse and collect each three or four colourways (I love you really, Dougal!). Kate Moss and Gisele have both been the face of the brand so that kind of explains how high-end they are (of which is reflected in the price tag). There are many lookalikes out there, but make no mistake, these are the cream of the crop. Perhaps surprisingly they have a stretch-on fit which I believe means there’s no zip – flattering and forgiving, eh? I bet you didn’t see that one coming. They’re currently being worn on the feet of many starlets and it’s easy to see why. They’re timeless, head-turning, versatile and effortless. Everything you could ever ask for from one item (or two).
P.S. The Lowland boots are just as classy but less punishing on the feet. Amen to that.
Last but definitely not least (well, only in price), is an own-brand special from Boots. I was referred to this by a girlfriend and fellow bookworm one hungover morning in October. She’s the Charlotte of the group (no, really, she’s actually Charlotte) and I’m the Carrie in this situation as I love to shop and bought this that morning (never mind the shoe fetish, writing ambitions and taste in tall, dark men). Anyhow, back to the mask, it’s halfway between a clay and a cream with an intense charcoal colour. It’s so satisfying to use as well since the formula works in two stages, first ridding pores of their sins but then leaving the skin cleansed and silky smooth. I prefer using natural ingredients where possible as surely these are the most gentle and appropriate for your skin. Here, the tea tree is antibacterial whilst the witch hazel is calming, but the real star of the show is surely the activated charcoal whose absorbing properties help draw the dead skin/residues from your pores. Nice. But nonetheless impressive, and you can’t argue with a price like that.