Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Things You Should Know: The Best Mascaras

The undeniable lash King Shu Uemura's work

Mascara is the main staple in most of our cosmetic cases. Whether your lashes are short, straight or few; we all have our preferences when it comes to picking the perfect one. Here’s your guide to the best in mascara.

The Volume Mascara

With Emma Watson announced as the new face of Lancôme, expect to see the younger generation flock to see what all the fuss is about. Try Lancôme Hypnôse Drama mascara, $52, which is undoubtedly one of their most popular, famous for pumped up volume and even coverage.

The Tubular Mascara

Panda-eyes no more! Clinique are famous for their fabulous mascaras and this may just be their best. Dubbed as tubular mascara, Clinique Lash Power, $38, lengthens and at the end of the day the tube coatings easily slide off with warm water.

The Budget Mascara

Maybelline Define-A-Lash Volume mascara, $19.25, is a great budget alternative which offers a creamy formula that evenly coats lashes. It manages to find and emphasise your every last lash.

The Curling Mascara

YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils, $52, perfectly coats the lashes and gives great curl and volume. You will need eye make-up remover but the effect is certainly worth it.

The Lengthening Mascara

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Waterproof mascara, $55, is a water-resistant option that’s hardy and long-lasting. I love it because its slightly tacky blend lengthens and separates without clumping.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Time Trial: Eve Lom Cleanser

With so many new products coming and going, the beauty market can be somewhat overwhelming.

New to The Transcribery is the Time Trial section where I try a product and letting you know if it’s worth your money.

This week I’ve decided to look at UK Cult Skincare brand Eve Lom and their famed cleanser.

Eve Lom Cleanser, $115

Eve Lom, renowned for pared back and luxurious products, has an entire horde of celebrity devotees like Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Uma Thurman just to name a few.

The brand has taken off worldwide and last year it made its debut here on Australian shores.

With UK Vogue dubbing it as ‘probably the best cleanser in the world’, I couldn’t resist immediately granting it some credit.

Yes – it is expensive, but this isn’t your average facial wash, the process is more like a treatment cleanse similar to the kind you have at a day-spa.

The highlight of this product is that it has the qualities of a cleanser, exfoliator, toner and moisturiser.

The first thing I notice is the paste-like consistency and the lack of smell.

You only need a ten cent piece sized amount for it to slightly foam as you massage it on to your face.

Eve Lom recommends that you work in the cleanser and then use the cotton muslin cloth, dampened with hot water, to soak the face and open the pores.

Rubbing the muslin cloth in a circular motion increases circulation and gently exfoliates the skin.

After repeating the process three times, rinsing the muslin cloth with cold water and pressing it against your skin encourages the pores to close.

If you like the wash-and-go type cleansers, this probably isn’t for you.

While I found the process rather time consuming, it ultimately gives greater results closer to that of a facial than your average daily cleanser.

Keep in mind that the best cleansers are gentle and won’t leave your skin feeling tight and dry.

That’s what I love about this Eve Lom cleanser, you’re left with fresh, super clean and supple skin.

What’s great about this product is that it lifts all traces of dirt and make-up really easily using the muslin cloth.

There’s no rough rubbing, just gentle circular movements which saw even the hardiest make-up come off instantly.

For normal skin, you only need to cleanse at night which is a bit of a time-saver.

The positive points about this cleanser is that it’s really effective, it’s gentle on sensitive skin and it’s likely to be one of the most luxurious all-in-one cleansers on the market.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Designer Spotlight: Remembering The Great Alexander McQueen

Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the death of avant-garde mastermind, Lee Alexander McQueen. The true talent of McQueen lies in his intricately weaved concepts and his execution of flawless and refined tailoring.

In a world full of life, McQueen was surrounded by death. After enduring the passing of his mother as well as close friend and mentor Isabella Blow, McQueen, 40, hanged himself in his London home using his favourite belt.

McQueen and his mother

Beginning his career as a tailor budding from England’s Savile Row, McQueen launched what would become his self-titled empire.

Yves Saint Laurent partner Pierre Berge could not admit that McQueen contributed to the fashion industry. On the contrary, it cannot be doubted that his work inspired new aesthetics and the breaking out of fashion’s conventions.


His work, known for being theatrical, confronting and non-conforming was enveloped by concepts of social commentary that pushed boundaries and reasoning. McQueen’s work has always been characteristically feminine and sexual. Using his creations to communicate the place of women, the underlying qualities are of tragedy that is both powerful and provocative. It is fragile and almost existential and mentally challenging.

The unveiling of the “bumster” pants was hailed as obscene as they revealed the top of the model’s bum. McQueen sought to highlight the common sagging pants and, in turn, contributed to the generation of low-rise hipsters.

The "Bumster" pants

Highland Rape was one of his most raw and confronting shows. McQueen channeled his Scottish decent when he shed light on one of the United Kingdom’s greatest injustices. The show highlighted the suffering and rape of the highland women at the hands of the British. Tartan structural dresses, as well as torn, mangled and blood-stained pieced hung off disheveled models as they descended the runway.

McQueen's Highland Rape

The SS 10 show Plato’s Atlantis contributed to the futuristic style of digi- and hyper-print fashion where McQueen embraced the age of digital imagery without forgoing his couture roots. An avid scuba diver, McQueen translated the largely unseen sea world into his prints, cuts and even his infamous Armadillo heels.

McQueen's Plato's Atlantis


Sarah Burton, the label’s new creative director, has vowed to keep the very essence of McQueen embedded in the brand’s future collections. Admitting she will lend her own softer touch, Burton’s debut as successor proved a hit and continuation of McQueen’s legacy.

Sarah Burton

The last collection to be worked on by the hands of McQueen was AW 10/11 where Burton finished the remaining 80 percent left incomplete. Reminiscent of the Elizabethan era, it was a tribute to the dead in all of its past majestic luxury and royalty. With an emphasis on texture, the beautifully ornate and rich tapestries, fabric and prints haunt of the renaissance. Ironically, and possibly deliberately, McQueen’s obsession with death and the afterlife is obvious in the collection - otherwise known as McQueen's very last bow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gift Guide: Valentine's Day

It's less than two weeks away and whether you love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is a great excuse to spoil loved ones whether it be your partner or even yourself. Need some ideas for filling that heart-shaped gift box? Here are some of the best love-lined luxuries.

Chanel Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss, $50

Nothing is more beautifully romantic than seeing Coco Chanel’s initials peep out of wrapping paper. This shade of Exces, a personal favourite, is super illustrious and rich in pigment. There is nothing sexier than Chanel on your lips.

La Perla Icon Lace Body Suit, £362

Vintage in style, this La Perla piece is distinctly delicate and feminine. Slip in to this sumptuous piece and top off with a silk evening gown.

Nikon 24-70mm Zoom Lens Mug, $55

Third Drawer Down is one of my favourite sites for unique gifts. This Nikon Lens, actually a mug, is perfect for those with a love for photography or simply fancy something a little unusual.

Michael Kors Tortoise Jet Set Watch, US$195

Spoil your man with a vintage-inspired Michael Kors watch on Valentine’s Day. It’s bold and perfect for those who value athletic style and upmost sophistication.

Luxury Loafers

Treat both yourself and your partner with penny loafers for him and her. Prada made loafers popular with styles like their Patent Leather Pinked Penny Loafers (left), US$476, for women and their Tobacco Leather Split Toe Penny Loafers (right), US$368, for men.

Krispy Kreme’s Cupids Sweet Kiss pack, $29.50

Research has found doughnuts to be in the top ten arousing scents. This year, indulge in Krispy Kreme’s newest addition Cupids Sweet Kiss. With a single long-stemmed rose included, it puts ease into picking a gift you’ll both love.

Things You Should Know: Compact & Convenient Cosmetics

The fast paced lifestyle is becoming ever more common, keep up with the tempo by using products that are made for active personalities. We’ve selected some great goodies that are ideal for those with little space or are constantly on the move.

Manicare Nail Polish Remover Pads, $4.95

Take care of chipping nail polish or old colour with these disposable remover pads. Perfectly sized to fit in your bag, each sachet has a single wipe allowing for great results and minimal fuss.

Invisible Zinc UV Silk Shield Foundation, $42.

Super light and sheer in finish, this foundation stick doubles up as sun protection as well as a foundation. It glides on super easily and is compact enough to slip in to your handbag for midday touch-ups.

MOR Little Luxuries Perfume Oil in Lychee Flower, $19.95

This perfume oil, housed in a petite vintage-style bottle, is ideal for freshening up. Don’t underestimate the size, this parfum is beautifully powerful and deliciously sweet.

Guerlain Rouge G de Guerlain Le Brilliant, $68

For a lipstick with rich colour and high shine as well as a mini mirror, Guerlain have this multipurpose creation. Designed to resemble a precious jewel, this little piece of gold is ideal for glamour on-the-go.

Tigi Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo, $32.95

Although it’s not so portable, dry shampoo provides ease in absorbing excess oil and odour at the roots of your tresses. If you’re trying to push your washed hair an extra day or prolong that gritty texture that’s so good for styling, a spray of dry shampoo will do the job.

Revlon PhotoReady Compact, $34.95

For a light-feel foundation with full coverage, Revlon’s PhotoReady Compact is a must-have. Its weightless texture means it’s an ideal choice for the hotter months as it keeps pore-clogging to the minimum.

Benefit Brows A Go-Go, $68

With two shades of shaping powder, pigmented wax, eyeliner, brightening cream, highlighter, a brow brush and tweezers; this compact is the perfect one-stop shop for a quick pluck and tweeze.