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Why a red lip is more than just makeup | History of red lipstick

By Posted on 17 0 m read 4.6K views

I’m excited about this one, as it’s a collaboration with the gorgeous Siyana! This is our red lipstick collab, so make sure you check out her post here!

Red lipstick is more than makeup; it’s a fashion statement

Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Sarah Bernhardt, Clara Bow, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Dita Von Teese: all iconic women who are recognised for two things in common. One is their ruby lips and, second, being recognised as powerful and strong women, not afraid to push boundaries.

History of the red lip

Makeup is certainly not a modern trend; in fact, it dates back thousands of years.

Birth of red lipstick: Ancient Egypt, 3000 – 2700 B.C.

In Ancient Egypt, royals and nobles would crush semi-precious stones into a paste to decorate their lips. Cleopatra was known for crushing red beetles and ants to make a bright red lip stain.

A lot beauty bloggers may now exclaim in excitement at a new lip launch claiming ‘the colour’s so nice, I could die!’ or ‘this product’s worth dying for!’ Well, for many Ancient Egyptians, that would actually be the case. Wearing lipstick could be life-threatening, thanks to a toxic solution that could lead to serious illness and death!

The phrase ‘Kiss Of Death’ was coined because of the harmful mixture of fucus-algin, iodine, and bromine mannite that Egyptian women used to create lipstick.

Elle

1500s: Royal Red

Elizabeth I’s distinctive look has always been her pale powdered face and cherry lips. She would apply a mixture of crushed crimson plants with beeswax and, from then, her look was coveted by the ladies-in-waiting.

Known as the Virgin Queen, she was as independent and powerful as she was stylish – she didn’t need a husband to rule – just a swipe of lipstick. Although, it was said that she died of blood poisoning caused by her lipstick, which contained noxious mercuric sulphide.

1700s: Red lipstick threatens the government

According to Fashionista, in ‘1770, the British government finally passed a law that formally condemned lipstick on the basis that “women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft.” ‘

Lol.

1800s: Coming out

Cosmetics had fallen out of fashion at this point, as Queen Victoria didn’t approve. However, the first actress to make a stand with her red lips was Sarah Bernhardt.

Before this time, women would apply makeup behind closed doors. But, the French actress famously applied her bright rouge lipstick in public. A major taboo at the time!

Why a red lip is more than just makeup | Red lipstick history. Hannah is in a cuddle H&M oversize jumper dress in cream, with classic Burberry check cashmere scarf. Wearing red lipstick in the snow.

I’m wearing a mixture of Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante and Nudestix Intense Matte in Stiletto 15% off with code GIFT

1920s: Cupid’s bow

Film stars were all wearing deep, dark red lipsticks. Clara Bow, who made the ‘Cupid’s bow’ popular, would wear the darkest shade she possibly find, so that it would show up in black and white films and photos.

That’s the thing about red lipstick – it’s a beautiful case of chicken and egg. It may require confidence to wear, but confidence can actually be a result of putting on red lipstick – and no one needs to know which comes first.

-Psychologies

1930s and 40s: Symbol of resilience

With Word War II, women would begin taking on men’s jobs in the factories and wearing their lipstick let them express their femininity while wearing typically masculine boiler-suits. At the same time, wearing it was an act of defiance.

“Hitler hated red lipstick and would not allow any women around him to wear it since he claimed it contained animal fat from sewage,” – History of red lipstick

Although, we all know the true reason Hitler didn’t like red lipstick was because it empowered women, whereas he preferred women in their traditional roles.
In 1933, Vogue declared lipstick “the most important cosmetic for women,”.

It boosted women’s morale so much that the government actually implemented a scheme for women’s dressing rooms in the factories to always be stocked with lipstick. Elizabeth Arden released their lipstick ‘Victory Red’ and all marketing for it called for the women to wear red in support of the troops and in hope for victory. A far cry from 1700s when the government banned the cosmetic.

1950s: Glamour

The colour red was popular during WWII, but in the late 40s and 50s, it really sky-rocketed globally thanks to internationally famous stars like Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth. Once a colour of seedy-ness, now red lips were the uniform of Hollywood icons.

Marilyn has left such an impact on modern-day culture that her crimson lipstick was voted the most iconic beauty trend of all time.

1960s – 1970s: Pale and nude lipstick revolution

As new icons came in like Twiggy, the new fashion was pale, nude and pastel lipsticks and red lost its allure. But it would not be long until Madonna would revive the shade in the 80s.

My red lipstick collection

I used to be terrified of wearing red lipstick. I dipped my toes in the water with nudes, pinks and paler colours. The more I wear red lipstick now though, the more I want to wear it!

My absolute favourite red lipstick is the Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante, lined with No7 Precision lip liner. From the packaging, to the formula, to the colour, everything about it is so luxurious.

It’s a little bit drying, but the lasting power is amazing. I can go out for dinner and drinks and not need to top it up. It doesn’t even come off on my glass.

Here are my red lipsticks and I would recommend all of them:

Swatches of 1. MAC Matte - Lady Danger, 2. Bourjois Rouge Velvet - Hot Pepper #03, 3. Nars Powermatte - Starwoman, 4. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet La Fascinante #38, 5.  Lord & Berry - Maraschino #2683, 6. Nudestix Intense Matte - Stiletto, 7. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution - Glastonberry, 8. No7 Precision Lips Pencil - Red.  

Red lipstick is empowerment. Red lipstick symbolises women’s journey to present-day.

Until I started research for this post, I never truly thought about what wearing a red lipstick stood for. It’s only taken around 5,000 years for red lipstick to become fully accepted in society.

No other colour of lipstick has the same feeling or connotations that red lipstick does.

Red lipstick represents what women have gone through and what they stand for. It’s also a reflection on society. As well as looking pretty and making you feel confident in an instant!

If you’ve never had the confidence to wear it or only wear it, I’d say give it a go but starting in baby steps – maybe a subtle a gloss.

It’s great that it’s starting to be embraced again – take one look at the red carpet, the high-street, the office…

I hope you enjoyed this and let me know in the comments what you think. And if you have any recommendations, definitely let me know!

In the post

Jumper: H&M

Scarf: Burberry Cashmere scarf in classic check (Mine’s second-hand chic 😉 Purse friendly option from H&M)

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Why are we ALWAYS so busy? Even when we’re not?

By Posted on 1 4 m read 2.2K views

Millennial ‘busy-ness’

We’re busy. All. The. Time. Even when we’re not busy.

If that makes any sense to you, then you’re certainly experiencing the same phenomenon as me.

These days, being ‘busy’ is the modern-day curse. Or luxury depending how you look at it.

When I started this blog back in May, I didn’t quite realise how much time it would actually take. That’s not a problem, because I love doing it, but it does seem to add to the pressure of another thing to make time for.

Work has been hectic and I’ve been staying late, I’ve booked myself in to see different groups of friends and said ‘yes’ to various outings all at the same time… and it just feels like I have no time to tidy up and keep on top of my blog. I’M JUST SO BUSY, YOU GUYS.

Except that I’m not. Not really. I still found time to watch ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’ most evenings and that’s one hour I could have spent writing. And that’s okay, we’re allowed to have downtime. But it just feels like I have no time because my brain is still whirring away. There is a pressure to always be ‘on’, so relaxation time is spent worrying about what we’re not doing.

More time, so much more to do.

In fact, we have more leisure time than we used to. On average, we work less than they did in the 60s. Yet, with so much available to us, the wide variety of choice and the overwhelming amount of information, everything seems hectic. Thanks to technology it can also seem as if time is going quicker and so it feels like we have too much to do in the time we have.

Competition and status.

If I slip into a conversation: ‘oh I’ve been so busy recently’, in stead of a question about what I’ve got going on, I’ll be met with a dismissive ‘oh yeah, me too!’. This could be a competitive, or simply, a statement of fact: we’re all busy. And we’re all guilty of it.

Studies suggest that people between the ages of 21 and 34 have become workaholics or want to appear to be. And the below quote suggests why:

A full Outlook calendar seems to have replaced the sports car as the new status symbol. Being busy means you’re important, needed, valued.

Forbes

The busier you are, the more important you are? There are whole studies dedicated to the relationship of busyness with status. See: ‘Ugh, I’m So Busy’: A Status Symbol for Our Time.

FOMO and learning to say no.

“Oh I have to do abc…”, “I absolutely need to get xyz done…” unless these things will directly impact us right there and then, like paying a bill, we probably don’t HAVE TO do half the things we say we do. I know, easier said than done!

You know I mentioned how many things I have going on at one time? Well, that’s my own fault. I wouldn’t be so busy if I didn’t keep organising my schedule like that. You get that ‘Fear Of Missing Out’, and you want to be a part of what’s going on. When you’re not a part of it, you see everyone else’s busy timelines on social media. There you have it. You’re busy looking at everyone else being busy and you’re worried that they’re busier than you and you’re not busy enough! Phew… It’s just exhausting thinking about it.

There is no shame in having to say no. And sometimes we should.

There is a pressure to always be ‘on’, so relaxation time is spent worrying about what we’re not doing.

Time to switch off.

The reason we’re SO BUSY, or feel busy is that nowadays, we are never disconnected. Unlike never before, there is always a constant connection to the rest of the world via internet, phones etc etc. Technology is so ingrained into our lives, that we can be connected by work, friends, companies trying to sell us things and so on, at literally any time of day.

So, even when we’re not actually doing anything, we’re so aware of everything that’s going on, that we don’t feel like we’ve had a break.

There is no room or time to exhale and let go of everything. I’m often multi-tasking so much, that when I’m left to myself, I feel restless.

Let’s all just try to chill out. Let’s relish in not being busy when we have the chance. Give me Netflix and chill any day. And switch off that social media!

(She says, whilst tweeting this out to the world!)

What do you think? Are you getting stressed about how busy you are? And do you have any tips on how to cope with it?

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The secret to shopping Erdem x H&M

By Posted on 6 4 m read 2.4K views

H&M is back with its latest designer collaboration: ERDEM x H&M

Thursday, 2 November. PUT IT IN YOUR DIARIES.

As of today (25 October) The Erdem x H&M collab release is only one week away. If you want to get your hands on something from the collection you’re going to need tactics.

The H&M designer collections are notoriously popular; so much so that it crashes their website every time. The most coveted pieces sell out within minutes. I always get sucked into the hype, so after a few years of shopping the H&M designer collabs, I have learnt a couple of tricks to shop online and without camping out in the cold to queue! So, if there’s an Erdem x H&M piece you absolutely need in your life, I’ll share my tricks that seem to work!

The full collection of pieces with prices were released last week, and, to be honest, it’s one of the priciest collections yet. Unfortunately, everything is at the higher-price point, with not much to pick up for less than £50, unless you’re after a T-shirt or earrings. So, it’ll be interesting to see how it goes down this year (no doubt the site will still crash).

A bit about Erdem

Established: 2005 in London by Canadian/Turkish designer Erdem Moralioglu.

Known for: Exquisite romantic garments and beautiful floral prints with a vintage, timeless feel.

Notable clients: Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson, Felicity Jones, Nicole Kidman and the Duchess of Cambridge, Emma Stone…

Kate Mara, Zendaya and Kate Bosworth. wearing Erdem X H&M at the launch party. Source: LA Times Looks from H&M's collaboration with London-based designer Erdem Moralioglu, presented at the Wilshire Ebell in Los Angeles. (Erdem X H&M)

1. Decide what you’re buying BEFORE

This is important. Browse through the collection and decide exactly what you’re after before the launch. You won’t have time to dither on the morning.

2. Make notes

H&M normally release the collection onto their website a day or so before the launch. You’ll be able to view details, but not add to your basket. This is the time to note the details, while you still can. Previously, there has been a product number (they didn’t do this for Kenzo though), so if there is, this is the most important thing to note down. If not, jot down exactly how they describe the product on the site.

3. Make sure you have an account

Got something in your basket? Yay! But, it’s not safely yours until you pay, so it can still get snatched from you at the last second. So, make sure you have an account set up with H&M already, log in, save your password. If you can, it’s better to remain logged in.

4. Be ready at 8:45am

The collection will be released at 9am.
Make sure you have their sales phone number: 0344 736 9000. I have H&M saved in my phonebook (what a state of affairs 🙈)
Okay, so you need to be able to multi-task. You need to try to place an order online AND on the phone. Hopefully, you’re still logged in – you’ll need to be in your account a  couple of hours before, as the site will probably crash way before 9am.

5. 9am: go, go go!

All systems: go. At 8:59am, phone H&M; you probably won’t get through and will have to call numerous times. If you’re lucky, you’ll get through to someone. Meanwhile, keep refreshing your webpage. You may just slip through! If you get in, search for your product as quickly as humanly possible and add to bag.

I normally have more luck on the phone… after several attempts at ringing, You see why I saved the number to my contacts – it’s quicker when you’re calling again and again. When you get through, use your notes to give the sales advisor, so they understand exactly what you want and will be able to process your order before the stock runs out! Also, tell them your name and name and email address you used for your H&M account. If you managed to put something in your basket, it should still be there.

6. Pay

This is where your H&M account helps you get through on the quicker. They’ll have access to your details, so you just need to confirm your payment card and security questions and then your postage address. Just confirm you want your order sent to the address on your account.

7. What to do if you’re not successful

You have up to 28 days to return your online order (online 3 days in store), so keep checking the website every few day, in case someone has returned a piece in your size! And you can always check out eBay, although be prepared to pay more than the RRP.

Pieces I predict will sell out in minutes

Silk scarf

A silk scarf with the signature Erdem print? At £25 this will be a steal.

Hoodies

There is a floral and logo hoodie. Everyone loves a logo – from previous years everything with a logo sells out first and doesn’t come back into stock and this year will be no different.

Tea dress

As the least-expensive of the dresses in the collection, and maybe the most versatile, I think this will get snapped up early on.

Don’t want to wait?

These pieces have an Erdem vibe, that you can get right now (fuss-free!):

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Autumn style | How to wear your summer clothes in the Autumn

By Posted on 21 3 m read 3.9K views

Summer to Autumn style

*Courtesy of lovethesales.com

Summer to Autumn style can be tricky. It’s sometimes warm, sometimes cold. One minute you’re overheating and the next you’re an ice cube.

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Five Fashion Fails: Lawsuits filed against fakes

By Posted on 3 5 m read 3.3K views

Real sues the fakes

It’s nothing new that the high-street takes inspiration from luxury designer houses. But when they go too far, the fakes can be sure there’s a copyright violation lawsuit coming after them for a BIG sum of money…

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What would Daenerys wear?

By Posted on 15 4 m read 3.7K views

Style Inspiration: Daenerys Targaryen

Unless you’ve been living under a (Casterly) rock, you’ll know that season seven of Game of Thrones is in full swing! …Even if you don’t watch it.

I’ve already written one post on GoT, but, the force of nature that is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, deserved her own post.

Dany’s style is forever evolving along with her character, much like Sansa’s, and as we all know, WINTER IS COMING so her costumes are getting darker as she prepares for war.

Let’s get to the part where I dress up 😉 I thought it would be fun to interpret Dany’s style if she were to live and breathe and walk through fire in our realm in 2017 (you know, if she wasn’t fictional) and I feel this gunmetal foil jumpsuit would be the kind of thing she’d wear.

*Disclaimer* This has not been photoshopped; that wild dragon happened to be there.

Jumpsuit: Topshop (colour out of stock) same jumpsuit in grey | Earring: Amazon | Necklace: Topshop (Out of stock) similar | Boots: Topshop

Although I don’t think she would pop into Topshop to try on outfits, cos for sure I think she would resurrect Alexander McQueen to custom-make her clothes from 24k gold spun silk and lizard skin, Topshop was the next best thing.

After all, she is Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, first of her name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men (claimant), Protector of the Realm (claimant), Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Mother of Dragons, The Unburnt, Breaker of Chains, Princess of Dragonstone… and all round feminist badass. Whew, that’s so long. Hands up if you just glanced over that part. I feel a meme is appropriate here:

10 Daenerys costume facts

  1. It took two and a half months and seven wigs to find the perfect tone of that ‘Daenerys silver-white’ hair. In my look, I put a few of her signature plaits in my hair.
  2. Sticking with the theme of hair, in the book when Dany emerges from the flames, her hair is completely burnt off. So, if the show had followed the books, she would’ve been bald for at least a season before her hair grew back!
  3. As blue’s a Dothraki colour, Dany wore a lot of blue dresses in season four, as a sign of respect and mourning for her late husband Khal Drogo.
  4. However, the following season sees her wearing white and pale colours as she asserts her authority. In the episode “The Dance of Dragons“, Dany wears white to show her neutrality as gladiators take to the fighting pit to battle to the death. Michele Clapton, GoT costume designer said:

    “Now she’s got this sense of power and also a sense of immortality. […] I wanted to give this rather untouchable quality to her. The idea behind the white and pale grey is the sense of removal, a removal from reality”.

    Michele Clapton

  5. Not a little-known fact, but for those who don’t know, Dany’s eyes should be purple. They tried filming the first episodes with Emilia Clarke wearing lilac contact lenses, but they were too uncomfortable, so they decided to film without.
  6. Dany’s armour-like dragon necklace, which she wore in the scene I referred to in no.4, was commissioned by a London jewellery maker Yunus & ElizaI drew Daenerys in this necklace which I added below 🙂
  7. …and YOU CAN ACTUALLY BUY THE ACTUAL JEWELLERY! (It’s pricey though).
  8. Dany always wears trousers and boots underneath her dresses, no matter how extravagant the dress. That’s why I chose to go with a jumpsuit for this look. It’s the best of a dress and trousers; the silhouette remains feminine, but is still more practical than a dress, whereas the boots toughen it up a bit.

    “There’s always a fear in her that she will have to leave so it gives her the freedom to always escape and run. If she had silly shoes on she’d lose all her strength.”

  9. In this new season, Daenerys is leaving her blues and whites behind and going for the dark colours like steel, charcoal and burgundy. After all, her house colours are red and black and she’s here to claim the throne in the name of House Targaryen. I love this necklace that I paired with the silver jumpsuit: with its layered silver chains and purple stone that looks like it could be a dragon claw, its the perfect touch to finish this outfit.

    Now you do finally start seeing [red] creeping in through the scaling and embroidery on her dresses. It’s just a touch. And she now has this fantastic new chain we’ve created. I didn’t want her to have a crown, I wanted her to have a chain.

  10. Gone are the floaty gowns in season seven. She’s going to a colder climate, so she’ll be more covered up and now that’s she’s a conquerer, her outfits are more structured and sharp to reflect that. Ironically, we see Dany’s outfit looking very reminiscent of her sadistic brother’s in season one – perhaps Viserys’ costume actually foreshadowed Daenerys’ success?

    Dany’s setting foot on the shores of her homeland and preparing to reclaim her birthright which means she needs an outfit that reflects her position of power.

    “She’s this figurehead of her army,” Clapton says. “I wanted her to be able to stand in front of the Unsullied and be their leader.”

    Michele Clapton

I hope you enjoyed this post!
If you think I’m a bit of a nerd after reading this, then you’re right! 😛 Let me know what you think of my interpretation of Daenerys’ season seven outfit in the comments ♥

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My drawing of Daenerys for my bestie!

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Game of Threads: the fashion behind the Thrones

By Posted on 5 6 m read 3.8K views

Game of Thrones: what are the secrets behind the show’s fashion?

The most successful and expensive show of all time needs no introduction. HBO’s Game of Thrones returns to our screens on 16 July and I CANNOT wait! What better time to delve into the world of the Seven Kingdoms and its fashion?!

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