Archive | October, 2011

Want to Look Like Pippa Middleton?

30 Oct

Remember Friday 29th April 2011? It was the day of the wedding of the century, everyone waited with bated breath as The Queen´s 1977 Rolls-Royce Phantom VI drew up in front of Westminster Abbey, awaiting their first glimpse of the future Duchess of Cambridge.. What gown would she be wearing? How long will her train be? Kate stepped out of the car and all eyes were on her beautiful Alexander McQueen dress of antique lace, a 40s line confection with a deep v-neckline and corseted bodice..

But wait! As Kate prepared to enter Westminster, our eyes swiveled to focus on a different white dress.. A gorgeous ivory, figure-hugging, satin-based crepe, cowl front dress, on the enviable figure of none other than the Maid of Honor, Pippa Middleton!

“Who’s the knockout bridesmaid?” chorused a billion men around the world, previously indifferent to the whole event. Suddenly they weren´t so bothered about changing the channel anymore as Pippa, in all her honey-skinned, pearly toothed, tousled-haired splendour came a cat’s whisker away from stealing the whole show she looked so gorgeous!

Now you too can steal the bride´s limelight! (Just kidding, brides can wear this too 🙂 ) Debenhams, one of the UK´s leading department stores, have created a budget version of the £20,000 Alexandra McQueen bridesmaid dress after being inundated with customer requests for a copycat version of the floor-length ivory gown. This version is almost exactly the same down to the last detail, including the covered ivory buttons running down the back of the dress. It differs in one important detail though, at only £170, it won´t burn a big hole in your pocket!

The high street version of the Pippa bridesmaid dress was launched this week at the Oxford Street Debenhams store in London, with a Pippa lookalike to model it. The department store also have their own version of the Alice Temperley emerald-green gown worn by Pippa Middleton to the evening reception, also a snip at £99.

So, if your figure (and bum!) is as sleek as Pippa´s, now you know how you can create her look, Princess sister not included 😉

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Halloween Weddings…

28 Oct

Fancy throwing a wedding with a twist? Looking for something non-traditional and still incredibly beautiful? Look beyond the carved pumpkins and cobwebs, a Halloween wedding is very versatile and can be so stylish! You can go for a dark, goth-inspired event or go for a brighter look with orange or red settings and little bags of treats.. Incorporate elegance with pure holiday fun!

Antique dress details: A slim fitting dress in the Mortica (Addams Family) style would work nicely, go for ivory silk for a more modern look or red or black (think Vera Wang) for a more gothic one. Try touches of color and antique embellishments, think a dark-hued sash cinched at the waist on the ivory dress, or lace gloves and an embellished brooch for the dark one.

Different up-dos: Try a mussed-up, Victorian style up-do or long, flowing curls pulled back with a bejewelled hair accessory.

Bouquets with a flair: Bouquets of dark red flowers with plumes of black feathers to add drama, day lilies in light shades of orange or orange-hued roses mixed with autumn leaves and other flowers will complete your look.

The bridesmaids: Slim fitting black, red, purple or orange dresses with high necklines will look great!

The man of the hour: Have the groom wear a black tuxedo with a red cummberband or try a swallow-tail coat with a top hat. Red and black stripey socks can add fun to this look.

Beautiful table settings: You can either go for thick dark materials such as velvet in plum tones for the tablecloths with black charivari chairs with padded seats and old-looking candelabras that hold different sized candles as centerpieces, or keep the tables cream or ivory with orange sashes on the chairs and fill apothecary jars with black and orange Halloween candy for a more light-hearted look.

Apple appetizers: Serve your guests apple martinis, rum apple cider topped with whipped cream or apple (or pumpkin) margaritas while they wait for you to arrive at the reception.

Pumpkin-ize your menu: Try mini pumpkin tarts as appetizers or pumpkin cheesecake bites for dessert. Serve with red wine or punch to keep in with the Halloween look.

Spooky wedding favours: You have a very wide range to choose from here. Try little bags of sweets such as black M & Ms, mints and eyeball/finger/pumpkin shaped candy, packets of pumpkin seeds to plant, scented caramel, apple or orange candles or, my personal favorite, cookie cutters in Halloween shapes, because we are “cut out for each other” 🙂

Dancing the night away: You can go for all the old favourites such as Thriller, Ghostbusters, and the song from The Addams Family to be played on the dance floor, but I would also suggest having an organist play at your ceremony and a pianist play solo during the dinner.

The cake: You could choose to serve a red velvet, carrot or pumpkin spice cake along with the more traditional vanilla and chocolate flavors. Have it frosted with decadent cream cheese frosting decorated with black or red ribbon bands to coordinate with the rest of your wedding day details. The topper could include pumpkins or autumn leaves alongside the bride and groom.

Those little extras: For the reception, you could hire a magician to entertain the kids or a fortune-teller to set up in one corner and give readings to your guests. Hire a photographer to take pictures of your guests on a spooky photo set. Use a velvety curtain for the backdrop and deck out the set with old furniture and fake spider webs. Include easy-to-wear props for your guests like hats, gloves, and boas.

Remember, if you want your Halloween wedding to be chic, the most important rule is that of simplicity.. adding too many Halloween elements may leave your wedding looking more like a costume party and less like an elegant event. If you want to go full on however, glowing candles, grinning pumpkins and a moonlit night are a great beginning for a Halloween wedding theme 🙂

The perfect Halloween wedding may take a bit of planning but it will be worth it as it will be on everybodys lips for years to come!

Beautiful Hair at Home Sweet Home!

24 Oct

Who doesn´t want glossy locks? I know I do! There are loads of treatments on the market but have you ever tried making your own? You´d be suprised at how well they work.. Here are a few tried and tested homemade conditioning remedies that work just as well (and dare I say better??) than most shop-bought ones, not to mention how much kinder they are to your purse!

Olive oil: This oil is a natural conditioner. Slightly warm the oil through and apply all over your hair. Wrap in a warm towel and relax with a book (And a glass of wine? 😉 ) for 30 minutes. Rinse off and then shampoo your hair as normal to take away the greasy texture. You can also leave this on overnight with a shower cap over your head.

Olive oil & lemon: This is great for dry and brittle hair. Pour 1/2 cup of olive oil in a bowl and add an egg yolk (you can use the white to make a great protein snack.. French omelette!). Mix this well then adding a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave for 10 minutes max. Rinse out. If you´re not going anywhere, I´d recommend you to wait until the next day but if you have to go out and about after this treatment, wash your hair with a tiny amount of mild shampoo afterwards to take away the eggy smell.

Avocado mayo mix: Combine 1/4 mashed avocado and 3 tablespoons of mayonaise in a blender until the mixture is smooth. Apply to your hair and cover with a shower cap. Leave for 15-20 minutes and then rinse off with a gentle shampoo.

Sweet and silky: To get mega soft and shiny hair simply mix 1/2 cup of honey with 2 tablespoons (for greasier hair) or 1/4 cup (for dry,brittle hair) of warm olive oil, apply to hair and gently massage in. Cover with a shower cap and lie back for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo well.

Yogurt silk: To smooth those flyaways, blend 2 cups of yogurt and 4 tablespoons of honey with a few drops of vitamin E oil (this is a fantastic antioxident moisturiser too, add a few drops to your face cream for normal to dry skin). Apply to wet hair, leave for 30 mins then shampoo out.

Egg, oils, butter and yogurt: This is especially for Afro or really dry hair. Combine 2 eggs, 30g caster oil , 15g olive oil, 30g melted unsalted butter, 60g plain yogurt and 1 banana in a blender and refrigerate overnight. Apply to the hair in sections, making sure you coat it all well. Leave for 20 mins, shampoo out and go!

Tasty treatment: If you have damaged hair, this is the one for you. Mash a banana with a few drops of almond oil. and massage into hair. Leave for 15 mins and rinse with soda water.

Papaya to go: Blend a ripe papaya sans skin and seeds in a blender with half a cup of yogurt and apply to hair to get rid of split ends. Wash after 30mins with warm water.

Tropical treatment: Peel and mash an avocado and add coconut milk (A little at a time until it has a “conditioner” consistency). Comb it through the hair and leave for 15 mins then rinse for lush smelling, soft hair.

Bottoms up mask: Mix one cup of warm beer with teaspoon of jojoba oil and massage through hair. Rinse and shampoo.

Lemon or vinager rinse: After shampooing hair and before conditioning, pour one cup of either of these over hair. Apply your usual conditioner and rinse. Your hair will be sparkling and shiny! Leave 2 weeks between each treatment.

Herb rinses: Mix 1 teaspoon of the herbs with a few cups of boiling water and leave for 1/2 hour. Add 1/4 cup apple cider vinager and mix. Pour over hair a few times after shampooing.

Herbs for oily hair: Lemon peel, peppermint and lemongrass.

Herbs for dry hair: Chamomile flowers, nettle and elder flowers.

Proper haircare will really pay off. Remember also not to over brush your hair and only ever use a broad toothed comb on wet hair. Get the ends cut regulary and don´t over do on the styling! I blow dry my hair regulary but I always have at least one day a week where I let it dry naturally.

Prepare to toss that beautiful mane! 🙂