Wednesday, 24 April 2013

India Hicks Visits Toronto and Now I Long for Island Living!

I had the pleasure of attending a talk Tuesday night with India Hicks at Toronto's Design Exchange. India's jet-set lifestyle and family history have always intrigued me. Her father was celebrated interior decorator, David Hicks, and her mother, Lady Pamela Hicks, is the daughter of the Earl of Mountbatten of Burma. India is second cousin to Prince Charles, and she was a bridesmaid at his wedding to Lady Diana in 1981. 

India Hicks at Toronto's Design Exchange

India's career began as a model for Ralph Lauren - one of the first lifestyle ambassadors. It is safe to say that India Hicks is now a lifestyle mogul whose brand now encompasses fine jewellery (her "love letters" are a fave of Oprah's), beauty products, and home décor. She recently launched her home décor line on HSN.

India Hicks Love Letters
India Hicks stunning pillows!

India's talk highlighted how different island life is compared to being raised in a stately home in England. The school run sees her taking the children to school in a golf cart instead of a Rolls Royce. India had the audience in stitches as she showed us photos of her mother's Elnett-sprayed helmet-hair in the sixties. India was sporting a straight "do" of sleek blonde highlights courtesy of Yorkville's Greg May Hair Architects.

She shared with us the time her parents were arguing and Lady Pamela threw a glass of Coca Cola across the room, hitting a wall. Instead of her father becoming outraged, he was thrilled to discover that the rich colour of the dripping Coca Cola was the perfect glossy brown shade to decorate the walls with. 

We learned that her father was the inventor of "tablescapes". David Hicks was brilliant at mixing classical pieces with modern art. We viewed several images of her father's tablescapes as well as photos of projects he designed for Helena Rubenstein (purple chairs inspired by the lining of Helena's skirt) and Vidal Sassoon. You've heard of Christian Louboutin's red soled shoes? Well, David Hicks designed red heels WAY before Louboutin.

David Hicks invented the red heel before Louboutin!

Look at the lush green palms in the background. I'm green with envy - I long for Island Living!

Island Living - with style, and linens!

I am no stranger to the India Hicks Island Living line from Crabtree & Evelyn. I get so many compliments when I wear the Spider Lily body lotion on its own. If you don't like strong perfumes, but still want a soft, understated fragrance, just wear the scented body lotion. Mix it in with unscented body lotion if you want an even softer version. 

So...what a delight to find on my chair at the Design Exchange a full sized bottle of India Hicks Island Living ultra-moisturising Hand Therapy. The cold chill of winter has left my hands in dire need of moisture! This hand cream is truly therapy for hands and it is so much richer than most hand lotions/creams. A little goes a long way. 

Island Living Hand Therapy

I may not live on an island in the Bahamas, but I can close my eyes (and dream) and enjoy the fragrances of Island Living. India may be jet-set, but she always returns to her island paradise. Check out India's website to see how you can incorporate a little Island Living into your everyday lifestyle. Lastly, everyone knows you need good reading material on the beach - I would recommend Lady Pamela's book "Daughter of Empire: Life as a Mountbatten".

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Drugstore Mini Haul - All on Sale!

I wasn't supposed to go out and spend money on cosmetics this weekend. But, I couldn't resist. Basically, I can't walk by a Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall without going in for a quick peek. When I travel to the USA, the FIRST place I head to is Walgreens and CVS and their cosmetic's aisles.

I had recently redeemed Optimum points at Murale, the high end cosmetics and skin care boutique owned by Shoppers Drug Mart, so I felt the need to BUILD up my Optimum points Shoppers Drug Mart. Doesn't that make sense?

At Shoppers, I found several items on my wish list ON SALE: the much-talked-about Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer. And Maybelline Fit Me Foundation, in the HARD TO FIND ultra fair shade of 110! Up until yesterday, I have only been able to find Fit Me Foundation in shade 110 in the USA. That's right, Florida, land of bronzed beach babes stocks the ultra pale 110. Pale Canadians rejoice - 110 has arrived!

It's alway wise to "shop around", so I headed over to Rexall to see what might be new on their shelves. What's new? How about the AMAZING Ardell Color Impact Demi Wispies in colours like PLUM and BLUE and GREEN? Wow! These are not cheesy Halloween colours, these fabulous false lashes come in soft, flattering shades such as plum - to enhance green, brown, and hazel eyes. I really wanted to buy the lashes in every colour, but I only bought the "Plum" shade as it will enhance my green eyes. 

Also at Rexall, I picked up YET ANOTHER eyebrow pencil - but it was on SALE and has been on my radar for at least a year: the Skinny Brow Liner by Annabelle in "Universal Medium".  It features a retractable skinny pencil and I love the neon pink brush at the other end. It is a total dupe for Christian Dior's Universal brow liner, and I highly recommend choosing the "Universal Medium" shade as it will work on almost anyone.

Another product that I have been searching for ever since I saw how GORGEOUS Katy Perry looked wearing it at the Grammy Awards: Rimmel's Glam Eyes shadow trio in "Orion". These soft, neutral shades work beautifully to define and contour your eye shape. I love that Katy wore MEGA lashes to resemble (in her words) her style inspiration: Priscilla Presley in the late sixties. I love this look, and you could basically recreate much of this look with everything I bought: the pale foundation and concealer, the brow pencil and shadows and especially the false lashes to add that fluttery late sixties glamour. Just add a nude lip. Katy wore Rimmel's Lasting Finish lipstick from the Kate Moss collection in shade 003, but just about any nude will do.

So now you know why I can't resist drugstore makeup - how GLAM and GORGEOUS does Katy Perry look? And all created from makeup from the drugstore! You don't need to spend a fortune on makeup to look fabulous. Take your time in the cosmetic's aisles. Use the testers to find what suits your skin tone. Try something new, like a winged-out eyeliner, or using a matte bronzer to contour your cheekbones. If you can find these gems on sale - what a bonus! Take the money you saved and do what Katy Perry would do - Wake up in Vegas!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Pop Stars, Models and Aerobics - It Must Be 1984

1984: a Cosmopolitan Look at Life

April 1984 was all about the worlds of pop music and fashion colliding in the most exciting way. Every model was dating a rock star. Jerry Hall and Mick Jagger, Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek, and of course, the much admired Renée Simonsen and Duran Duran's John Taylor.

Cosmopolitan April 1984 (photo: Scavullo)
I don't have a time machine to take you back to 1984, but for now,let's dive into a few pages of Cosmopolitan's April 1984 issue, featuring cover model Renée Simonsen photographed by the legendary Francesco Scavullo. If you dreamed of dating a pop star, and who didn't - Cosmopolitan was full of the beauty, fashion and fitness tips you needed to closely resemble a rockin' Cosmo Cover Girl.

I would stare at the makeup ads and try my best to recreate the makeup on my teenage face. Kim Alexis had the most beautiful face and was a favourite model for cosmetics campaigns. Who remembers Ultima II makeup? It was owned by Revlon. I love the Art Deco style of this ad. Kim looks stunning here:

Kim  Alexis for Ultima II

Artfully applied makeup was one way to turn heads in 1984, but there was pressure to be fit. In came the AEROBICS craze of the '80s! Gyms and fitness centres sprouted up on every street corner. There was a ton of nylon and lycra - and Maybelline's Shine Free cosmetics line had this special offer for you: their 100% nylon "running outfit" for only $8.25!

Maybelline gets in on the fitness craze!

Speaking of running - who can forget OJ Simpson's run from the police in 1994? OK - it was a Bronco chase on the highway -  but only ten years earlier, OJ Simpson and Nicole Brown were featured as Cosmopolitan Magazine's COUPLE OF THE MONTH. Whoa! I have no words.

OJ & Nicole - Couple of the Month 1984

OK, I lied - I have a few words: Run Nicole, Run! I love looking through these vintage magazines to see how things have changed over the years. Where are the supermodels now? Former model Kathy Ireland is a billionaire entrepreneur. Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson are hot on Kathy's heels. Are any of the rockstar/model couples still together? I can think of only one: Paulina and Ric.

Today's fashion magazines still promote beauty, fashion and fitness, but they don't have the  unique charm (and cheesiness)of the '80s magazines. Yes, we're lucky to have our pilates and yoga classes, but wouldn't you just LOVE to walk into a neon-lit aerobics class all dressed up in your baby pink leotard? With your Sony Walkman on? Oh, I miss you 1984!