19th March 2014

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For Spring

March is such a hopeful month, somehow. Hellebores, lambs and birdsong; pink ceilinged, dusky days, longer days, which make you start to forget the bleak of winter. It’s filled with possibility.

The scents that are redolent of that green promise to me, and that you should know about, are the following:

Cristalle by Chanel: Should be worn by a boyish, sexy gym teacher who drinks gin and tonics. There’s something oddly enigmatic about Cristalle, I’ve worn it on and off for years, always in spring- time.

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For Spring

 

Buy Cristalle by Chanel

 

Muguet du Bonheur by Caron: Pure, creamy Lily of The Valley, which is given in France to those you love on May Day. This scent is warm and blonde.

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For Spring

 

Buy Muguet du Bonheur by Caron 

 

Fleur de The Rose Bulgarie by Creed: Green as a lawn of trampled roses after the rain. And it was worn by Ava Gardner. Need I say more?

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For Spring

 

Buy Fleur de The Rose Bulgarie by Creed

 

Eau de Soir by Sisley: Citrus, amber and musk, this is for women and not for girls. It has a ghost of one of the Guerlain greats. The poster girl would be Parisian and complicated. 

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For Spring

 

Buy Eau de Soir by Sisley

 

Joseph Parfum de Jour by Joseph: I wore it as a teenager. It crackles with hyacinths, lily of the valley, rose, amber and ylang ylang. Will forever remind me of wearing Mac Spice lip liner, black bomber jackets and white jeans that were too tight, and fancying boys called Tristan. A classic.

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For Spring

 

Ysatis by Givenchy, in honour of Daisy, who wore it for years: Ysatis is something I remember stealing from my grandmother’s dressing table. It’s bold and mysterious; a musky floral that is just the right side of trampy. It speaks of borrowing your sister’s favourite dress and putting it back in her cupboard without telling her you ever took it in the first place. 

Sophie Dahl on her favourite Scents For SpringBuy Ysatis by Givenchy 

Chanel 24th April 2013

Beauty: must-have Chanel waterproof eyeliners

We adore these long-lasting Chanel eyeliners on numerous levels. Firstly, the shades are great: Santal, a gorgeous, rich brown, and Grenat, a delicious claret colour, have to be our favourites. Then they have a soft, silicone-enriched formula which makes them soft enough to apply with ease without being smudgy. Even the shakiest of hands can pull off a smooth line. The line lasts the day, without migrating under your eyes and it’s the perfect in-between eyeliner; not as sharp and statement-making as a dark liquid line, but not messy like kohl. Finally, it’s easy to remove, despite the word ‘waterproof’ in the title.

bronzers2 28th June 2012

Best Bronzers

Now that it looks like summer might actually be here, we’re turning to the best bronzers to help hide our pale wintry-skin. Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel is a firm favourite for giving a subtle and believable tanned glow. It’s a crème gel formula and best applied with a large brush for subtle enhancement. Or if you don’t want shimmer with your tan, Guerlain’s Terra Pour Homme men’s bronzer is a top seller (for men and women) and comes in a kabuki-style pot with its own brush.  At £34 and £37.50, neither are especially cheap but once you’ve made the investment, you’ll wonder how you did without.

JohnLewisBeautyHall2 3rd May 2012

Beauty: John Lewis’ new multi-million pound beauty hall

Liberty’s beauty department may be small and kooky and Selfridges’ bright and buzzy but John Lewis’, on Oxford Street, is about to become the best beauty hall of them all. If you’ve popped in recently you’ll have noticed some sparkling new counters and a lot of hoarding but, today at last, the new multi-million pound, 18,000 square feet beauty hall will be revealed in all it’s glory.

What makes it so different? Firstly, it’s very calming. The new layout – with upscale brands like Chanel and Burberry occupying little boutique spaces – means there’s room to roam around without being accosted every five seconds. Jo Malone fans will squeal at the size of its new ‘shop’.

Secondly, it’s retained its great mix of hi/lo: from L’Oréal to Crème de La Mer, Klorane to Dior (they are exclusively stocking their new BB cream until mid-May), plus fab pharmacy finds and good value natural products.

Thirdly, it has the most amazing selection of beauty accessories, from old fashioned – think rows of vanity mirrors and hot water bottles – to whizzy essentials for DIY beauty treatments.

So all in all, it’s gone from pedestrian to rather dazzling, while retaining its reassuringly sensible vibe: you’re not going to lose your pretty head in here and spend a fortune on snake blood skin care. Well, unless you buy something from Rodial, that is.

pink lipstick 1st March 2012

Can I really wear candy-pink lipstick?

Here’s a confession: I wear minimal makeup (my only obsession is foundation but even that ‘disappears’ in a couple of hours so I’m left looking barefaced and shiny.  I’ve tried primers, I’ve tried bases, but still no go.)  Despite having been madeup by professional makeup artists for numerous magazine shoots, I still can’t seem to tackle a dramatic eye look and whilst I occasionally wear a slick of bright red on the lips, I’ve since lost my favourite Chanel lipstick which I haven’t been unable to replace.  So I’m not the most obvious candidate for this season’s bright candy-pink lipstick, as worn by Blake Lively below.  Matte, almost neon in colour with a definite eighties touch, it somehow strikes me as fresh and bold and something I’d like to try.  But can playful makeup trends really be worn by those past their 20′s?

I start by making a list of my top lipsticks and head to Harrods to try them out, only to be told that they don’t stock most of them.  Head over the road to Space NK, I’m told in a whisper, they have what you need.  So over I go and hey presto, they have the magic NARS semi matte Schiap pink as worn by Lively which, whilst I like the pop colour, looks rather flat and feels dry on my lips.  Definitely for teens or twentysomethings. Next I try a Rouge Terrybly from BYTERRY in Torrid Rose 303 which gives the same colour but with more of a soft texture and a little shine.  I like it but it will definitely take time to get used to it (looking at myself in the mirror with such colourful lips gives me something of a shock!)  So I try something a little sheerer, a SHU UEMURA supreme shine in Wine 256 which is ultra glossy and definitely more wearable, as is a DIOR Lip Glow which is really a lip gloss that gives a high shine in the same pink colour.

My verdict?  I decide to buy the Rouge Terrybly and DIOR lip shine and know that whilst I’ll be wearing the DIOR right now, when I have more of a tan and summer is truly here, I’ll have the Rouge Terrybly right up my sleeve.


Can I really wear candy pink lipstick?

Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 12.37.06 22nd September 2011

Exhibitions: Postmodernism and the Power of Making at the V&A

There are two brilliant, informative and above all, fun new shows at the V&A. The first, which is their biggie for the autumn, is Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990, opening this Saturday, which examines how a provocative architectural movement in the early 70s become mainstream by the late 80s. Vivid colour, theatricality and exaggeration were the signature style of ‘New Wave’ where everything was a style statement and avant-garde and commercial spheres merged. As usual with these V&A shows, it runs the gamut of everything from film (Blade Runner) to music (Grace Jones, Talking Heads and New Order are played overhead), magazines (i-D) to ballet (Jeff Koons designs for the Armitage Ballet, 1988) and art (Richard Prince, Peter Saville, Jenny Holzer) to fashion (Karl Lagerfeld putting the ‘bling’ into Chanel when he joined in 1982). It’s a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously but at the same time traces the journey of this controversial design movement that feels truly contemporary – and for any child of the 70s feels very familiar!

The second show is called Power of Making, and is about the role of craft. There was a huge queue to see it when we went which shows how popular and well put together it is. It displays 100 crafted objects, from a life-size crochet bear to a fine metal flute and the meticulous expertise that has gone into making each piece. All of the pieces are completely unique (ceramic eye-patch, anyone?) but mesmerising and like the Postmodernism show, it reveals a real passion and joy in the making of things.

Screen shot 2011-09-21 at 12.37.06 22nd September 2011

Prize draw: win a year’s membership to the V&A and see their latest shows, Postmodernism and the Power of Making

There are two brilliant, informative and above all, fun new shows at the V&A. The first, which is their biggie for the autumn, is Postmodernism: Style and Subversion 1970 – 1990, opening this Saturday, which examines how a provocative architectural movement in the early 70s become mainstream by the late 80s. Vivid colour, theatricality and exaggeration were the signature style of ‘New Wave’ where everything was a style statement and avant-garde and commercial spheres merged. As usual with these V&A shows, it runs the gamut of everything from film (Blade Runner) to music (Grace Jones, Talking Heads and New Order are played overhead), magazines (i-D) to ballet (Jeff Koons designs for the Armitage Ballet, 1988) and art (Richard Prince, Peter Saville, Jenny Holzer) to fashion (Karl Lagerfeld putting the ‘bling’ into Chanel when he joined in 1982). It’s a show that doesn’t take itself too seriously but at the same time traces the journey of this controversial design movement that feels truly contemporary – and for any child of the 70s feels very familiar!

The second show is called Power of Making about the role of craft. There was a huge queue to see it when we went which shows how popular and well put together it is. It displays 100 crafted objects, from a life-size crochet bear to a fine metal flute and the meticulous expertise that has gone into making each piece. All of the pieces are completely unique (ceramic eye-patch, anyone?) but mesmerising and like the Postmodernism show, it reveals a real passion and joy in the making of things.

And if you like the sound of both shows, then we have a super-duper prize to give away this week which will enable the lucky winner to not only see both shows free of charge but all V&A exhibitions for a year. That’s right, we’re giving away a whole year’s free membership to the V&A! Just enter your name below and we will pick one lucky winner at random after 5pm on 13th October 2011.

Screen shot 2011-05-11 at 19.02.48 12th May 2011

Shopping: Poppy Delevigne and Vanessa Barneby’s fashion sale

There are girls who buy great clothes and those who have fabulous style. And then there are those who manage to combine the two. Our old Vogue colleague, Vanessa Barneby, is one such girl so we were pretty excited to hear about a fashion sale put together by herself and model, Poppy Delevigne. In aid of the breast cancer charity, Too Many Women, there will be clothes from Chanel, YSL, Gucci, Issa, Burberry, Mulberry, MiH jeans and many, many more plus vintage designer wear too. And when you’re done shopping, there is even tea and cupcakes, with manicurists on hand too. What more could you ask for, really?

Screen shot 2010-11-24 at 16.39.53 25th November 2010

Prize Draw: Chanel Riva Nail Polish

We’ve got our hands on the hottest beauty item of the year: five bottles of Chanel’s brand new Limited Edition Le Vernis Riva Nail Polish. First revealed at an outdoor fashion show in Saint Tropez earlier this year, when models were dropped off to the beachside catwalk by a flotilla of classic Riva boats, this pastel blue lacquer is already fast selling out at both Selfridges and Chanel stores. No more are due in we’ve been told, ever.

Whether you want to snaffle it for yourself or impress a friend/relative for Christmas, to win a free nail polish send an e-mail labelled ‘Chanel Riva Nail Polish’ by 16th December to prizedraw@a-littlebird.com (please see also terms and conditions here), and we will pick five lucky names out of a hat.

Good luck!


68_1 15th September 2010

Shopping: Kerry Taylor Vintage Fashion and Textile Auction

Kerry Taylor is the force who runs Sotheby’s couture auctions where frocks go for fortunes. But Taylor also runs her own auction house in South London where you can get fantastic items at much more affordable prices. We once scored a whole slew of Chanel and Ferragamo shoes for about £100. This season’s auction has a wide range of items from every decade, including loads of particularly good Ossie Clarke and some unusual 80′s pieces. You can visit Taylor’s warehouse (vintage fashion heaven), where everything is on display two days before the auction, or check out the lots online. You can bid online too, or by telephone, though the actual auction is always good sport, not only for the thrill of making your own bids, but because you get to see costume designers battling it out with vintage dealers.