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Crack, baby crack

Crack, baby crack: May 2012

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

On giving up smoking.

I love cigarettes. I love the smell, the taste and the opening of a new packet. Until now.

After a friend disclosed that he has lung cancer and only being 3 years older than me, I decided to quit smoking on Saturday. It is one hell of a wake up call when that happens. I'm a 40 a day smoker of ready made cigarettes and roll ups when I can't afford to buy ready mades. Notice I'm talking in the present tense. That's because I will not consider myself as an ex-smoker when I can go a full day without just one cigarette or no longer need nicotine replacement.

Now, what has this got to do with make up and beauty? Lots of things. One, it makes your skin look very grey no matter how much exfoliant one uses. The skin around your lips and on your fingers become stained with nicotine and tar. Yes, a delightful yellowy brown colour. If you have platinum or grey hair, it gets stained the same horrible yellowy brown colour. That is just the cosmetic disadvantages of smoking.

Wrinkles around the mouth and eyes appear much faster than if you do not smoke. Basically, premature aging. To be honest, if instead of showing pictures of dead bodies and the man with the huge raggy moustache and tumour on his neck, they showed pictures of a mouth like a cat's arse and eye wrinkles the depth of the Grand Canyon, more people would give up. Phew, that must be the most grammatically awful sentence I've ever written.

We all know the dangers - we were shown photos of cancerous lungs when we were teenagers at school. Yet some of us started smoking after that because as teenagers, we are invincible. We think it'll never happen to us because we're different and besides, we can give up any time. Except we don't We think that smoking is cool and glamourous. And it is. It is until its too late and you're dying of cancer and emphysema. Many of our beauty icons are pictured smoking from Coco Chanel right up to Kate Moss. Davidoff, Dunhill, Sobranie and Vogue are all cool, glamourous brands of cigarettes. Its ironic that they exude glamour and wealth because by the time you're on the other side of 35, you're not glam and rich through smoking.

(Right - Coco Chanel and Salvadore Dali)

I think I look like this and always will look like this:

When in fact, I'm on the way to looking like this:

As awesome as Dot Cotton is, I don' think I want to look like her in ten years time if I carry on smoking. Neither do I want to die a nasty death. Anyway, with the price cigarettes are these days (between £6 and £8 per packet), we're just working to smoke instead of saving or having more awesome things. Yep, I want to keep on not smoking and have more money. It's better in my pocket than the Government's and tobacco firms pockets.

Do you smoke? Do you think about quitting?

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Monday, 14 May 2012

Audrey Hepburn and Hubert de Givenchy

This post was inspired by the photo below. Its one of the best street shots I've seen in a while and was over the moon to find that it was of Audrey Hepburn and her closest friend, Hubert de Givenchy. 

Hubert de Givenchy studied fashion design at École des Beaux Arts in Paris before making use of his family's contacts to design for Jaques Fath in 1945. He then honed his talent by designing for Lucien Lelong, competing with Christian Dior amongst others. He then moved on to work with Elsa Schiaparelli (who inspired the vibrant pink of Nars's Schiapp lipstick) until 1952 when at the age of 25, he opened his own salon. His designs were influenced by his idol and mentor, Christóbal Balenciaga. The clothes were revolutionary for the time by being carefully tailored, simple and feminine. 

In 1953, Audrey Hepburn was sent to Paris for an appointment with Givenchy to fit the clothes for her film, Sabrina. He wasn't expecting the shy diminutive Audrey, instead, expecting to see Katharine Hepburn. He told her to pick anything she liked for the film and she immediately took him at his word. She knew exactly what she wanted and asked him to adapt a few things to fit her frame and make them appear more unique. 

Sabrina went on to win one Oscar - for costume design and sadly, Givenchy was not given the credit. It went to Edith Head. Hepburn promised it would not happen again and she stuck to her word. From then on, Givenchy designed most of her private and film wardrobes, the most famous being The Little Black Dress from Breakfast at Tiffany's. He also created a perfume that was exclusive to her - L'Interdit. 

The above advertisement for the perfume states "Once she was the only woman in the world allowed to wear this perfume. L'Interdit. Created by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn."

Their collaboration extended to a lifelong close friendship. In 1992, after being told her cancer was inoperable, she was too ill to fly on a commercial flight home to have her last Christmas, Givenchy arranged a private aeroplane to take her home to Switzerland from California. He attended her funeral on the 24th January 1993. 

Lisa Eldridge has a video on the make up worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. It is a wonderfully detailed piece on how and why it was created for the film and also how to adapt and get the look for yourself.

Photo of Hepburn and Givenchy from Awesome People Hanging Out Together.

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Monday, 7 May 2012

The Tangle Teezer.

This brush is the best hair brush in the world. I could just leave it at that but the statement needs qualifying. So, this is the best brush in the world because it took out every single tangle, knot and tat out of my hip length hair. I hadn't been able to brush or comb my hair for the past week because I've been rather ill and Scot was scared to do it for me in case he really hurt me.

I was considering getting it cut off but read about the Tangle Teezer on a Facebook group and bought one today when I saw it in Boots. I tried it out and lordy does it deliver on the promise it makes. It really does slip through the tats like a hot knife through butter. Of course, you do have to section your hair off (especially if it is as long and as thick as mine) and work through it that way. Highly recommended for anyone with tangly hair, especially small children. I wish it was available when I was a kid and had to endure my mother ripping through my hair every day.

The Tangle Teezer was designed by one Shaun Pulfrey, a colour technician (A hairdresser who specialises in colour), who upon seeing that some hairdressers had trouble combing out freshly coloured/highlighted hair, decided something needed to be done about it. He spent years perfecting the design so that the brush would glide over and gently untangle the hair, wet or dry, without making more knots or getting stuck.

He went to Dragon's Den to try to raise funding to get the brush manufactured on a larger scale, offering 15% of the profits but they rejected his idea with one saying it was a 'hare-brained idea' (Baboom-tish). Undeterred, Shaun managed to raise alternatives funds (re-mortgaging his flat, according to the Daily Mail) and Boots agreed to stock them. It now sells in over 27 countries.

What it does

It untangles dry and wet hair with little to no effort and pain. Start from the ends and work your way up to the roots.

 Also useful for combing (well brushing really) conditioner through the lengths when washing hair.

What it doesn't do

It does not hold up to heat well so cannot be used for drying hair. It will melt into your hair and require scissors to remove. Don't put it on a radiator to dry either.

Tangle Teezer website

(I am not affiliated with the company in any way, shape or form.)

Mine cost £10.99 from Boots. I'm going to get the leopard print one next time.

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Sunday, 6 May 2012


I apologise for being absent for a while.

Normal blogging service will be resumed this evening.

I have a ton of posts that I want to write out and share with everyone; ranging from the best hairbrush in the world to the best bronzer I've ever used. Trust me, it's going to be awesome.

Thank you all for the views and follows. It's very much appreciated :)