A PLAN...

Monday, 28 February 2011


A


B
If someone buys me A, then I can do B. See?

{Isabel Marant Miroy sweater, sold out in this colour on Net-A-Porter. Photo from Metier SF which evidently sells lovely things. Second photo I can't find the credit for - sorry. Hate doing that.}

VERY SHORT FILM REVIEWS: PRE OSCAR EDITION...

Friday, 25 February 2011
There have been so many good films in the past year - it feels as if I go to the cinema every day. Here are some short and very subjective reviews of all the films nominated for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards.

Black Swan: Outlandish, ridiculous, slick, visually stylish, rollercoaster ride, reminded me of Rosemary's Baby. Natalie Portman will win best actress.

The Fighter: Christian

My Bullshit Beauty Secrets

Thursday, 24 February 2011


There are two things wrong with this post.  

First I am no Angelina Jolie, so i really have no business telling you my "beauty" secrets
and second, since I am telling you in a blog- it is not really a secret innit?

But, that out of the way, I am inspired by other beauty bloggers out there who share the products that make them pretty.  So, bear with me as I prattle on with mine.  This is going to be one egoistic post.

Maybe, some of you will relate but -
There are days when I wake up, look in the mirror and say- 
"Damn I look good!  I think i will spend all day outdoors as bare as Gawd created me so I can inspire mankind with my beauty."
And during those days- I have no secret worth sharing.  I just woke up that way, can't help it, sorry.

But then,  in my fort"aherm"cough cough  years of experience, I believe that only happened twice.  
First time is the day my braces were taken off and second is the time i met the lurv of my life long long time ago.  Stupid guy still don't have an idea we had a relationship in my head.  But i digress...

Most days, I wake up and say- gawd I look like shit.  

It is for those days that this post is about.

...

Ok, some background.  I have a sister.  She is the pretty one.  

Together, we are like Kylie and Dani Minogue if Kylie were a bit uglier (just a bit)  and Dani is damn cocky.  So really, I have no problem being the intelligent one- it was a given.
By request of my sister, I publish here the proof.
me in yellow, sister in blue.
Then in uni, my friendgirl had a crush on one of the varsity football players who trained in the same field as the women's varsity team.  So we both tried out for varsity football team and got accepted (i specialize in hurting the other team's star player).  Which gave way to bodybuilding, sprinting, basketball- as all varsity players tend to play together a whole lot of sports.  

In short, i got really fit.  Fit enough to enter the bodybuilding contest (but didn't- i backed out, i was then bikini shy).

And really- if your face is so-so- with a fit body- it compensates for a lot.
So i suppose, first secret is-
1. have enough vanity/reason to overcome laziness to exercise
Also as I am not the pretty one- i don't fuck around so much with my hair (just shampoo and occasionally some conditioner) naturally dried, not much combing, no perming or those fancy treatments- and whoah! my hair got to be really beautiful - so beautiful that it became a stuff of legends and that now,  i am looking for a manager for my hair.  I swear- here is proof.

Yup, that's my hair- hamming it up for the camera.


So, second secret is-


2. Don't fuck so much with the hair.

With both body and hair working for me,  I think i have the illusion of being pretty.  I find that hard to believe- and i think somehow, incredulity is also attractive.
Who amongst you can relate- you meet a handsome guy who is sooo aware that he is handsome and somehow it is a turn-off.  
Or take Kiera Knightley (a pet peeve of mine), doing her "Look at how ethereally beautiful I am" pose at the red carpet.  As in c'mon!
There would be times though when i start to believe that I am truly pretty.  Whenever that happens- a truly attractive girl strides by- to shatter this belief.  

Which leads me to the conclusion.  Beauty is relative to company.  

If I hang out with non-supermodels, then I can be freaking Ms Universe.  So, my gameplan was- avoid being seen with super models.

But as luck would have it, my greatest friends have always been beautiful women.  
Because- women who make an effort to be pretty are hell better company than women who keep convincing themselves that there is heroism in being ugly.  

So i would rather be with good company and have my beauty ego in check rather than with self sacrificing heroic fuglies and be Ms Galaxy.

So, my fumbling conclusion leads to the 3rd beauty secret-

3. Beauty is nice but not when you have to rub it in.  So, don't take it too seriously.

Ok, so enough with these useless secrets.  
Alas I am not born pretty and I need help.

The next step is to acknowledge the problem and that you want to do something about it.

So here are my problems- (sorry to bore you- but this will explain why i use what i use and that they might be something not for you).
  1.  I only have half an eyebrow each side.  
  2.  My nose hair is longer than my eyelashes.  Not that I have long nose hair but I have practically non-existent lashes.
  3. My eyes are blah.  
  4.  My lower and upper  teeth are edge to edge. (Normal people will have their upper set of teeth slightly protruding than the lower).
  5.  I have chin like "Guy Smiley" of Sesame Street
  6.  My skin tends to discolor with exposure to dirt, sunlight or to whatever freaking thing there is outside my bedroom.  And in a bad way- that it looks like eczema. 
But, it is important as well to see what can offset the downside.  These are mine-
1.  I have a good nose.  Thanks to my great, great grandfather who decided to  breed across continents.
2.  My lips aren't bad either.  If Jolie's lips were ruler of an intergalactic spaceship, my lips will be one of her commanding officers.  (Note to self, work on my humility).
And so, here are my beauty secrets that I spend money on.

For the facial skin- i do not use soap or moisturizer.  Really.

What I use is an oil based makeup remover/cleanser.

I lather it then wash it off.

Sometimes, when i need, I use scrub (a cheap generic version of the buf puf) but only occasionally.  I don't do facials.  But if my skin seems blah, i treat myself to hammam.

Result is- face clean of even the more resistant make up and soft.

Voila- one product.
Does it work? Well- In the industry, we have a super-advanced skin meter that can tell your skin age.  My skin age is 20 years younger than my biological age, so go figure.  But of course it helps i do not seek out the searing sun on purpose, i do not smoke or do drugs, don't drink hard liquor (just fermented alcohol-wine, champagne or the belgian beer-Kriek) and i sleep a lot.

When I say in the "About Page" that I need 14 products to look natural- that is so freaking true.

But I will have to disappoint some of you that I will not name brands- my focus will be on the texture and application as in really- these are beyond brands.  

Also, those of you who are experts may have to skip this - I am sure you will know better.  
It is only a matter of curiosity perhaps which BS i do and do not buy into.

MY FOURTEEN STEPS TO NATURAL

FACE (My face zero)
1.  Non pigmented make up base (Sometimes a primer, sometimes a tinted moisturizer).
2.  Concealer under eyes and where needed.   (liquid works best) the trick is in the blending.  I do not rub, i tap lightly.
3.  Liquid blush- on cheeks, nose bridge, forehead.  Also tapped, not rubbed.
For these first three steps, the secret is in the blending.
4. A powder base to set make up.   
The secret is in the control of amount applied.  Loose powder and pressed powder are trickier to control.  I find that easiest are those which are baked.  But if you are an expert in application, any powder, whether loose, pressed, extruded or baked should do.  Also, the bigger the brush applicator, the more even the result. 
5. Powder Blush (optional)
EYEBROWS (My specialty)
6. Eyebrow wax (sometimes in pencil format, searching as well for moustache wax which should function just as well and should be cheaper- any recommendation from fellow bloggers welcome).  They tame the existing brows in place.
7.  A hard taupe fine tipped eyebrow pencil.  To individually and lightly line additional brow strands.  There are micro tipped ones out there- i prefer those for finer point.
8. A taupe eyeshadow used to fill in gaps.  Applied lightly with chiseled brush.
9. A light beige eyeshadow applied at the browbone to create illusion of lift.
EYES
10.  A neutral light brown base over lid
11. A powdery black eye pencil OR
for more drama- a liquid eyeliner, applied ala Callas.
12. (Curlash, of course) One coat mascara ( False eyelashes for extra POW when needed)
LIPS
13. Invest in a really good lip balm (not those waxy Body Shop ones)
14. Lipliner applied throughout lips (these create an even naturally tinted look).  Shade is nearest natural lip color if only a tint darker.
Well I have addressed most of my flaws except for my Guy Smiley chin.  But I have learned to embrace it.  By now, I even convinced myself it is attractive.

But then if after all these, I still look crap...

Then I resort to the ultimate answer,

the one big beauty secret that we have in the industry...


...



...



....



This photo is nicked from 9gag

BLOGGERS + CATS...

It was sweet Pompon who first gave me the idea for this series about bloggers and their cats. As soon as I saw his little face on Hello Neest I needed to know everything about him. He is just so, well, look at him! I felt a bit disloyal to Lola for a while - I only had eyes for Pompon. It was very kind of Sandrine to agree to do this for a complete stranger, asking to interview her about her cat!

THE FUTURE...

Tuesday, 22 February 2011
When I saw via Twitter that Burberry was going to be the first brand ever to live stream its AW11 show from the advertising screens at Piccadilly Circus I immediately thought, what a brilliant idea. I know I'm always a bit sarcastic, but I've been genuinely enthused, as mentioned in the previous post, by the embracing of digital media at London Fashion Week. Burberry has been leading the way with

L.F.W...



This past week I've been gingerly dipping my toes back in the waters of London Fashion Week. I've had a bit of a funny, ambivalent relationship with it over the past few years, preferring instead to go to a few shows in Paris when I could and hide my head under a duvet for the duration of L.F.W. I first rocked up at L.F.W. as a wee young thing seventeen years ago, when I interned for designers

FLAT FEBRUARY...

Sunday, 20 February 2011



OK February, you can go now. Come on - out. I've had enough of you and your dank, dismal days. That's right, make sure you shut the door firmly on your way out. I keep reading about February flatness so I'm guessing I'm not the only one afflicted with it. Can we all be miserable together? We'll form a band.

As much as I'd like to swiftly dispatch February as I would a too persistent Jehovah's

BLOGGERS + CATS...

Thursday, 17 February 2011
I hope you've got your fur tuxedos* at the ready, because Lola is now ready to present the next in our series of Blogger + Cat interviews. And who better to feature than Pony and Oreo, the sweet furry companions to Anabela of the very brilliant Fieldguided. Anabela has more than proved her allegiance to cat freakery by being the co-curator of the sublime Dreamcats tumblr, where soft focus kitties

STUFF I LIKE AT THE MOMENT...

Wednesday, 16 February 2011
*OK Scott Sternberg from Band of Outsiders, I feel like such an underachiever. Not only are you really good at making clothes, but you've also got an amusing and well written blog about your obsession with cookies. 

*Films for a fiver on Tuesdays at the BFI. Do you have any idea how much I love BFI Southbank?  Yesterday I saw Truffaut's Silken Skin (La Peau Douce) and last week, Jules et Jim (

MODERN ROMANCE...

Monday, 14 February 2011


A page from my Paris scrapbook.

All weekend, I was treated to (or subjected to, depending on your perspective) snippets of other people's St. Valentine's Day celebrations. On Friday night, sitting at a bar waiting for a friend I became vaguely aware of the couple sitting next to me. She had a small pile of unwrapped gifts resting on the bar next to her - most of which seemed to involve

BLOGGERS + CATS...

Thursday, 10 February 2011
First up in the new series of cat interviews is the delectable Quincy. Jaja of July Stars has absolutely impeccable taste, so it naturally follows that this extends to felines.



Photo montage by Jaja






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CAT CURIOSITY...

Wednesday, 9 February 2011
Since the very beginnings of this blog, I've been conscious of (but perhaps not successful at) not coming across like a totally crazy cat freak. This blog may be Lola in name, but there is very little of her in these pages. It would be a very different blog if I filled it with stories of Lola and Georgie, Lola and Beans, Lola and Omar and Sophie, Lola and the squirrels; or her thoughts on the

SPRING...

Monday, 7 February 2011

 

Kiki D. getting botanical in the spring Boy. Band of Outsiders lookbook. What, pray are those strange and pretty things on stalks she's picking? Ah, yes. Flowers. I remember those...

Top8 Bullshit Tactic: Statistics On Steroids

Saturday, 5 February 2011

(Author's Note:  This post is male friendly)



I have been absent just a teeny bit while.
Not that I have been lazy, but my writing seems to have momentarily lost its mojo.  Could be PMS.   And I refuse to post anything substandard so I slightly lowered my standard at least for now.
Anyway, back from a great party!   The Liberty Ball 2011- so great that I had to commemorate this post’s picture to it – even as the Ball organized by a very good friend of mine, the fabulous James Rogers
doesn’t have anything to do with the bullshit I am about to divulge to you. 
On to today's business of bullshit-
Those who have read my past posts would know of my –
Top Ten Bullshit Countdown aka the top ten tricks I use to make you spend money. 
These are so far :
and now on to number 8-

Top 8 Bullshit Tactic: Shoot my Statistics with steroids
It is a scientifically proven fact*  that if I give two descriptions and one is supported by statistics, no matter how ambiguous the words that accompany those numbers- you will find the numbered description- more credible.
(*just google it- there must be some other asshole who claims that crap out there)
For example,  Consider this-
"This lipstick has so much moisture that you’ll need Baywatch to rescue your lips from drowning"
Against this-
"98% of women found a 30% difference in moisture even 6 hrs after application"
See what I mean?
Also, of course because we do know Baywatch does not rescue drowning lips.

Magical- yet, so easy to do.

Give me any crappy product and I can weave a convincing steroid shot statistic about it.
How?   
Just a good sized panel and lots of ambiguity.
First- I choose a big enough panel (a group of testers) so that even if I get 1 or 2 negative answers, the % of positives is still a high enough number.  
To illustrate-
  • In a panel of 6, if 2 said no – that means 4/6 or 67% positive feedback.  Not good.
  • In a panel of 10, if 2 said no- that means 8/10 or 80% postive feedback.  Good but not high enough.
  • In a panel of 20, if 2 said no- that means 18/20 or 90% positive feedback.  That is good!
So, my panel size has to be at least 20. Can be much more but that unnecessarily increases my costs.



Then, I ask my panel an ambiguous question where a positive answer is almost inevitable.

For example-


TESTER 1:
Lab Tech :  Did you notice a difference in moisture of your lips when you applied the lipstick.
Tester  1    :   Well... just very slightly.
Lab Tech :  So, that's a yes.  Thank you.

 TESTER 2:
Lab Tech :  Did you notice a difference in moisture of your lips when you applied the lipstick.
Tester      :   Yes. It felt drier.
Lab tech :    Yes or no only please.  Did you notice a difference?
Tester      :   Yes- but….
Lab Tech : That will be all thank you.
Lab tech writes-
"I therefore conclude that out of  23 women tested, 100% found a difference in their moisture level after lipstick application."

Just how widespread is this bullshit practice?

Well, one of my readers (who I cannot name just yet because I haven’t asked her permission to be quoted and named) working from one famous retail channel has this to say, and i quote …

I work in premium beauty at *** and dealt with clinique, chanel, dior, lauder, clarins, ysl, etc and I felt like I was the only one in all our meetings thinking 'this is bullshit!' when they spouted all of these amazing product claims for their upcoming launches.
When we came to promote their new wonder anti-ageing products, we asked them for clinical trial information since *** has a strict legal department that won't let us say anything unless its been proven.
No clinical trail info ever emerged from any of the brands despite all their assurances that they had been conducted (by them!). I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.
And do you ever wonder, why at this age of high speed information dissemination and transparency, these brands do not publish these clinical tests?

I tell you why-

because it cannot withstand scrutiny.  

My fellow beauty bloggers, want to have a bit of fun seeing your brand names squirm?  
Ask them to publish their tests.  C'mon try it!  
It will be like asking that supposed "single" suitor of yours to see his flat.  Heehee.  

Now, though statistic-steroid-shooting biatch I may be, do not be too hasty to cast that stone.
As there is this wonderful thing called the placebo effect working for you, me and the good of all mankind.   So long as you believe, so shall it be- why else do you think religion is so popular.

And so, your lips will feel drowning in moisture as my statistic suggested it would be.

Who's your beauty messiah?  Who is?
...

Most of you may not know and I will take this chance to brag about it - that this may be the only beauty blog that attracts real hetero non-makeup wearing male readers.  It could perhaps be due to my infallible unisex logic or the fact that I swear a lot.  But I am pretty sure it is not because of my modesty.
Since we are on the subject of bragging- I was named best beauty blogger by a Finnish newspaper.  At least, that is what google translate said.  Heehee.  Thank you! 
Anyways – male readers, before you snicker at our feminine foibles, do not even think that you are exempt from this placebo effect of shoddy statistics.
Proof?
See exhibit 1 here, something from the film Anchorman, based on a true story. 
Placebo effect:   "60% of the time, it works everytime!"


Exhibit 1: Hetero male under placebo effect


THE MATTER OF THE BOOTS...

Friday, 4 February 2011

*****SOLD*****
Well, this didn't turn out the way I expected. I finally admit defeat, not in the matter of the vertiginous champagne holding Alaia boots, but in the matter of the See by Chloe boots I thought were sensible. I have to admit, these boots, beautiful as they are, are not just half a size too small for me, but a whole size too small. Therefore, they have been worn for a sum total of a