Sunday, 30 December 2012

The phrase that came into my head when I was ruminating on 2012 was, I wouldn't have it any other way. The past year has been an adventure and a goodun - it had momentum, surprise, twists and turns, spontaneity; a certain non linear poetry. At the end of 2011 things were not looking even slightly good in my world. If you'd asked me in January 2012 what I was going to do this year - who I would


Friday, 21 December 2012

40 Maltby Street is my absolute fave of the year for the ambience, food and location under the arch. There isn't a time of day or evening it doesn't suit perfectly. As great to pop into on market day for a snack and a glass of wine as for dinner with a group of friends. I love it.

Runners up:
Ducksoup, although I don't end up going there much because if I'm in Soho I'm usually


Wednesday, 19 December 2012
I was genuinely shopping for Christmas presents for other people when I walked straight into the path of these Celine slippers. Burgundy and navy in one shoe? Really comfortable butter soft leather, can wear them all the time, plus enabling friend's encouragement? Then a slight wobble about do they possibly look like the kind of slippers that Boycie from Only Fools and Horses would have worn - I


Sunday, 16 December 2012
God, I was obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany's between the ages of about twelve and eighteen. Some people still associate me with the character of Holly Golightly, which is odd. (Especially if you've read the book!) I sort of forgot about it in recent years, even though my standard bearer for male/female relationships is still probably the romantic friendship between Holly and Paul(Fred); as


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Things that are unbleached, things that are red/cherry/burgundy, things that are APC, a hat that is small,  linen from Paris and a porcelain lampshade from Venice if you're wondering what that thing is.



Thursday, 6 December 2012
It's too early in winter to start saying I miss summer isn't it?

Ah well, timing was never my strong point. I want to do a shop update but I've been struck down by that stupid virus everyone's going on about, so it might be a few days yet. I want to do a lot of things...

In the meantime here's a new London winter post up on HiP Paris by me and two good films I watched this week (one very


Sunday, 2 December 2012


This is but a tenth of what I ate in November, as believe it or not, I don't Instaz every single thing I eat. Compared to what really went down, it looks positively virtuous. I have no pictures of the oysters, lobster and enormous ribeye steak smothered in béarnaise at Hawksmoor - in between the Connaught cocktails and Ruinart (now known simply as Ruin) champagne - and whatever


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

A satisfied customer! Gabriela is wearing the APC cardigan from my shop. This is fun! It fits her way better than it ever fitted me and I love that I have a picture of it in its new life! What I loved that she now loves... perfect.

There will be another shop update this week - until then the few things left in the shop from the first update will have free worldwide shipping.



Tuesday, 27 November 2012

It's true, there is inspiration everywhere! This is the view from my favourite brutalist motorway service station 'somewhere in England.' While others dunk biscuits in their tea, text and read the paper at this nowhere land, I gaze out of the window and imagine various scenes of imaginary films being shot here.  It reminds me simultaneously of Twin Peaks and Let The Right One In (


Thursday, 22 November 2012
*The winners of the Archie Grand Secret Agents I Met and Liked notebooks are:

Leah Dunn




{Can you email me with your addresses please at lolaisbeauty(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk}


Wednesday, 21 November 2012
It's now been eight months since I cut all my hair off and I know you've probably been frantically beside yourselves waiting for an update on how that's going; despite my almost refusal to post photos of myself here so you can't even see what it looks like or how it looked before.

I had it cut in the spring - my long hair felt like it was literally weighing me down: it would snake round my neck


Monday, 19 November 2012

At the William Klein exhibition at Tate Modern they showed the film Contacts and it has stayed with me ever since. William Klein narrates as he goes through his contact sheets:

A picture is taken at 125th of a second. What do you know of a photographer's work? 100 pictures, let's say 125. Well, it's a body of work. That comes to, all told, one second. Let's say more like 250 photographs. That


Saturday, 17 November 2012
After two years of procrastinating / sneakily squirrelling away souvenirs from all my travels, putting aside barely worn clothing loves and generally pondering how to do this, my shop is finally here!


In it you will find souvenirs from most of the places I've been lately: Venice, Paris, Lisbon etc etc... All bought on a one for me, one for you basis in the same way I'd bring back


Monday, 12 November 2012
My friend Tommy first told me about the Little Bread Pedlar. Leila's, who never used to sell croissants for lack of decent ones in London, discovered and started selling theirs. With the Tommy/Leila stamp of approval and a bite of one of their croissants I was intrigued to know more.

They have a unit at the Spa Terminus part of Maltby Street and recently opened a shop/cafe in Abbey Street around


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I don't usually do giveaways or promotional stuff, but since the nice people at Archie Grand address me in emails as "Splendid LIB" I will make an exception. To coincide with the new Bond film Skyfall, which I still haven't seen, I've been given a few of these chic, neon coral coloured Secret Agents I Met and Liked notebooks to give away.

You probably haven't met that many secret agents lately


Monday, 5 November 2012

The drinks at the Connaught Bar are among the most expensive in London: more expensive than a martini at Duke's, as expensive as the Ritz and I can't really get my head around anywhere that serves more expensive drinks than Claridges. How could anyone want anything that is more expensive than, yet is not Claridges. (I ask myself.)

The jumpy, confused staff that kept reseating everyone


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

So this is Canova's Temple in Possagno. It's rather imposing, a bit like Rome's Pantheon being plonked in the countryside next to a little town. I only poked my head inside and it seemed to be used as the local church? I also saw a regular parade of pensioners pulling up to the bottom of the steps in beaten up Fiat Pandas, then carrying large boxes inside. Hopefully they contained props for a


Sunday, 28 October 2012

In Asolo, about an hour's drive from Venice, there is a Cipriani hotel with a beautiful garden you can have a spritz in. 

With a view...

That is breathtaking...

And a pomegranate orchard...

We went for a stroll around the town...

The place we had lunch at was called Al Bacaro and was really perfect for an early autumn day. I ate lots of polenta. The restaurant


Thursday, 25 October 2012



All'Arco on a Saturday lunchtime. By 12.30 a long, wide queue stretches out of the door. Regulars squeeze along the side of it and inside, straight to the bar to order - remarking to others that everyone's waiting in line, but hardly anyone's inside. Only the uninitiated wait in line. We eat steaming, freshly cooked polpette, cicheti with robiola, truffle and mushroom;


Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I'm getting my autumn wardrobe together and I've identified a severe lack of skirts. Happily, the Family Affairs autumn/winter 12 collection is up online now and the Frankie skirt might just have to be mine. I also wish that the tiger headband had gone into production, but alas I think it is stylist's own in this case, so I will have to steal it from her somehow instead. Continuing the Family


Monday, 15 October 2012

...what the status of Mr G's oranges is currently? I know you are wondering this too.

Don't worry, I will go and find out for you.


Thursday, 11 October 2012
I can barely keep up with all the major cultural shenanigans in London this autumn, and that's just looking at my own diary. Why is there so much stuff in it? I don't have time for all this fun stuff. But I do seem to have squeezed in writing a guide to autumnal London events here.

Or you can read it below:

As autumn draws in, the cultural goings-on of London start to head inside and ratchet


Thursday, 4 October 2012
It is a fine and delicate line when one has a blog named after a cat. If it becomes too feline oriented, people start introducing you by saying, "She's got this cat blog," or family members say things like, "I'm sorry you're not having any success except with your cat blog interviews," and you become despairing. You slow down on a fine feature like Bloggers + Cats, then Karl Lagerfeld followed by


Sunday, 30 September 2012
Here's my latest Paris vs. London lunch rant - written for HiP Paris. Read it over there, or below.

I was born in London, and have lived here all my life apart from extended sojourns to other parts of Europe that are more conducive to joie de vivre, and, well, Paris. I can’t help but compare the two lifestyles and poor London always comes limping in at second place, looking all harassed with its


Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Bougainvillea, oleander, almond, eucalyptus, olive and orange and lemon trees - these are my absolute favourite plants, perhaps because they won't grow where I live due to the lack of warm sun. I can't be easily pleased and be into rose varieties can I. In the last picture the black blob on the windowsill is Dirty Bertie - I took this on the first day before I realised he was


Sunday, 23 September 2012

Autumn is here. I know this because I've already got my regular trans-seasonal cold. Making the bitter pill of impending winter easier to swallow: The first sighting of parrot tulips this week, burgundy Bass Weejuns, which bring my current shoe rotation up to 100% mens / unisex shoes. But that's ok, because I'm still into silly girl stuff like the new *FRENZY* nail polish from Chanel. I


Saturday, 22 September 2012

Just a cat friend I met in an Andalusian mountain top village.


Friday, 14 September 2012
It's been rather a long time since we talked about Diana Vreeland here, hmmm? In fact this year has been quite DV intensive for me, as Lisa Immordino Vreeland (who is married to DV's grandson Alexander - who I met! Wonderful suit, excellent shoes, lovely man) has been rolling out her project on DV: The Eye Has to Travel. First, I missed a screening of the film back in February, then I went to


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Friends, since we last spoke I have seen such beauty. The day after my last post I headed away from August's blue moon and straight towards the sun and the mountains. My ports of refuge and regeneration would usually be the sea or Paris, but spending a few days on the edge of a mountain turned out to be just what I needed - a place I will never forget. One morning I woke up to watch the sun rise


Friday, 31 August 2012

{It's Getting Late by Massy Tadjedin for Miu Miu FW12}

{And behind the scenes of the Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott shot ad campaign}


Thursday, 30 August 2012

I had a fun assignment taking photos of my friends' beautiful house for a locations agency recently. It's available now as a space for stills and film shoots. I wonder what will be shot there? Can't wait to see Unit signs round the hood and Winnebagos parked all down the street. Excitement!

There are more photos of the house and the listing here.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Oh thanks Valentino, for giving me an extremely ungracious Veruca Salt style meltdown. These were supposed to be MY shoes, I was willing to save up for them and everything. I would've preferred the red patent low heels they had in the show but I can't even find those for sale anywhere in the world.  Actually the black suede ones are kind of beautiful, first pic. Want them. Want them all. Now.


Monday, 20 August 2012


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Today marks a decade since I brought Lola home from the cat rescue. She wasn't a kitten when I got her; she'd already had a litter of kittens, which is how she'd ended up on death row. We're not sure of her actual birthday, so this is her official birthday. In ten years she's gone from being a batshit crazy insane psychopath to a less batshit crazy insane very sweet, utterly contrary,


Tuesday, 14 August 2012
In case you don't follow me on the Twits and missed the link there, {here's} my August London events round up for HiP Paris. And feel free to inform me of any er, hip upcoming September events I definitely need to know about.

So far this month in London I've really been enjoying eating at the eponymously named Jose and Pizarro in Bermondsey Street. I think I prefer the more casual tapas at Jose.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

One more photo from Paris last month, before I resume normal blogging activities. Although, I'm not sure what normal blogging looks like anymore. It's all gone a bit weird, hasn't it? I mean, the internet/blogging side of things. Instagram obviously has a lot to do with that, but as wonderful as Instagram is, I can't write on it. But I don't seem to be writing much here anymore, and I don't


Friday, 3 August 2012
 Here is an unwinding spool of Instazzes from July in no particular order except chronological, which it seems pertinent and useful to post here on the assumption that there might be one or two people left in the world who aren't checking Instagram every three seconds. I guess it really is summer, even if the weather doesn't often feel like it. A summer of eating, drinking, friends, children,


Monday, 23 July 2012
I had worried that Paris was no longer mine. Not in the way it was when I was going there (this is my 85th post here about Paris) regularly: being greeted like an old friend by the gardien, taking the laundry to the Pressing, watering the pelargoniums, buying my favourite yoghurts, stopping for an apero and ambling around in the neighbourhood of the Haut Marais as if we belonged to each other. My

I ♡ ROMA...

Tuesday, 17 July 2012
{Here's} a link to my latest post for Fathom on how to roam like a Roman, you know, when in Rome.

And below are some snaps I took at the Porta Portese flea market that I didn't post before.

Baci xx


Thursday, 12 July 2012
I had dinner at Nanashi in the haut Marais with lovelies Tiffany and Mia - it was so yummy, kind of like Rose Bakery (the chef is ex-Rose) but Japanese-y. That's my official review. I had a bento box with fish and a glass of Vouvray. It was perfect on a rainy night and of course, Clemence Poesy was there, stalking me as usual. (It cannot be coincidence!)

I think I have a vague memory of someone


Saturday, 7 July 2012
You can read my first London events post for HiP Paris, on non-Olympic things to do in July, over here. They're mostly of the open-air variety - ha. As they say, "There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing." 

David Bailey


Thursday, 5 July 2012


Sunday, 1 July 2012
Back in March, I took the first photo below on my Canon AE-1 during my last lunch in Venice at L'Arco. Then probably somewhere between Marco Polo and Gatwick this happened. Eventually I got the camera fixed and set to using up the film here and there over the past month or so. I wasn't sure if the film was ok, and couldn't remember what type was in there. By the time I came to develop the film I


Friday, 29 June 2012

 June started on a culinary high note in Rome with good coffee, spaghetti all' amatriciana, fragoline, aperitivi and gelati. 40 Maltby Street cheese and wine brunch with C, Pintxos at Pix in Soho and Affogato at Gelupo on the Queen's Jubilee with Charlotte and Jeanine, coffee and lavender and pear cake with Laura at Fernandez & Wells, my secret detox weapon at Rose Bakery at DSM,

Stop and Smell The Bullshit

Thursday, 28 June 2012
Well hello there stranger, thought your world could use some rocking today.  A little post from your friendly neighborhood bitch.

Recently, at a Body Shop in Brussels, I was asked to sign an international petition against animal testing in cosmetics. 

Oh, what a delightful gem of an idea, protecting those cute fuzzy little bunnies, I thought to myself... isn't the world such a beautiful place?

But then, an alarm went ringing in my head that said:
This is what I saw in my head:

The end.

Author disclaimer.  
The author does not take the side of pro or anti animal testing here (Well, at least not in this post).  Just that you stop and smell the bullshit  before you commend in haste  anyone's seemingly noble actions.


Tuesday, 26 June 2012

I thought my subconscious was up to something. Despite the cold, wind and rain, I'd been amassing quite a little trove of clothes in light cotton prints more suited for exotic climates. I even bought a white and leopard print APC canvas bag to carry my camera in, like a summer bag! (Online it's full price, but it's on sale in stores.) There's usually no point in buying summer stuff here, since


Saturday, 23 June 2012
On the summer solstice I had my first experience of legendary Punjabi restaurant Tayyab's in Whitechapel. Regularly listed as one of the best - and cheapest restaurants in London, it was only because I happened to walk past it on my way to a private view of C's upholstery class that I ever thought of going there. I'd always thought it was probably one of those over-hyped places that's listed in


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

© Slim Aarons

It has come to our attention that numerous mainstream news outlets have run features on Choupette Lagerfeld, the big KL's kitten. Fashionista, in an alleged "interview" asks "Choupette" about her daily habits and rituals, favourite foods and past times. Choupette's alleged Twitter account currently has 7,783 followers.

This is clearly a thinly veiled attempt to jump on our


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Rome, June 2012. Where the sun shines every day, everything is beautiful and the answer is always yes to gelato.

{Disposable camera snaps and a few digitals thrown in.}


Sunday, 10 June 2012
Sometime in the past year I stopped wearing perfume, ever. I've always been a serial monogamist with scents, but in the past few years the perfumes I chose became lighter and lighter until I realised that the En Passant I sprayed every morning was only noticeable, and only to me, for about four minutes. And I'm not really the kind of person that carries their perfume round for re-spritzing


Thursday, 7 June 2012

The night before I went to Mexico uh... a while ago, my friend Lauren and I attended an event for charity in a storied private London palace overlooking Green Park. We, as tradition dictates, took an aperitif at the secret martini bar to start, where another customer was so overwhelmed by Lauren's style and grace she was almost in tears.

We walked around the corner to the party,


Monday, 4 June 2012

In fact quite the opposite! Have been roaming a lot lately, most recently in Rome. More soon - baci! x

{Can't find a credit for First photo of Monica Vitti credit: AP, the second the internet is telling me is by Helmut Newton - could be possible I suppose, but unlikely?}

Rowena Dating 101 (aka why perhaps I am single to this day)

Friday, 1 June 2012


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I'm really into these chambray twill (is there such a thing?) high waisted '70s shorts that belonged to my mother. I've been wearing them on and off since I was about 13 and with the recent freak hot weather here, I've been wearing them a lot - strictly in the garden or on the beach you understand, although they're pretty good to wear under short dresses around London. It's also not lost on me


Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Maybe it's all the time I've been spending by the sea and hanging around with people who are obsessed with boats, but my current wants are all very rope related.

{Braid trim mod dress/Emerson, Magnitude plait fishbone ring/Ayako Kanari, Rope and gemstone bracelets/The Vamoose}

Just Sharing: What P'trique has in his Beauty Bag

Friday, 25 May 2012


Wednesday, 23 May 2012
I'm still struggling to get out of the Mexico frame of mind, and I'd really rather be downing strawberry daiquiris and pelican watching - but since I got back I've been super busy. I really hate it when people say that, so you know I'd only make that excuse if it was really, really true.

Then last weekend was my dad's 70th birthday party for family down on the south coast. It was an epic event


Thursday, 17 May 2012

{My disposable camera photos}


Monday, 14 May 2012

Some published and unpublished Instagrams to tide me you over until I get my three films developed. I didn't have my phone on me much in Mexico or at all when we went out, so these are taken around and about our hotel and beach.

I so enjoyed seeing hibiscus, bougainvillea and oleander blooming profusely everywhere - plants which just die in our English climate. I would look at the


Friday, 11 May 2012


Adios pretty, cute, colourful Mexico clothes - I will miss wearing you. Many of you had sat unworn and neglected in my wardrobe since buying one of you per year in a fit of hope during English summers' past. Gracias - I loved taking you out and about in the Mexican sun.

Hasta... well I don't know when, but we will meet again my light cotton lovelies.

*p.s. the handmade embroidered


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I find that my Svpply is a fairly accurate barometer of my thoughts and preoccupations at any one time. 

{Details here.}


Sunday, 22 April 2012
Before the great rains of April came, this happened.

Balmy weather, half a cider before lunch, days on the beach, shorts, sandals, binoculars, all the beach huts but a few still closed for the winter, bracing swims in the freezing sea (not me). And that was that.

How to Hop Over a bench in a Miniskirt

Saturday, 21 April 2012

(This is a repost as I am rewriting the post this originally came from)


I've been having some slight technical issues with my Canon A-E1 recently...

The winding on arm has disappeared. Where it is, I couldn't tell you: at the bottom of the grand canal, on a plane, buried in the sand on a Dorset beach? Wherever it's jet setting, it's gone. So I bought a back-up Canon AE-1 body for cheaps on ebay to strip for parts and... you know how the winder on arm is not


Tuesday, 17 April 2012


I am very regretfully selling these Persol 0649 sunglasses - which I LOVE with their Marcello Mastroianni connotations and general extreme coolness factor - because they do not fit my stupid face! My cheeks (stupid cheeks) stick out so the bottom of the frames stick on them. Annoying.

I thought I'd offer them up for sale here before anywhere else.

The colour is Havana (24/51).


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Nails, nails, nails; navy, navy, navy; Family Affairs tiny stars and Fellini stripes; rings, rings, rings; Dr Martens Alfred white soled brogues, vintage polka dots; peter pan collars; le fresh cut.


Thursday, 5 April 2012

Castello di Miramare, on the Gulf of Trieste. It was completed in 1860 for the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife Charlotte of Belgium. In 1864 they left to become Emperor Maximilian and Empress Carlota of Mexico. In 1867 Maximilian was assassinated in Mexico and Charlotte returned to Castello di Miramare, but she 'slowly lost her reason' and was taken back to Belgium by


Monday, 2 April 2012
I'm two weeks behind and still have loads to show from Venice. But it's about time I got to the point.

This year, as it sometimes does, my birthday fell on Mothers' Day. (In the U.K. but not the rest of Europe.) All props to mums but I don't have one and I'm not one - so trying to celebrate your birthday when everyone around you is celebrating mum-ness can be a little... grim?

So this year I


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

{1 - 5, Venice; 6, rainy day in Trieste; 7, 8, Castello di Miramare; 9, 10, How to walk in Venice; 11, say hi to my fake Venetian boyfriend.}

Top 6: Those Pestering Patents

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Author's Note:  This post can also benefit male readers, with special kudos to my colleagues from engineering.  (Sorry, I missed the reunion.)
This article is part of a series countdown- Top Ten tactics to Make you buy More cosmetics.  
I have done 10, 9, 8 and 7.   

Now for the Top 6:  Those Pestering Patents.
I got three words about patents...  sneaky little bastards.

Let me tell you why-

Publishing Vs. Patenting

If someone gets to concoct something really innovative, she can do either of two things:
  • One is to divulge it so that the whole world benefits - that is called publishing*
  • Or keep it exclusive so that whoever uses it, pays a price- that is called patenting.
This is  the main reason why cosmetic companies hire an army of researchers, formulators, engineers and chemists- because anything they "discover" while working for the company gets to be denied to the whole world for the company's financial gain.
*A little piece of  trivia- only those who publish their discoveries, innovations and inventions are eligible for a Nobel Prize.  No glory for those who dig for gold here.
Perhaps you would say- well that is fair, after all,  if they worked for it, they deserve to reap financial gains.  Right?

I would agree (my father was an inventor and when I was a wardrobe-deprived teenager, i wished he cashed in from his inventions so I could have had more of those fantastic 80's Dynasty shoulder pads - but i digress)...

...  BUT sadly, that is just half of the story.

28,462 Patents and counting... 

L'Ucifer claims to have 28,462 patents... but, tell me, are your wrinkles gone yet?

You see, 99.99%  of the time, a product will not have any stupefying effect on your skin- and yet, stupid moisturizer can have as much as 478 patents.  What gives?

Allow me to briefly explain the technicalities of patenting.

What can you patent really?   
You cannot patent just anything, silly!  You must have something über-extraordinary like ...
  • A "Miracle" Formula.  If you use whale sperm extract like everybody else, why, you can still patent your formula to contain 1. 2875%  sperm whale while rest of the world use 1.28748%.  And don't be shy about it, miracle worker you!
  • A "Magic" Ingredient.   What? Your sperm extract comes only from atlantic-swimming albino whales?  Extra patent points for you oh pioneering one!
  • An "Innovative" container.   Increase the diameter of your competitor's lipstick case by 0.025mm, change its curve by 0.0025° and round the edges .0018mm more and voila!  Don't see a difference?  Well, numbers don't lie- so advance to GO and collect 500.  Your "innovative" case is now patent worthy. 
  • A "Special" Delivery System.  So, you think my mascara wand looks like any other?    Well, mine has exactly 207 hair filaments which are 3cm long twisted 8.5 times with a torque of 500joules in a .02mm wire*.  Who is special now?
    *I might not be making sense here, forgot most my engineering studies you see.
  • A "Pioneering" Idea.  Hmm, seems to me that none of my competitors has thought of patenting this idea we all are using.  Well let me do it for them then and sue the ass of everybody else!  (See this post for more juicy details on this one.)
Ok.  But let us say for example that I have this stupid moisturizer that doesn't do shit, really. (Heehee!  Don't they all?)

And what if  I have a technically-challenged marketing bitch (who also goes by the "original" name of "marketing guru" or "marketing ninja") that couldn't be bothered to get into the nitty-gritty of patenting.  What then?

Meet  "Pestering Patent's" worthy sidekick- "Trademark, the Traitor"

Instead of calling my cream a "stupid moisturizer"*, we shall now call it the  Pro-ultraelectropixellizedhyaluruminizingpieceofmiracleXTM,  give it a snazzy logo and a "scientific" illustration of silver hexagons and double helixes and  trademark the damn thing.
* Marketing gurus and ninjas never (and i mean ever) call them "stupid moisturizers" as we have been properly indoctrinated to believe in our own shit.
You know, something like this-

For your reading pleasure, I have included here fine examples of "stupid moisturizers" other aliases.

See all these fancy products below?  They all answer to one generic name....

--- stupid moisturizer.

Now, why patent if there is nothing innovative after all?

I think you all know the answer.  But here is a clue anyway.

Patent is Still Pending yet Money's Already Coming

And you know what else is so beautiful?  The patent pending claim.  Absolute genius!

You see, after I have filed for my patents, (for a very small price, mind you) and way even before it is proven or accepted (can take a few months to a few decades) - why, I can already advertise that I have a patent pending application and give you all the illusion that I have the fountain of youth in my hands.

A concrete example- remember this product?

When it was first launched, it claimed to have been the result of 10 (or 20- but 10 bullshit year difference doesn't  matter really) years of research and 20 pending patents (or a stupid number like that).

Years hence, where are 'em patents now?

Maybe this article will give you a clue as to what becomes of disapproved/expired patent applications.

But disapproved or not, doesn't really matter.

What's important is - that I was able to launch with a big bang, made a mark on you dear consumers with an illusion of a miracle who in turn gave the Council of the Clueless enough money to wipe their arses with.

And to this I have those sneaky little bastards, patents and trademarks to thank for!


Monday, 26 March 2012

An entire roll of Portra 160 I took in Venice and Trieste has a thin red line through every picture - oh well! (Top tip: Portra 160 + Venice = perfect.) I'm going to take it back to the lab since I don't see the line on the negatives and it's not a light leak - hopefully it's something that happened during processing and can be re-done. So annoying because I really want to show you those photos


Sunday, 25 March 2012

 Paolo Roversi shoots Prada for Vogue Italia. I love the mix of colour sliced with black and white.

Deborah Turbeville for Vogue Italia Couture supplement (which I've never seen in England?) Valentino Couture - wow. Turbeville also shot the spring/summer 12 Valentino campaign, which I love for its natural dappled light and shadows. Models who look like humans in natural poses who happen

Conned to Blog

Thursday, 22 March 2012
Author note:  This post is a writing exercise to get my blogging mojo back.  It is the story of how I got started blogging.  There is no useful practical make up knowledge here, though it is dang scandalous anyway. 
This post was prompted by two things:
  1. A fellow blogger suggested that I get raging mad then start writing as a way to get my mojo back.  And I remembered that this was how i got started- mad!   So I am revisiting my stressor (as Criminal Minds would describe it), to help trigger back the fire in my loins.
  2. I was reading Donald Trump who said - "When somebody hits you, hit them back harder"  because if you don't, you are one big schmuck who deserves to be taken advantaged of.  
And so, here goes the story of How Beauty and the Bullshit was born...

I had the idea of Beauty and the Bullshit while I was still in the beauty industry.  I was not allowed and didn't have the time to write it back then but I registered the domain name anyway.

When i quit the biz, in spite of all the material I had, I still did not have the inclination to start blogging.

Years later, while struggling with a new business that I launched in Belgium, I was introduced to a smooth-talking, gay Asian version of George Hamilton who I will not hide with the name Miguel Sarmiento.
I have been warned that Miguel has a shady past.  That he conned people to lending him millions in Manila and fled on a one way plane ticket to Singapore to avoid jail and/or death.  His then roommate just found himself locked out one day because Miguel didn't pay the rent and was gone.  Without a word.  
In Singapore, Miguel found work assembling cellphones and would swing by classy bars after work to find a man that will save him from his misery.  He found a rich gay Belgian national whom he married and had then settled comfortably in Belgium.
Miguel admitted to his past, and adds...
I have learned my lesson.  I have come clean to my husband who has paid off my debts.  I have changed and am a new person now and i hope you give me a second chance.
And so his ex-roommate forgave him.  And that was how I met him, introduced by his ex-roommate, our common friend who visited me in Brussels that time.
However, we found out later that Miguel never admitted his past to anyone else in Belgium.  In fact, he insinuates to be a relative of one of our country's ex-Presidents and that he left the country because he is pissed off by how stupid our people are*.
Anyway, Miguel has aspirations to be internationally known and to go back to our country with a vengeance.  His plan was to establish himself as the new version of Robert Leech of the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous series fame of the eighties and to do that, he will first start blogging.

Problem is, Miguel is grammatically challenged.  And that is where I come in.

He begged me to write for him while my business has not yet taken off.  I declined, but after a lot of prodding, begging, courting on his part, I agreed, on the condition that he pays on time.  So I wrote, he paid a partial sum and then kept me hanging week by week for two months promising the rest of the money.

Money never came.

In  the meantime, he was enjoying his blogger clout.   Think of all the dirty blogging practices in the book - he does it all- and more.
  • He asks for airline ticket upgrades and if he doesn't get it, he trashes the airline
  • He asks for free hotel accommodations, meals for him and his boyfriends
  • He claims adamantly to have paid full fare for everything nonetheless
  • He blogs about events that never happened, name drops people he has never met (Vuitton heir, Richard Branson) and holds contests that never had prizes nor winners
  • He trashes fake products but buys just fakes himself
In spite of his changed situation,  his nature of living beyond his reality stayed intact.  Nothing has changed, and in fact he was worse.
I remember one incident -  he invited me to join him watch a polo match.  He claimed he was invited, yet he fumbled looking for his invitation when security asked for it.  We were sent to the public viewing deck instead where he still insisted to buy a champagne in a plastic glass from a kiosk.
Later that day he wrote in his FB something like "The polo match was ok, my argentinian polo instructor's team did well and won but the VIP food was so bad that me and Rowena left early to eat elsewhere."   
WTF?  I didn't even see the shadow of that VIP food!   
I can cite many other incidents like that- well in fact, all incidents in his life were fabulously distorted.
His blog bio boasts of a law degree when he didn't even graduate from college, having worked in CNN and the European Parliament- when in fact he didn't.  
*Our embassy has declared him persona non grata and the networking group ASmallWorld has ousted him from its roster of members.
Anyway, at the final day that he was supposed to pay, he again cancelled.

And that was when I went Jessica Rabid.

I had a couple of blog posts that i wasn't submitting yet till i was paid.  So I went into blogspot, registered a blog, drew the logo of Beauty and the Bullshit, then started blogging.

And so it was in July 26, 2010 after 6 hours of hammering blind and foaming at the mouth on my keyboard, that Beauty and the Bullshit was born.

And to this, I have a con artist to thank for.


When Miguel learned of the new blog, and realizing that I can expose his sham to the rest of the world, he started a smear campaign and fabricated stories to discredit me.   Eventually, after a flurry of an email war, people caught on the real story or at least raised suspicions in his circles.  He has since decreased his presence in Belgium and has set his sights in the US.

To this date, he refused to take out the unpaid blog posts that I have written, took all the credit of my past work and would trash me in his posts.  He also claims ownership of Beauty and the Bullshit and maintains that I should pay him for using it.

He also did not return my blackberry, some bags that I had him carry from Asia for me.  Till this day, he takes every chance he gets to do me bad.

I am not one to use my blog for revenge but I believe that if I can save another soul from being conned by this Satan's little helper, then this rant has served its purpose.

And so may the public be warned.

P.S.  In my country, whistleblowers like me are sued for libel.   That is to protect offenders who most, (though not all) of the time, have influence with the law.  This con-artist makes my life hell every chance he gets- so I say- bring it on, till death do us part!


Whenever I come back from Venice, after first thinking about how I miss my friends, I think about the food I can't eat anymore!

I have a lot of Instagram photos I didn't post on there during my trip - but sometimes it's just not possible to take a photo with the camera (though I have 2 rolls of film to be developed), especially in an exhibition or somewhere you're not supposed

No Bullshit Product Review: MUJI MAKE UP BASE

Monday, 19 March 2012
In my line of work, I   never had to buy my own make up and am even paid to try them.  But since I quit the industry, I have to spend my hard earned money for it.
Even with my insider knowledge, I still occasionally get disappointments from my purchases.  Here is one.

Recently, I bought this Muji Clear Make Up Base.

I chose a clear make up base instead of foundation because:

  1. Foundations look too made-up, even the light coverage ones
  2. Foundations come only in limited number of shades (for the brand's economic reasons).  So chances are, it will be dang difficult to find a perfect match to my skin color
  3. My skin tone darkens or lightens depending on the quantity of my exposure to the sun.  So even if I find a perfect match today, it will not be a perfect match tomorrow.
  4. A clear base helps provide a good layer to hold the rest of my make up well and longer.  I can look my "natural best" without seeming like I have spent much time on myself (and well, I haven't- I only spend 5 minutes max to make my Face Zero)
I chose the MUJI brand because of the ff. reasons:
  • ORIGIN: MUJI is made in Japan.  My experience is good with most Japanese made products and brands as Japan is more stringent with its quality standards compared to FDA of US and that of Europe.
  • PACKAGING: MUJI has decent and yet non-superfluous packaging.   No box but with a sticker seal, and just a one color printing.  This means that more of the cost goes to the product rather than the packaging, ergo, I do not spend unnecesarily to show off.
    As well, they chose a dropper type of delivery system.  This means that there is less chance of product contamination which helps the product stay good longer.

  • NO TECHNOJARGON BULLSHIT: MUJI did not give me any bullshit descriptor- no techno jargon, no vitamin bullshit.  It just claims SPF 15 at the back (SPF15, is nothing impressive.  An SPF claim, though not bullshit, is no reason for me to buy a product).  Of course it could have said some bullshit in Japanese but since I cannot read Japanese, I judged only from what i read.
  • NO ADVERTISING BULLSHIT: It is not promoted by celebrities or expensive advertising.  But it was presented well in the counter.  So I don't give the company money just to blind my judgement by celebrity and/or advertising.
  • GOOD TEXTURE:  I tested the texture in my hand and it was just the right consistency, it is absorbed easily and did not leave a sticky sensation.
  • GOOD PRICE:  I bought this in Asia and paid about 6€ for a 30ml.  
I felt good when i bought the product.  It didn't make any false promises and delivered just what I needed for a fair price.

However, after about 3 months, the formula became runny and its components have separated.  %*#!!!

Now, a little technical backgrounder to explain to you what happened here.

Emulsion 101
 This product is an emulsion.  An emulsion is made of oil and water and as you know, oil and water do not normally mix.  For them to mix, an emulsifying agent is introduced.  
A good formulation which is packaged well (protected from sunlight and contamination) should remain stable for at least 3 years.   
They are tested in the lab for stability by subjecting them to an elevated temperature for a few months.  If the product remains stable (water and oil do not separate) during this time, it is assumed that it will remain stable for at least 3 years in normal climate conditions.*
Sub -note on expiration dates
*BTW, if a formulation is good, it can stay longer than the expiry date states.  Expiry date is  just a legally required guideline.   Learn to judge if a formula is good aside from the expiration date and save yourself money.

So, What happened?
The formula itself is obviously not very stable.   
Though the texture feels good, and the product has passed its  lab stability test, lab tests are just simulations and are never a 100% assurance of a product's long term stability. 
It also did not help that the packaging  is white as it could not have been enough to protect the formula from the sun and heat.  So, the texture is more exposed, more "aggressed" and thus broke down.

If you live in colder country and you can keep your product in a less aggressive environment, then this product might be worth the risk, though there is no guarantee.  

What would I do?
To avoid this formula separation, and if I were Muji, i will :
  • tweak my formulation and subject them to more stringent and longer lab testing
  • go for a darker color packaging
  • I will also refund me for this texture fiasco 
Will I buy this product again? 

Not unless MUJI has changed the formulation and the packaging-  I will not and I do not recommend you to buy it either.  

Nonetheless, I will not discourage you to try the other MUJI products in the range because of the other reasons I had when I bought this product.   BUT,  not because it is MUJI means all products are good- be sure to try the textures that they are satisfactory and hope that they do not break down on you in the long run.

There you go! My first hands-on no bullshit product review.
In the next posts, I will write to give more guidelines in choosing your textures.


I received no compensation, whether it be in cash or in kind to write this review.
I have no contact with any MUJI company representative  prior to this article- well, except of course for the sales person who assisted me in this sale.

?. . .

Saturday, 17 March 2012

{p.s. In the next few days I'll be posting on Instagram and intermittently on Twits...}


Sunday, 11 March 2012

The last winter photos from a roll I shot in Regent's park when it snowed, and on winter walks in Greenwich park.

Bonjour spring.


Friday, 9 March 2012

It makes me very happy to rejuvenate clothes. I always go by the principle of quality over quantity and I'm surprised at how many people still don't get this. Buy three well made, but relatively expensive, pieces of clothing per year, wear them for ten years vs. buying a whole new wardrobe every season from the high street: Guess which is more economical?

I am seriously hardcore about this: I'd


Friday, 2 March 2012
At last, I scored a second hand edition of Allure to complete my collection of Diana Vreeland books. The others are: Diana Vreeland by Eleanor Dwight, Why Don't You - The Bazaar Years by John Esten, The Eye Has To Travel by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and of course, D.V. by D.V. Is it possible to do a PhD in a person?!

Allure was always the one I was fussy about: I didn't want the new (2010),

Breaking my silence...

Wednesday, 29 February 2012
to repost this...

while I am trying to get my blogging mojo back.



Friday, 24 February 2012

Go here and read this, written by her. Below, some highlights: 

'Glamour is constructed, elegance is acquired, and charm is innate.'

'I no longer cultivate friendships that would be based on anything other than my simple, straightforward and honest desire to get to know the other person better.'

'Simplicity, in all things, is worth the pursuit.' 

'It’s no honor being the best-dressed person,


Thursday, 23 February 2012
I had wanted to ask Laura to do Bloggers + Cats for ages - I knew she liked cats, but it wasn't until I saw her interview on Tales of Endearment and saw Laser's photo, that I could confirm she actually had cats she lived with. (As well as an amazing collection of vintage clothing, great style, beauty and being super smart to boot.) I'm fine with asking complete strangers to be interviewed about


Sunday, 19 February 2012
Oh, I have not been here, but I can't really say where I've been. Not because I'm being coy or have been on some kind of exciting secret mission, but because I don't know where the time went and now time has passed so anything I was going to tell you seems so long ago. I can't seem to keep up with myself at the moment, or focus on any of the billion different ideas and projects I have racing


Thursday, 16 February 2012

Yes. Gimme.

{Alexa Chung/Stella McCartney Prince of Wales check/jacquard, Jenna Lyons/Celine? colour blocked silk (Stylespotting), Kirsten Dunst/Rodarte brocade (Coolspotters)}


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

That is how you make a music video.  I've been watching it at least eight times a day.

It might look in the above left picture as if I injured myself - in fact if you follow me on Twitter, you'll already know I got very excited about some pink hair dye I bought in Brixton. The idea was a pop of bright colour I suppose, but it came out a bit too raspberry, now turning slightly


Monday, 6 February 2012

Saturday night: Snow falls in London. Instagram explodes with snowpics.

Sunday morning: I travel by public transport, which 1 inch of snow has yet to cause havoc to.  London friends text me curious to know how it is "outside", and commend me for my extreme bravery and intrepidness at venturing out. 

There's no way I'm staying home, because I'm meeting Elizabeth (who is not going to be


Thursday, 2 February 2012
Yes, it's back. The Bloggers + Cats schedule is a bit more fluid now, i.e. it's whenever the mood takes me and I happen upon someone I must feature. If it's here, it will always pop up on a Thursday.
Fear not, I'm still always scouring the internet for a hint of a tail or mention of a name that might lead me to a new interview. Instagram is proving to be a fertile hunting ground for B + C victims


Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I had been meaning to get to a screening of Carnage for ages, but for some reason I kept failing to make it. Perhaps I was subconsciously put off by the description of it as tense and fraught. Also knowing it was a stage adaptation (I'm strangely allergic to theatre) I assumed that meant it was one of those actor-y films that big-time actors (in this case Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, 


Thursday, 26 January 2012
Some of you might remember my story about my granny's Wedgwood teapot and some may not have retained that crucial info. Go on, go back and read it, it's really long. But basically, it was a charming tale of old world courtesy and civility involving my granny breaking her Wedgwood teapot, the design of which had been discontinued, thus rendering her extensive tea service incomplete. After a number


Saturday, 21 January 2012


Tuesday, 17 January 2012
On the first morning of Capsule in Paris last October, after moonlighting as Nina of Family Affairs' slightly cackhanded steaming expert and early morning coffee companion at her stand, I made a beeline for Colenimo's. 

I'd already had the honour of being Colenimo's first ever webshop customer, when I bought my lovely Amelia jumper, but I wanted to get a good look at spring/summer 12, which I


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Bob Richardson

Bob Richardson

Richard Avedon, Italian Vogue, 1971

David Bailey, UK Vogue 1973

Richard Avedon, Vogue 1973

Richard Avedon

Bob Richardson

Richard Avedon, Vogue 1970

My early '70s Anjelica Huston phase is ongoing. It was inevitable after the Elsa Peretti phase, although I initially thought I was veering more towards '70s Paloma Picasso. The new copy of Diana


Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Wednesday, 4 January 2012

New year's tasks: writing everyone's birthdays in the new moleskine (I always have this red one) wearing my Family Affairs Good Spirit dress just seen on the right and repairing clothes - mostly sewing on buttons etc but I finally sewed elbow patches on my old fave APC cashmere jumper that my pointy elbows had escaped from after five years of almost daily wear. 

Items: I was given some