It's Not All BB

I often get asked about BB creams but today, I am deliberately shying away from them.

I have been using BB creams pretty much exlusively for the past 3-4 years, but recently, a few foundations and tinted moisturisers have managed to creep into my little arsenal.

I am genuinely pleased with this happy trio. All three work very well with my skin and allow it the breathing space it needs to stay healthy whilst retaining the right amount of coverage that I seek.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua with SPF15 in Beige Rose #BR20

Featherlight sheer coverage with a powder soft matte finish.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Gel Foundation in Beige Clair #53

This has to be the easiest foundation to apply that I have come across yet. It glides on and provides medium coverage with radiance boosting properties which impart a dewy finish. Fantastic value for money!

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in Light2 Alaska

This is more like a BB cream than many BB creams currently on the market. Excellent at providing sheer coverage with SPF30+++ whilst still being very light on the skin and oil-free. This is my current most favoured base make-up item as I am enamoured by its hydrating, blemish disguising and radiance imparting properties. 

Nars TM ingredients list:

According to the NARS black box, The Pure Radiant TM is proven to help brighten the complexion. I must admit that I have yet to see real evidence of this on myself but I shall report back here if I do.
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Seeking Sakura

The ephemeral and fragile beauty of the Sakura is best celebrated in Japan but for those of us that are many many miles away, this efflorescent event can still be sought out in our inner city corners.

Cherry blossoms can be found in London. The above photos were taken in various locations in Islington and Hackney.

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A Punnet of Peaches

Peaches are my weakness they are a common feature in makeup box. I do like the way that peach is so versatile and perfectly at home on the eyes, lips, nails or cheeks.

The hitlist: Canmake Cheek Gradation #Orange Stripe/ Canmake Cream Cheek #12/Maybeline Dream Touch Blush #Apricot + #Peach/ NARS Barbarella/ Paul & Joe #16/ Lavshuca Moist Melting Rouge #OR3/ Rouge Bunny Rouge #Relish of Heaven/ YSL Rouge Volupte Perle #115/ Bourjois Effect 3d #Corail Idyllic.

Peach colours are so perfect for this sun streaked season, they brighten a complexion and just the right amount of succulence to post-winter shadows.
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+ Ray Stitch +

Long have I waited/wished/hoped/prayed for a fabric shop in my part of London to stock Japanese print fabric. Then, it happened:

Ray Stitch on Essex Road is a charming little premises that serves as a cafe, haberdasher and fabric shop. But, more to the point, it's a wish come true for me and any other conscientious crafter out there.

The shop is beautifully presented with shelves laden with gorgeous fabrics including a nice collection of Japanese cotton/linens which really got me smiling! They stock Nani, Kokka and Echino fabrics and I no longer need to battle with hefty shipping costs and customs charges.

Here you can also find a handsome and well chosen selection of ribbons, tape, notions, buttons, gifts and sewing patterns and equipment and more.

Ray Stitch is a veritable bounty of inspiration with enough going on (did I mention that they hold sewing classes?) to jump start your creativity even if you aren't crafty by nature. The staff are friendly and knowledgeable and you can even linger for while with a nice cuppa Teapigs tea and a slice of delicious cake.

Honestly, I don't know what else you can want from a fabric shop!


99 Essex Road
London N1 2SJ

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Mostly Monotone

I am being exuberant with the monotone miscellany today. It feels just right....a bit of black and white and whatever may splash through in-between.

Moomintroll has a keen spirit of adventure.

The gift of Moomin. A true sign of friendship! Onwards with more marvels from Finland, here is one of my favourite confectionery items. Salty liquorice.

Salmiakki is undoubtedly an acquired taste. However, the packaging certainly is striking with a very grown up, masculine feel. I am most fortunate to have friends that keep me stocked up with these dubious looking black pellets.

Another acquired (and entirely more deadly) taste is smoking. Not a habit that I have embarked upon in my years but I have many friends that persist.

Being of the sort to seek beauty in most things, I often find myself contemplating the nebulous apparitions that smoke creates.


I think this chap (who lurks upon a wall in Mildmay) does too. He looks decidedly unconvinced!

Whilst on the subject of deadly implements, here is one that may cause considerable harm to ribbons. I picked this up in {RAY STITCH} recently and I am rather charmed by it.

Do you like my scissors that imitate a bird? What then will you make of my pins that imitate bulbs?

I think they are ever so cute! I hope to use them to fasten little Fushigi Shop labels onto my sewed items.

And finally, to close off this tale of monotone madness, I have a picture of a picture. Not in the least bit avant-garde but somehow remarkable all the same.

Polaroids photographs caught within a black frame. Delicious to my eyes.
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Canoodling + Fresh Breath

Wouldn't it be marvellous if we could revive that rather quaint custom of the courting candle?

Courting candles were a wax curfew of sorts. The man of the house would use the candle when a suitor came calling for his daughter. The candle would be lit and placed in the parlour (or wherever the covert candoodling....I mean conversation would occur) and when the candle burned down to the metal at the top of the holder, it marked the time for the suitor to promptly up and leave.

I doubt very much that the young 'uns of today would adhere to the alarm of a candle. In fact, I would put my money on them misreading the use of the candle completely!

Canoodling of any kind would be greatly impaired by foul breath. I therefore recommend these mint-some lovelies from Peppersmith:

Handsomely packaged and flavoured with made with fine English mint and much thought, Peppersmith have a nice capsule collection of gums and mints

I am looking forward to their Fish & Chip flavoured offering with much curiosity.... Do take a moment to read about them {HERE}
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Matt's Fattburger

Photo courtesy of Fattburger

Never had a big appetite for burgers me. Nah-uh!
But then we bumped into Matt who introduced us to his Fattburgers and I was....so this is what a good burger tastes like!

Matt is a Michelin rated chef who has worked in top kitchens in London and Japan and now, much to my delight, he makes his rich real meaty tasting burgers at the Three Compasses in Dalston.

Fattburgers are made with quality, thoughtfully selected and carefully prepared ingredients and they are amazing value at a mere £5.00 each.

The Fattburger is by far the best burger in London for me. If it aint Fatt, I aint 'avin' it - Although, I am now rather partial to the Kimchee Burger (Fatt Korean) too!

Get your Fattburgers at:
The Three Compasses
99 Dalston London
E8 1NH

!! Update: Read more about FattBurger Here
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Scribble Lips

When I was a kid I used to use my pink felt tipped crayola (it may have been strawberry scented) to colour in my lips.

Far too many years later to actually calculate, I find myself doing the same thing!

Revlon's Just Bitten Lip Pens must have been thought up by a once mischievous kid like me.

I liked these lip pens at first, they applied well with the right amount of colour pop and though the lip balm end was nought special, it did the trick and the overall result was brilliant.
Fast forward 6 weeks and the pen tips have dried out and I feel a bit cheated. I don't think that I am being greedy by expecting them to last a good deal longer. I have other lip stains and they are still going months and months after I bought them.
This could have been real LOVE Revlon but you just ain't in it for the long haul with this one are ya!?
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Bruk Down Britain

There are parts of this place that are crumbling. Parts that you can see and others than you can't.

What crumbles shall be rebuilt in one way or another.
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Rasta Bike, Come In!

Hiro's bike is one snazzy bit of customised foldability.

It's a bike of good vibes. It makes people smile.

Bike: Brompton/ My red jeans are from GAP/ My socks from Tabio/ My tweed Jacket is Vintage so is my shirt /Hiro's backpack Jacket is from Japan/

//Listening to Derrick Morgan:
'Rougher than rough, tougher than tough
Strong like lion, we are iron"
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Curious About George

Hiro has amassed quite a few of George's records.

George's got soul!

George knows about the BIG TUNES.

George, who ever you are, if you happen to be reading this, Hiro would like a word!
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The House of Hackney

Textures/patterns/colours/illustrations/prints in paper and fabric.... these are the stuff of which my happy place is abundant with.

I have long been a fan of the bludgeoning creativity of House of Hackney. They have provided a wayward passage in my Bauhaus loving mental state with their wonderfully garish and playful wallpaper and fabric designs:

/Dalston Rose Wallpaper

/Flights of Fancy Wallpaper

/Queen Bee Wallpaper

/Hackney Empire Velvet Topsy Turvy Fabric

"House of Hackney takes the concept of British home wares and turns it on its head subverting traditional products with playful and irreverent prints and imagery to appeal to a new generation"

I am sure Hiro would firmly forbid me to add any of the above into any space in our future Grand Design. While he may foot his foot down, he has absolutely no say what would go into my library. There will certainly be some House of Hackney in this Bauhaus meets Safari Lodge room (complete with veranda) alongside some taxidermy and secret trap doors for those who dare to trespass. I can dream!

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The Way of The Crow

A bold shock of colour is an anomaly on my lids yet I am drawn to the intrigue of this vivid dark look.

I scribbled across my eyelids with all the enthusiasm of a child with a pack of new crayons and used ADDICTION "Crow" {swatched here} + JIll Stuart's Amazonite Dazzle {swatched here} to achieve this intense EOTD.

There is much to ponder and celebrate in our darker sides. Boldness is certainly one of them.

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Shyness + Making Clouds + Haunted Air

It's been one of those days! A tough cookie that won't crack and bites you in the noodle bowl kinda day. My ointment for this ill is to slap myself with a bit of colour.

When I was a child, I was shy-shy-shy. Painfully shy! I would not speak to anyone but my family. My mum, having failed in many attempts to prise words out of me in public resorted to blackmail.

Nairobi has a wealth of Indian snack shops and one of my most favoured treats were these sugar coated fennel treats that were readily available in such places. I would force myself, through sweat, blushing, hyperventilation to speak to the shop keeper to buy these colourful drops.

Speaking of colour........

I have been actively engrossed in this vocation of making clouds.

After much consideration and tapping of my calculator (to look convincingly clever), I have come to the conclusion that the way forward in this endeavour is to create moulds out of colourful blocks of plasticky stuff.

I am not expecting to be nominated for the Nobel Prize. So while I wait for that elusive whack of genius to blast me into a shiny level of consciousness, I shall fill my ears with some choons:

Yeah, it's me, myself and I. Mirror, mirror on the wall. Tell me mirror what is wrong.....

The creepy in me is what's wrong! I have been twitching/aching/dying to get my claws on this book.

One man's collection of anonymous American halloween photos dating from 1875 - 1955 further commended in my mind with it's introduction written by David Lynch.

Listening to Dreams by Roy Orbison:
A candy-colored clown they call the Sandman
Tiptoes to my room every night
Just to sprinkle stardust and to whisper
"Go to sleep, everything is all right"
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