Sussex Style Beauty Editorial

I’ve been terribly quiet lately, and I thought it was finally time to explain why. A couple of weeks ago, I was appointed Beauty Editor for a new glossy magazine called Sussex Style. I won’t bombard you with info on it as most of you will have already heard about it, and I don’t want to be a walking, talking ad, so I’ll just say that it’s going to be high end, aesthetically driven, stocked all around the South East, and ultimately something that this county needs!

Anyway, with my deadline looming large like a…large loomy thing, I had to set to work quickly. I’d decided that I wanted to aim high with my beauty pages. Instead of featuring products alone, I chose to create an actual beauty editorial. Now, this was one of those cases where I’d blindly opted to do something without actually knowing whether or not it was feasible, but I’d set my bar and I was determined to reach it.

I soon realised just what I’d let myself in for. First, there were the creative decisions to be made: what kind of looks was I going to go for? I began to compile moodboards, both in real life and on the dreaded Pinterest (I continue to be the only girl in the world who despises the wretched thing). That was the easy bit. Next, I had to assemble a team to help me get my ideas from the ol’ noggin to the page. I have to thank the Twitter community here, because it just wouldn’t have been possible without them. Within a few hours of tweeting I was overwhelmed with talented photographers, makeup artists and hairstylists.

Next, I talked to the people who’d been suggested, and we started to work out teams, and dates. I was extremely lucky to snag a makeup artist called Marie-Isabel Kennedy, aka Maz. Not only a ridiculously talented young lady, but she also pulled a team together as she recommended a wonderful photographer called Parisa Walklett, and also an absolutely fantastic hairstylist called Stephanie Hayes. From there, it was all systems go – I put together a brief, we started to arrange dates, and then it was time to cast a model.

This actually turned out to be the most stressful part of the operation. Up until this point, things had gone alarmingly smoothly – the team had fallen into place, we had Parisa’s studio all sorted out, the looks were signed off on, and jewellery had been sorted (more on that shortly). As we were working on such a tight time scale, it was extremely difficult to sort out a model, so I spent a rather stressful day frantically emailing and phoning all the big agencies, throwing myself on their mercy. Tell you what, it’s no joke when they talk about how young models are; heaps of the girls I requested were at school on the day of the shoot!

On Friday afternoon at 5.25pm, with the shoot on Monday, Select Model Management came up trumps with a gorgeous girl called Hannah Murrell. Hannah had the most perfect face for the shoot, and we were delighted to book her. When the booking was confirmed, I’m not ashamed to say that I leapt out of my chair, punched the air a lot and ran backwards and forwards shouting ‘YES!!! YEEEEES!!!!’ like a fool. Because what good is a crack hair and makeup team, a brilliant photographer and gorgeous jewellery without a model?!

On Monday morning I headed up to London to pick up the jewellery. I was incredibly happy with how lucky we’d been on the jewellery front. I’d put out a twitter call for some high end, quirky pieces, and while I had a good response, nothing quite fitted the bill until I got a tweet from the lovely folks behind Jolita Jewellery. Founded by Algis Abromaitis (the designer) and his sister Jolita (the marketing/press/PR guru), their pieces fit my brief perfectly, and I spent a happy hour browsing their site and pulling options out. Jolita was delightful to deal with and made my job extremely easy, and was hugely accommodating; I’d recommend them strongly to any stylists or anyone putting shoots together.

I picked up my precious cargo from the lovely Jolita, and headed out to Finsbury Park to Paris’ studio, where I met Hannah, Maz, Steph, Paris, and the adorable Henry, a French Bulldog/shih tzu cross. I’ll leave you all to put those two breeds together…We listened to a lot of music, ate a LOT of biscuits, fawned over Henry, drooled over the jewellery, and I got to watch some extremely talented people in action. The whole thing was a dream come true, and I genuinely kept expecting to wake up at any point.

I’d like to take this chance to thank my MD at Sussex Style, Sean, for giving me free rein; my amazing team of Paris, Maz and Steph, the wonderful Jolita Jewellery, the awesome Hannah, and all the tweeters who helped me out on a VERY tight deadline. That photoshoot was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I feel so proud of it. Not to get all soppy, but the whole thing meant so much to me, and I feel like I’m finally doing the things that I dreamed of doing as a teenager. I still can’t quite believe it’s all happened!

Sussex Style magazine will be coming out in November, and in the meantime hop over to the Facebook page or the Twitter account @SussexStyleMag to keep up to date with the latest news!

I Scream, You Scream…

Wow, we’ve well and truly plunged into Winter, haven’t we? On Wednesday, it seemed to be supremely dark most of the day, with icy rain appearing intermittently. Still, it wasn’t going to put me off my purpose for the day: ice cream tasting. It was part of the Lewes Octoberfest, and I wasn’t going to argue with such a fine tradition.

I was also in the mood to celebrate, having been officially named as Beauty Editor on upcoming glossy magazine Sussex Style, so ice cream was definitely on the cards. I was also planning on stocking up on some interesting magazines to butcher to make moodboards, so a day trip to Lewes seemed perfect. It was most definitely time to break out the fur trimmed items in my wardrobe, of which there are quite a few…

Lewes was rather gloomy weather-wise, but picking up some lovely magazines cheered me up hugely. I was pleased to finally get my hands on Wonderland magazine, which was full of the most beautiful editorials and which I’m still waiting to read so I can give it due care and attention. Teen Vogue is something I should really feel embarrassed about buying due to my non-teen status, but I always find it fun and inspiring. Also Company, which is fast becoming one of my favourites. A £1 cover price and packed full of interesting features, AND featuring someone I know from Twitter. Exciting times!

We headed to Limetree Kitchen, tucked away off the main high street on Station Street, a gorgeous little bistro-y type concept. We were warmly welcomed and swept in for some Illy coffee and ice cream tasting. We tried (if I can remember correctly): lemon meringue pie, rose petal, butternut squash and Amaretto, muscovado sugar and vanilla, and gin & tonic. Hands down, my fave was G&T – very refreshing, zesty and light. The chap behind the kitchen, Alex, was very charming, trained in classic French cuisine, and an ice cream maestro.

It was the perfect place to escape to on a miserable afternoon, and felt a bit like sitting in a friend’s kitchen, thanks to the relaxed and friendly nature of the people working there. The ice creams were out of this world delish, as were the truffles we were also treated to afterwards. You can have proper food too – Alex let us look through lots of old menus, and we were hugely impressed. The menu changes week to week, and the dishes are creative, appetising and well conceived. I’m planning on popping in for a proper meal so I can give it a real road-test.

Ta ra for now chaps, and remember, it doesn’t matter how cold it is, ice cream is ALWAYS acceptable.

Concrete, Pure, Chelsea & Temperley

Ciao bellas. I thought I’d do a round up of the last week and what I’ve been up to….It’s been a busy and mostly London-based week, so I’ve been torn away from my beloved fields and mud and thrown back into the Metropolis.


Last week I went for business drinks in London, and decided to check out the fairly new ‘Concrete‘ bar at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Finally! A building on the Southbank that is delightfully self-referential…By day, a cafe, by night a bar. Despite it being a Thursday night, it wasn’t particularly busy, but had a nice enough atmosphere. The service was decent, not especially chatty or engaging, but the bar was rather cool inside, and had a very fetching cement mixer outside.

On the plus side, we got two for one on our wine, and the lychee martini was absolutely delish, but I found the place to be a little soulless; not what I was expecting from the usually buzzy and cheerful venues on the Southbank. Dishoom Chowpatty Beach Bar, you are sadly missed. I wandered the Southbank afterwards to soak up some atmosphere. Oh – the other plus point was seeing Philip Glenister, aka Gene Hunt, near Waterloo. I got a bit overexcited.


Pure Fashion Trade Show

I went to Pure for a bit of networking, both for Lady M Presents and for my new fashion project, Jean et Jupe. I’d been there once before, when I was working in fashion buying, and found the whole thing quite an ordeal. As it’s a trade show aimed at buyers, it’s really hard to push past the initial ‘are you in buying?’ ‘no…but I do work in fashion!’ conversation. One guy literally just went back to taking a phone call the second I said ‘no, I’m not a buyer’. Rude!

I actually found it more judgemental and closed off than London Fashion Week. At Fashion Week, everyone’s actually pretty friendly, and it feels like no one has a point to prove. It’s more easy going, in my opinion! Anyway, I did speak to a few friendly people – shouldn’t give the impression it was all ghastly, but it certainly isn’t for me. The best bit by far was hearing talks on social media by Liberty London Girl and Warren Knight of Gloople. I found the tips really interesting, and the speakers were really insightful and knew their fields inside out. You can read the tips in full on our company blog for Jean et Jupe here.


After Pure on Monday, I went along to the Chelsea Day Spa to  a Hydropeptide Facial and New York Pedicure for Lady M Presents. Oh my goodness. I haven’t been so relaxed in…well, a very long time. Usually when I  have facials I just lie there thinking of everything I’ve got to do, and feeling even more stressed because I can’t actually get up and do them. But I’d strongly recommend the Spa, as I had a fantastic beauty therapist named Elize who really looked after me, and the whole experience was lovely. They also do heaps of really good deals, so the prices are surprisingly reasonable.

Alice Temperley for John Lewis Preview

I got to go to the preview for the very exciting new diffusion range from Alice Temperley for John Lewis, again to cover for Lady M last night. A small crowd of fashion bloggers and writers (I wonder what the collective noun for that is?!) descended on The Golden Bee in Shoreditch, really close to Old Street tube. It was a fab venue, and we quickly claimed a comfy sofa on the roof terrace, and started the cocktail drink in earnest. I know! On a school night as well…We had mojitos, Strawberry Collins, and Passionfruit Collins. I was also childishly delighted by the special goviral packs of Smarties on the tables.

I’ll be reporting on it in full for Lady M, but it was a really lovely night. The girls from the goviral team were lovely, and I also met people from Catwalk Queen and Styloko, as well as the founder of the Aussie equivalent of ASOS, Musstard. After the experience at Pure, I definitely got my networking mojo back. It’s going to be a beautiful collection, and will drop in stores from 4th September.

Haven’t really had too much time to write lately, life has got very hectic lately! Will check in again soon.

Rococo Nails

I swear, all my posts this week are just going to come under the broad category of ‘cheering myself up’. I’m still ill, I’m tired, I have a little bit of my voice back but not a lot, and I’ve graduated from Gossip Girl to America’s Next Top Model. I’m unbelievably bored. I was hoping to use today either to do some fun projects or to crack on with the mountain of work I have, and instead I’m just useless, utterly utterly useless.

What can you do when you barely have the energy to walk up the stairs? Well, I decided to paint my nails. I’ve had a bit of a bare nails moment going on for the last few weeks, because I wanted to give my nails a break from the endless parade of colours I’d been abusing them with since Fashion Week. I’d got really bored of uniform nails, and for one week I even had every nail a different colour. I liked the way it looked, but it wasn’t exactly ideal for when I needed to do a quick touch up of my nails on the train. But I fancied doing something a little different today.

Probably my favourite colour combination is blue and gold. If you haven’t picked up on my Marie Antoinette/Versailles obsession yet, I’ll just reiterate it for you once again. I think it’s such a beautiful combination, and I liked the idea of recreating this on my nails. It makes me think of pale Spring skies and shards of sunlight, or the way the Autumn sun shines through leaves, illuminating them. I purchased the Rococo gold leaf lacquer from Space NK in Tunbridge Wells a couple of years ago, and despite an initial phase of wearing it frequently, I’ve kind of left it alone. It’s got formaldehyde in, which smells quite a bit and makes me feel like Damien Hirst. But today I needed serious perking up, and so out it came. I hope you like the results. What’s your favourite nail varnish/colour combination?

Week in Photos

Lazy Sunday post to cheer me up as I’m lying on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. After a couple of weeks of tearing around, far too much alcohol, way too much exercise, not enough clothing to combat the cold weather and heaps of late nights, I’ve unsurprisingly got a bit ill. For the first time in my entire life, I’ve lost my voice. Yesterday evening it went completely and utterly. So I’ve been lolling around watching Gossip Girl, writing my To Do list, and drinking many cups of lemon and honey. I was hoping to do a micro-project today, and create an inspiration board (‘real life Pinterest’ as I’m dubbing it.)

It’s another exciting week coming up, so hopefully I’ll be able to talk again by Tuesday, although not all my friends agree, the meanies. I think they’re quite enjoying me not being able to talk. On Tuesday I’m off to the launch of a new ‘cocktail initiative’. Yeah, that’s a thing. Dubbed ‘Skinny Sippers vs Huge Hitters’, it’s this new concept in the drinks world, being launched at Apres London. I’ve seen a list of some of the cocktail, and they sound AMAZING. I’m a cocktail freak anyway, so I’m really excited to be going to the press launch. Then Wednesday I’m off to the launch party in London, more info on that later in the week. is like the Nordic equivalent of ASOS, now being launched for the UK. Apparently the first 300 girls to turn up get free shoes, so…elbows at the ready. Then the rest of the week will be spent writing and working. Also got something very interesting coming up with ace jewellery website, who have the most beautiful selection of jewels, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to Gossip Girl and my sofa. Even blogging has really taken it out of me!