In My Makeup Bag

in my makeup bag

Studded leather makeup bag from Austique. Available in navy here and you can find similar styles here and here.

Recently I’ve received a few requests from you lovely lot as to the makeup and beauty products I use. Your wish is my command so here we have the first of what I hope will be a series of posts about grooming. As I’ve said many times in the past, I’m actually pretty crap when it comes to makeup. This is partially out of laziness and lack of time – given how high maintenance I am when it comes to clothes and accessories, paying the same level of attention to my visage would be exhausting – but it’s perhaps also a hangover from my teenage years when I experimented wildly and badly with caked on foundation, orange fake tan and vats of glittery eye makeup. I looked like a low rent drag queen, especially given the stilettos and body con I paired the sorry lot with. Of course I’ve erased those days from my memory, as one does with truly traumatic experiences, but the periodic appearance of photos from “Val De Lobo ’07″ or “So and So’s Sweet Sixteenth” have no doubt served to keep me in very minimal, low risk make up ever since. Well now I’m a bit older and while probably not exactly wiser, certainly less likely to leave the how looking like the cast of TOWIE and Footballer’s Wives combined. So I’ve decided that maybe it’s time to take a few make up risks and have been embracing lipsticks of all colours and even experimenting with the odd smoky eye! I’ll be telling you more about this in beauty posts to come but I thought that to kick things off, it might be an idea to share the makeup staples I just couldn’t live without…

bareMinerals basics

in my makeup bag

Anticlockwise from left: Light stroke brush, £14, Full Flawless Face Brush,£24, READY Blush,£22 (I wear “the faux pas”), Original SPF 15 Foundation,£25 (I wear “fairly light”), SPF 20 Concealer,£19 & Well Rested Face and Eye Brightener,£22

Aside from when I’m on shoots, I have used nothing but bareMinerals powders on my face since I was 18 years old. I find any other foundation, even supposedly lightweight ones too heavy and pore clogging to wear on a regular basis. This stuff is genius as you can apply the lightest of dustings to eliminate the odd pimple of bit of blotchiness or buff and build it for a camera ready coverage if you’re off out somewhere fancy for the night. It also doesn’t totally screw up your skin if you don’t take if off before going to sleep which, let’s face it, we all do sometimes. The foundation also contains SPF which is brilliant if, like me, you always forget to apply it. My love affair with bareMinerals products began with their Get Started kit which you can buy here. It’s great because it includes all the powders and the brushes which are utterly essential but pretty expensive. If you want to purchase or find out more about any of the other products click on the underlined descriptions above.

Les Yeux

in my makeup bag

From left: Lancôme Artliner liquid eyeliner,£22, Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl eyeliner,£16.50, Eyeko Alexa Cheung Eye Do eyeliner,£15, MAC False Lashes mascara,£18 & Dior Iconic Overcurl waterproof mascara,£24.50

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you much about my go-to eye makeup. A flick of black liquid eyeliner and lashings of mascara never fail! Generally speaking, I keep the eyeliner part to an absolute minimum, if I wear it at all, during the day. Then come evening all you need to do is add more for a defined feline flick. People often ask me about how I apply it so neatly but seriously, it’s so easy. If I can do it anyone can! The trick is practice – always the way, obvious though it sounds and boring though it is – and also starting with the thinnest line possible as close to the lash line as possible. You can always build it up but it’s a total nightmare to make the line thinner or neater once it’s on. The amount of times I’ve gone about my business with totally mismatched eyes is not to be believed. When it comes to liquid eye liner, Lancôme is the absolute best but it is seriously bloody expensive so Rimmel or L’Oréal can be great alternatives. As long as it’s got a good brush (fine, possibly spongy, without trailing stringy bits if you know what I mean) and the liner itself isn’t ridiculously gloopy then it will be fine. When it comes to makeup, I think splashing out on really great quality foundations and concealers is the most important thing as ones with tons of chemicals and whatnot in them can seriously mess with your skin. With eye liners and mascaras you can get away with spending a lot less and to be honest, some of the cheaper brands products are basically just as effective.

Perfect Pout

in my makeup bag

From left: Lanolips 101 Ointment, £9.97 & L’Occitane En Provence scented lipbalm,£8.50

While my recent obsession with offensively bright lipsticks shows no sign of waning, I rarely if ever wear them during the day. This is less to do with fearing looking OTT – that’s an unavoidable side effect of dressing like a cartoon character anyway – and more because I know I’ll get it all over my clothes, face and anyone/anything else I come into contact with. I don’t do lipgloss (another beauty product I abused as a teen) so lovely balms like this are my everyday pout perfectors. Lanolips 101 Ointment is quite literally the best thing ever for vanquishing chapping and leaving your lips all soft and smooth while L’Occitane’s Rose Tenderness Lipbalm adds just the right amount of shine and smells delectable too.

Have you found this little beauty post interesting? I’m scheming a few more so let me know what you like or don’t. Also I must apologise for the rubbish photographs. I took them myself and my photography skills are so non existent they make my makeup technique look Charlotte Tilbury standard!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Beauty 3 Comments

5 Minutes With: Deborah Lloyd

deborah lloyd kate spade new york

Talk about exciting interviews eh! As you all know all too well, kate spade new york is one of my absolute, all time favourite labels. It’s playful girlishness and penchant for very bright colours and lashings of print makes my heart sing with joy while my wardrobe increasingly resembles an homage to the brand. Getting to grill the British born powerhouse behind the collections I covet so much seemed a little surreal. But it happened so, without further ado, I bring you 5 Minutes With Kate Spade NY’s Creative Director and President, Deborah Lloyd…

LPA: Tell me a little about your background. Where did you study and work before joining kate spade new york?

DL: Prior to kate spade new york I worked at Banana Republic, and before that at Burberry. In the earlier part of my career, I held positions at brands including Acquascutum, Kenzo and Byblos. I studied at the Ravensbourne College of Art and design, and received a Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art in London.

LPA: Talk me through a day in the life of President and Chief Creative Officer of kate spade new york…

DL: No two days are the same at kate spade new york, that is what keeps me excited and inspired. Some days I am at our offices on Park Avenue reviewing sketches and selecting fabrics with our design teams, other days I am flying to exciting cities around the world for store openings and ad campaign shoots.

LPA: Since starting my blog, kate spade new york’s Chelsea Flower Show event has been one of my major spring highlights. Tell me a bit about why the brand decided to first get involved with it and, of course, your beautiful display this year…

DL: The Chelsea Flower Show is always a highlight for me. I live in New York now but I never miss the opportunity to come back to London to see the beautiful gardens. We knew that we wanted to do something over the top with our display this year. The current collection was inspired by travels to Rio de Janeiro, we wanted to go along with the theme and created a tropical display featuring a toucan made entirely of flowers!

LPA: How do you feel Kate Spade NY has changed or developed since you joined the brand in 2007? One of the reasons that kate spade new york is basically my favourite label is that regardless of whether minimalism or sports luxe or androgyny are “on trend”, it sticks to the playful, colourful, girly style it does so well and I love so much. Why do you feel this is so integral to the brand’s identity?

DL: One of the reasons I was drawn to Kate Spade new york was the brand’s optimistic spirit and its strong DNA. We think about the kate spade new york girl in everything we do. We like to say that she is quick and curious and playful and strong. She is not a wall flower, and she loves adventure and she inspires us to design product for every aspect of her life. kate spade new york has really transformed into a lifestyle brand during my time here – it started out as just handbags but has grown into so many categories including ready to wear, beauty, tech accessories, tabletop and stationery to name a few. The possibilities are endless!
How do you and your team offer up something fresh each season while still retaining such a recognisable aesthetic?

kate spade new york is unique in the sense that we inject a playful spirit into everything we do. We always incorporate strong colors and prints into each season, and we make sure that each collection that tells a story. We also pride ourselves on attention to details that make our customers smile whether its a special lining in a coat, a cheeky clutch or a line of copy on the inside of a bracelet.

LPA: I’m a huge fan of clashing prints and colours and topping it all off with statement accessories but it’s not without risks. What would be your top tip for someone who wanted to channel this kind of style but maybe wasn’t 100% confident?

DL: A great place to start is finding one statement piece that you fall in love with, then building your entire look around it. There are also subtle ways to incorporate a pop of color into any outfit, it can be a brightly coloured heel, an oversized cocktail ring, or even something as simple as a bright shade of lipstick.

LPA: What brands do you love and wear aside from kate spade new york?

DL: There are so many designers I love – Prada, Chanel and Balenciaga are a few of the brands that I have long admired. I also collect a lot of vintage pieces.

LPA: Spring may have only just arrived in London but of course, the fashion world has long since moved on to AW14! Sadly I wasn’t in NY in February but I’ve seen pictures of the collection and it’s absolutely stunning. What was your inspiration behind it?

DL: The theme behind 2014 is places to go and people to see. I am an avid traveler and always use it as a source of inspiration. For Fall 2014 our collections were inspired by travels to Asia – we specifically looked to Tokyo, Shanghai, and the Transcontinental Express.

LPA: What advice would you give to someone hoping to one day run a global brand like kate spade new york?

DL: Work hard, don’t take yourself too seriously and always do what you love.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Interviews Leave a comment

Look Du Jour: Pretty in Pinko

pretty in pinko

What: Sundress by Pinko, Sunglasses by Karen Walker, Bag by Kate Spade NY, & Shoes by LK Bennett (all c/o) with MAC Candy Yum Yum Lipstick

Where: Roksanda Ilincic’s Mayfair Store Launch… Tonight! (This is a sneaky peek)

Another shameless spot of film title appropriation there, I just can’t seem to help myself! I’m not even a huge fan of the brat pack classic if I’m honest and find Andie mildly maddening but Pretty in Pink is one of those flicks you’ve just gotta see, right? Wrapping up this random ramble before we venture even further off topic, how divine is this Pinko sundress? As I explained in more detail that was strictly necessary – or, I suspect interesting – I’m mildly obsessed with sundresses at the moment. While I don’t follow them religiously, I love the whole idea of trends. The way such similar inspirations and aesthetic nuances crop up in totally different designers’ collections often created at opposites sides of the world has a magical zeitgeist about it. At the same time, picking up on those sometimes tenuous threads and categorising them as “sports luxe” or “art pop” is a hugely effective way for magazines to present the God knows how many shows they see over fashion month in a palatable format, for high street shops to design their seasonal wares and for the lot to be marketed to and shopped by clothes lovers everywhere. It’s smart, it works and personally I really enjoy trying to spot trends while galavanting around fashion week and perusing the edits afterwards, thinking about which I might give a go. For SS14 gingham was hailed as “the new tartan”, something I’ve got fully on board with. And how does one style a slightly acid hued pink and purple sundress? With floral heels, a striped handbag and ginormous pink sunglasses, obvs. This ensemble gave the Hammersmith youths a laugh alright as I was taking it out on the town.

pretty in pinko

pretty in pinko

pretty in pinko

pretty in pinko

pretty in pinko

pretty in pinko

Love Ella. X

Images by Holly McGlynn

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Look Du Jour 2 Comments

Introducing: CAMEO


I think it’s fair to say that Australian fashion is having something of a moment. From the potentially purchasable likes of Finders Keepers (who I’ve recently realised I’m OBSESSED with btw) to swimwear extraordinaire We Are Handsome and the catwalk fresh minimalism of Dion Lee, there are some seriously cool brands coming out from down under. One such label is CAMEO. Launched in 2010, the brand delivers 11 collections per year based around a central theme. As someone with zero design flair the fact anyone can come up with that many creations blows my tiny mind. And on top of being plentiful, these collections are good, really good. CAMEO’s current array of sartorial delights is entitled “Oceanic”, a concept that could have easily resulted in an uninterestingly literal interpretation. Thankfully Head Designer Kathryn Forth didn’t simply dive head first (ho ho) into underwater references, instead incorporating fluidity and a feeling of freshness into her work. Think sculptural silhouettes with waved hems, scuba esque neoprenes, draped jersey and sheer layering in manipulated prints, shades of green, turquoise, blue greys, deep sea blues and monochrome hues. The CAMEO aesthetic is a fusion of modern femininity and sleek aestheticism. The cuts and fabric choices are underpinned by an incredibly high level of precision, even more incredible when you consider that most of them retail for under £200.





I’m all over the Alone Tonight dress, spaghetti strapped peplum tops and that blue number! A little drama, a lot of elegance, I’m all over it. You can shop lots of CAMEO gorgeousness here, I sure as hell will be.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Fashion 1 Comment

Thierry Mugler Angel Tribes

thierry mugler angel tribes

Another exciting collaboration to share with you today! There will be a lot to come over the next few weeks and months but for now, let’s talk about Thierry Mugler. Namely, the brand’s new perfume “Angel”. If there’s one thing that immediately springs to mind when I think of Mugler, it’s the label’s long running association with powerful women. During its namesake couturier’s 1980s heyday, Thierry Mugler pioneered the sharp shouldered, wasp waisted look that came to define the aesthetics of the decade and symbolise the new breed of confident, sexy career women that was growing by the second. Today Mugler continues to champion female empowerment, through their products, projects, muses and campaigns just like this one.

This month sees the launch of Mugler’s new Angel fragrance with a campaign fronted by the gorgeous Georgia May Jagger, following in the footsteps of her supermodel mother who too fronted an Angel campaign some 17 years earlier. The ethos behind the fragrance has always been centered on the idea of strong women who support and empower each other through friendship and shared values and passions. This of course extends far beyond the beauties chosen to star in the ad campaigns so this time around Thierry Mugler has cast the net wider, handpicking a selection of women around the world and inviting them to reinterpret the Angel ethos with their nearest and dearest or, as Mugler puts it, their Angel Tribes. As I suspect you’ve guessed by now, one of the ladies approached was yours truly. Mugler tasked me with gathering a few of my girls together to do a little shoot in our natural environment (read: cocktail bar) and asked me to consider why female friendships play such an important role in my life. The answer is both unbelievably clear and yet totally abstract. For me, having close girlfriends is something I couldn’t live without. Whether they’re offering advice – be it of a career, boy related or sartorial nature – inspiring me professionally, partying with me during the good times, supporting me during the less good times or just being there to exchange pointless Buzzfeed links with on a Tuesday afternoon, I would be totally lost without them. The way I see it feminism isn’t just believing in equal opportunities, shattering the glass ceiling and claiming the same rights as our male counterparts. Of course, it is all these things, but I think a huge part of it is also championing other women and props to Thierry Mugler for celebrating that through their Angel Tribes campaign.

thierry mugler angel tribes

From left: Lara, Char, me & Steph

Steph I’ve known since we went to school together aged 12, Charlotte from sixth form and Lara I met through work just a couple of years ago. They all, in some different and other identical ways, play important roles in my life and I’m sure it’s the same with you and your friends. So, on a torrentially rainy Saturday, we gathered at one of my favourite Notting Hill hangouts, Beach Blanket Babylon, to catch up, drink a little vino and take a few pictures. It was a perfect afternoon and reminder of why I’m so happy to be taking part in Mugler’s Angel Tribes campaign.

thierry mugler angel tribes

If you want to get involved in the campaign too, post a picture of you and your tribe on Instagram, twitter, Pinterest or Facebook mentioning @Thierry_Mugler with the hasthag #AngelTribes. Georgia kicked it off with a snap of her Cara and Suki so you’ll be in very chic company.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Projects 2 Comments