Photographer Lacey’s still life narrative….

 Photographer and film director Lacey pushes the boundaries of still life photography as she weaves colour and texture into animated narratives. With a graphic design background and experience as a longtime assistant to legendary Tim Walker, Lacey combines fantasy, still life and conceptual art into bold and playful storytelling. While crafting miniature sets for her still life shoots, Lacey found excitement in the ability to completely transform a product through medium and context. With her recent foray into video, Lacey’s distinct style continues to captivate with inventive and unique creativity.

We’re smitten.

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Enjoy!

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Beverly Hills Hotel…..

Tropical trees, pink hues and swimming pools are ticking every box this week. Not only are we pining over the super cool wallpaper, but as this week’s soaring temperatures continue we’ve found ourselves fantasising over splashes of turquoise water, plush deck chairs and cocktails. Oh, if only we could all be at the Beverly Hills Hotel right now, so this week we’ve brought a little bit of this iconic gem to our studio on The Kings Road. We have some exciting new props coming up to make for an amazing summer studio shoot. Take in some of our inspiration and feel free to join us in our day dream…..

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How does your garden grow?

In celebration of the annual Chelsea flower show and The Royal Horticultural Society, which is the UK’s leading gardening charity dedicated to advancing horticulture and promoting good gardening.

Their goal is to help people share a passion for plants and to encourage excellence in horticulture and inspire all those with an interest in gardening. It’s one of my personal favourite shows to visit every year in London and super easy to take in as it’s a stone throw form our studio-Perfection!

After my recent visit to floral paradise I thought it best to share some incredible imagery showcasing the best of flowers being used as inspiring fashion props.  An obvious inspiration for many of our shoots this week, what’s not to love?

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“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck”- Emma Goldman

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“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers and not pick one.” – Edna St. Vincent Millay

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 “The earth laughs in flowers.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Cottage Town Paper Pot Plant houses….

Change your pot plant into a mini village with Cottage Town, and ordinary plants will be turned into huge trees or fields. These tilted tiny constructions in soft colours are made of waterproof ‘paper’, and can resist rain from a watering can. Fold and place your own house into the nicest plant you can find, or give away as a present with the enclosed wishcard.

There are four types of little buildings: Rosie’s house, Lily’s house, Olive’s house and Jasmin’s house.

Take a look at Cottage Town from Dutch design twosomeOntwerpduo – tiny paper homes made to linger by your favourite houseplant and look full of whimsy and awesomeness.

They come flat so you can fold your own and construct your ideal plant village however you like.

Nice, eh?

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The design duo behind this beautiful idea.

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 Tineke Beunders & Nathan Wierink Dreamer & Mathematician

Pic of the week…

It’s been another lively, fun and creative week at our studio and somehow we managed to pull of faux fur hats in what has been our hottest-sunniest week yet.  

This little beauty came into our studio and wowed everyone with her grace, charm and obviously this shot!

Agnese, we hope you are as pleased with the results of your images as we are! 

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Bright style and glowing skin….

There’s an age old question we hear time and time again when booking our clients in for their studio day- “I’m not in my 20′s nor am I in my 30′s is this an appropriate day for a lady my age?” And our answer? Yes, yes a thousand times Yes!! Woman and men alike should always embrace themselves, their confidence and their presence no matter what their age and an impeccable example of this is former stylist and cult beauty entrepreneur, Lind Rodin. Who’s motto plainly states -There is beauty in simplicity.

Linda Rodin was raised on this principle.

In her sixties today, Rodin is the model of spare elegance: tortoise shell eyeglasses, ballet flats, and natural silver hair pulled back in a ponytail. She says of herself, “I am the lowest-maintenance person I know. I don’t labor over how I look.” It’s this natural, devil-may-care brand of beauty that won her modeling jobs when she moved to Italy to study at age eighteen. That was in the Mod Sixties, when Rodin wowed all with her Twiggy eyelashes, over-the-knee boots, maxi coat, and five-inch skirt “that was more like a handkerchief”.

Returning to New York in the Seventies, Rodin ran a successful, directional SoHo boutique, had stints as a stylist at Henri Bendel in the Gerri Stutz days, and then as a fashion editor at Harper’s Bazaar. Eventually, she became a freelance stylist—acknowledged as one of the best in the business.

Over the years, Rodin has worked with top photographers, including Gösta Peterson, Michael Thompson, Greg Kadel, Alexi Lubomirski, Dominique Isserman, Ruven Afanador, Alexei Hay, and the late Herb Ritts and Richard Avedon.

Rodin has dressed the most gorgeous and charismatic women in the world—from Madonna and Halle Berry to supermodels Laetitia Casta, Giselle Bundchen, and Helene Christensen. These days, she works closely with Victoria’s Secret’s top beauties, including Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Chanel Iman, Lily Aldrich, Erin Heatherton, and Miranda Kerr.

Despite access to ultra-exclusive skincare lines in this heady milieu, Rodin became disillusioned with their anti-aging claims and complicated regimens.

“What I longed for was something far simpler—products for the here-and-now, that caress the skin noticeably and without any delay. Nothing out there did quite that.”
So she brought her style smarts, her instinct for beauty, and her demand for perfection to the skincare arena. After experimenting with essential oils in her kitchen for nearly two years, Rodin put the finishing touches on her first dream elixir, the original RODIN olio lusso face oil, in 2007. (The name—which translates as luxury oil —is in honor of the easygoing Italian beauty that has long inspired Linda’s own style). The models and makeup artists she worked with tried and loved it, and soon RODIN olio lusso was selling to a cult following at a few select stores. Magazine coverage and an international buzz followed.

As venues worldwide began selling RODIN olio lusso, customers began asking, is there more? Yes, the RODIN olio lusso collection is growing—each new item containing a similar, near-magical blend of essential oils, starting with a body oil, then a hair oil (that is a collaboration with the renowned hair stylist Bob Recine), and most recently a lip balm.

In a New York Times profile of Linda, her one-time boss, the design editor Jeffrey W. Miller, had this to say “about Linda, about any person with real style … they make you look at the world in a different way …. and rethink everything. They know how to create tension.” And tension, he added, “”is what creates beauty.”
RODIN Olio lusso—and lipstick—are the only products Rodin uses on her skin and hair.
Oh, the beauty of simplicity!

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The olio Lusso Lips balm, currently on the top of our wish list.

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Linda pictured here in her incredible New York apartment, filled with treasures from various flee markets and sea shells galore.

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To B or not to B….

Every now and then we have our clients ask the beauty team for tips and advice regarding skin care, new beauty products or recommendations of the tried and tested brands we all know and love.

With spring knocking on our door (we can’t wait) all the latest trends will soon follow, even our makeup bags and their contents get a makeover. With so many amazing beauty brands and products to choose from we had our beauty team pick some of the best BB creams on the market, along with a little breakdown of what these little beauty creams really do and how they work. We interviewed one of our smiley makeup artists and this is what she had to say….

2012_3_13_PHOTO-a52fc16dde863fd8ff77e650853a68f5-1331644337-58WHAT DOES BB STAND FOR?

BB can either mean “Beauty Balm” or “Blemish Balm”. The two terms have now become synonymous with the product.

WHERE DID BB CREAMS ORIGINATE?

BB Creams were developed over 60 years ago in Germany by dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek to protect her patients’ skin after surgery. Patients were coming in for lunchtime procedures (laser treatment or chemical peels) but leaving with red inflamed skin as they were unable to put their make up back on post-procedure. It became clear a product was needed that could calm and neutralise the redness yet be gentle enough not to aggravate the newly treated skin. And voila the BB cream was born.

BB creams were then introduced to South Korea and Japan in the mid 1980s where healthy-looking, porcelain skin was highly prized. The cream became particularly popular among Korean actresses and became heavily endorsed by Korean celebrities. BB creams now make up an estimated 13% of the cosmetics market in South Korea. Western cosmetic companies began launching BB creams in 2012 although some of these creams have been criticised for being no more than a tinted cream. More on that in a moment.

WHAT EXACTLY IS A BB CREAM AND WHAT IS IT USED FOR?

A BB cream has 5 key benefits.

To provide moisturise to the skin. In my opinion if you have very dehydrated or dry skin you may still benefit from applying a small amount of your regular moisturiser first, while oily to combination skin may get away with using the BB cream on its own.

To be hypoallergenic. You may see it described as being “non-comedogenic” which means the same thing. This makes them suitable for use on the most sensitive or problematic skin. They are also ideal to use if you are undergoing laser treatments or have reactive skin.

To possess anti-redness properties whereby the application of the cream will neutralise and correct against any redness. This includes redness due to acne, rosacea, chronic flushing or broken capillaries.

To be used as a primer or on its own depending on the level of coverage you wish to achieve. Used on their own they will unify skin tone and provide either a sheer matte or dewy finish (depending on the brand). You may apply a liquid or powder foundation over the top if you want to build the coverage.

To provide sun protection. This can be in the form of either mineral or chemical protection against UVA and UVB rays. Mineral UV filters are mineral pigments or to be a bit technical, micronized metal salts in the form of titanium and zinc oxide that sit on the skin’s surface and reflect UV rays away from the skin. The most popular chemical UVA and UVB filters include benzophenone, avobezone, parsol and cinnamates.

SO WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BB CREAM AND TINTED MOISTURISER?

The similarity between BB creams and tinted moisturisers has been noted but BB creams are designed to go one step further with the inclusion of the aforementioned skincare benefits. Not all tinted moisturisers have skincare benefits and their level of coverage generally tends to be higher. Furthermore, BB creams often use transparent pigments that adapt to your skin tone whereas tinted moisturisers come in a variety of different shades.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO APPLY A BB CREAM?

I find application with fingers works best as the heat generated from fingertips is most effective to work the BB texture into the skin. Alternatively, you can use a dome shaped foundation brush so long as the fibres are synthetic.

WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TEN?

In no particular order:

MAC

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Designed to be worn as a primer, MAC’s Prep + Prime BB Balm works on retexturising skin whilst providing important UVA/UVB SPF 35 coverage. Layered under foundation it evens skin tone and gives your make-up extra lasting power.
MAC Prep + Prime BB Beauty Balm SPF 35; £22.

Christian Dior

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Dior’s original Diorsnow BB cream was created for the Asian market, followed by a Hydra Life version for the UK, but their new formulation caters for rosier skin tones. Providing substantial coverage, in keeping with the original Asian BB creams, the three shades feature SPF 10 protection, hydrating properties and a formula which adapts to suit your skin tone. Perfect for English roses.
Diorskin Nude BB Creme SPF 10; £30.

Shu Uemura

London Photography Studio , The Face London, Make up advise

This mousse formulation is as light as air, but provides good coverage, an impressively matte finish and SPF 30 protection. Best of all, it covers blemishes better than most other lightweight formulations.
Shu Uemura BB Under Base Mousse SPF 30; £29.

No 7

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With separate formulations for dry, normal and oily skins, No7′s offering has a nutrient-enriched formula to help prevent blemishes, as well as SPF 15 protection and a light, easy-to-apply texture.
No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream; £12.95.

La Roche Posay

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Perfect for sensitive skin, this soothing BB cream includes La Roche Posay’s thermal spring water and focuses on conditioning the skin as much as it does on providing coverage.Non-oily and creamy in texture, it also works well dabbed on as a light concealer.
La Roche Posay Hydreane BB Cream; £15.

Erborian

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Using the famous Korean Red Ginseng that Erborian is renound for, this BB cream transforms your skin with a velvety, ultra-soft, spotless finish. All three formulations contain a highly concentrated association of longevity herbs, used in Asia for many generations. 
Erborian’s break-through high-tech formulation will unifiy your skin tone to conceal all imperfections, leaving your skin wonderfully moisturized, nourished and velvety to touch.
Erborian Crème au Ginseng 45mL, £34

Dr Jart+

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BB creams originated in Asia – so Dr. Jart’s coveted Korean formulas caused much excitement when they launched in the UK in June 2012. He offers several different formulas, but we like the Regenerating Beauty Balm, which brightens and hydrates, as well as offering light-to-medium coverage and SPF 30 protection in an easy-to-apply formula.
Dr Jart+ Regenerating Beauty Balm; £21.

Omorovicza

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Great for fair skins, this lightweight formulation features white lupin to revitalise, ruby crystal to minimise fine lines and slow-release hyaluronic acid microspheres for plumping and resurfacing. Additionally, it has SPF 20 protection and is free of silicone, meaning dirt and bacteria won’t get trapped beneath it.
Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB SPF 20; £80.

Estée Lauder

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Packed with antioxidants and hyaluronic acid, the Estée Lauder offering aims to plump, moisturise and control excess oil, whilst offering sheer but long-lasting coverage and SPF 35 protection. Plus, a little goes a long way.
Estée Lauder Daywear B.B Anti-Oxidant Beauty Benefit Creme; £32.

Smashbox

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Aimed at improving skin’s natural hydration, Smashbox’s shine-minimising formula features SPF 35 protection and anti-ageing peptides, and is available in five shades that accomodate most skin tones.
Smashbox Camera Ready BB Cream SPF 35; £27.

References:

http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/beauty/galleries/34715/more.html

http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2012/06/29/10-best-uk-bb-creams—beauty-benefit-balms-with-spf

http://www.erborian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=96&lang=en

http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/news-features/TMG3355004/Beauty-sunscreen.html

Images from:

http://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/2012/06/29/10-best-uk-bb-creams—beauty-benefit-balms-with-spf

http://www.erborian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=93&Itemid=96&lang=en

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Lipstick Lady, paperman crazy…

Our lovely graphics man Patrick, recently introduced me to “Paperman” a 2012 black and white animated short film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios and directed by John Kahrs. The short blends traditional animation and computer animation. The short has received a nominate for Best Animated Short Film at the 85th Academy Awards. Not only is it a super sweet story with a brilliant aesthetic it also ties in beautifully with our  beauty piece for the week ….Finding your perfect shade lipstick…

Enjoy!

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For those days that require a bit of pizzaz the perfect raspberry red, pretty plum or radiant ruby shades can add that something special to an otherwise ordinary LBD, shirtdress or simple white-T.

The trick to finding out exactly which shade suits you best is by knowing whether you’re a warm or cool undertone and by obtaining this simple yet life changing knowledge you will be able to open your eyes to a whole new world of beauty possibilities, plus it’s an economical way to update your favorite outfit.

In the pursuit to finding your ultimate lipstick colour we asked our fabulous beauty team to recommend their favourites for cooler skin tones and warmer ones and here’s what they said:

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 “For paler, lighter and cooler skin tones we suggest plum, wine, or blue-red lipstick shades to suit you best, on porcelain skin, coral lips bloom just like spring flowers. See below for my personal favourites:

Unknown-1 {lipstick options: NARS | NARS | Tom Ford}

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Holly Fulton fall ’10, image via Style.comRimmel London Moisture Renew Lipstick in Coral Queen, available at ASOS; Backstage at Max Azria fall ’10, image via Style.comGivenchy Lipstick in Fruity Orange, available at Sephora.

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True reds on cooler skin tones look incredible…

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Top three true reds for cooler, paler skin tones:

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Outside the tents at Bryant Park, photo by Lianna Tarantin; Cover Girl Lip Perfection Lipstick in Hot, available at CVSMake Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #45, available at SephoraTom Ford Private Blend Lip Color in Cherry Lush, available at Neiman Marcus.

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 For those with warmer skin tones: rich, deep pinks, deep reds, rich caramel shades, medium brown with yellow or pink undertones, and creamy coffee colored brown lipsticks look best.

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YSL Rouge Volupte Lipsticks-for a dreamy peachy coral!

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The top three red’s for warmer skin tones:

From left: Cynthia Rowley Spring 2011 runway;Make Up Forever Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #42, available atSephoraMaybelline Color Sensational Lipstick in Sweet Nectar, available at TargetHourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Creme Lipstick in Raven, available at Sephora.

Dαrk skin on the other hαnd, should try reds with blue undertones. αlso, mαhogαny, deep plums, wine reds, αlmost αny shαde of brown, rich, dαrk, coffee browns flαtter the skin.

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Tips for figuring out whether you’re a warm or cool undertone :

1.Which suits you better, gold or silver jewellery? Whichever lights up your complexion best reveals whether you have warm or cool skin tones. Gold looks great on warm skin, while silver enhances cool skin.

2. According to makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, the inside of your arm can be revealing. If the skin is pale and your veins look bright blue, you’re a cool skin tone. In warmer skin veins are less obvious.

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