Sunday, 31 January 2010

Welcome to Fashioning February

The beginning of the year may start on New Years Day aka 1st January but for a lot of people it does not actually get going till  February. After the madness of Xmas and sheer utter indulgence most people spend January in a slumber wincing at their credit bills and bank statements and counting the days till pay day. Come February everyone's mood has lightened, people have a bit cash in their pockets and have gotten used to the new year. This is why Fashion Week is such a blessing; this combined with the awards season gives everyone a reason to get all dressed up to party. I decided to put together Fashioning February which will be an editorial celebration of fashion focusing on New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week. The month will be packed of features, interviews and profiles on the fashion scene and its fashionsistas. It all kicks off tomorrow with a profile on mega Blogger Susie Bubble who is February's Blogger of the Month, then there is an interview with the lovely, Gisele Scanlon, author of the iconic The Goddess Guide and The Goddess Experience, there will also be a three part feature on the fashion industry plus two bloggers based in NYC will tell us about the favourite icons from that city. So I look forward to seeing you all tomorrow and let the start of Fashioning February begin.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

My Space - Dina Fierro from eye4style

Like most bloggers, Dina Fierro is a very busy lady with her perfectly manicured hands in most pies. By day she is a managing director of Attention where she works on brands such as Harajuku, MAC and Barbie. At night she unleashes her editorial skills on online and print publications such as Social Life, The New York Sun, and juli b. She set up eye4style back in 2006 to feed her passion with fassion, beauty, style and shopping.

Describe the concept of eye4style.
eye4style was launched as a creative outlet almost four years ago. I cover shopping, fashion, beauty, spa and just a touch of personal style.

Where do you scribe? 
I often blog from my office (shhh!), but evenings and weekends, I'm all about my couch as a comfy workspace.

Why that place? 
Ideas tend to strike when I'm at the office and since I spend so many hours there, I love to get blog posts done and hopefully spend my post-work down time (it's precious!) with friends, my kitties or yes, even the TV when the work day is over.

What is on your couch at the moment? 
Two silver throw pillows, a down throw (it's been very chilly in NYC lately!) and Violet, one of my cats. 

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?
I keep an inspiration board in my office that's absolutely covered with tear sheets from magazines, recent invitations, photos and even paint chips of colors that I love. My living room has a few amazing pieces of art that were painted for me by a friend.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker? 
Overall, I have to say, I'm relatively tidy. I rarely print anything, so that helps to keep paper clutter to a minimum (though the beauty products do tend to pile up).

You can read Dina's blog here.
You can follow here on Twitter here.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Book Slam

Remember when Poetry Slams were all the rage in the 90s? When the masses would head down to a funky bar or cafe and listen to spoken word artists wax lyrical on the mic. You couldn't walk down the streets in London without seeing one of these events taking place. Well now in the Noughties we have book slams where arty types and the literati gather round in underground places to hear cool authors read from their bestselling books. I spotted a great article in last week's Grazia where they covered the lastest cultural crazes and along with soirees at museums, political debates and pop cultural clubs, book slams are right up there for evening fun.

Book Slam
Set up by author, Patrick Neate, this is one of the first and only literary event to take place in a nightclub. Not only do you get a reading you also get to enjoy live music from wonderful musicians and the evening is topped off with a DJ spinning great tunes for the rest of the night.

Wapping Project Bookshop
This is a much more intimate event with up to 16 people conversing on the merits of each book. The Wapping Project Bookshop is located in a cosy greenhouse where the reading takes place.

This innovative event is where five artists and philosophers have 15 minutes to share their stories about their lives and successes. Hosted by journalist Rosie Boycott, 5x15 takes place at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill.

Add that to the numerous book reading Meetups that are taking place up and down the country it looks like books are the new thing. Whoever said reading was boring eh?

Friday, 22 January 2010

TGI Friday

On Fashionblogs from Mary Scherpe on Vimeo.
So things have finally got back to normal this week and it looks like we have left the snow behind us. Please find a list of blogs which have rocked my world this week.

The Coveted
2009 was certainly the year of the blogger and 2010 looks like it will be even better if this fabulous video shown above is taken into consideration. The film was made in conjunction with Berlin Fashion Week and covers the impact that bloggers have made to the fashion industry. The footage includes the who's who of fashion blogsphere as well as the Grand Dame of fashion, Suzy Menkes.

Fantasy Ride
There is no doubt that we live in a youth orientated world which is reflected in the entertainment industry. Michelle looks at youth shows such as Skins, 90210 and Gossip Girl and discusses why it pays to be young.

Lushes Brown Thoughts
I wrote about Buppies a few months back which (a web series that covers a group of US Black urban professionals) stars former star of The Fresh Prince, Tatyana Ali. Check out this fab video with Tatyana and her sister Anastasia who both collaborate on the show.

Fashion Journalist in the City
A few weeks ago everyone in blogsphere were raving over V magazine when they published their plus sized issue. Fashion journo about town, Chloe tells us why plus sized models should be featured in magazines all the time.

Welcome Home
Everyone knows what a huge fashionista Rachel Zoe is but not everyone knows how swish her house in LA is. Interiors' junkie, Amanda Talbot shares the images that were taken when she went over to Rachel's house.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

My Space - Amber Yeshpaul from Phreshmentality

Amber Yeshpaul is a lady who loves her nails which is why her talons are always vamped up to near perfection. Her other passion is TV where her impressive resume boasts employment with top companies such as MTV, Endemol, Plum Pictures and she also worked on The Family which airs on Channel 4. Amber started Phresh Mentality two years ago in order to document her life as a runner in broadcasting but over the years her blog has grown and evolved into Amber's musings about work, life and pleasure including wonderful examples of nail art. 

Describe the concept of Phresh Mentality.  
My blog now mainly features nail art, which is a big passion of mine. I like to do free hand designs, which means that I draw whatever is on the nails myself, without the use of stencils or design plates. I also post reviews on movies, theatre, music and sometimes events. I’m a poet so on occasion there’s a post or two about my poetry performances and the rest is just my general ramblings about life and other things that I like.   

Where do you scribe? 
Usually my bed serves as my scribing station and sometimes the sofa. In the summer I sometimes like to write outside - thank God for wireless.  

Why that place?  
Well, I did have a desk until about a month ago but I got rid of it to free up more space in my room, so the bed is the only place left. To be fair though, even when I did have the desk I sat on the bed most of the time so I don’t really miss it. I like it because it’s comfortable and big enough for me to spread out with my stuff if I’m working on something other than my laptop. Come to think of it, I do basically everything that needs doing whilst sitting on that bed. It’s where the magic happens man. (Keep your minds out of the gutter people. :)

What is on your bed at the moment?  
Right now, I have my ipod, my iphone, my MacBook (Apple fan much?) Big Red cinnamon gum, which is my fave. Some strawberry twizzlers – snacks are important, especially the fat free kind. Nail polishes, because I just finished doing my nail art of the week and my camera as I’m about to take pics of the finished product. There’s a few notebooks and a CD that I just got in the post – Jukebox by Priscilla Renea. 

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall?  
I’m a big fan of photos. I’m doing up my room at the moment so the walls are bare, but I have loads of photo frames with pics of my family and friends around me. Knowing where I come from really inspires me, so seeing photos of my past and present reminds me of that. I also have print outs of some of my favourite poems on the wall. Right now, Phenomenal Woman and Still I Rise by Maya Angelou and A Dream Deffered by Langston Hughes are up as well as a Sanskrit prayer from India. I find famous quotes very motivating and I usually have them written on a mass of post-its, stuck on mirrors and doors to keep me focused. Because of this, I’m planning to have a few of my favourite ones painted on different walls in my room once I’m done decorating. My bed faces the window and I’m lucky to have a fantastic view to look at while I’m writing. Nature is truly inspiring. 

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?  
I’m a tidy person and I can’t work if I’m in messy surroundings so I try to keep the things on my bed as in order as possible. It’s harder to do this on a cushioned surface so sometimes I have to work downstairs at the dining room table. My room is usually clutter free and tidy though, because when I have a harmonious work/living space it makes me happy.

You can read Amber's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Help Haiti

Formed in 1697
Gained independence in 1802
It reaches 2,680 metre high
It spreads 27,750 square kilometres wide
Population of 10,033,000
This tragedy occured at 4.53pm
It is the most severe earthquake in 200 years
Affected six miles of land
200,000 people estimated to have been killed

At times like this you feel so hopeless but there are various ways of helping those who have lost their homes and beloved family.

Red Cross
You can make your donations to here.

You can assist Oxfam here.

You can donate to Wyclef's charity here.

Every little bit helps.

I would like to thank Blogger for introducing this Bloggers Day of Action.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Material Girl: Review

I can't remember the last time I sat down and watched a proper British drama series that made me feel so inspired and excited that I could not wait to see the next episode. Oh I lie, I do remember it was This Life and the year was 1996; I had finished my BA and was at journalism college and the debutante professional lives of five every so crazy lawyers who shared a house in South London had me gripped. With vivid sex scenes and colourful language and explosive storylines, This Life was Sex and the City before the iconic show became Sex and the City. Then there was the wonderful Cold Feet which charmed the us with the lives of three couples based in Manchester. Well since This Life sadly disappeared from our screens in 1997 and Cold Feet in 2003,  I have migrated to US TV shows like Lipstick Jungle, Gossip Girl, 90210, Melrose Place and the Canadian import, Being Erica. Aside from soaps like Eastenders, Brit TVvery rarely got a look in. During the noughties Sarah Parish ruled the Brit drama roost with roles in Hearts and Bones, Cutting It, Honest and Mistresses. I never really took to Cutting It, Mistresses was ok but I never warmed to any of the female characters and I totally missed out on Hearts and Bones. This is why the arrival of Material Girl (read my preview post) has been hugely anticipated by me and fellow fashionistas.
Material Girl (based on the book, Fashion Babylon by Imogen Edwards Jones) is the story of Ali Radcliffe played by Lenora Crichlow, an aspiring designer who decides to set up her own label after being treated badly by her boss who is the very successful but neurotic Davinia Taylor played by Dervla Kirwan. She goes into partnership with Marco Keriliak played my Michael Landes who studied at St Martins with Davinia and is keen to even a score with his nemesis. The series is set in the busy hub of London's East End and we are introduced to Ali's colourful set of friends which consists of Alex, a fellow designer who works for Ali's rival, Mimi who works at a glossy magazine and Lydia who is one of the country's top models. We see Ali go head to head with the spiteful Davinia who will stop at nothing to jeapordise Ali's career. The show starts off spendidly with shots of Champs-Elysees where Ali is helping Davinia prepare for her show at Paris Fashion Week. The rapid shots really evoke the pace and excitement of the fashion industry particularly when Fashion Week is on.  Like other glam shows such as Ugly Betty and Sex and the City, Material Girl could be enjoyed purely on the scenery which is totally vibrant and rather eclectic. The outfits have taken quite a bit of a panning by fashion journalists but considering that we see Ali dressed in play suits, capes, vintage shift dresses and of course elegant stilettos which are all key looks for any decent fashion lover I beg to differ. But hey what do I know? I only follow fashion right. Yes, Material Girl may be full of cliches albeit bitchy boss, the must have gay BF, the wacky and out there pal and the trusted bestie but it is a really good show and very enjoyable. We need more Brit dramas like this please, in fact we need more Brit dramas period.

Material Girl airs on Thursdays at 8pm on BBC One

Friday, 15 January 2010

Frank Gatson Jr

This morning I was watching the wonderful Frank Gatson Jr (choreographer to the stars) on BBC Breakfast where he was plugging his guest appearance on So You Think You Can Dance and this prompted me to go online to check out his resume. All I can is wow, wow and wow. Who has that man not worked with would be an easier question to ask. Frank Gatson seems to have worked with everyone from Michael Jackson, EnVogue, Usher, Salt n Pepa, Mariah Carey and Diana Ross plus everyone else in between. He was the guy who put together the amazing moves in Single Ladies aka Beyonce's famous anthem which made me sit up and take the Texan seriously. Prior to Single Ladies. Beyonce had always been to me a great singer who looked amazing but an ok dancer. But hey the video for that epic of a song kicked that philosophy's royal butt. While Gatson talked about his career you could see the passion in his eyes and it was clear to anyone watching how much pleasure dancing brings him. It is perfect timing considering the dance mania phase that everyone in the country is experiencing at the moment. The success of films like High School Musical High and Step Up as well as the nation's beloved, Strictly Come Dancing has given birth to a new sub culture of dance programnes hence the UK launch of So You Think You Can Dance which hit the TV screens a few weeks ago. During his sparkling career Frank Gatson has won an accolades of awards including five MTV awards for best choreography and a VMA for best choreography. Not bad for a guy who was a back up dancer in Michael Jackson's video for Smooth Criminal.

Check out the best of his work in the clip above. 

TGI Friday

This year seems to be racing by faster than speed lightning but thank god that the snow is thawing and we can all get on with our lives. Once again here are a list of blog posts which have rocked my world this week.

Mustard Seed Collective
Who doesn't love gay Paris? The fashion, the food, the wine and the wonderful architecture? Well the lovely Adrienne presents the French campaign by fashion brand, Forever 21.

It is a pretty dead cert that Precious is going to clean up at all the awards shows including the Golden Globes which takes place this weekend. This post looks at the star appeal of Gabourey Sidibe, the new star of Precious who has taken Hollywood by storm.

Yoruba Girl Dancing
According to Henry Reid, US Senate Majority Leader there is a negro dialect. Is there? Yoruba Girl was perturbed and discussed it in her blog.

Face Hunter
What you thought The Satorialist was the only street style blogger one capable of landing a book deal?
Not so. Yvan Rodic aka Face Hunter shows off his brand new spanking book.

The Stiletto Effect
Remember Taylor, the stroppy assistant in The Rachel Zoe Project? Well she has left the Zoe campy and gone onto pastures new. This post pays homage to her talents.

In the Editor's Chair - Mayah Riaz

Most magazines are either aimed at men or women but there are very few which cater for both markets. Hence why the magazine racks are full of your Grazias, Elles, Vogues and Cosmopolitans which are packed full of girly topics and on the other side of the racks are the likes of GQ, FHM and Loaded which are pure testosterone. Which is why the launch of DEEN magazine laat October was such a breath of fresh air. Covering everything from fashion, beauty, gadgets, fitness and motoring, DEEN magazine has a little bit of something for everyone. The publication was founded by 27 year old Mayah Riaz after she saw a gap in the market for a stylish magazine that both men and women could relate to.

How did you get into journalism?
It's not a popular answer, but I actually got into journalism by accident. I have always had a strong passion for writing but started pursuing teaching. I remember someone once telling me that careers weren’t for life, which always stuck in my head. So I had done a course in Journalism (as well as a BND in Business). I then started out working for a magazine and really enjoyed it, so that was the start of a career in journalism.

Describe the concept of Deen magazine.
DEEN is a lifestyle magazine aimed at men and women. It covers everything from health to hair, fashion to fitness, books to budgets and everything in between. It sort of has a little of everything. We are not politically or religiously biased. We don’t do fad diets or size zero and have more substance.

Who is behind Deen magazine?
DEEN magazine is my baby. I felt there was a gap in the magazine market and decided to narrow it.  I carried out extensive research to see what people really want from magazines. The majority of responses told me that people want a non gender specific magazine that covers a wider range of topics. This (amongst other things) is what I have set out to do.

How many members of staff work on the magazine?
We are a small, dedicated team. There are thirteen members and a lot more freelance/part time DEEN members who contribute greatly.

Describe a day in the life of Mayah Riaz.
There's no typical day for me. However, a very full on day would be a 5am wakeup call with breakfast meetings. Then discussing features for future issues with staff, a little bit of tweeting (which is becoming addictive), replying to emails and keeping my eyes open on current trends, organising things we have planned in the pipeline, catching up with staff. When I get home, the work continues from the sofa. I don’t switch off. However, a very chilled out day would be working from my PJ’s from the sofa watching daytime telly, catching a coffee with a colleague/friend, making a few phone calls to the team, a spot of shopping before finishing the day off with a homemade face mask.

Which blogs do you check out regularly?
I tend to check fashion and beauty blogs, a lot of them being small ones. 

What magazines do you read?
I am a huge fan of Look Magazine. I have more or less every single issue. I love the way Ali Hall (LOOK’s Editor) has made the publication much more about the fashion and beauty- with a hint of celeb news. You know it won’t be trashy. Look Magazine certainly has the correct formula for the ideal weekly – and all my friends love it for the same reason.

What tips do you have for anyone who wants to become a magazine editor?
This job would not be possible without passion or drive. It’s this that keeps you going from day to night – and there are many nights where you are working, and not all those nights include going to top parties. During the deadline of issue one I was working for 30 hours straight and getting four hours sleep for two weeks. My staff did the same too. It’s important to get as much and as varied experience as possible, as this will set you apart from the rest. It’s also great if you have some work experience behind you so you know what is expected from you. I couldn’t have done this job without having great friends who do realise I may have to cancel plans last minute with them if something important comes up. 

The next issue of DEEN is out on 9th March.

You can follow Mayah on twitter here.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

My Space - JJ Miller from This Little Lady Went to London

It's great living in a chic and cosmopolitan city like London because there is always something to do at anytime. But how do you filter your way through all the weird and wonderful things that are on? Meet JJ Miller, a founder of This Little Lady Went to London which is a blog which celebrates the London lifestyle and picks out the creme a la creme of events taking place.

Describe the concept of This Little Lady Went to London?
This Little Lady Went to London is a fashion and lifestyle blog focusing on life in and around London. We feature interviews, product reviews, discounts and offers, events and discuss current affairs.

Where do you scribe?
I write at home, on the sofa or in my bed office.

Why that place?
I suffer from chronic pain syndrome after a hit and run and I am in and out of hospital so can't sit up at a desk or write for too long in one place.

What is on your blogging space at the moment?
I work surrounded by magazines, my notebook and usually my puppy.

What form of inspiration do you have on the walls?
On my walls I have a couple of pieces of original artwork that were commisioned for me, which inspire me. I also have various photographs in frames but the most inspirational thing of all is the view from my window. We live by the canal and look out over fields and have floor to ceiling windows. It's beautiful.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
I am incredibly messy. I am always surrounded by to-do lists, notes, magazines and articles I love. I used to be ultra organised but my medication makes me forgetful so I'd be lost without my notes.

You can read JJ's blog here.
You can follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


They say your school years teaches you a lot about socialisation as it is where you learn how to interact with others from different backgrounds. They also say that if you are lucky to make it out of high school in one piece you are a true surviver. McKinley High is a typical All American High School where the jocks are kings and cheerleaders are queens. The nerds are the smart kids who get picked on and then there are the kids from the Glee Club. Attended by a bunch of misfits, the dillipating Glee Club consists of the ambitious Lea Michele played by Rachel Berry who badly wants to fit in with the in crowd and uses the singing club to get their attention. There is the fiesty Mercedes Jones played by Amber Jones who finds herself sidelined by Lea but fights it all the way. There is Kurt Hummel played by Chris Colfer who is tormented over his sexuality, Artie Abram played by Kevin McHale, the paraplegic who rocks the guitar like no one can and Tina Cohen-Chang played by Jenna Ushkowitz, an Asian American goth who is handicapped by a slight lisp. This mismatched group are not only the laughing stock of McKinely High but are also on the brink of being shut down by their money hungry principal. That is until Spanish teacher Will Schuster played by Matthew Morrison is given the role to steer the Glee Club to the former glory of its past. Initially he struggles to make something with the group and also faces the opposition of brash cheerleading coach, Sue Sylvester played by Jane Lynch who will stop at nothing to be the top dog of the school. Then Will hits pay dirt when he overhears Finn Hudson played by Cory Monteith, a popular footballer singing to himself in the shower and he blackmails him into performing in the club. As luck would have it the group gels together with Finn and Lea's strong vocal chords and the remaining members' backing voices, the Glee Club goes from mud to gold in a blink of an eyelid.

Glee - Gold Digger from Tony Jones on Vimeo.
The pop culture sites have been going gaga over this show since it aired in the US last May so I was curious to see what it was like. It did not disappoint me at all. Glee is everything a great show should be; funny, poignant and full of well developed characters. From the ultra competitive, Sue Sylvester, to the anal retentiveness of Emma Pillsbury played by Jayma Mays, the school's guidance counseller and Will's freaky wife, Terri played by Jessalyn Gilsig who fakes a pregnancy to keep her marriage in tact. I just love the way it goes from being light hearted to dark and then back to light hearted. Basically Glee has it all and it is hilarious and entertaining at the same time. This show is like Mama Mia meets Gossip Girl.

Check out the Glee Club's fantastic rendition of Kanye West's Gold Digger.

Glee is aired on Tuesday at 9pm on E4.

Friday, 8 January 2010

TGI Friday

What a week it has been eh? Totally snow infested, the news stations are calling it the biggest freeze for 40 years. So just to warm your hearts here are the blog posts that have rocked my world this week.

Habitually Chic
Everyone is cooing over Anya Hindmarch designing a new line for Barbour but I was more interested in her gorgeous home. Talk about divine.

Bangs and a Bun
The hilarious Bangs and a Bun tells us exactly why the second Sex and the City film will be a major flop.

Style Bubble
Super blogger, Susie Bubble shares with us the wonders of Selfridges's Wonder Room which celebrates the 90s.

Style on Track
With a bag named after her, Jane Birkin has an enviable style which is admired by many. This blog post is a tribute to her.

Forever Amber
Very few people have escaped from the snow over the last few weeks and Amber tells us why winter wonderland is a pain in the arse.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

I Heart Hollywood by Lindsey Kelk

They say that couples who fall for each other do so because they have a strong connection, well this is how it was when I started reading I Heart New York last summer - read the blog post here. The book is about Angela Clark, a 20 something Brit chick who ups sticks to New York when she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her. She lands a cool gig as a blogger for a glossy mag, meets the man of her dreams and lives blissfully in Brooklyn with her bestie Jenny. I bet you thought that was where the story ended right? Well wrong because hot on the heels of I Heart New York is I Heart Hollywood where we see Angela heading to Hollywood to interview James Jacob, a very hot and successful British actor. Set against a landscape of designer boutiques, chic bars, exclusive clubs and stunning women; Angela finds celebrity life in Tinsel Town a tad pretentious. When she eventually gets to interview James Jacob she is surprised at how down to earth he is. The two strike up a swift friendship with James taking Angela under his wing and showing her different sides to LA. However the media soon get a whiff of James and Angela's friendship and she finds herself in the public eye for all the wrong reasons. This is bad news because sitting back home in New York patiently waiting for her to return is her gorgeous boyfriend, Alex. Will she be able to convince him that the press have the wrong end of the stick?  If I Heart New York is anything to go by then this book is bound to be a real corker. Lindsey Kelk has such a wonderful and engaging writing style that you cannot help but fall in love with her books. So if you like a book with a lot of fun and glamour then this is absolutely for you. Look out for I Heart Paris which will be released in July. 

Those lovely people from Harper Collins have donated FIVE copies of I Heart Hollywood for me to give away to my lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me the name of your favourite book. The first five readers to leave a comment will win a copy of the book. 

I Heart Hollywood is available to buy on amazon now.

Check out the website for I Heart Hollywood.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter.

Lipstick, Powder and Paint

Face it, we all need a bit of beauty in out lives to make ourselves feel glamorous. Every decent magazine covers beauty in great depth but with a huge socio-group to cater for it is pretty hard for the journalists  to meet everyone's demands. This is why beauty blogs have become very popular over the last few years. The beauty blogger offers a no nonsense, barrels free guide to make up products by telling us what works and what doesn't and how to apply the stuff. The complex thing about make up is that what works for one person may be hell for another so to gain a personal perspective about the latest mascara or lip gloss is invaluable. Enter Yinka from Vex in the City who is a London based beauty blogger with a witty and savvy writing style that has gained her a huge following. She took time out to answer a few questions her blog and the odd bit of lippy.

What made you start blogging?
I've always had a passion for writing and thought "Hmm I can do that". Frustration also played a part in my decision to start blogging as there were few beauty blogs written by black women in general and even fewer written by black women based in the UK so I thought I'd start my own.

Describe the concept behind Vex in the City.
I didn't really start blogging with a concept in mind. It was (and still is) just an outlet to share my love of beauty and skincare products with like minded people who appreciate a good lipgloss when they see it. However, I wanted to make it relevant to those who were also having difficulty finding reviews of make up products or swatches on skintones similar to their own. When I get messages from readers thanking me for doing certain swatches or for discussing a particular product then I know I'm doing okay.

How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
Bloggers have had a huge impact on the media and we way we view it. A journalists job is to deliver the news impartially, whereas bloggers have the freedom to add their own opinion to a story which has the potential to reach millions. From a beauty bloggers perspective, I'd rather read a review of the latest mascara from an ordinary consumer on their blog, than take the word of a glossy magazine that has been paid to feature the brand in question. PR companies have caught on to how valuable beauty bloggers are, so now I'm often approached by different agencies wanting to send me items to review on behalf of their clients. As a result, I've discovered new brands which has broadened my beauty radar. I don't try and be some sort of beauty expert, far from it. I'm learning daily and having fun as I do it.

Beauty blogging seems to be the new thing in blogsphere so how do you keep your blog fresh?
There's certainly been an explosion of beauty blogs lately but it's not as new as some people think. There are established beauty blogs that have been around for 3-4 years now. Likewise there are blogs that are not so well known that have been running for a similar time frame. Sometimes I won't review a product as there's already an influx of reviews on it and I don't want my blog to have the same content - sometimes I can't avoid that though. If a product is that good, then it deserves a mention on my blog. I think my personality comes across in my posts which my readers like too. I've come across blogs that sound like bad press releases in every post or are littered with poor spelling and grammar. I always try and inject a bit of personality into my writing as well as sounding literate, that seems to work.

What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
More often than not, you can find me on Twitter! (damn that site!!) When I'm not tweeting I'm doing the usual - shopping, out with with friends, with my family, etc

Describe a typical day in the life of Yinka.

Where do you source your stories from?
The majority of my blog posts stem from personal purchases and experiences. The staff in the Fouberts Place MAC Pro store know me (I dunno whether that's a good or bad thing!). I write frequent reviews on products and keep an eye on upcoming collections that are featured on Specktra, a popular beauty forum. 

What are your favourite glossy magazines?
I stopped buying magazines for a couple of years but then started buying Look, New! and Glamour again. I want quick, accessible beauty and fashion and those three tick my boxes. However saying that, I just threw away a box full of magazines and I'll be sticking to reading their websites this year when I can. I wasted a stupid amount of money on them.

Name five blogs that you read religiously
I follow a lot of blogs so don't have the time to check daily, but there are a number I check regularly that always have content that interests me:

Hmm that was six, wasn't it?

How do you see Vex in the City evolving over the next two years?
I haven't looked that far ahead to be honest. My blog is something that allows me to escape from the grind of daily life and I'll continue to blog for as long as I continue to enjoy it and have the time to spend on it. I take it one day at at time. If any opportunities come my way as a direct result of my blog then great, but I don't have a grand master plan in mind.

You can read Yinka's blog here.

You can follow her on Twitter.

The 2010 Bloggies

New decade, new year, new dawn but same the old awards season. Yep we are at that section of the year when all the major awards ie The Oscars, The Grammys, The Brits and The Baftas all start descending upon us week after week. However, an authentic object in a very fake field is The Bloggies. This is the awards festival that celebrates the best in blogsphere and pays homage to the best blogs around the globe. Can you believe that this is the tenth year of the event? Nominations are open now and a wide range of categories are available. The deadline for nomination is Tuesday 12th January so get voting now. Oh and if you have a spare moment, a vote or two for The Musings of Ondo Lady would not go unappreciated.

Click here to vote.

The winners of The Bloggies will be announced in March.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

My Space - Kwana Jackson from Kwana Writes..

Kwana Jackson has packed an awful lot into her life. A former fashion designer, she is now an author of women’s and young adult fiction. When she is not tending to her family which consist of hubby, twins and a dog, she is entertaining us on her popular blog Kwana Writes.. I caught up with her to find out exactly where she sits down to create her blog.

Describe the concept of Kwana Writes..
The tagline for Kwana Writes is: “about writing, life and knitting it all together”.  I chose that because I’m a writer working towards getting published and my main reason for the blog was to get my words and voice out for people to see. I choose life because it gave me a broad range of things to write about and being a Gemini I didn’t want to limit myself. And the “knitting it all together” part spoke to the knitter and creative person in me. I’m a former fashion designer, a wife and mother of teenage twins and also a knitter and like most women I’m constantly trying to find a way to seamlessly knit all the facets of my life together.

Where do you scribe?
I usually end of scribing on my laptop while sitting up in my bed.

Why that place?
I have tried for so long to create another workspace in our small house for myself from the basement to the kitchen breakfast nook which would work beautifully, but I find myself most comfortable and creative in the bedroom. My next project is to find a way to fit a desk and shelves into our small bedroom. My husband is not sure how I will make that happen, but I know I will. There is usually no stopping me once I get a bee in my bonnet. *grin*

What is on your bed at the moment?
My laptop, a Snuggie (it’s very chilly in my 1940’s home), my Blackberry and the remote control (yes, I like background noise).

What form of inspiration do you have on the wall ie photos, magazine cuttings or extracts?
I don’t have an inspiration board up on the wall, but I do make them for each book I write and have boxes of tear sheets that I collect. I usually keep them in a corner on my side of the bed. I also snap pics to have them on my Blackberry and keep my characters with me all the time.

Do you keep a tidy office or are you a messy worker?
Oh, messy for sure. It’s something I’m constantly working on. It must have something to do with the creative mind or at least that what I tell myself. I keep way too many books and magazines but you never know where inspiration will come from.

You can read Kwana's blog here.

Follow her on Twitter.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

You've Got Mail

Reading the book, Dear Me which I blogged about here made me think about how we communicate overall. When I was a lot younger my Mum used to make me write letters to my cousins in Nigeria. I used to hate it because I felt that it ate into my precious time when I could be watching TV or playing with my mates. Back then in the early 80s writing a letter seemed really laborious as it was difficult to go back and correct mistakes. So when the invention of email came along I was ecstatic. Not only could I communicate to anyone around the world at anytime, I was amazed by the wonderful fact that as soon as I pressed the send button my recipient would have my mail sitting in their in-box waiting for them to read. Email was fast, convenient and efficient. However as what normally happens to all great things, emails lost their innocence and pretty soon my in-box was full of spam messages and mails from fraudsters. It got to the point where I no longer looked forward to logging into my account as I spent 90% of the time deleting unwanted messages. Then Yahoo messenger came into my life and the concept of exchanging instant messages to someone on the other side of the world was very intoxicating. Of course after that various forms of social media kicked off ie MySpace where you could meet likeminded people from across the globe, Facebook where you could catch up with old school mates, find out what they are up to and last but not least is Twitter. Now this amazing facility allows you to natter on about anything you want at anytime to anyone – well as long as they are following you. It is also amazingly addictive as you can sit in on conversations and find various interesting people from anywhere. The 140 character limit makes sure that what you say is concise and succinct. Sadly with all these delightful forms of interaction this means that the urge to send an email is very small, I can’t remember the last time I sent or received an email that was non work and blog related. So one of my plans for 2010 is to start emailing again. So come on, make my day and drop me an email at to say hi.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Kell on Earth

Those of you watch The Hills and The City will know that Kelly Cutrone does not joke. The PR Guru takes no prisoners and does not mince words when she has something to say. She is no doubt one of the most entertaining and enigmatic characters in the two hit reality shows. Lauren Conrad who The Hills was based on and Whitney Port who is the star of The City just pale in comparison to Kelly. So it was of no surprise last year when I heard that good old Kelly is getting her own reality TV show. Aptly titled Kell on Earth, the programme will focus on her company, People's Revolution which reps fashion designers and stylists such as Jeremy Scott, Paco Rabanne, Vivienne Westwood, Sass & Bide and the legendary Patricia Fields.

Kell on Earth airs on 1st February on Bravo TV and I cannot wait to see it.  With a book due out in the same week it looks like Kelly will be a very busy lady.

Check out the clip above and tell me what you think of it.

Dear Me - A Letter to my Sixteen Year Old Self

They say hindsight is a great thing. There is a scene in Shawshank Redemption where Ellis Boyd 'Red' Redding played by Morgan Freeman Is up for parole for the umpteenth time and he talks about his wayward years. What is so touching about his speech is the way he talks to his teenage self and gives himself some crucial advice on life choices. This is a really poignant scene which results in him being granted his parole.

Dear Me: A Letter To My Sixteen-Year-Old Self is a book that contains letters by high profile personalities written to their younger self. The idea is to provide the younger self with advice and tips that would avoid them making the mistakes they did. The letters vary in many ways from length ie some letters are two pages while some are just two liners. Some letters are typed while some are hand written while some are one lined paper and some on plain or even a post it note. Some of the advice is downright frank, a lot of them are funny, some are sad and some of them are pretty confessional. From Peter Kay telling himself to avoid stone wash denim, Jackie Collins advising herself to stay away from drugs and Patsy Kensit urging herself not to marry every rock star she meets.  The forward is written by Elton John who has indeed lived a far from boring life both adult and adolescent, so it is very fitting that he should be the one to introduce the book.  

Dear Me is a lovely, gorgeous book which is also inspiring and touching. It would make a perfect gift for a teenager or even adults. I totally loved reading it.

Check out the Dear Me Letter blog and you can join the Facebook fan page here

You can buy the book from amazon and every £1 goes to the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Nancy Meyers

Nancy inspires a tremendous amount of hope in me, she defies conventional wisdom that women re over - both societally and professionally - past a certain age. I root for her in a way I do for all women who are trying to sledgehammer a hole into the wall of an audience and an output that's almost exclusively male-dominated.
Callie Khouri, Director of Thelma and Louise, New York Times, 2009

You can't start a new year without the release of a new rom com film and for 2010 that film is, It's Complicated which stars Meryl Streep and Alex Baldwin. This delightful romance flick is about a divorced couple who find themselves drawn to each other and embark on a torrid affair. It's Complicated is directed by Nancy Meyers who has a raft of successful films under her belt such as Something's Gotta Give, The Holiday, What Women Want and The Parent Trap. She also wrote and produced Father of the Bride, I Love Trouble, Baby Boom and Private Benjamin. Nancy Meyers' movies are a breath of fresh air in Hollywood as they tend to be about mature and affluent professional women who juggle careers and family so it is no surprise that she is regarded as one of the most powerful in Hollywood.  Her female characters are funny, clever, warm and ambitious and the type of lady who does not need a man to make her life complete. In a culture where youth and looks dominate this is quite fundamental. Critics have described her work as dipping into the bourgeois mainstream with the wannabee Oprah happy ending but bitch as they want, nothing can detract from Meyers excellent writing skills and well rounded characters.
The petite yet determined 60 year old grew up in the comfortable surroundings of Drexel Hill in Philadelphia, the younger of two daughters to a Jewish couple. Her childhood was blissfully happy with family and friends in abundance. In fact the close relationship that Annie played by Kimberley Williams-Paisley in Father of the Bride has with her Dad, played by Steve Martin is not too different from the one Nancy had with hers. In 1972 she graduated from American University with a degree in journalism and then promptly landed a job in public televison in Philadelphia. Six months later she moved to LA six and got a job as a production assistant on The Price is Right. which she did for two years before leaving to kick start her writing career. In 1978 she met Charles Shyer who went on to become her partner in business and life. The duo were together for 20 years and married for three, in an union that produced several hit films and two daughters. Films such as Private Benjamin, Father of the Bride and Parent Trap were just a few that they worked on before they split in 1998.

Nancy Meyers lives in Pacific Pallisades with her two daughters.

It's Complicated is released on 8th January, check out the trailer below.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy 2010!

The end of a year, end of decade and the end of another wonderful year of blogging. I would say that I have gone into 2010 with a blast. Today not only represents the beginning of a new decade but also the third anniversary of The Musings of Ondo Lady. A lot has happened over the last year: I held onto my job (whew), took the trip of a lifetime, lost my Dad, met up with many blogging buddies based in the UK. So it would be safe to say that 2009 has had it's high and lows. I wonder what 2010 will bring? Hmmm. I would like to thank you all for your support and comments as well as all you other bloggers out there who really inspire me with your endless energy and creativity.

Happy New Year!