1. 6. Grayburn: 2009 7.


Thoughts On The New Year

Quickly jotting down something more than just as a reminder for the year to come....

What have we got to lose right?  The only thing left to do is to take more risks in our lives.

In the spirit of that, a look at 15 years of Hussein Chalayan in fashion. 

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)

A Taste of the Holiday Season

I know this is not a food blog but I just had to post this picture.  And since it is the Holiday Season and we are all most probably stuffing our bellies at some point during this period, I thought it might be appropriate just this one time.

I recently acquired some marzipan from the beautiful city of Toledo (Spain) while I was on vacation there and they are just so irresistible!  I mean I couldn't even wait until after taking the picture to eat them with BFOG!  Just look at them;  all the little bundles all handmade and brimming with joy.  The 3 varieties here come either coated with pinenuts, crystal sugar, or with yolk filling (yema as they call it there).  And these are from one of the most prominent and local favorited shops in town; Santo Tome (since 1856).  Biting into one of these not only make you realize how beautiful something so simple yet so well-crafted can taste; but one also feels like they're biting into a piece of history.  The history books in Toledo tells us a story of local nuns helping to stave off famine during King Alfonso's VIII's battle against the Moors in 1212 with the help of these little 'almond bread'.  Because the nuns had a good supply of almonds (but not much else) in their reserves, they pounded the almonds with sugar and created 'bread' to provide food to the public. 

These are not your everyday variety of marzipan that are usually funnily colored and shaped into a leg of ham or a carrot.  These ones have a PGI status which according to BBC Foods, has "the origin and quality of products that carry this hard-won stamp of authenticity". 

So which foods are you especially enjoying with your loved ones this holiday period? 

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/food_matters/britishpdos.shtml

Small Update

Hi everyone!

Really sorry for the lack of posts lately.  I do wish to post more often as I have tonnes of products and news laying around waiting to be reviewed and shared.  But not having sufficient time these days and my insufficient knowledge of mobile blogging or mobile internet as a matter of fact has made it rather challenging.

But there are definite things I need to share with you and though I cannot promise when, they are coming!  I recently watched this video of Shakira and felt so taken aback and simply marveled at the way she moves.  Isn't the fight/longing dance between her and the shirtless partner amazing?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com


He Never Loses The Darkness In His Soul

"He never loses the darkness in his soul"  Tim Blanks on Ricardo Tisci for Givenchy during the label's Spring 2010 show. 

The pieces had a sort of mesmerizing power that drew everyone watching into the center of them.  A complex exterior wanting to be unraveled perhaps.  Somewhat of a romantic notion.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.com

Other-Worldly Queens

Something that I rarely mention about me is that I'm a bit of a science fiction fanatic.  I have had many a weekend when instead of going out to bars or catching a birthday bash, I opt to have a Sci-fi marathon at home.  So it is to no surprise that I was all over it when I saw McQueen's Spring 2010 RTW collection shown in Paris.  Watching the show was like being at a set for a Science fiction movie but with fabulous exhibition-esque clothes.  Braids were woven atop model's heads like tentacles and thorny flesh jutted out of their faces.  However, the clothes and the shoes told a slightly variation on the story.  The clothes had the most beuatiful victorian painting prints merged with reptilian motif.  And the shoes...oh the shoes!  The models were utterly other-worldly Hive Queens that have ruled their domains for eons.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.comhttp://grayburn.blogspot.com

Shu On Halloween

An easy solution to a scary Halloween:  Colored contacts, defining & contouring facial features, and a quick sexy over the eye hand-drawn art.  And of course a pair of fabulous Shu lashes!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com

A Song For The Weekend!

Have a great one!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


And Counting....Holiday Gift Ideas Series

We are gonna start looking at some drool worthy gift ideas for the upcoming holiday season.  The first of this series features a book commemorating NARS Cosmetics' 15th anniversary with.  This image rich book will spotlight icons wearing of course NARS' classic products.  The lineup includes Marc Jacobs, Naomi Campbell, Amanda Lepore, Daphne Guinness, Natasha Poly, Olivier Theyskens, Isabella Rossellini, and Shalom Harlow.  The worst part is that we'll have to elbow each other for a copy in the bookstore.  The book will only be available for ONE month only and you can see the counting down to the release date at http://www.15x15project.com/ .

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.com


A Relaunch. Hurry!


It is currently fashionable to look back to the 'good ole days'.  The 80s to be exact.

In line with that thinking, The Body Shop has relaunched for a limited time only a few or their popular products from that time.  The new versions are now more responsible in that they are made with fair trade ingredients and the containers are made with 100% recycled materials.  Plus they almost match their prices in 80s!

I visited the store today and what a trip down memory lane that was.  A sniff of that Banana shampoo + conditioner, the Carrot Moisture Cream and the Cucumber Cleansing Milk was pure nostalgia.  I was a kid again and my mom was buying me my first skin and hair care products.

The range on offer now:

Banana Shampoo 250ml
Banana Conditioner 250ml
Carrot Moisture Cream 50ml
Cucumber Cleansing Milk 250ml
Cucumber Water 250ml
Bath & Shower Gel in 3 different scents - Dewberry, Fuzzy Peach or Green Apple
Ice Blue Shampoo 250ml
Passion Fruit  Cleansing Gel 250ml

Word is that there's a chance some of these products may stay for good if they get enough votes from the public.  So vote for yours (and mine) please!

Vote for yours or request relaunches on http://www.thebodyshop.com/_en/_ww/beauty-lounge/originals/originals.aspx

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), http://trc1.emv2.com/HM?a=A9X7Cq2dpC3F8X_jba35DMPjhg, youtube.com


Inspirational Clip - Black, Shine & Studs

Art direction: Thomas Vermeer
Make up and Hair: Ferry van der Nat
Model: Feline

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com

Miucha Edges

There was a lot of unfinished business on the runway of the Prada Spring Ready-to-wear 2010 show in Milan.  Edges were hacked off and ever so slightly pulled which resulted in a beautiful balance of structure and destructed.  Fragile or not?  Piece after piece appeared and one could hardly believe one's eyes or blink in fear of missing just a second of the show.

I recently worked with a garment at a photoshoot that resembled a softly decaying blossom.  The edges, like those seen at the Prada show, were unfinished and tattered.  That piece was so delicate so much that at every 10 camera clicks the garment transformed itself right before us.  Perhaps it is a reference to the unstable nature of beauty. Or maybe we simply get bored with wearing something that looks the same all the time.  But which ever way we would like to interpret it, I think I love the way things are going for Spring of 2010.  Stagnation has been driven out of town!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.com

Not Only In Japan

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Chanel Short Movies


A little indulgence during lunch break.  This and many other cute short movies from Chanel about their new Coco Cocoon bags.


Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Calling My Name - Fall 2009

It ain't all bad that the weather is changing on us.  All it means is that we we spend an extra minute layering for the cooler temperature and trying out new makeup colors for Fall.  Right now I'm drooling over 2 particular collections from Chanel and MAC.  They are calling my name.

On Chanel:  I would buy anything with the words 'Laque' or 'Lacquered' on them.  Referring to the Chanel Rouge Allure Laque (Collection Noirs Obscurs), this jojoba oil rich glossy lacquer for lips promised color punch and endurance.  Line the lips with The Body Shop's Lip Line Fixer to prevent color migration.

On MAC:  Mac's all black collection, Style Black brings wearing black to another level by letting us wear is without fear of looking too goth.  The sheerness in the selection of items in the collection mean greater freedom in layer intensity from a sheer wash to a glossy opaque finish.  Glimmerglass (gel formula) lipgloss in Bling Black and Black Fire, and Mineralized Eyeshadows in Young Punk and Gilt by Association are particularly standouts. 

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), chanel.com, maccosmetics.com


Watch Out

Some news to totally follow and watch for.  Chanel's shoot at the Russian embassy in Paris (for Vogue Russia) and Lily Allen as the face for the launch of new Coco Cocoon handbag line (in stores October 3rd).

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), chanel.com

Arrive In Fiat-Style

Quirky yet fun idea:  run from show to show at the New York fashion week with free rides in vintage Fiat 500s.  These rides offer show to show stops and live show streaming to attendees of NYFW (just show your invitation).

“While the fashion community is struggling to find cabs, StyleCaster is providing free rides to make their lives easier. While others are taking pictures and posting the next day, we are streaming runway shows live to audiences across the world,” said Ari Goldberg, StyleCaster’s CEO. “One way or another we are going to bring style to the people and we are not going to stop until we do.”

To get a free ride to your next show look for the vintage Fiat 500’s with the StyleCaster logo and simply show the driver your invitation.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), www.StyleCaster.com


An eye-catching cover from the Italian Vogue this month with beautiful makeup and styling.  But for some reason, I feel disillusioned by the image. 

And what do you think of this collection of luggage by Viktor & Rolf and Samsonite?  The rolling piece with purse top cost around 700 euros.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Orange Babies

Looking back at the Amsterdam International Fashion Week now long gone (11th edition), my all time favorite show had to be the one put on by Orange Babies.  Enthusiastic displays of dance, fashion, song and makeup artistry wowed audience who were totally immersed in awe.  You can see in the photos below that all of us could not take our eyes off of what was infront of us.  Not to mention the divinely handsome men that marched out in the first section of the show!  I hope you enjoy these photos and that somehow they manage to convey a tenth of what a spectacular evening it was.

Orange Babies is not a clothing label (although there are shirts with their logo on it).  But rather, they are an organization established by Baba Sylla (1st photo) and John Kattenberg (the famous Dutch makeup artist and founder of House of Orange) to raise awareness and financial support to mothers and their babies affected by the HIV/AIDS virus in Africa.  Their influence in the fashion, sport, music and art scenes has brought and continues to bring real help to those in Africa through organizing fundraisers and various events.  

Please contact Orange Babies for more information.  For donations, please click here.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), Orange Babies


Things To Do After A Tiring Day

Feeling tired is not only a physical state but one that is truly tied in with how we feel mentally.  I am amazed at how quickly I can feel revived if I just spend a little time on other and on myself that my outlook is instantly lifted; not to mention my complexion.  And everything good will just follow.

A few suggestions on how I go about getting my groove back:

1.  Trigger fantastic sensations.
We have powerful senses.  Often times they are so over stimulated than it might just need a reset.  I like to do so by awakening one that is not often used.

One method:  Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask
This mask contains alot of ingredients to brighten the complexion and to fight off free radicals.  But the best thing about it is that it is a mini version of Bliss' signature Triple Oxygen facials at their salons.  The fluidO2 infusion turns into a bubbling and fizzing foam upon contact with wet skin.  The sensation it creates on my skin feels fantastic that I literally feel my brain releasing happy hormones.  Works just like those scalp massagers that you see.  The citrusy scent is uplifting as well!

2.  Center-ing.
Perhaps the all important key to life and healthy living.  Feeling centered and all over balanced is an important aspect to remembering inner strength.

One method:  Bergamot essensial oil
Rather than being a stimulating essensial oil, bergamot is categorized as an uplifting one.  What it does is that it makes one feel better in a more relaxed way.  It is often used in aromatherapy for people with anxious, tense or depressed symptoms.  Just one smell and you will know what I mean.  Blend bergamont with other oils such as lavender or geranium (if you want even more relaxation) and infuse your bath water, body lotion/oil or your home frangrance system to surround yourself with positivity.

3.  Get a glow on. 
If you don't have the time or the needed manpower to give yourself or receive a massage (face and or body), there are other instant methods.
One method:  Make Up For Ever Professional Compact Shine On Iridescent Compact Powder
I have the compact in #3 and #5.  They are both fine, glowy pressed powders that give an ethereal finish.  #3 is a shell shade and #5 is peachier and both are universally flattering.  I use the lighter #3 to highlight and the slightly deeper #5 shade to round off and give dimension to the glow.  

4.  Give treats.
At times when we are tired, the last thing we wanna do is to think about others.  But when you are tired, it helps to give treats to those around you.  Paying attention to someone else for a change takes the focus off of your own tiredness/malais and being surrounded by happier, more relaxed people just makes better atmosphere and things easier.  Not to mention the fact that the act of giving stimulates happy hormones. Think small and meaningful....chocolates, tea, manicure (not a gift certificate to one!), or even a smile.

5.  Drink up.
I don't mean alcohol.  All it takes is 5 minutes to give yourself that little break.  Drinks containing nutmeg or clove, or foods containing rosemary, thyme, basil, or marjoram feeds the body in the sense that they help us to come back from fatigue.  Add to your latte, tea, or pasta.  Take a few deep breaths in to oxygenate your body along with them and surely you will feel revitalised again!

....and of course you know I'm not a doctor.  These are a few things that I do that help me.  Let your family doctor know if you feel severe fatigue or malheureux.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Sweet Song

Have been on vacation and listening to this sweet song over and over.  This version is especially sweet with the girl swaying next to him.  Promise to update soon!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com



Even with the heat of Summer prevelant, I can't help but anxiously await the arrival of Autumn. A bit of time spent surfing on style.com does that to me every season. The anticipation of new colors, textures, shapes and even more choices in ways we will be encouraged to play with our hair and makeup is mind blowing.

And before my mind drifts off somewhere else let me just put this down. Balmain's Fall 2009 collection has at so many levels encompassed all of the feelings aforementioned. In Balmain's case, the new color is a vibrant blue, drizzling sequins as the new texture, and the new shape is the elongated line drawing focus on cutting edge shoulders.

And then just look at those boots!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), style.com


Warm Blend

I had to wipe off the drool from the top of my chin when I saw this standout at the MAC counter the other day. I had never seen a beauty like this before!

The MAC Mineralized Skinfinish in Warm Blend (Colour Craft Collection) contains 3 stripes of colors that deepens a tan and gives sheen to the complexion. This is a stellar shaper or highlighter for those with light-medium to dark skin tones but the lightest of skintones do not fear; apply with a 187/188/131 (LE) then buff with a flat top brush to achieve a rich glow.

Top - peach bronze
Middle - brown bronze
Bottom - true bronze

Swirled together, the result is a rich, deep, tropical glow. To apply, place along the hollows of the cheeks and then blended towards the apples to create what reminds me of the girl in MAC's Naked Honey campaign picture. But the colors in the compact can also be used seperately as well. Using the middle color as a crease color and one of the other 2 to complement it creates a summery, warm look for the eye.

I am certainly grabbing a backup!

Website: maccosmetics.com
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Positive Vibes for the weekend

A great song for starting the weekend!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Bjorn Borg - Westergasterras Fashion Show

Yesterday evening was spent backstage with a few fantastic makeup artists from House of Orange such as Kathinka Gernant, Fabienne Jansen and Severine van Donkelaar. The famous model Doutsen Kroes made an appearance chaperoned by her personal body guard. She is as beautiful in person as she is in those L'oreal Paris campaigns like the one seen in the video below:

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), bjornborg.com, textilia.nl, photo of Doutsen by Jeroen Snijders, youtube.com

SuperTrash Catwalk Show S/S 2010 - AIFW July 2009

Gorgeous girls with shiny bouncy waves strutted the runway as onlookers such as Janice Dickinson watched on. The collection is feminine and definitely sexy. All the pieces slithered about on the body capturing the essence of the label SuperTrash. The clothes reflected on the attitudes of the models as well. The models who wore the clothes couldn't help but feel really sexy.

Footage backstage - all the commotion and Janice Dickinson herself:

Credit: Grayburn
(Terms of Use), photo by Peter Stichter, youtube.com

Replay - AIFW July 2009

Amidst leggy models wearing rolled up slouchy jeans at the Replay S/S 2010 catwalk show at the Amsterdam International Fashion Week, the center piece of the collection was a creme fraiche silk dress with studded denim bust. The audience fanned themselves in the packed salon watched as the men strolled out with swimming pool hair and the women with beach waves.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), photos by Peter Stichter


A video of people who I really look up to working behind the scenes.

Credit: Grayburn
(Terms of Use), youtube.com

LEW S/S '10 - Amsterdam International Fashion Week July 2009

before the show

LEW (Leemans En Wicker) is a label with a distinctive eye for color, patching and layers. Their creations look gently fresh and modern. See photos below taken of their Spring/Summer 2010 collection at the Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW) of July 2009.

Another element of the show I loved as well was the hairstyle. From the front the models had Veronica Lake-esque waves but from the side and the back, braiding was revealed and done to keep long hair off the neck....great idea to keep some heat off in Summer.

I'm crazy about the glasses!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Blue Blood S/S '10- AIFW July 2009

Always in tune with the calm, cool and collected, Blue Blood presented their Spring/Summer 2010 collection at the Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW). Keeping in mind both him and her, the label makes wearable luxury street fashion that impacts a certain statement. That is what denim should be about after all. I find myself wanting yet another jumpsuit from the label and the slanted tee felt pen-marked with "HELLO". And there is something beautiful about wearing a universe-printed top.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)