1. 6. Grayburn: February 2009 7.


well mr. f. NARS, i'm even more in love....

You came and took us by storm. You lit up makeup junkies' hearts at the NY fashion week by wowing us at the Marc Jacobs fall '09 show.

65 different makeup looks after 10 years of not stepping foot backstage of any runway shows? I am now even more in love.

More topics on Nars Cosmetics

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


All In The Details: C'est Brillant AIFW 2009

It was fantastic to see 5 groups of designers given the honor to create clothing to complement C'est Brillant's 2009 eyeglasses collection. I love the focus of using eyeglasses as an accessory rather than an ordinary visual-aid piece.

p.s. the name of the eyeglasses designer is not misspelled, "brillen" is the Dutch word for eyeglasses... a play on the English word "brill-i-ant"...you get the idea...!

I love details and personally I either buy something for its details or the very lack thereof - if you know what I mean. Here are the details that caught my eye and had me snapping crazily away with my camera ...

Olive Peoples and Malou Sebastian
Anne Et Valentin & Cross Colours
Sama Summum

Carrera & Ray-Ban, Nieuw Jurk

André Courrèges

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I Whisper In Shame

Yes, I have been known to pick at a spot here and there, from time to time. Admitting that I do is still hard, so out of shame, I will switch over to my whispering voice.

Now that we have that point covered, I want to let you in on how I manage the situation and still have pretty decent skin to show for it. Here it comes: Avene Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream (as known in N. American) or Avene Cicalfate Antibacterial Repair Cream (as known in Europe).

The cream itself is thick, emollient and feels very soothing. It applies white but turns transparent and thin after a few moments of warming on the skin. Since it contains copper (a germicide), zinc (speeds up the healing process and aids in healing skin rashes) and sucralfate (has an inhibitory effect on burns), skin that has been damaged can heal faster.

I apply this rich cream on clean skin whenever I have gone too far with squeezing at a spot. Being nurtured back to health in a clean and restorative environment, my skin has the chance to return to health; and I notice that the scarring isn't as severe those times I don't use the cream.

Those who are familiar with one other product called Neosporin (available in N. America) might understand how such a cream can be so beneficial. Both are antibacterial creams made for cuts and scrapes but personally, I prefer Avene's version as it just feels more nourishing and calming (also especially useful for after a chemical peel). Although, those who are prone to breakouts should know that the richness of the cream may pose to be a problem. However, the cream is still valuable to have for cuts and scrapes on the rest of the body.

Description from Avene's site:
Anti-bacterial and healing properties in one unique formulation
A technologically advanced skin restorative cream clinically proven to help speed the recovery process with anti-bacterial and healing properties. A unique cream with anti-bacterial and healing properties.


  • Cuts, scrapes, scratches
  • Burns
  • Cracked skin
  • Stitches
  • Hair removal
  • Diaper rash
  • Post-treatment


  • Helps speed the skin recovery process
  • Provides a healthy skin environment to minimize a potential infection
  • Prevents signs of scarring
  • Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal
  • Fragrance-free, preservative-free, colorant-free
  • Avène Thermal spring water to soothe and soften the skin
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), aveneusa.com


First Steps Of A New Adventure

Makeup by John Kattenberg of House of Orange

It is funny how life pans out sometimes. I really could no longer ignore all the things that were happening around me, even if I tried. And trust me, things were happening. Telling me to chase after something that I have been too scared to pursue.

I took one small step at a time (which occasionally felt excruciatingly tedious). But one thing led to the next and I decided that I wanted to go back to school. It all really didn't happen right away and the moment that I made the decision was more than 6 months ago. After a few months of visiting what I believe to be the best institutes who offer what I was looking for, I decided finally on attending the best of the best. Naturally right? As with any good school, there was a selection process. The thought of being turned away, and possibly told to never come back again, would be a devastating one. I knew that I had to stand out somehow. When I finally got the call to go in for THE interview, I turned into a bundle of nervous/happy wreck when I hung up the phone.

The day of the interview I arrived so nervous that my hands were shaking uncontrollably. I couldn't even hold onto that cup of tea that they gave me. I don't remember a thing that I had said or was said to me. All I recall is that they had to tell me three times at the end of our interview that I had been indeed accepted. Ok, not only was I slow but I really could not wrap my head around that when I heard it!

It seems I will get to start school next week and I am elated even though I have never been the school type. Oh I failed to mention that I will be going to Makeup School! That makes it a hundred times more interesting in my eyes. I love the thought of being a student again and I look forward to being a shameless one. I vow to be the one to show up early and that I will show up with all my pencils sharpened ahead of time. I will decide on what to wear to class a week before and even read my materials before the class and not on the way on the bus. Do I sound like I had been a bad student in the past? So true.

Being as well prepared as possible is what I want to do but what I have come to learn is that one can never manage to prepare for everything; especially when it has to do with the fashion/beauty industry. I guess that is something that makes it the more attractive to me and it feels as if I am finally taking on a positive challenge that is invigorating.

I cannot wait to learn all the wonderful things and work with some of the finest when I attend John Kattenberg's House of Orange Makeup School. I hope you are as excited as me on the path that I have chosen and that you will welcome it when I share my journey with you! And thank you for always being there for me because I know that I could not have come this far without you.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Skin Cancer Linked To Moisturizer?

A recent study by a group of scientists at the Rutgers State University of New Jersey established a possible link between the application of some widely available topical skin creams with some ingredients in common (i.e. Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin or Vanicream) to mice' skin (pre-treated with UVB to increase their risk for skin cancer) leads to an increase of cancer formation in the skin.

Dr Yao-Ping Lu and his team pre-treated the group of 30 mice with UVB twice weekly for a duration of 20 weeks and then applied the said skin creams on the UVB-inflicted mice for 17 consecutive weeks thereafter (1x/day, 5 days per week). The conclusion of the study was that although not more numbers of mice in the treated group had tumours compared to those in the control group, the rate of formation of tumors and the number of tumors was significantly greater.

While I personally find this type of testing which involves animals (who are unable to speak for themselves) cruel and unnecessary, here are some of the issues a number of experts have raised in regards to the study and its findings:

- manufacturers of Eucerin and Vanicream have raised concerns with regards to the design of the study as well as how the findings can be relevant to humans.

- the size of the test group (30) too small for such conclusions.

- mice skin not the best replacement for conducting tests for human skin.

As noted by many other experts in the field, while the conclusions may be dubious, further tests that address the above issues are needed.

What is your take on the study? Do you think we need to be alarmed by these findings?

The article describing the study can be found in the Aug. 14 issue of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology
Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com, style.com


Something To Do With Vibrant Colors

I might not be quite ready to wear brights on my digits just yet (the temperature is still hovering at around freezing here) but I sure am looking forward to these 2 colors from Givenchy's Spring/Summer line. The collection, made up of vibrant pinks and oranges, drew inspiration from the exhilirating colors seen in India and in Bollywood films.

The vividly hot colors would make a bold statement equally on both pale to dark skin tones. I am hoping to make an even bolder statement for Summer by wearing the nail colors together in geometric blocks the same way I have seen done brilliantly on some dresses lately. It would work particularly well since the two shades complement each other rather well I think.

Vernis Please! Lacquer both LE (link) - Maharani Tangerine No. 161 (only available in Europe) and Maharani Pink No. 162.

Creator Nicolas Degennes talks about the collection:
"I saw India as a bombardment of colours bursting forth to the rhythm of filmi music. I had already been a fan of this infectious, upbeat music for a long time, but of course it was the imagery that really grabbed me — Bollywood and its palettes of colours burst with beams of light.Melodramatic love stories… But love stories all the same, with all the emotion, the ardour, the passion of hearts that are torn apart and the struggle through hardship … The stuff of life! And the women! So beautiful, vivacious, dazzling…… and yet so sweetly demure. I have been, sometimes without realizing it, inspired by historical, traditional India. A mysterious, magical, disquieting India. The India of symbols and thousands of gods, where even cows and elephants are made up and 'bejewelled'. The India of fairy tales, of Maharajas and especially Maharanis, wrapped up in their silk saris and covered in precious jewels.Words and images that take us beyond our boundaries.History, reality and fantasy join hands."

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


Barbie Celebrates 50th At Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

Roger & Maruricio Padilha talks zebra-striped jumpsuit by Patricia Field inspired by Barbie's 1st bathing suit.

An unbelievable list of over 50 designers including Anna Sui, Derek Lam, Calvin Klein, Vera Wang and Diane von Furstenberg will present life-size pieces using Barbie as the muse on February 14th during New York Fashion Week. I am excited to see what a designer such as Donna Karen, who understands a woman's curves, will present.

A confirmed fact is that Barbie herself takes 3 hours to brush on layers of makeup paint (she has over 300 shades of brown in her makeup kit!). I hope her show will be on time and that she won't keep her guests waiting for too long!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), video of some of the looks on barbiemedia.com

Daryl van Wouw A/W '09-10

The Daryl van Wouw catwalk show is always packed full. A part of the audience had to even watch the show from the entrance, trying to get a glimpse over heads and between gaps.

Van Wouw's A/W 2009-10 collection, inspired by the vibrant colors used in Chinese opera, was one that had something for every occasion. The Chinese opera mask printed shirts modernized the ancient art form into something fun and wearable today. What was most exciting were the beautifully shaped off-shoulder dresses with that gorgeous bustline which sloped downwards around and towards the back (see the dress with green leaves below).

However, the bonus for me at one of Van Wouw's shows is always the makeup and hair. There is always something interesting and fresh to look at and this time was no different. The girls walked out with the most exotic multi-tonal braids that were just so striking seen from the back. While the face was kept pure and simple, gold was painted on the the neck which extended towards the bustline. The glimmering gold paint brought out beautiful skin textures and accentuated a beautiful part of a woman's body. Kind of reminiscent of the gold rings worn around the necks in 'longneck' tribes.

Chinese opera mask-esque prints

Gorgeous. Want!

Dress made more formal with tuxedo elements.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Would You Like To Sample Our Perfume?

I have always been fascinated with advertising campaigns surrounding public transit system and airports; especially since I spend quite a lot of my time there. It is quite interesting where advertisers such as Europe's largest outdoor advertising company JCDecaux will choose to display what for best impact.

A well formed and placed ad will give something interesting for the passer-by to look at but JCDecaux now wants more than a few seconds glance from us. On top of having a visual impact, ads might now house a station where a perfume can be spritzed and sampled. These stations will contain perfume which can either be triggered released with a press of a button, at timed intervals, or by sensed motion of a passer-by.

There is a system such as this already in place in Japan where a restaurant uses it to emit the smell of a chosen item on their menu. The smell of teriyaki chicken could probably make me hungry at any time!

What do you think of this? Would you like to sample a perfume without stepping foot into a department store or be spritzed unknowingly by a sensor-triggered perfume station?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), cosmeticsdesign-europe.com


Dressed In Night - Mada van Gaans At The AIFW

During the 10th edition of the AIFW, Mada van Gaans showed her collection for A/W 2009-10. Those of us who love to dress in black were spoiled for choices. Mada van Gaans has taken the ordinary to interesting proportions and her use of metallic fabrics fired up under those stage lights. The pieces were comfortable yet glamorous to look at. I simply adore the shimmery russet colored off-shoulder number whose longer length makes it absolutely stunning.

Shimmery accents that play up a natural face, complimenting the feel of the collection.

Designer Mada van Gaans (in the middle), greeted the crowd after the show.

Mada van Gaans' S/S 09 collection (Enchanting Memories) presented at the Dutch Fashion.Awards

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


AIFW makeup&hair Look Book compiled by Grayburn

Makeup by The House Of Orange
Hair by View Agency

It has been enormously fun spending a week with fashion during AIFW but I have finally been struck by the flu bug. I have so much more that I want to share with you; especially photos of some really fantastic accessories and clothes but being sick means I move with the speed of a slug. But I really hope that you enjoy this look book. I've put together of some of my favorite hair and makeup looks from Amsterdam's International Fashion Week! I LOVEd each and every one of these options and am looking forward to recreating some of these looks myself. I am even thinking of making some braided pieces to attach to my own hair (as seen worn like a royal crown above from the Individuals by Amfi show)! You might get a clearer look if you click on the image :)

Take care honeys and check back soon!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Iris van Herpen A/W 2009-10 - AIFW

Iris van Herpen Mummification F/W 09-10 - AIFW
A chilly breeze filled the room and the crowd went silent. Music started and the models performed their slow majestic stride in bare feet. Warrior goddesses. Wows were heard echoing around the room at the show's end.

Every piece in the collection was a show-stopper. The array of immaculate details were so amazing to look at and the muted gold played contrast with carbon black.

Iris van Herpen's S/S 2009 Show at the AIFW

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)