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Friday, 25 April 2014

The Bright Young Things Film Club - Afternoon Delight at the Mayfair Hotel

My once ardent love for the cinema has sadly waned due to the mediocre offerings on screen and pitiful generic snacks. Long gone are the days of my innocent youth when an overpriced bag of stale popcorn and a vapidly stereotypical American teen prequel were enough to satisfy my cinematic urges.

Now I need more from the big screen experience in order to be expertly coaxed from my comfortable sofa and beloved Sky Plus box.

And expertly coaxed I was by The Bright Young Things Film Club – run by two bubbly film-loving ladies - Bridget Arsenault of Conde Nast and Fatima Martinez-Moxton from Mexican luxury jewellery brand Tane.

I discovered that this exciting club celebrates the world of cinema in the form of plush arty screenings at luxury hotels with the addition of cocktails and cake.  My interest was suddenly piqued and my recently dwindled passion for cinema reignited.

Ok, they had me at cake…

I took a fellow baked good-adoring chum and an empty tummy along to their screening of Jill Soloway’s Afternoon Delight – an empowering exploration of female sexuality and emotion with a thigh-slappingly humorous edge.

The film was shown on the bountiful screen at the celeb-adored Mayfair Hotel’s private cinema, which boasts lavish maroon leather seats and an opulent carpet.

After a warm greeting by Bridget and Fatima we followed the merry abundance of excitable guests to the bar area of the cinema where we were suitably plied with organic cookie and cream truffles, blondie brownies and sour cream coffee cakes by bespoke baking connoisseurs -Tea America.

Come to mamma...

We were then treated to enticing BYTme peach-infused cocktails by Circoc Ultra Premium Vodka – which along with the sweet treats, were also included in the all-inclusive ticket price of £17.50.

Cradling our cocktails and suitably armed with a supply of extra cake (in case we were to suddenly face the wrath of hunger pangs mid-film) we took our seats. We were thrilled to find that awaiting us was a goody bag filled with Propercorn sweet and salty popcorn and a bottle of refreshing Unoco coconut water.


Pink goody bags filled with healthy snackage? DO I?!

Starring the gloriously talented Kathryn Hahn, playing a bored wife and mother who moves a homeless stripper (the fantastic Juno Temple) into her home, Afternoon Delight was in my eyes a perfect film.   Funny, intriguing, shocking, heart-warming, realistic and gritty – with a hearty dose of feminism, it was a refreshing portrayal of American suburbia from an unashamedly female point of view.

Afterwards, the audience were treated to a live Q&A via Skype with the extremely witty Jill Soloway herself, who had us all in stitches with her interesting yet hilarious responses to our questions.
An afterparty in The Mayfair Hotel’s Quince bar followed which involved copious Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka cocktails and fervent film-related banter between cultured guests.

Admittedly, since my pleasant Bright Young Things Film Club experience, I have found it hard to join the masses at the local Odeon whilst expertly trying to dodge flying popcorn from groups of restless teens.

I can’t bear to watch another trashy thriller with no substance directed by middle aged men who demonize women for expressing their sexuality, or patriarchal romantic comedies where female (wife material) love interests are pigeonholed into ‘wholesome’ roles such as teachers or book shop owners. 

Why cant potential wives be investment bankers or forensic scientists dammit? Or even just work in PR?

Thank goodness that next week I’ll be attending Bridget and Fatima’s screening of Sweet Dreams – an award-winning documentary by Rob and Lisa Fruchtman about a group of Rwandan women who open an ice cream shop and form the country’s first all-female drumming troupe. 

Well, it makes a nice change from watching inebriated American teenagers discuss prom outfits. 

The Bright Young Things Film Club will be screening Sweet Dreams at 18.30 at The Mayfair Hotel on 30th April. 

Tickets can be booked here.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Youngblood - the 'Mac' of the Mineral Makeup World


Ah my beloved blog. Forgive me for neglecting you. Welcome me back to your wordy bosom with renewed vigor and let us start afresh.

It has probably been over a month since I last blogged due to a frantic few weeks of fashion copywriting for my favourite store, Selfridges.

Now I am back to fervently blog away about all things special and exciting to me such as high-end mineral makeup brand Youngblood's elegantly-packaged, celeb-adored cosmetics.

Being a firm advocate of organic and natural skincare products, I have always tended to shun chemical-free 'natural' cosmetics, because quite frankly, most of them are just not very good. There. I said it. (argh!)

Saying this, Youngblood's pigment-rich mineral products, which are free from harmful chemicals, actually surprised me with their premium quality and flattering results.

My recent obsession is their Dragon Fruit Lipstick, £14, - a creamy formulation enriched with pout-pleasing natural ingredients such as grape seed extract, jojoba oil and honeysuckle flower. The intense shade of berry pink is perfectly on-trend for the spring/summer season and compliments most complexions - especially olive tones like mine.

I use it with their creamy Pinkberry Lipliner, £10, to prevent feathering and the colour lasts for hours before I need to top it up again.

The problem I find with most natural, mineral-based lipsticks is that the colour is usually too sheer and not vibrant enough for my liking. Youngblood's lipstick is bold, smooth and leaves a semi-matte finish - which I find rather sophisticated. Long gone are my younger days of sticky bubblegum-hued  glosses that would menacingly attract stray hairs to my lips as I plodded sullenly along windy streets.

Someone dear to me once said, 'don't let anyone with bad eyebrows give you advice about life.' I agreed with her profusely, being equally militant with my Persian-inspired brow-related views. A perfect pair of arches frame the face and work in harmony with your features, so the right brow product is essential.

Youngblood's renowned Brow Artiste, £30, the all-in-one brow kit for gorgeously groomed arches is one of my must-have cosmetic products. Eyebrow pencils can often create a harsh 1980's style effect worthy of a cameo in a Dynasty remake, so I tend to steer clear of them in favour of brow-beautifying kits like this splendid Youngblood creation.

Available in a variety of colours and featuring two mineral pressed powders - a lighter and a darker shade, as well as a slick tinted wax to set your handywork until the early hours, this badboy of a eyebrow perfecter is definitely a keeper.

My perfectly coiffed and coloured brow with Brow Artiste


The kit also contains a handy mirror, tweezers and a double ended brush - one side to apply wax and powder and the other to brush those pesky stragglers into sultry submission. The result is striking yet natural and the effect lasts all day.

For me, Youngblood truly is the 'Mac' of the mineral make up world. Their products look stylish in your vanity case and tastefully enhance your features, allowing you to create your own work of art - all without a barrage of skin-sullying chemicals.

Before - makeup free with obligatory selfie pout

After - with Youngblood's Brow Artiste and Dragon Fruit Lipstick (and my lovely buddy Roshana)