Young Womens Halloween Party.

Last night was our Young Womens Halloween Dinner.
Most came dressed in costume...and it was a good thing as there was a prize involved.


{Aren't my girls the cutest?}

We served Corn Chowder and Chicken Enchilada soup in pumpkin shaped bread bowls.


L to R: Pumpkin branches from Trader Joes; Silverware served in a coffin; Pumpkin bread bowls; place settings.

Take home favors consisted of caramel corn and THIS poem...


We served VOMIT as an appetizer....
{Ok ok...it's spinach dip}


....and Vampire cupcakes for dessert...

{Idea from my talented Sister-in-Law}.

We played two different games.  

Wrap the mummy.... 


...and Sis Coombs' Halloween Candy Quiz.


This one was a lot of fun.  There was a list of 30 words describing different types of candy or candy bars  and you had to guess what the REAL answers were.
 For example:

A large amount of money = 100,00 Grand
Dry Cows = Milk Duds
Extremely warm color - Red Hots

Prizes were give to those who scored highest.

We ended the evening with a short 'Halloween-ish' devotional all about missionary work.

My sweet counselor was in charge of that and she did such a great job.
She had brought 6 different big Halloween cut-outs of 'scary' things and then on the back, she had written 'SCARY' myths and rumors that the girls had heard about sister missionaries in the past.



With the new announcement that girls can now serve missions at the age of 19...we wanted to talk about it and  dispel any past doubts or thoughts about it.  

Myths and Rumors included:

* The only girls who go on missions are the one's who can't get married.

* Only ugly girls serve missions.

* The only girls that go on missions are the one's that don't have any plans or goals in life.

* "All of my guy friends will just be getting off their missions as I'm starting to leave on mine".

* I'll just be too old when I get back

* All the good guys will be taken when I get back.

As each girl read what was on the back of their card, we talked about it and how it just isn't true and then the girls tore up the cut-out and threw it on the ground.

Now that girls can serve missions when they're 19 really changes things up!
So much excitement surrounding it!!

Serving a mission as a girl now....in fact....isn't SCARY at all!

NOTD: MAC - Boom!


I had no idea what to dress up as for #halloween, so I decided to go old school and be a vampire!  So on my nails I went for MAC's Boom! from their Fafi collection a few years back.  Boom! is a beautiful vampy deep fuschia pink with purple and red undertones, and it has a very pretty fine shimmer.  I topped it off with a coat of my ever faithful Seche Vite to make it ultra glossy.  Vamp-tastic!  Happy Halloween everyone!

What are you wearing on your nails today?

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October Empties / Products I've Used Up


It's that time of the month again - empties time! Here are the beauty products that I have managed to use up recently, what I thought about them and whether I'd repurchase them again.

REN Neroli and Grapefruit Body Wash (from Amarya box)
Last month I used up the matching Body Cream to this and said that I much preferred the Body Wash which I still do.  Very sad to see this all gone; it's a lovely citrusy scent that I enjoyed using first thing in the morning when I was still wishing that I was in bed.  Repurchase?  Not right now, I have a huge bottle of JASON's Revitalizing Citrus Body Wash to use up which is a similar scent.

LUSH Catastrophe Cosmetic Fresh Face Mask (reviewed here)
This has quickly become a staple in my skincare routine and it's been keeping my skin very happy and breakout free for months now.  I think this is my third or fourth pot!  Repurchase?  Definitely.

Boots Coconut & Almond Conditioner (mentioned here)
Cheap and cheerful hair conditioner that I use for shaving my legs.  Does the job, smells like coconut of course (mmmmm!) and is less than a £1 a bottle.  Repurchase?  Yep!

Phil Smith Be Gorgeous Dry Clean Revitalising Dry Shampoo (reviewed here)
I had a big love/hate thing going on with this.  It worked, but was a pain in the ass to use, especially if you have dark hair.  Have since found my HG dry shampoo in the shape of LUSH's No Drought anyway.  Repurchase? No.

Simply Argan Organic Argan Oil (from Amarya box)
This bottle has lasted me well over six months because you only need to use a really small amount each time.  I used it mainly as an intensive hair treatment that I'd apply to my lengths/ends and then leave on overnight, rinsing it out in the morning.  Works so well!  Repurchase?  No, because I'm trying the Arganti oil that came in my Betrousse box recently, but would seriously recommend this if you're after a pure argan oil.


Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat
This is still the best top coat I've ever used.  Makes my nail polish super glossy, stops smudging straight away and dries several layers of nail polish super fast.  Repurchase? Yes, already have.

Trind Nail Repair
Used this up as a base coat because I wasn't really impressed with its nail repairing abilities.  Much prefer OPI Nail Envy for that purpose.  Repurchase?  No.

Nails Inc Nail Polish in Shoreditch
Whilst having a rummage through my nail polishes I noticed that this one has gone all gloppy and was halfway used up anyway, so it's time to bin it.  Repurchase?  No, it's a nice hot pink, but not a unique colour at all.

Burt's Bees Lip Shimmer in Watermelon (reviewed here)
No surprise that this has been used up as I used it a lot over the summer months.  A lovely tinted lip balm (that cooling peppermint formula which Burt's Bees is so famous for) with a cool pink shimmer to it.  Repurchase?  Probably not at the moment because I have a lot of other similar lip products in my stash.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Care with SPF 15 (mentioned here)
Another leftover product from summer.  Really nice lip balm, very moisturising and I love that it has SPF.  Provides a smooth base for applying lipsticks over.  Repurchase? Yes.

Barefoot Botanicals SOS Daily Rich Body Lotion (reviewed here)
This is a fab natural body cream for very dry and sensitive skin.  Absorbs easily into the skin and has a pleasant soothing orange meets herbal type scent.  Really great for calming down eczema too.  Repurchase?  Maybe after I've used up my current pot of LUSH's Dream Cream

Have you used up any products this month?  Feel free to link to your empties posts below!
 
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Halloween Leadership Treats.

I wanted to tell my awesome YW leaders how much I appreciate them.
One of the many reasons that I LOVE my calling is because of them.
With our Halloween party tonight...I wanted to do something Halloween-ish, so this is what I came up with.



Super simple....here's how to do it:

Make up a super easy super yummy carmel dip.

Consists of: 

1 tub of already made carmel dip from the grocery store
mixed with
1 package of cream cheese
Top with Heath Bar topping.


Get a nice juicy green apple


Wrap it up with gauze tape


Add candy eyes 
{any type of fake eyes would do here}


Pair it up with the dip


Add a tag that matches the 'mummy' theme


And wrap em up with cellophane and a cute bow.



Deliver to your amazing leaders that help you so much along the way!


That's it folks! 

Can you believe Halloween is TOMORROW?

If you'd like a copy of my tag click HERE.

October Books List

In honor of the month of Halloween, most of the books that I've read in October have a horror or dark theme to them.  If you've yet to pick a Halloween read, then perhaps one of these will interest you?  Here's what I've read this month:-


(1) House Of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielweski
House Of Leaves is a big book in terms of length and concept.  It's pure experimental fiction so you come to expect the unexpected as you read through it (cue lots of pages with just a couple of words scattered on it to frame suspense/drama, weird footnotes on almost every page etc).  The book has a dual narrative throughout which you'll either love or hate.  The main bulk of the story is based around 'The Navidson Record' - a creepy faux (or is it?) documentary write up of the events that happened to the Navidson family in their new house - and it's this part which I loved.  It's proper horror film material and features a random extending hallway that just appears in their house out of nowhere (WTF?!).

The other side of the dual narrative is told through Johnny; a down and out youth who comes across the Navidson Record, and then proceeds to ramble on and on about his life, whilst some weird things happen to him.  The huge courier font that his parts are written in aren't easy on the eyes either, so I found myself skim reading a lot of Johnny and his rambling.  I also had to skim read/and eventually just skip altogether, the footnotes, of which there were sometimes whole pages of them.  I know that this is part of the experimental fiction concept, but I found them really boring and annoying.  


Despite the parts I didn't enjoy, I'd still recommend this book to anyone who likes suspenseful and imaginative horror to read just The Navidson Record in it.  [3/5]


(2) The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. Le Guin
In this intelligent Sci-Fi novel, the central theme describes two opposite planets; one is called Anarres and its residents live in a seemingly utopian anarchist community.  The other planet is called Urras and symbolises the supposed opposite of Anarres.  The story is told through the eyes of a super genius scientist from Anarres, Shevek.   It's through him that we realise everything is not as it seems, and even utopias have their problems that need to be addressed.

Although the novel itself comes across as quite dry (it's not the easiest to follow and to read it as an actual story can be difficult, even if you're anarchist minded to begin with), it makes a lot of interesting points about some of the potential flaws of anarchism/utopias, but it suggests ways in which elements can be combined with socialism to function more as a complete and sustainable society.  It's a fascinating book and one I'd highly recommend to anyone interested in politics and anarchism.  [4/5]



(3) We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
We Have Always Lived In The Castle is a short read and my first book (and no means last) by Shirley Jackson.  The backstory is a typical mystery (the Blackwood family are poisoned with arsenic, and the daughter Connie is later aquitted of the murder, so who did it?), and whilst its a recurring theme throughout the book, we don't really find out much detail about it. 

Instead, the story is mostly centered around the quirky close relationships of the three surviving Blackwoods; the narrator Merricat, Connie and elderly Uncle Julian.  Cue lots of weird and kooky dialogue, and a visit from a cousin with a hidden agenda.  The overall tone is more abstract creepy and a little unsettling, rather than straight out horror, so would suit those who like dark mystery themes.  [3/5]


(4) The Rats by James Herbert
A relatively short horror story set in 70s London.  Amongst the poverty and decay, giant rats are starting to attack and eat humans!  Those who manage to escape the rats after being bitten are infected with a virus that brings them to death's door in a horribly agonizing way.  Take it for what it is; a simple gory horror read!  [3/5]


(5) The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray has sat on my bookshelf for years so it's another book that I've read recently that I'm glad I've picked up, but I couldn't help feeling a little disappointed by it.  Despite it being a short book, it felt really long and characters whom I thought I would instantly love (such as Lord Henry and of course Dorian himself), didn't appeal to be as much as I hoped they would when I sat down and started reading.   Many have said that The Picture of Dorian Gray would have been better suited to a play and I'm inclined to agree with them.  The story as it stands as a novel, just didn't grab my attention much, though I did enjoy the overall concept.  [3/5]


(6) Satantango by László Krasznahorkai
This book reminded me so much of Kafka; it's dark, depressing, imaginative and even more depressing.  Some of the prose is really quite beautiful though, in a bleak kinda way.  Krasznahorkai uses that old chestnut of pathetic fallacy to its extremes in Satantango, setting the whole story virtually in endless rain and in a tiny little village in the middle of nowhere.  All of this reflects on the characters lives and behaviours as we see their village fall apart around them.   An interesting piece of literature, but don't read it if you're already feeling miserable; it's sure to only exacerbate any melancholy that might be brooding inside you.  [3/5]


What books have you been reading this month?
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Korres Discovery Gift Set / Whatsinmyhandbag.com

 Korres Discovery Gift Set (£10 + P&P if not a current member, link)

If you're a fan of the procrastinator's favourite website, Whatsinmyhandbag.com, then you may have seen that they've recently launched some popup shop offers in their 'Try + Buy' section.  When I saw this one pop up for the Greek natural brand, Korres, I immediately clicked add to basket and was very happy when it arrived today.



Korres are a brand that I've always wanted to try more products from so this Discovery Set was perfect for me.  Included were the following:-

Korres Wild Rose 24 Hour Moisturiser with SPF 6 (10ml)
I've tried this before and it was slightly too rich for my oily/combination skin as a day cream, but worked superbly as a night cream, especially now that we're heading into the colder months.  It soaks into the skin well and has a lovely subtle rose scent.

Korres Evening Primrose Eye Cream with SPF 6 (5ml)
I've been wanting to try this out for absolutely ages but it's just one of those products that I never got around to picking up.  I'll be trying this out soon when my current Clinique eye cream runs out.

Korres Milk Proteins 3 in 1 Cleanser (14ml)
Another product that I've wanted to try from Korres is this 3 in 1 cleanser, toner and make-up remover - excited to give this a go because I've read some great reviews of it.

Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose (full size)
I'm a big fan of these tinted lip butters, so of course this completely swayed my decision to buy the set as I've been eyeing up Wild Rose for a long time!  Will do a post on my Korres lip butters soon :)

Are you a fan of Korres?  Which are your favourite products / ones that you'd recommend?

Review: Schwarzkopf OSiS+ Flatliner Iron Serum Spray

 Schwarzkopf OSiS+ Flatliner Iron Serum Spray (200ml, £10.11, link)*

I recently signed up to Hairtrade's Blogger Partnership (special thanks to Fran for drawing my attention to it), so every month I will be reviewing a product that I've chosen to try out.  For those of you who haven't heard of Hairtrade before, they are one of the UK's leading online retailers of hair extensions, hair care and beauty products and stock all the top brands. 



This month, I chose to review Schwarzkopf's OSiS+ Flatliner Iron Serum Spray (link).  As the name suggests this is a heat protection (up to 200C) spray that you use with your hair straighteners for a smooth and sleek finish.

To apply, you simply spray onto dry hair before using your straighteners.  The serum formula comes out in a fine mist and has hydrolised silk and wheat proteins in it to protect and smooth the hair.  There's no overpowering scent with this spray, just a subtle version of that generic mainstream hair product scent which I don't mind.

Did this work for my hair?   

Yes!  My medium thick long hair is very prone to frizziness, so I reach for the hair straighteners a lot.  The OSiS+ spray eliminated virtually all of my frizz, and I saw a noticeable difference in how straight my hair was after I had styled it.  Best of all, my sleek, smooth style lasted all day and having used it several times this month, I haven't experienced any product build-up or icky residue like I have done with other similar products in the past.  Plus, the spray never weighs my hair down or makes it look dull either, so this one is definitely a winner for me!  

Have you tried this?


*Hairtrade.com sample

Halloween Invitations.

We're having a Hallowen Bash for all of our Young Women Tuesday night at my house.

Invitations were a must
{Ok...not REALLY...but I like receiving invitations to pretty much ANYTHING and...
it gave me an excuse to make sugar cookies.}

So Saturday was spent baking away...one of my very favorite things.


I wrapped up each one in a cellophane bag and then placed them in these...


I created the invitation through Microsoft Word and then printed it out onto sticker paper so I could place it right on the front of the bags.


Chevron Bags found HERE.

{I'll be sharing my sugar cookie recipe later this week.  It's my mom's and IT IS GOOD!}

Drug Abuse Lesson Handout.


Today I had the opportunity of teaching my sweet Laurels Lesson #39 on:

We had a great conversation and it truly made me realize just how prevalent  drug usage surrounds our youth these days. Yet, another reason I feel blessed to have the Word of Wisdom in my life.

I wasn't sure what to come up with as far as a handout, so I took a trip to my very favorite candy store Sweeties and lo and behold I stumbled upon these Toxic Waste Sour candies. 

Perfect, I thought!


I printed the handout onto sticker paper {you can find these with the address labels at Wal-mart...just look for the package that says FULL SIZE 8 1/2 x 11} and then cut it to fit onto the backs of the candy jars.

If you'd like a copy of this handout, please follow my blog and then click HERE to print!

Tag: Why Do You Wear Make-Up?

A selection of some of my make-up favourites

This tag has been doing the rounds on the blogosphere recently and I've been enjoying reading everyone's personal responses to it.  It's interesting to see why people choose to wear make-up and some of the history/background to their experiences with make-up in general.  When I read Miss Jayne Becca's post on this recently, I decided that it was time to do my own!


(1) When did you begin loving make-up?

I was a late bloomer to the world of make-up compared to the rest of my friends, and I didn’t really start experimenting with it until I was in my last year of high school.  I guess this is because I was such a tomboy when I was growing up and I had a strong aversion to everything and anything girly!  I really only began to love make-up when I started college, so from the age of 16 onwards I became a regular highstreet/budget shopper in places like Boots and Superdrug.  It’s around this time that I started to ask for high-end make-up as birthday presents (I bought my first MAC lipstick with some 16th birthday money) and began to build up my make-up collection.

(2) How do you feel without make-up?


If I was answering this question when I was 16/17, I would be totally freaking out right now and saying that I would never, ever, in a million years, leave the house without a full face of make-up on! Being more mature and confident now at 25, going without make-up doesn’t bother me so much and I don’t have a problem popping into town to run some errands on a lazy Sunday with a fresh face.  That said, I still wouldn’t go to work or meet up with friends without wearing some make-up.  I don't know whether this is because of peer pressure and not wanting to be judged by others regarding my appearance (not that my friends/work colleagues are the judgemental type, but you know what I mean) or whether it's because I'm not 100% confident with how my skin looks without some concealer for example; it's probably a combination of the two.

(3) What do you like about make-up?

For me, it’s all about using make-up to 'cheat' a little - or rather enhance what you already have.  Slapping on any old full coverage foundation is not going to give you flawless skin like Naomi Campbell, but choosing the right one for your skintone and type, drinking lots of water and applying it only where it's needed is going to help boost a dull complexion and even out.  Make-up is a little helping hand that I like to use to give me more confidence day to day.  Plus, I’m a sucker for pretty packaging and all things girly now, so make-up certainly fits into that category!

(4) What are your three of your holy grail make-up items?

bareMinerals Original Foundation with SPF 15 in Medium Beige (review)
This is my favourite everyday foundation because the coverage is light (but can be built up to medium if required) and it just makes me look like I have great natural looking skin.

Sonia Kashuk Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette (review)
I love this little concealer palette so much. It has a corrector, two concealer shades that I like to blend to make my own custom shade and a setting powder all in one compact.

Urban Decay Naked Palette
I don’t even remember what I used to use before I got this, it’s become so ingrained into my everyday make-up routine that it’s hard to think of what else I use! Every shade in it is wearable and the whole palette can create so many different looks – you really don’t need anything else when you have this!

If you've done this tag, feel free to link your responses in the comments below - I'd love to read them :)

Review: Betrousse UK - The Pretty Beauty Box/Kit

 Betrousse UK Pretty Beauty Kit (£19 + P&P, link)*

A brand new kit has recently come out from Betrousse UK called the 'Pretty Beauty' box.  As with all the Betrousse kits (you can find reviews of past ones here), everything included is full size (yes full size! No samples in here!) and the contents retail for over £122.  



Included in my box were the following:-

Saffron London Cracking Nail Polish in Black (14ml, £0.75)
This is basically a cheaper dupe for all of the shatter polishes that have been around for a while now.  I applied it to do an accent nail this morning to quickly test it out, and it looks exactly the same as the Barry M Nail Effects.

Papier Poudre (Gift pack of 3 Booklets, £7.95)
A set of powdered blotting paper booklets (65 sheets in each) in three shades; White for Very Light Skintones, Rose for Light Skintones and Rachel for Medium to Dark Skintones.  I'm pretty loyal to my powder-free Kleenex Shine Absorbing Sheets so I wouldn't use these myself, but I can appreciate that others would prefer to use powdered sheets like these instead.  The brand have been around over 100 years which is impressive!

Kesari Anti-Wrinkle Cream (30ml, £47)
Kesari are a french skincare brand who use organic and natural ingredients.  In this anti-wrinkle cream, the formula is 98.8% natural and 82.6% organic, with the key ingredient being the extracts of the petals of the saffron flower.  I'm passing this to my mum to try out and she's very excited to use it.

Cupcake Organic Frankincense & Orange Repairing Day Cream (30ml, £16)
For dry and mature skin, this 99% natural and 75.2% organic face moisturiser aims to repair the skin and restore any damage.  As it's not for my own skintype, I'll also be passing this onto my mum, but can say that it smells really good!

Essyta Cosmetics Body Moisturising Lotion (250ml, £13.50)
This is another french product and is 99% natural and 16.8% organic.  It's also free from lots of chemical nasties like parabens, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances and colourants, PEG and phthalates to name a few.   The formula features shea butter, coconut and jojoba oil, green tea and sweet almond ingredients to soften and nourish the skin.  This sounds like a great everyday, simple body lotion.

Yves Rocher Hydra Refreshing Gel Cleanser (200ml, £11)
I don't think I've ever tried anything by Yves Rocher before.  This gel cleanser is 98% natural and 20% organic and promises to remove all traces of makeup, whilst soothing and moisturising the skin.  I'm concerned about the high content of aloe vera in it (I seem to have a sensitivity issue with aloe vera sadly), so I'll probably pass this on to someone else.

Yves Rocher Sexy Pulp Volume Gloss in 02 Rose Indien (10ml, £13.90)
A plumping lip gloss in a pretty rose-red with lots of shimmer - can't wait to give this a go!

Vera Valenti Eyeshadow Palette in Pink (10g, £2)
You're probably right in thinking this looks like something from the 80s!  It feels very cheap (well technically it is) and naff so it was no surprise when I swatched the eyeshadows and found that they weren't very pigmented - they weren't terrible, but just felt chalky and far too glittery for my liking.

Arganti 100% Pure Argan Oil (60ml, £10)
I was SO happy to see this in the box because I've literally just finished my bottle of Simply Argan Oil so that was great timing!

Summary:
On the whole, you absolutely can't fault this box in terms of value, and there's a good selection of products included, especially if you love trying out new skincare, haircare and make-up.  I also like how there's a lot of organic and natural products included.  The items I'm most looking forward to trying out are the Argan Oil, Yves Rocher Lip Gloss and Essyta Body Lotion.  For those on a strict xmas budget, this box might be a great idea to split up for gifts and stocking fillers too?

What do you think of the Betrousse Pretty Beauty Kit?
*PR sample

Create Your Own Sunshine.

It's been a busy busy weekend so far.
Planning LOTS of fun things for the next couple of weeks.

Our Young Women in Excellence program is one of them.
I'm handing these invitations out tomorrow. 
Take a peek:


I {sorta} have a problem with just handing out an invitation.

So...I dressed em up a tad.


...because who doesn't LOVE yellow gumballs, right?
{Smile}.

Invitations {and a sweet matching party pack!} were purchased HERE.
I love em because they're totally customizable.

My very favorite part of this invite is the quote from Gordon B. Hinckley at the bottom:

"Stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight."

Great advice, indeed.

Style Diary: Stephanie Kaufman, Young Couture Muse



Street Style: Stephanie Kaufman captured during Paris Couture Week
in Miu Miu suit for the New York Times (photo NY Times)
 
By David Pedroza, Editor in Chief
 
Now in her mid-twenties, Stephanie Kaufman represents the new generation of young, modern haute couture clients. As one of the youngs clients from the U.S., Stephanie Kaufman supports the fresh, new names of nouveau couture, favoring the visions of Alexis Mabille and Alexandre Vauthier. Stepahnie recently launched, The Collecte, along with business partner, Maria DeLisi-Minichiello. The site is a platform for new designers from all over the globe. Her passion for fashion has led to the building of an impressive wardrobe (which includes rare, vintage couture pieces from Valentino and Yves Saint Laurent), and the acolate of having great style, at such a young age.
The Young Client Front Row (Far Right) Stephanie Kaufman at
Stephane Rolland Couture Fall 2012 (Photo LA Society News)

MTAOS: How would you describe your personal style, and has your style evolved?

SK: Feminine, ladylike, clean lines with a bit of edge. My style is constantly evolving but I’m slowly learning what works for me. When you’re young I think it’s important to experiment with your style, it’s the only way it will evolve and become something that truly represents you.

MTAOS: Who inspires your personal style?

SK: There’s no one person in particular. It could be a vintage photo of a nameless face or a stylish girl in a blog. I love reading street style blogs. If I’m in a rut it will refresh my mind and inspire me to experiment in new ways.

MTAOS:  What was the very first thing that interested you about fashion and made you pursue a career in this industry?

SK: When I left Catholic school I finally had the freedom to choose my outfits.  I went crazy! Experimenting with wild colors combinations, piling on every necklace I owned. I cringe at some of the things I used to wear but it was all part of my process of discovering fashion. I became obsessed long before I even knew it was possible to study design. When I learned that there were amazing programs out there I knew I found what I should be doing.
 Kaufman front row at Julien Fournie Couture

MTAOS: How did you come about in creating The Collecte along with your Co-founder, Maria DeLisi-Minichiello?

SK: We always wanted to work together and create something unique.  We were bouncing back ideas for years and finally came up with a combination of all of our passions. We recognized a lack of opportunity for new designers and wanted to offer a platform for all kinds of designers and artisans.

MTAOS: Do you believe fashion plays an important role in society and culture?

SK: Yes, very much. Fashion can completely change the way you look and feel about yourself and that in turn changes the way you act and how people treat you.
The Red Stunner: Kaufman's first couture purchase
from Alexandre Vauthier  Fall 2011

MTAOS: What was your first haute couture purchase and has haute couture change the way you buy clothes?

My first haute couture purchase was a red knit dress from Alexandre Vauthier’s red collection.  Becoming involved with couture has given me a newfound appreciating for workmanship. It’s really incredible the amount of work and detail that go into these garments. I have to say it has spoiled me.

MTAOS: Is craftsmanship and fit the fore most important thing you look for when you buy clothes?

SK: Fit is so important to me. If it doesn’t fit properly you’ll never feel completely comfortable. The older I get the more I look for and appreciate fine craftsmanship. I’ve started investing in pieces that are classic and well made. I want to build a collection of pieces that I can save and have for years. Although craftsmanship and fit are of utmost importance it won’t completely limit me. If I find a piece that I love then I love! Fashion shouldn’t be taken too seriously.
Fitting Time: Kaufman tries on her share of the Alexandre Vauthier
Spring 2012 couture, at the designers' atelier.

MTAOS: You are becoming a familiar face in the haute couture scene, and also the youngest American couture client; has it become important to you to support the art of couture or is it important for a new generation of clients to become supporters of haute couture?

SK: I consider it is a privilege to be supporting couture in any way. It’s such an incredible art form and often misunderstood or underestimated by the general public. They think how on earth could a dress be worth this amount but they don’t realize the amount of work, time and talent that goes into these pieces. I think it’s very important for the next generation to learn about, appreciate and support couture. Without continued support there’s no way couture will continue.

MTAOS: Any beauty tips for young ladies in their 20’s?

SK: Keep your product use to a minimum. Learn what works and stick to it. Also always be sure to wash your face before bed.

Captured Moment: Stephanie Kaufman, as she leaves the Fall 2011,
Dior Haute Couture show. (Photo New York Times)
 

Review: Bumble and Bumble Mending Masque

 Bumble and Bumble Mending Masque (150ml, £29, link)*

I abuse my poor hair far too much with blow drying and hair straighteners, so I always reach for a repairing hair treatment once a week in an attempt to make it happy again.  For the last few weeks I've been testing out this one by Bumble and Bumble


Bumble and Bumble's Mending Masque is designed to 'mend' very damaged hair.   Whether it's through too much chemical colouring, perming or straightening, if your hair is damaged, Mending Masque promises to fix it!

The thick formula is based around Pro-Vitamin B5, Phytantriol, Panthenyl Ethyl Ether, Creatine, and a lipid blend (consisting of Linoleic Acid, Cholesterol, Squalane, Phospholipids and Barley and Wheat Germ Extracts).  All of these key ingredients help to hydrate, replenish, smooth, add shine and make hair more resilient against further damage.   As with all of the other Bumble and Bumble products I've tried in the past, this mask is very chemical happy, but when it comes to hair treatments, I really struggle to find natural alternatives that work for me (suggestions are always welcome though!).  It has a very typical mainstream hair product scent but I found it quite subtle.

To apply, it's recommended that you apply it once a week after shampooing, leave it on for 10 minutes, and then rinse it out.  When I tried this, my hair felt soft afterwards, but that was it.  I then tried it on towel dried hair which I wrapped in a turban, and then left it on for 30 minutes.  The results were MUCH more impressive.  My hair was left super manageable, shiny, silky soft and most frizz was eliminated too.

However, over the last few weeks that I've been using it, I can't really say that I've noticed any difference in it repairing my damaged hair or protecting against further damage the way that I see my HG Macadamia Deep Repair Hair Mask working.  For a quick fix, Bumble and Bumble's Mending Masque is a good choice and delivers instant results (when using the 30 minutes turban method), but for the long term, I'd recommend the Macadamia Deep Repair Hair Masque instead which is much cheaper too.

Have you tried this?  
What's your favourite hair mask for repairing damaged hair? 

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    *PR sample